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What is today's news? | Friday, April 1, 2022

In today’s roundup, get caught up on the latest news about corn and soybean plantings, avian influenza, and the grain harvest in Argentina.

Corn and soybeans

American farmers say they will plant more soybeans — a record 91 million acres — and less corn and spring wheat despite tight global wheat supplies that have been compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Chuck Abbot reports the news after the USDA's annual Prospective Plantings report was released yesterday.

Facing high fertilizer prices, growers plan to shift away from corn and into soybeans. At 91 million acres, soybean plantings would be the highest ever, up 4%, or 3.76 million acres, from last year. Corn plantings would drop by nearly the same amount — 3.87 million acres, or 4% — to a total of 89.5 million acres.

It would be only the third time that soybean acreage exceeds corn acreage in the United States. With normal weather and “trend line” yields, farmers could harvest a record-large soybean crop this fall.

Avian influenza

To date, 17,456,802 reported birds have been affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza, reports Editor Madelyn Ostendorf.

The USDA reported two new cases Friday afternoon. Both were located in Iowa: a commercial layer flock in Osceola County and in a commercial turkey flock in Cherokee County.

Chuck Abbot reports that U.S. farms raised 214 million turkeys last year. Minnesota was the highest-producing turkey state, with 40.5 million birds. 

More than 50 million chickens and turkeys died in an HPAI epidemic in 2014-15, including 12% of the nation’s egg-laying hens.

Grain harvest in Argentina

Argentina is the world's largest exporter of soybean oil and meal, and the no. 2 exporter of corn. Harvesting of both crops, which have already been hit by drought and recent frosts, is just getting started with 4% of soy and 15% of corn collected.

Now, the main rural associations in a statement warned about the lack of diesel needed for tractors and trucks, which comes amid a global energy crunch, rising crude and gas prices, and grains supply bottlenecks linked to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

"In recent weeks, diesel has become a scarce resource in various locations in the country," farm groups said in a joint statement.

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