Harvest 2020


Based on Sept. 1 conditions, Nebraska’s 2020 corn production was forecast at a record 1.78 billion bushels, down slightly from last year’s production, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Acreage harvested for grain is estimated at 9.45 million acres, down 4% from a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 188 bushels per acre, up six bushels from last year.

Soybean production in Nebraska is forecast at 297 million bushels, up 5% from last year. Area for harvest, at 4.95 million acres, is up 2% from 2019. Yield is forecast at 60 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from last year.

The numbers all show slight declines from the August projections.

Since the start of September, temperatures dipped below freezing in some parts of the state, some places got snow and some saw their first rain since spring.

Harvest has begun in most areas. By Sept. 22, 10% of the state’s corn and soybean harvest already was complete, ahead of the 4% average for both crops. Nearly two-thirds of Nebraska’s dry edible bean crop has already been harvested, nearly twice the average for late September.


In Kansas, NASS’s 2020 corn production forecast was for 782 million bushels, down 2% from last year. Area to be harvested for grain, at 5.75 million acres, is down 4% from a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 136 bushels per acre, up three bushels from last year.

Soybean production in Kansas is forecast at 297 million bushels, up 5% from last year. Area for harvest, at 4.95 million acres, is up 2% from 2019. Yield is forecast at 60 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from a year ago.

In Kansas, 29% of corn and 10% of soybeans were harvested by Sept. 27, both a bit ahead of schedule in comparison to the 2019 harvest.


In Iowa, corn production was forecast at 2.48 billion bushels. Average yields are expected at 191 bushels per acre, down 11 bushels per acre from the Aug. 1 forecast, and down 7 bushels per acre from last year. Corn planted acreage is estimated at 14 million acres. An estimated 13.0 million of the acres planted will be harvested for grain, down 550,000 acres from the previous forecast.

Iowa’s soybean production was forecast at 503 million bushels. The yield is forecast at 54 bushels per acre, down 4 bushels per acre from the Aug. 1 forecast, and 1 bushel per acre lower than 2019. Soybean planted acreage is estimated at 9.40 million acres with 9.32 million acres to be harvested.

In response to the derecho experienced on Aug. 10, NASS collected harvested acreage information for corn and soybeans in Iowa. Based on this additional data, NASS lowered corn harvested for grain area by 550,000 acres. Soybean acres were unchanged. Since many producers indicated they were still finalizing decisions regarding some of the impacted acres, NASS reported it will collect harvested acreage for corn and soybeans in Iowa for the October Crop Production report.

While exact harvest figures are far from complete and markets continue to fluctuate, farmers do have an addition support option from the USDA.

An expansion of USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program was slated to begin Sept. 21. The move adds up to an additional $14 billion dollars for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. Signup for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program runs through Dec. 11, 2020.

Producers can apply at county Farm Service Agency offices.

CFAP 2 payments will be made for three categories of commodities — Price Trigger Commodities, Flat-rate Crops and Sales Commodities.

Price trigger commodities

Price trigger commodities are major commodities that meet a minimum 5% price decline over a specified period of time. Eligible price trigger crops include barley, corn, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, upland cotton, and all classes of wheat. Payments will be based on 2020 planted acres of the crop, excluding prevented planting and experimental acres.

Payments for price trigger crops will be the greater of: the eligible acres multiplied by a payment rate of $15 per acre; or the eligible acres multiplied by a nationwide crop marketing percentage, multiplied by a crop-specific payment rate, and then by the producer’s weighted 2020 Actual Production History approved yield. If the APH is not available, 85% of the 2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage-County Option benchmark yield for that crop will be used.

For broilers and eggs, payments will be based on 75% of the producers’ 2019 production.

Dairy (cow’s milk) payments will be based on actual milk production from April 1 to Aug. 31, 2020. The milk production for Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020, will be estimated by FSA.

Eligible beef cattle, hogs and pigs, and lambs and sheep payments will be based on the maximum owned inventory of eligible livestock, excluding breeding stock, on a date selected by the producer, between Apr. 16, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2020.

Flat-rate crops

Crops that either do not meet the 5% price decline trigger or do not have data available to calculate a price change will have payments calculated based on eligible 2020 acres multiplied by $15 per acre. These crops include alfalfa, extra long staple (ELS) cotton, oats, peanuts, rice, hemp, millet, mustard, safflower, sesame, triticale, rapeseed, and several others.

Sales commodities

Sales commodities include specialty crops; aquaculture; nursery crops and floriculture; other commodities not included in the price trigger and flat-rate categories, including tobacco, goat milk, mink (including pelts), mohair, woo, and other livestock (excluding breeding stock) not included under the price trigger category that were grown for food, fiber, fur, or feathers. Payment calculations will use a sales-based approach, where producers are paid based on five payment gradations associated with their 2019 sales.

Additional commodities are eligible in CFAP 2 that weren’t eligible in the first iteration of the program. A complete list of eligible commodities, payment rates and calculations can be found on farmers.gov/cfap.

There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all commodities combined. Applicants who are corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships may qualify for additional payment limits when members actively provide personal labor or personal management for the farming operation. In addition, this special payment limitation provision has been expanded to include trusts and estates for both CFAP 1 and 2.

Producers will also have to certify they meet the Adjusted Gross Income limitation of $900,000 unless at least 75% or more of their income is derived from farming, ranching or forestry-related activities. Producers must also be in compliance with Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation provisions.

Mark Jackson can be reached at mark.jackson@midwestmessenger.com.