There is a finite amount of cropland, so there wasn't much that American farmers could do to fulfill the new demand when Russia's invasion of Ukraine last spring raised fears that people would go hungry while wheat remained trapped in blockaded ports.
Iowa's DES MOINES (AP) — There is a limited amount of farmland in the United States, so there was nothing that American farmers could do to fulfill the new demand when Russia's invasion of Ukraine last spring raised concerns that people would go hungry while wheat remained trapped in blockaded ports.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented new regulations earlier this summer to encourage American farmers to start double-croppingconsider itorganizationsfertilizer or growing two crops consecutively on the same plot of land. The USDA intends to considerably boost the amount of wheat that U.S. farmers may grow each year, reducing reliance on major wheat producers like Ukraine and Russia and removing bottlenecks, by altering insurance standards to decrease the risk of growing two harvests.
The concept is a fascinating result of the Ukraine war that hasn't drawn much attention. Although it's unknown how many farmers will use the new system as fall approaches, others who already cultivate two crops say growers should consider it.
"I believe it's a terrific concept," said Illinois farmer Jeff O'Connor, who has been double-cropping for many years and invited President Joe Biden to speak at a gathering in May to support initiatives to boost food production. "I don't know how successful it will be."
Agriculture organizations are hoping for new approaches to meet the rising worldwide need for food while increasing farmers' profits in the face of high fertilizer and fuel prices, even if the effort is only marginally effective. "It removes some of the impediments and allows a lot more flexibility," said Andrew Larson of the Illinois Soybean Association.
The value of wheat that the US exported in 2020 was $6.3 billion. In terms of wheat exports, the U.S. traditionally ranks first, followed by Russia, Australia, Canada, and Ukraine, though this year's shipments will be lower owing to the conflict.
In areas of the South and southern Midwest, where longer growing seasons are a major advantage, double-cropping is not a new practicesoybeanorganizationsstabilizeorganizationbe lessenedfulfillfertilizerThese warmer temperatures allow farmers to sow one crop in the fall that goes dormant over the winter and then grows and may be harvested in late spring, at the same time that they plant another crop, usually soybeans.
The issue arises when cool weather postpones the wheat harvest in the spring, which in turn postpones the soybean sowing. And this is where the USDA's latest initiative could reduce the likelihood of an expensive planting backup.
In more than 1,500 counties where double-cropping appears feasible, the USDA's Risk Management Agency would streamline the crop insurance approval process for farmers planting a second crop. Additionally, the agency would collaborate with farm organizations and crop insurers to encourage a larger availability of coverage in other counties.
The USDA stated that its goal was to "stabilize food prices and feed Americans and the world against continued problems like organization COVID-19 epidemic, supply chain disruptions, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine" when it first announced its initiative.
Although the USDA made no mention of climate change, the organization, and other experts have long claimed that rising temperatures will force farmers to reconsider what and how they plant.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, a major provider of wheat to people in Africa and the Middle East, is a larger emphasis of the new campaign. Wheat prices nearly doubled after the invasion, reaching over $12 per bushel, but since then, they have progressively decreased as supply worries have subsided, in part due to agreements that have made it possible for some wheat from Ukraine to be exported.
An inquiry about the USDA's expectations for the number of farmers who will start double-cropping and the potential rise in U.S. production was not answered.
Double-cropping farmers frequently have lesser crops, although two smaller crops would still be far greater than a single crop.
That was undoubtedly the case this year, according to a study from the Universities of Illinois and Ohio State that was published in August. High wheat prices caused double-cropped land in southern Illinois to bring a projected $251 per acre return for both wheat and soybeans, which is $81 more than a stand-alone soybean crop. In other regions of the state, the double-crop benefit was less notable, and it might be lessened if wheat prices fall.
Near Palmyra, Missouri, Mark Lehenbauer farms animals and cultivates row crops. He stated he has been double-cropping for years and finds it to be consistently successful. Nevertheless, he advises that farmers must undergo a lengthy learning process as they discover how to successfully sow one crop at the same time that they must harvest another.
I think it's a terrific idea," said Illinois farmer Jeff O'Connor, who has been double-cropping for many years and invited President Joe Biden to speak at a gathering in May to support initiatives to boost food production. "I have no idea how successful it will be."
Agriculture groups are hoping for innovative strategies to fulfill the rising global food demand while increasing farmers' profits in the face of high fertilizer and fuel prices, even if the effort is only marginally effective. It removes certain obstacles and offers a lot more freedom, according to Andrew Larson with the Illinois Soybean Association.
"Where wheat prices go in the future matters," he said. "Wheat prices are still rather high even with the price decline we've witnessed, so there should be a little more of an incentive to double crop wheat in the coming year than there has been." fulfill fulfill
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