Spring 2018 Newsletter

Corn is germinating, hay is being baled, and spring is well underway. It's a critical time of year to start harvesting fall planted crops, as well as to get started on planting spring varieties. Continue reading for updates on the water situation, how our government is affecting growers, and how to best take advantage of spring planting this season.

Addressing the water situation:

March rains brought brief hope to the Central California Valley after another winter of extremely low precipitation levels. Overall seasonal rainfall and snow pack levels are still below where they should be. However, thanks to last year's wet conditions and some late storms, reservoir levels appear to be in above average shape.

The United States Bureau of Reclamation closely tracks the condition of California's many reservoirs, where much of the irrigation water is originally channeled from. In studying the map below, recent statistics currently show comfortable reservoir levels across the state. Reservoirs that pertain to the San Joaquin Valley region including the Don Pedro Reservoir, New Melones Lake, and Lake McClure are all well over historical averages by at least 25% and hovering around 85-95% capacity. Spring and summer snow melt may drive these figures up even higher, which is good news for farmers looking to irrigate.

For information on where you personally stand when it comes to water rights and estimated 2018 allocations, contract your local county irrigation district office. 

Product Spotlight: SX 5546 Roundup Ready Corn

Our SX 5546 Roundup Ready corn is the biggest and tallest variety in our lineup, making it perfect for silage growers needing to maximize their yield per acre. This variety is quick out of the ground and handles stress well. Lodging can occur in areas with high wind or sandy soil. Check out our website or contact us to learn about our corn selections this season.


2018 is a Farm Bill year in politics: what does that mean to farmers?

This piece of legislation is reviewed every five years, and many of the funding for future agricultural programs is established within it. The figure above displays how the last revision of the bill was largely focused on nutrition, and it appears that nutrition is again a large source of controversy on this year's revision, namely the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

SNAP is what determines the allocation of government distributed food stamps, and the discourse over whether or not to make cuts in the program has largely kept the bill from moving forward. There is a largely Republican movement to shift funding away from welfare dependency and towards supporting struggling commodity industries. The efforts to better allocate the nutrition funds that are currently holding four fifths of the USDA's budget could be used towards dairy and cotton producers, research grants, small farm start ups, and many other relevant causes. 

It's important to remember that California provides roughly half of the nation's fruits, veggies and nuts, in addition to about 20% of the milk. Without support for growers, especially with the current inconsistent market trends, there would be a huge shortage of commodities nationwide, and SNAP might not even be possible in the first place. Click
HERE for more information on what the Farm Bill is and what it will entail. 

Interested in spring planting?
You know what to do next.

Click the buttons below to browse our website or send us an email directly. Feel free to also call our toll free number at 800-306-4333 for any questions.

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