By Jim Jansen, Jeff Stokes
Crop producers across Nebraska reported more than 400,000 acres of prevented plant land in 2019, according to data published this week by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In total, the USDA reported more than 19.3 million acres of prevented plant cropland across the United States for the current growing season. Nationally, Nebraska ranked 16th among states with prevented plant acres (Table 1).
Table 1. USDA Farm Service Agency prevented plant acres by state, August 2019a
| ||Other States||161,651||7,907||59,085||424,528||120,823||773,994|
| ||Grand Total||11,210,627||167,847||4,350,704||2,209,457||1,321,290||19,259,925|
|a Source: USDA-Farm Service Agency, FSA Crop Acreage Data Reported to FSA, Aug. 12, 2019.|
b Other crops include barley, ELS cotton, cotton upland, oats, rice, sugar beets, and sugar cane.
South Dakota, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, and Arkansas accounted for about half of the prevented plant land in the United States with approximately 9.5 million acres. South Dakota led the United States with about 3.8 million acres, more than twice that of any other state. Corn, soybeans, and wheat were the top three prevented plant crops accounting for 17.7 million acres. Traditional grain belt regions reported the largest share of prevented plant acres in the United States.
Prevented Plant Acres in Nebraska
As of August 1, the USDA Farm Service Agency reported 417,125 acres of prevented plant land in Nebraska, 407,522 of which would have been planted to the state’s major row crops (Tables 1 and 2). Eleven of Nebraska’s 93 counties reported more than 11,000 acres each of prevented plant.
Holt County accounted for 47,292 acres or over 10% of the state’s total. Areas of northeast Nebraska, including Holt County, had an unusually wet fall followed by a series of heavy spring rains that didn’t allow for fieldwork. From October 1 to August 15, O'Neill has had 33.35 inches of precipitation, according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center. This compares to a 30-year normal (1981-2010) of 21.40 inches. Atkinson has had 29.42 inches, compared to a normal of 20.82 inches.
The top five Nebraska counties with prevented plant acres are: Holt - 47,292 acres, Merrick - 27,011 acres, Pierce - 17,207 acres, Burt - 14,759 acres, and Richardson - 14,487 acres (Table 2).
The number of prevented planted acres across the state varied, depending on a county’s location. A considerable amount of prevent planted acres occurred in counties that bordered or incorporated streams, rivers, or other bodies of water. These areas included counties along the northern and eastern tier of the state bordering the Niobrara and Missouri rivers between Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. Roads, bridges, and municipalities also suffered excessive damages in these counties as well as across Nebraska.
Considerations for Producers
Producers facing prevented plant or failed cropland acreages need to maintain good communication on disaster-related issues with their crop insurance agent and local USDA FSA service center. Also, other federal, state or local authorities may need to be informed. Maintaining direct lines of communication with the appropriate government entity or insurance company ensures producers understand their rights and responsibilities on properties impacted by a natural disaster.
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