Senators Aim To Extend Ethanol Incentives
Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) introduced legislation last week to extend current ethanol tax incentives through 2015. Those incentives include the blender’s tax credit (45¢/gal.), ethanol producers tax credit (10¢/gal.) and the ethanol import tariff. Without the extension, these incentives expire December 31 this year.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL).

For the week ending April 18, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service:

Corn – 19% is in the ground, 14% more than last year and 10% more than average. Producers in Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas planted 22% or more of their crop during the week.

Winter Wheat – 6% has headed, 7% behind last year and 5% behind the average. The most significant delay was in Arkansas where planting setbacks following the late harvest of soybeans during the fall prevented the crop from reaching normal maturity before winter dormancy. 69% is in Good to Excellent condition, 26% more than last year.

Spring Wheat – 20% is planted, which is 14% ahead of last year and 6% ahead of the five-year average. Seeding was most advanced in Minnesota and Washington, where progress was 39% and 15% ahead of normal, respectively.

Sorghum – 23% is planted, which is 1% behind last year and 2% behind normal. Above average temperatures and sunny skies allowed producers in Arkansas and Louisiana to plant 43% and 18% of the crop during the week, respectively. Elsewhere, warm, dry weather was needed in the Coastal Bend region of Texas to promote crop growth and help dry saturated fields.

Oats – 63% of planting is complete, which is 17% ahead of last year and 16% ahead of the five-year average. Double-digit seeding progress was made in all estimating states except North Dakota, where seeding had just begun, and in Texas, where seeding was complete. 36% of the crop has emerged, 7% ahead of last year and 5% ahead of average.

Barley – 18% is planted, which is 10% ahead of last year and 2% ahead of the five-year average. Seeding was most advanced in Washington, where above average temperatures and mostly dry weather throughout much of February and March allowed producers to begin fieldwork earlier than normal. Conversely, cool, wet conditions and late-spring snow hampered fieldwork in the major barley-producing areas of Idaho, leading to a seeding delay of nearly one week.

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