Alabama Row Crops Steady and Drought in Western States
**Alabama row crop acreage is expected to remain steady in 2021 as farmers welcome better prices but brace for surging input costs.
Acreage estimates are nearly identical to 2020, save a 33% increase in winter wheat acres. That’s according to the USDA Prospective Plantings report released March 31st.
Carla Hornady, with the Alabama Farmers Federation says the stable acreage is due to rising input costs, crop rotation, equipment limitations and logistics such as on-farm storage.
**A program that began under the Trump Administration is now open again for farmers with the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP2, that began last Monday, April 5th.
According to www.agweb.com, the program is part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, and farmers have 60 day, or until June 4th, to either apply or make modifications to their existing CFAP 2 applications.
**After a year of pandemic-related challenges, farmers were hoping for an easy, uncomplicated growing season.
Unfortunately, according to the National Farmers Union, that dream seems unlikely as much of the Western U.S. is experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions.
According to NASA, the dry conditions can be attributed to "a weak summer monsoon season and ongoing La Niña conditions."
On top of that, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts drought conditions will persist for several months.