READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 1st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Releases Perspective Plantings Report

Producers surveyed across the United States intend to plant an estimated 97.0 million acres of corn in 2020, up eight percent from last year. The Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Survey released its Prospective Planting report Tuesday. The report says planted acreage intentions for corn are up or unchanged in 38 of the 48 estimating states. Soybean growers intend to plant 83.5 million acres in 2020, up ten percent from last year, the third-highest planted acreage on record. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be up or unchanged in 22 of the 29 states estimated. NASS also released the quarterly Grain Stocks report as of March 1. The report says corn stocks totaled 7.95 billion bushels, down eight percent from the same time last year. On-farm corn stocks were down 13 percent from a year ago, but off-farm stocks were up less than one percent. And, Soybeans stored totaled 2.25 billion bushels, down 17 percent. On-farm soybean stocks were down 20 percent, while off-farm stocks were down 15 percent.

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Farm Journal Releases Poll on COVID-19 Impact

A poll by Farm Journal shows farmers and ranchers are concerned about uncertainty in commodity markets, the financial stability of their businesses, and the health of their families, and their workforce. The poll gaged farmer responses regarding top issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey results show 90 percent of farmers and ranchers say they expect COVID-19 to impact their business. While only 30 percent have a fear of becoming sick themselves, many expressed concerns about family and friends in higher risk categories. One-third of respondents said they’ve been directly impacted by the disease. Farm Journal’s Charlene Finck says, “Planting crops, maintaining dairy operations and other agricultural work is critical to our national security and social well-being,” adding, “We will get through these uncertain times together.” Agriculture is naturally designated as an essential or critical industry for the nation, as the farm workforce helps to feed the nation, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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DOT and EPA Issue Final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule

The Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency released final emissions rules Tuesday. The agencies will change the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule setting corporate fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards, known as CAFÉ standards, for model years 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. The final rule will increase stringency of CAFE and CO2 emissions standards by 1.5 percent each year through model year 2026, as compared with the standards issued in 2012, which would have required about five percent annual increases. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says the final rule “puts in place a sensible national program that strikes the right regulatory balance that protects our environment and sets reasonable targets for the auto industry.” Meeting the previous CAFÉ standards were seen as a way to increase biofuel demand. Under the SAFE Rule, the projected overall industry average required fuel economy is 40.4 miles per gallon, compared to 46.7 projected requirements for model year 2025 under the 2012 standards.

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NASS to Host Virtual Annual USDA Data Users’ Meeting

The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will host its annual USDA Data Users’ Meeting virtually later this month. The event is one of many that have opted to go virtual amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. Planned for Tuesday, April 21, the event is regularly held to share recent and pending program changes, and to solicit comments and input on various data and information programs important to agriculture. Usually held in person, the online Data Users’ Meeting remains free of charge and open to the public and will take place from 1:00-3:30 p.m. (ET). The meeting is organized by NASS in cooperation with the World Agricultural Outlook Board, Farm Service Agency, Economic Research Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Leaders from each agency will provide an overview of current issues and then take questions and comments. Registration and participation information is available at www.nass.usda.gov.

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No World Pork Expo for Second Straight Year

For the second-straight year, the National Pork Producers Council has canceled the World Pork Expo. Canceled last year to avoid the spread of African swine fever, this year’s event is one of many interrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic. NPPC announced the cancellation early this week due to COVID-19 human health concerns. NPPC President Howard “A.V.” Roth says, while disappointing, canceling the event allows “producers and others across the industry to focus on the essential role we play in the nation’s food supply system at this critical time.” Roth says NPPC will “do our part to support the nation’s transition back to normalcy and look forward to making next year’s World Pork Expo better than ever.” World Pork Expo is the world’s largest pork-specific trade show, where more than 20,000 industry professionals gather for three days to showcase innovations, introduce new products and participate in training and educational programs. World Pork Expo 2021 is scheduled for June 9-11 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

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DFA Named Winning Bidder for Dean Foods Assets

Dean Foods announced Tuesday Dairy Farmers of America as the winning bidder to acquire a substantial portion of Dean Foods’ business operations. In a statement, Dean Foods says. “We ran a competitive auction process and are pleased to have reached these agreements.” The two previously reached an agreement in February before withdrawing the plan to favor a competitive bidding process. DFA will acquire the assets, rights, interests, and properties relating to 44 of the company’s fluid and frozen facilities for $433 million. In addition, as part of the court-supervised sale process, Dean Foods has designated Prairie Farms Dairy as the winner of the assets, rights, interests, and properties relating to eight additional facilities, two distribution branches and certain other assets for $75 million in cash. Dean Foods has designated Mana Saves McArthur, LLC, and Producers Dairy Foods as winning bidders for the sale of the facilities located in Miami, Florida and Reno, Nevada, respectively. Harmoni, Inc. has been designated as the winning bidder for the Uncle Matt’s business.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.