READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, August 18th…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

U.S., China, Postpone Trade Deal Review

The U.S. and China have postponed a review of the Phase One trade deal as China continues to buy large amounts of U.S. farm commodities. The two sides were set to meet over the weekend, but the delay allows China more time to buy U.S. crops. However, the postponement arose over scheduling conflicts, according to Reuters. Saturday marked the six-month anniversary of the trade pact entering into force. President Donald Trump told reporters last week that the trade deal was “doing very well,” without adding specifics. Recently, China has ramped up purchases, including a record purchase of sorghum last week of 32 million bushels. That sale topped the previous record set in 2014 of 23 million bushels purchased in one week. Further, the Department of Agriculture reports China purchased 126,000 metric tons of soybeans last week. However, trade experts say China is still behind the pace needed to meet levels of commodity purchases promised in the trade deal.

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Roberts Leads Letter Urging Flexibility for School Meals

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts calls on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide flexibilities for school meals and child nutrition. Leading lawmakers in a letter to Perdue, the Kansas Republican says, “As the school year begins, the challenges brought on by the COVID emergency persist.” The letter asks Perdue to continue using the child nutrition program waiver authority to assist school food authorities and non-school sponsoring organizations. The lawmakers urge USDA to utilize program flexibilities, grants or reimbursements that assist school food authorities with procuring, preparing, and serving meals in a manner consistent with COVID-19 school re-opening guidelines. The lawmakers say schools are working to provide children meals while schools explore various and blended models of in-person and virtual classroom sessions. The letter also seeks support for non-school sponsors providing meals to children on remote-learning days or when in-classroom learning is unavailable. The letter includes 20 Senators, requesting the action from USDA.

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Iowa Storm Damage Estimates

The Iowa Department of Agriculture says there are approximately 14 million acres of insured crops potentially damaged by the derecho (Deh-RAY-cho) storm a week ago. This includes 8.2 million acres of corn and 5.6 million acres of soybeans that may have been impacted by the storm. The storm destroyed several grain bins. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig adds, “the state has lost tens of millions of bushels of grain storage just a few weeks before harvest begins.” Scouts on the Pro Farmer Midwestern Crop Tour will report on some of the damages this week. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds requested near $4 billion in federal aid to assist farmers in a letter to President Donald Trump over the weekend. The President on Monday signed an emergency declaration for Iowa. The storm impacted nearly 37.7 million acres of farmland across the Midwest, with Iowa appearing to take the brunt of the storm.

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Dakota Producers Can Use Cover Crops for Forage Earlier than Normal

The Department of Agriculture will allow farmers who planted cover crops on prevented plant acres in select counties in North and South Dakota to hay, graze or chop those fields starting next month. Typically, farmers cannot do so until November 1. USDA’s Risk Management Agency says the change is being made because of excessive moisture and flooding in 42 counties in the two states. USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey says, “We made this one-year adjustment to help farmers remain good stewards of the land and provide an opportunity to ensure quality forage is available for livestock this fall.” Flooding and excessive rainfall in parts of the country have resulted in a significant amount of prevented planting claims under Federal crop insurance. Given these weather events and the need for animal feed, flexibility around the use of a cover crop planted on prevented planted acreage for haying, grazing and cutting for silage has become necessary.

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Corps releases Upper Mississippi River Draft Master Plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District seeks comments on its master plan draft for the Upper Mississippi River and environmental assessment. Released last week, the master plan encompasses the Upper Mississippi River from the Twin Cities to Lock and Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa. The current plan reflects changes in policy related to master plan content, format and land classification. The 2020 master plan is based on regional and local needs, resource capabilities, suitability, and expressed public interests consistent with authorized project purposes, pertinent legislation and regulations. It provides a district-level policy consistent with national objectives, other state and regional goals and programs. The Corps completed its first master plan for this area in 1948. Additional updates occurred in 1983 and 1988, as well as a 2011 land-use allocation plan. In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, a final determination of the master plan’s draft environmental assessment will be made following a 30-day public review period.

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Noble Research Institute Hosting Cattle Marketing Strategy Webinars

The Noble Research Institute’s Integrity Beef Alliance Program will host two online learning events about marketing cattle strategically with the Integrity Beef programs. The program simplifies cow-calf producer management decisions and increases marketing opportunities through the production of high-quality cattle. The first event, Marketing Cattle Strategically with Integrity Beef Terminal Calf Program, will be from 2-4 p.m. CDT Tuesday, September 1. This event will focus on the marketing benefits that a cow-calf producer can see when participating in the program. The second event, Marketing Heifers Strategically with Integrity Beef Replacement Female Program, will be from 2-4 p.m. CDT Wednesday, September 2. The program is centered on properly developing and vaccinating first-calf heifers with protocols to develop a breeding program to ensure calving ease and high weaning weights of the first calf. There is no registration fee, but preregistration is required to receive meeting login details before the event. For more information and to register, visit www.noble.org/events.

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.