READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, August 24th…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Pro Farmer Predicts Record Yields

Pro Farmer estimates a 14.8-billion-bushel corn crop, with an average yield of 177.5 bushels-per-acre. For soybeans, Pro Farmer estimates a 4.3-billion-bushel crop with an average yield of 52.5 bushels-per-acre. Pro Farmer released the projections Friday following its annual Midwestern Crop Tour. Both corn and soybean yield estimates would be record crops, but not as big as projected by the Department of Agriculture earlier this month. Pro Farmer trimmed 525,000 from harvested acres, 300,000 coming from Iowa. The Iowa cut stems from the derecho (der-ray-cho) storm that destroyed crops this month, but the bigger concern for the state is drought. Pro Farmer pegged Iowa corn yields at 180 bushels-per-acre, and soybeans at 55 bushels-per-acre. The week long tour found Illinois has the best-projected corn yield at 205 bushels-per-acre, and the top projected soybean yield at 62 bushels-per-acre. The tour samples corn and soybean crops in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota.

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Coronavirus Aid Delayed, Likely Won’t Include Ag Provisions

Congress won’t consider any coronavirus relief until September, and the streamlined package won’t likely include agriculture. Senate Republicans indicate they plan to introduce a “skinny” bill next month, according to the Hagstrom Report. The Senate returns to session on September 8, and the House has scheduled to return for committee meetings on September 8, with the full House returning to session September 14. The delay sets up speculation the general coronavirus aid may be included in spending bills Congress must pass by September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. Congress must also pass the spending bills to avoid a government shutdown. Many in agriculture agree more aid is needed for farmers and ranchers facing losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. The failed HEALS Act in the Senate would have provided an additional $20 billion for agriculture. The CARES Act included $14 billion for agriculture, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program includes $16 billion for agriculture.

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China, U.S. Trade Talks Coming

More trade talks between China and the U.S. are on the horizon. However, the questions of if and when remain. Last week, the Trump administration declined to confirm any plans to meet with China regarding the Phase 1 trade deal. According to Reuters, a spokesperson for China’s Commerce Ministry last week stated bilateral talks would be held “in the coming days” to evaluate the agreement’s progress. Previously planned for August 15, China claims the meeting was moved due to a scheduling conflict. Yet, President Donald Trump claims he canceled the meeting, because, he says, “I don’t want to deal with them now.” China is buying more U.S. commodities, a promise made in the Phase 1 agreement. However, the most recent data suggests China is behind pace to fulfill its commitments. China has committed to buying more new crop soybeans and sorghum from the United States. And, while China is purchasing more U.S. new crop corn, the purchases still lag from prior levels.

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NCGA: Communication Key for Successful 2020 Harvest

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, communication is the key to a successful harvest this fall, according to the National Corn Growers Association. Jeff Bender, director of the Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center, tells NCGA following CDC guidelines, including social distancing, remains important even if your community has not had a COVID-19 diagnosis. However, most importantly, communication is the key this year. That means talking with delivery points this fall. NCGA suggests farmers should be asking about local and state regulations affecting operations, delivery protocols and delivery scheduling. Additionally, you should ask if there will be an open office and how you will receive a delivery ticket, among other questions regarding new technology and customer information. Also, don’t forget general safety, either. A large crop often translates into longer days and increased logistics. The hectic work schedule can lead to problems with fatigue, loss of concentration and injuries. Bender says, “Throughout harvest, be respectful of others’ safety and remember it’s about everyone’s health, business continuity and community.”

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USDA Announces Public Meeting on Salmonella: State of the Science

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will host a virtual public meeting on Salmonella next month. Federal agencies included in the meeting will discuss the commitment to reduce pathogen contamination to decrease salmonella infections associated with regulated food items. The week before the public meeting, USDA’s Office of Food Safety will release the “Roadmap to Reducing Salmonella: Driving Change through Science-Based Policy,” which outlines how USDA will advance programs and policies that are science-based, data-driven, and promote innovation to reduce Salmonella in meat, poultry, and egg products. Salmonella is a foodborne pathogen of concern in multiple FSIS-regulated food products. To address foodborne sources of Salmonella, FSIS is committed to aggressively targeting Salmonella in regulated meat, poultry, and processed egg products through various strategies and initiatives. The virtual public meeting will be held on September 22, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. ET. Registration information is available at fsis.usda.gov.

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USPS Delays Deliver Dead Chicks to Small Poultry Farmers

Poultry farmers say postal service delays are causing deliveries of live chicks to result in dead chicks. Shipping of live chicks is common through the United States Postal Service. However, Maine poultry farmer Pauline Henderson says delays in shipping resulted in 800 dead chicks at her farm. She told local media the dead birds she received shipped in the normal amount of time but were apparently mishandled. Farmers like Henderson allege recent operation overhauls, including cuts in sorting equipment, have made USPS an unreliable shipper for live chicks. The Portland (Maine) Press-Herald reports thousands of birds that moved through the Postal Service’s processing center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, all met the same fate, affecting several farms in Maine and New Hampshire. Representative Chellie Pingree, a Maine Democrat, penned a recent letter to the USPS and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Pingree alleges the Trump administration “attacks on the Post Office are devasting small farmers.” Pingree is among the many Democrats calling for the removal of  Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

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.