READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 3rd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Aid Increases 2020 Farm Income Projections

The Department of Agriculture says farmers will earn more net farm income in 2020 due to federal relief programs. Net cash farm income is forecast to increase $4.9 billion to $115.2 billion. In inflation-adjusted 2020 dollars, net farm income is forecast to increase $18.3 billion, and net cash farm income is forecast to increase $4 billion. If realized, both income measures would be above their historical average across 2000-2019 when adjusted for inflation. However, the increase is not because of better prices or markets. USDA says overall, farm cash receipts are forecast to decrease $12.3 billion to $358.3 billion in 2020. Total animal receipts are expected to decline $14.3 billion, and total crop receipts are forecast to increase $2.0 billion from 2019 levels. USDA says direct government farm payments, including federal aid but not loans and insurance, are forecast at $37.2 billion, a $14.7 billion, or 65.7 percent increase. USDA says the expected increase is due to supplemental and ad hoc disaster assistance for COVID-19 relief.

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Barchart Releases September Yield Forecast

Barchart Tuesday released its September 2020 yield forecast. The September cmdty (commodity) Yield Forecast for end of season yield is forecast at 178.4 bushels per acre for corn and 50.5 for soybeans in the United States. The forecast represents an increase in yield compared to the August report, which forecasted end of season yield for corn 174.8 bushels per acre and end of season yield for soybeans 49.2. The corn estimate comes in above the Pro Farmer Crop Tour estimate last month of 177.5 bushels per acre, and below the Pro Farmer soybean estimate of 52.5. Released on the first Tuesday of each month during the growing season, the Barchart forecast allows users to get insights to guide their business decisions ahead of USDA’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand report. USDA will release the September WASDE next Friday, September 11. Barchart is a provider of market data and services to the global financial, media, and commodity industries.

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AFBF Market Intel: Cash Rents Stable in 2020

Farmland cash rent rates remain stable in 2020, according to a Market Intel analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The analysis found that during 2020, the average cash rental rates for cropland, irrigated cropland and pastureland were $139 per acre, $216 per acre and $13 per acre, respectively. These rates were mostly in line with prior-year levels. AFBF Chief Economist John Newton says the stability in cash rental rates is likely due to various factors, including Market Facilitation Program payments, ad hoc disaster aid, and increased off-farm income. All of these factors allow farmers to remain competitive when bidding for cash lease agreements. However, Newton writes, “Moving into 2021, the farm economic outlook is uncertain.” Off-farm income is certain to be lower given the high levels of unemployment following COVID-19. However, support through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program could help farmers remain competitive when bidding for cash rental agreements this fall and into the spring.

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USTR Announces Plan to Help Produce Farmers

The Trump administration this week released a report outlining its plan to address the threat posed by increased foreign imports to American producers of seasonal and perishable fruits and vegetables. The plan follows public hearings held in August, where more than 60 witnesses testified, in addition to over 300 written submissions. USTR will request the International Trade Commission to initiate a safeguard investigation into the extent to which increased imports of blueberries have caused serious injury to domestic blueberry growers. USTR will also pursue senior-level government-to-government discussions with Mexico over the next 90 days to address U.S. industry concerns regarding U.S. imports of Mexican strawberries, bell peppers, and other seasonal and perishable products. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture will conduct targeted outreach to producers of seasonal and perishable fruits and vegetables to maximize the use of existing USDA programs. USDA says it will also develop a market promotion strategy for domestically produced produce.

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Cooler Weather and Freeze Risk Ahead

The U.S. weather forecast calls for cooler temperatures next week, and agriculture commodity trade experts say the chance of frost and freeze cannot be ruled out. Jim Bower of Bower Trading in his daily newsletter Wednesday wrote, “Wednesday of next week will bring some frost potential to western Nebraska and immediate neighboring areas as well as a few areas in the eastern Dakotas into Minnesota.” The forecast suggests that Tuesday will bring frost and freezes to the eastern Canada Prairies, possibly ending the growing season for some areas and possibly pushing some feeze conditions into the northwestern Plains. For Wednesday, Bower says a few freezes cannot be ruled out for the eastern Dakotas, the northwest half of Minnesota and possibly in a couple of western Nebraska locations, but most other temperatures will be above the damage threshold. However, Bower says, the forecast suggests temperatures will not be cold enough to seriously threaten crops as most crop should be mature enough and not be a major factor.

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Farm Aid Hosting Virtual Festival September 26

Farm Aid will mark its 35th anniversary with a virtual at-home festival experience. Farm Aid 2020 On the Road, scheduled for Saturday, September 26, will include performances from more than 20 artists. The three-hour event will be streamed at FarmAid.org, on Farm Aid’s YouTube channel, AXS TV and Fans.com. Farm Aid’s 35th anniversary comes at a time of unprecedented uncertainty. Organizers say, “The impacts of COVID-19 have revealed the fragility and injustice in our food system,” adding that for farmers, “thousands are at risk of going under.” The virtual festival will showcase stories from farmers from across the country who were invited to share why they farm, how they manage to stay resilient, and their vision of the future of agriculture. The goal of the virtual festival is to raise funds for and awareness of the organization and its mission, which it typically does through ticket sales to the annual in-person music and food festival. Farm Aid accepts donations year-round at www.farmaid.org/donate.

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.