READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, September 4th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Survey Shows Farmers Strongly Support President Trump

A new Farm Futures poll shows farmers significantly plan to support President Donald Trump in the November election. The poll asked the question, “If the presidential election was held today, would you vote for President Trump?” Just over 1,000 producers responded, with 75 percent saying yes. In 2018, 60 percent said yes to the same question, following the start of the U.S.-China trade war. Meanwhile, 66 percent of farmers said yes to the same question in 2019.  In the most recent Farm Futures survey, Trump received high “grades” from farmers on his handling of agriculture, domestic issues and foreign policy. In 2017, nearly 50 percent of farmers gave him either an A or B grade on his handling of agriculture and 44.5 percent on foreign policy. In 2018, his handling of agriculture slipped to 47.1 percent. In Farm Futures’ current survey, Trump received a score of 67 percent as an A or B grade on his handling of agriculture, and 63 percent on foreign policy.

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Another Private Yield Forecast Predicts Record Crop

Another private crop forecast predicts a record corn harvest for 2020. Main Street Data forecast the 2020 national corn yield at 178.1 bushels per acre for corn. Despite setbacks from storms and a lack of rain, the forecast still surpasses the last national yield record, set in 2017 at 176.6 bushels per acre. However, Iowa corn yield was reduced further, thanks to derecho damage and a lack of rain. With Iowa and neighboring states reeling from the August 10 derecho, a lack of rain is now worsening yield forecasts for corn. Main Street forecasts Iowa corn loss at 185 million bushels. This puts Iowa’s final yield forecast at 195.7 bushels per acre, compared to the Iowa record of 203 bushels per acre. With no derecho damage and good soil moisture, Indiana forecasts for both corn and beans may hit records, conversely, showing how yield can vary widely between states.

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Roberts, Klobuchar Lead Request for Wheat Grower Assistance

A group of farm-state Senators seeks CARES Act funds for wheat growers to address price impacts from COVID-19. Led by Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, and Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, the Senators sent the request to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week. For U.S. wheat farmers, the Senators write,” COVID-19 and other factors outside their control continue to depress the price of wheat.” The lawmakers say the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is providing critical assistance to many producers impacted by COVID-19, including at-risk 2019 crop losses for hard red spring and durum wheat. While this assistance remains important to those producers, these classes of wheat represent approximately 30 percent of 2019 production, leaving the majority of wheat farmers without access to assistance through the CFAP program. The Senators cite the August WASDE that projects world ending stocks at a record of 316.8 million tons, saying record world ending stocks, caused in part by the impacts of COVID-19, are expected to significantly depress wheat prices.

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AFBF: Investigation is Positive Step Towards Fixing Trade Imbalances

The American Farm Bureau Federation calls the Trump administration investigation to remedy damages to U.S. produce farmers a positive step. The Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative’s office this week announced a plan to investigate and help produce farmers harmed by increased imports from other countries. USTR is requesting the International Trade Commission focus on blueberries. Imports of fresh fruits and vegetables have increased dramatically over the past 25 years, driving down prices for domestically grown produce. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall testified about the concerns of produce farmers at a USTR hearing in August. Duvall says, “We appreciate the work that has been done in recent trade deals to level the playing field for America’s farmers and ranchers, but this investigation demonstrates there are still imbalances that must be addressed.” As part of the plan, USDA will conduct targeted outreach to produce farmers 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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Ethanol Production Leveling, Down 13% From Pre-COVID Levels

Recent federal data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending August 28, ethanol production eased one percent. Production remained nine percent below the same week in 2019 due to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The four-week average ethanol production rate declined 0.2 percent, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.16 billion gallons. Ethanol stocks grew 2.3 percent, which was 12.3 percent below year-ago volumes. Inventories increased across all regions except the Gulf Coast. The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, contracted by 4.1 percent. Gasoline demand remained 7.2 percent lower than a year ago. Meanwhile, this week, GasBuddy reports Hurricane Laura prompted a massive drop in crude oil and gasoline inventories. That news comes as GasBuddy says Labor Day Weekend gas prices are at the lowest levels since 2004. GasBuddy predicts a national average of $2.19 per gallon, down nearly 37 cents from last year and the lowest priced Labor Day since 2004’s $1.82 per gallon average.

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USDA Designates 18 Iowa Counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

The Department of Agriculture Thursday designated 18 Iowa counties as primary natural disaster areas. The designation enables producers who suffered losses from the August derecho to be eligible for emergency loans. Additionally, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue reminded producers about the suite of disaster assistance programs available through USDA, including program flexibilities and a special signup through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Secretary Perdue visited Iowa Thursday to assess damages in the state. The natural disaster designations allow the Farm Service Agency to extend emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs, including replacing essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or the refinancing of certain debts. Meanwhile, to assistant other states impacted by the Derecho, the FSA has streamlined the environmental compliance review process for the Emergency Conservation Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program, Emergency Loan Program, Farm Storage Facility Program, and Tree Assistance Program.

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.