READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, September 14th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

September WASDE Report Shows Lower U.S Corn, Soybean Production

The September World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates from USDA show U.S. corn production is down two percent from the August forecast. Soybean production dropped six percent from the previous month. Corn production is forecast at 14.9 billion bushels, still nine percent higher than 2019. Yields will be a record 178.5 bushels per acre, down 3.3 bushels from August. Corn ending stocks will drop by 253 million bushels from last month, while the season-average price jumps 40 cents to $3,50 a bushel. Soybean production is forecast at 4.3 billion bushels, down 112 million on a lower yield forecast at 51.9 bushels per acre. Ending stocks are projected at 460 million bushels, down 150 million from August. The season-average soybean price is projected at $9.25 a bushel, up 90 cents from last month. The wheat supply and demand outlook is unchanged this month, but there are offsetting by-class changes for wheat exports. The season-average farm price remains at $4.50 a bushel.

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Peterson Wants Confirmation That EPA Will Reject SREs

House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson says he’s seen nothing in writing that President Donald Trump told the Environmental Protection Agency to reject any small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuels Standard. The Hagstrom Report says Peterson is fearful the report may be speculation that the president will try to use until after the election. Recent reports quoted anonymous sources as saying Trump directed the EPA to reject the small refinery exemptions for past years that oil companies were requesting. Groups like the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol, and other groups that back ethanol were pleased by the reports. However, a spokesman for the Renewable Fuels Association told the Hagstrom Report that the EPA hasn’t confirmed it will reject those “gap-year” exemptions. During a recent political debate, Peterson says the recent speculation in Washington DC is based on anonymous sources. The Minnesota Democrat recently introduced a bill that would require the EPA to be transparent about its decision-making surrounding the RFS in the future.

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FCA Issues Report on Economic Conditions in Agriculture

Late last week, the Farm Credit Agency issued its quarterly report on the economic conditions in American agriculture. The report says for the past several years, government payments have played an important role in the farm economy and making up an ever-increasing share of farm income. “For 2020, about two-thirds of government payments are coming from ad hoc and supplemental assistance programs,” the report says. “While substantial ad hoc government payments are helping a lot of producers this year, there isn’t a guarantee that they’ll get the same level of help in 2021.” Cash receipts in 2020 are forecast to decline by 3.3 percent to $358.3 billion. Looking at the overall Farm Credit System, the FCA says it is safe and financially sound. Cash expenses are down 1.3 percent due to lower interest expense. Portfolio credit measures were more mixed, but there are indications of a slight increase in stress on portfolios in agriculture. System earnings were strong and continue to support additional capital growth. The FCA says system institutions across the country are in good shape to help support and grow the farm economy and communities in rural America.

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Grassley Asking Department of Commerce to Lift Steel Tariffs

Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley and fellow Iowa Senator Joni Ernst sent a letter to the U.S. Commerce Department requesting that Secretary Wilbur Ross lift Sections 232 tariffs on steel. They did so because the move would help Iowa farmers trying to recover from the derecho storm system that rolled through the state in August. The Iowa lawmakers are asking that tariffs be removed on steel that can be used for rebuilding grain bins and machine sheds. “In the wake of this catastrophe, opportunists are offering extremely high estimates to Iowans for the steel they need to rebuild their homes, farms, businesses, and communities,” they say in the letter. “Many farmers have told us that the increased prices for steel would collectively add hundreds of millions of dollars in cost to them. This can’t happen.” The senators also note that Iowans have rebuilt before and will do it again, but “there’s no reason to make it any harder than it needs to be.” Back in early August, a historic derecho storm swept through the state doing enormous amounts of damage.

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Ag Equipment Sales Continue a Positive Trend in August

Unit sales of agricultural tractors and self-propelled combines in August were positive for the fifth month in a row in the U.S. The trend also stayed above the previous year for the third consecutive month in Canada. The latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers shows U.S. total farm tractor sales rose 12.8 percent last month when compared to 2019. Self-propelled combine sales grew by just one percent. Four-wheel-drive units grew for the first time in the U.S. during August, climbing 14 percent to 218 units. 100-plus horsepower units remain the only slow spot in the market, with 7.8 percent fewer of them finding new owners in August. Total year-to-date farm tractors out the door are up 14 percent this year, while combines are now up 3.6 percent in 2020. “We’re not surprised with seeing growth in combines pick up, with USDA predictions of larger harvest sizes for this year,” says Curt Blades, senior vice president of Ag Services with AEM. “We’re still watching the 100-horse and four-wheel drive sales closely as those are units that indicate just how the large-field farmers are feeling.” He says this month’s overall equipment sales remain above the five-year average and AEM is pleased with that.

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Intern Opportunity for Young People at the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention

College students have a unique opportunity to attend the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Nashville, Tennessee, February 1-5 next year. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is looking for a team of interns to gain firsthand experience and be able to interact with leaders of every segment of the cattle and beef industry. The group needs up to 18 interns to perform vital tasks to help with the success of the largest annual meeting in the U.S. beef cattle industry. Interns will help many different staff members and attendees with meetings and events and should be prepared to handle a wide range of responsibilities, which could include setting up the indoor arena, assisting at committee meetings and Cattle College, as well as posting on social media and contributing in the NCBA booth. NCBA will also provide students with time to maximize industry networking. Students must be at least a junior-level college student, have a background in or working knowledge of cattle and beef, and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Go to the NCBA website for more information. The deadline for applying is October 23.

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.