READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 17th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Streamlining Whole Farm Revenue Protection

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced changes to streamline the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program. The modifications, USDA says, will decrease paperwork and recordkeeping burdens for direct marketers beginning with the 2021 crop year. Risk Management Agency  Administrator Martin Barbre says, “These changes will allow more direct marketers who previously could not meet reporting requirements a way to participate in the Whole-Farm program.” RMA held several stakeholder meetings with agents, growers and grower groups to solicit feedback on ways to increase the effectiveness of the program, as required by the 2018 farm bill. Stakeholders recommended RMA decrease the requirements for reporting yield and revenues for each commodity, which is especially difficult for direct marketers who may sell several commodities through a roadside stand. The newly implemented modifications allow growers to report two or more direct-marketed commodities as a combined single commodity code with a combined expected revenue for all commodities. Additionally, the combined direct-marketed commodities will count as two commodities in calculating the diversification premium discount.

House Expected to Pass Peterson Led SRE Provisions

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce this week released legislation containing provisions to provide transparency into the Environmental Protection Agency’s granting of small refinery exemptions. The provisions stem from legislation by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat. The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act would set an annual deadline for refiners to request exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard and require EPA to publicly release the name of refiners requesting a waiver, the number of gallons requested to be waived and the number of gallons of biofuel that will not be blended as a result of the waiver. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the National Farmers Union this week that she expects the House to pass the legislation, possibly next week. The National Corn Growers Association says providing more transparency to EPA’s waiver process will give farmers, biofuel producers and the public a clearer understanding of EPA’s justification for approving these harmful waivers.

AFBF Supports Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act

The American Farm Bureau Federation wants Congress to give federal land management agencies additional tools and resources to prevent and recover from catastrophic wildfires. AFBF and 13 state Farm Bureaus sent a letter Wednesday to Senate leadership supporting the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act of 2020. AFBF says the bipartisan legislation will expedite forest management, accelerate post-fire restoration and reforestation, and remove dead and dangerous wood from national forests. AFBF says the importance of the legislation is demonstrated by the six million acres of forest land currently burning in the western United States. Since the beginning of 2020, in California alone, wildfires have burned more than three million acres and destroyed 4,200 structures. The letter states, “Backlogs in adequate management coupled with drier, hotter conditions, have resulted in unhealthy, overly dense forests.” While the legislation will help mitigate future fires, Farm Bureau says it will not address the immediate needs of farmers and ranchers suffering devastating losses from fires burning right now.

China, EU Sign Agreement Protecting Geographic Indicators

The European Union and China this week signed a bilateral agreement to protect Geographical Indications. The agreement protects 100 EU geographical indicators, along with 100 Chinese indicators. The agreement, first concluded in November 2019, should bring reciprocal trade benefits as well as introducing consumers to guaranteed, quality products on both sides, according to the EU. An EU agriculture official says, “European Geographical Indications products are renowned for their quality and diversity,” adding, “it is important to protect them.” Following the signature of the agreement and the European Parliament’s consent, it will officially be adopted. The agreement is expected to enter into force at the beginning of 2021. Within four years after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover additional 175 Geographic Indicator names from both sides. EU-China cooperation on the matter started in 2006 and resulted in the protection of ten Geographical Indication names on both sides in 2012.

Farm Futures Releases 2021 Planting Intentions Survey

An August 2020 survey conducted by Farm Futures found farmers across the country are eager to plant more soybeans in 2021. Survey respondents reported a slight decline in corn acreage in favor of soybeans for next year’s crop as a recent uptick in soybean demand sparked a rally. Farm Futures respondents indicated planting 0.3 percent fewer corn acres in 2021/22 after demand destruction eroded 440 million bushels from the 2019/20 demand pipeline. While 2020/21 corn planting progress was largely underway when the pandemic caused corn demand to evaporate, farmers now have over six months of pandemic experience under their belts. The recent run-up in soybean prices has made U.S. soy acreage a hot prospect in the commodity markets. Farm Futures respondents projected planting nearly 4.1 million more acres of soybeans in 2021 compared to 2020, totaling 87.9 million acres. If realized, 2021 soybean acreage will be the third-highest planted soy acreage on record.

2021 World Ag Expo Cancelled

Organizers of the 2021 World Ag Expo announced the cancelation of the event earlier this week. Jerry Sinift, International Agri-Center CEO, says, “it has become evident that given health and safety restrictions from the State of California, holding a live, international event is not responsible in February.” Organizers say the decision follows months of research and evaluation of future trends and known constraints. The decision was finalized earlier than the initial November deadline to provide exhibitors, attendees and local businesses time to adjust their farm show plans. The cancellation of World Ag Expo comes as another negative effect of COVID-19 for the International Agri-Center, exhibitors, non-profit food vendors, attendees, area hotels, restaurants, and other associated businesses. The International Agri-Center is home to World Ag Expo in Tulare (Too-larry), California. An estimated annual average of 100,000 individuals from 65 countries attend World Ag Expo each year. The 2022 World Ag Expo is scheduled for February 8-10 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, California.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


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.