READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 14th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

UN Report: Huge Rise in Climate Disasters

A United Nations report confirms how extreme weather events have come to dominate the disaster landscape in the 21st century. Between 2000 and 2019, there were more than 7,300 major recorded disaster events claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people, resulting in approximately $2.97 trillion in global economic losses. This is a sharp increase over the previous twenty years. Between 1980 and 1999, 4,200 disasters were linked to natural hazards worldwide. UN Secretary-General António Guterres (guh-ter-rez) responded, “COVID-19 has shown us that systemic risk requires international cooperation,” adding good disaster risk governance means acting on science and evidence. Much of the difference is explained by a rise in climate-related disasters, including extreme weather events. The last twenty years have seen the number of major floods more than double, to more than 3,200, while the incidence of storms grew from 1,400 to just over 2,000. The report “The Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019” also records major increases in other categories, including drought, wildfires and extreme temperature events.

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NMPF: All Dairy Farmers Should Sign Up for DMC

The National Milk Producers Federation urges all dairy farmers to sign up for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program. Enrollment in the program administered by the Department of Agriculture opened Tuesday. NMPF cites the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and the expectation of volatile dairy margins in the next year, in the need for DMC protection. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says, “Coronavirus-related volatility in dairy markets is expected to continue well into 2021, with DMC payments a possibility.” DMC, the main risk-protection tool for dairy farmers enacted in the 2018 farm bill, is designed to promote stable revenues and protect against financial catastrophe on some or all of a farmer’s milk. Despite forecasts in late 2019 predicting that DMC assistance would not be needed by farmers in 2020, margins instead fell to their lowest levels in more than a decade in the first half of this year, triggering payments that kept many dairies afloat. NMPF says DMC coverage offers certainty in times of need, allowing for better financial planning and faster payment when necessary.

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New Program Seeks to Close Gaps in US Hemp Supply Chain

High Grade Hemp Seed this week introduced a Farm Partner Program seeking to make consistent, compliant production a reality for the U.S. hemp market. Co-created by Center Pivot Group, the new Farm Partner Program will provide an infrastructure for hemp producers that guarantees a price for hemp flower at harvest. The harvested hemp must be grown in accordance with guidelines laid out in the partnership agreement. The program will roll out immediately in the U.S., primarily in California, Colorado, Minnesota., New York, Oregon, and Texas, before looking towards international markets.  Initially, the partnership will be open to experienced hemp farmers who purchase High Grade Hemp Seed genetics. Contracts for biomass will be based on the trading value of hemp seed at purchase, with a revenue split after harvest between High Grade Hemp Seed and the farmer. According to Global Market Insights, the worldwide market for CBD is expected to reach $89 billion by 2026.

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AEM Releases September 2020 Ag Equipment Sales Numbers

All segments of ag equipment sales grew in September 2020, continuing a positive trend for the year, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. U.S. total farm tractor sales rose 21.6 percent in September compared to 2019, while combine sales grew 8.2 percent. Four-wheel-drive units increased for the second month in a row in September, up 21.4 percent, cutting the year-to-date deficit almost in half. For Canada, September tractor sales were up across all segments as well, leading to an overall gain in tractor sales of 25.1 percent for the month and 8.9 percent year to date.  Combines sales grew 9.5 percent for the month, while year to date unit sales remain 9.4 percent behind their 2019 pace. Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Ag Services for AEM, says, “we’re cautiously optimistic that this year may end up strong despite all of the headwinds in the market.” AEM is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers worldwide in agriculture and construction-related industry sectors.

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Green Plains Sells Remaining Cattle Business

Green Plains Inc. Tuesday announced the sale of its remaining 50 percent joint venture interest in Green Plains Cattle Company. The company sold its share of the venture to a group of investment funds that include AGR Partners and StepStone Group, among others, for approximately $80 million. Green Plains entered the cattle feeding industry in June 2014, with the purchase of Supreme Cattle Feeders, a 70,000-head feedyard in Kansas. Over the past six years, Green Plains Cattle Company grew to become the fourth-largest cattle feeder in the United States with a total capacity of more than 355,000 head of cattle across six feedlots in Colorado, Kansas and Texas. CEO Todd Becker stated the sale allows the company to “redeploy capital to support our long-term objective of building a technology-focused biorefining platform, producing sustainable, high-value, high-protein ingredients the market need.” Green Plains Inc. is a diversified commodity-processing business with operations that include corn processing, grain handling and storage and commodity marketing and logistics services. 

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National FFA, DEKALB Partner on Winning Has Roots Scholarship

The National FFA Organization and DEKALB brand corn will unite on October 18 at the NASCAR race in Kansas. The partnership includes the unveiling of the DEKALB FFA Ford Mustang driven by Clint Bowyer, with dual historical wings for both the FFA emblem and DEKALB. FFA and DEKALB are focused on improving the future of agriculture, and together will offer students the opportunity to qualify for the Winning Has Roots scholarship. The scholarship will help one qualified student fund their continued education. The scholarship amount will be determined by the number of laps Bowyer completes at the Hollywood Casino 400. A base amount of $6,400 is to be awarded to the recipient, with an increase of $14 for every lap Bowyer completes. If all 267 laps are completed, the scholarship will increase to $10,138. If Bowyer wins the race, the scholarship will be increased to $14,000. Final scholarship amount, details and next steps will be announced following the October 18 race.

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.