READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, October 16th…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

AFBF Moves 2021 Convention to Virtual Platform

The American Farm Bureau Federation announced Thursday that its 102nd Annual Convention will be held online. The announcement follows the cancelation of all events through January 31, 2021, at the San Diego Convention Center, where the convention was scheduled to take place. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says, “While we are saddened to not meet in person for this convention, we are eager to bring this event safely to farm and ranch homes across the country.” The 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention planned January 10-13, 2021, will bring together farmers, ranchers and industry experts. The online event will offer American Farm Bureau Convention favorites from the Ag Innovation Challenge and YF&R competitions to the Ag Foundation Book of the Year and the anticipated Farm Dog of the Year. Registration for the 2021 American Farm Bureau Virtual Convention will open later this year and will be free to all attendees. Further details on the event can be found at fb.org/events.

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USDA Issues $1.68 Billion in CRP Payments

The Department of Agriculture is issuing $1.68 billion in payments to agricultural producers and landowners for the 21.9 million acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program. Announced Thursday, the payments provide annual rental payment for land devoted to conservation purposes. Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce says, “CRP is one of the many ‘tools’ that USDA offers to producers and private landowners to help best manage sensitive lands.” Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland. Farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP help provide numerous benefits to the nation’s environment and economy. Signed into law in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States. Meanwhile, CRP participants with contracts effective beginning on October 1, 2020, will receive their first annual rental payment in October 2021.

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United Farm Workers File Lawsuit over USDA Suspending Labor Report

United Farm Workers this week filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for suspending a farm labor survey. The Department of Agriculture last month announced the intention to suspend the Agricultural Labor Survey. USDA claims the public can access other data sources for the data collected in the survey. The Agricultural Labor Survey provides quarterly statistics on the number of agricultural workers, hours worked, and wage rates. Number of workers and hours worked have been used to estimate agricultural productivity, while wage rates have been used in the administration of the H-2A Program and for setting Adverse Effect Wage Rates. The lawsuit filed in Fresno federal court by the United Farm Workers and UFW Foundation alleges the notice will, “send ripple effects throughout the farm labor market, ultimately resulting in many U.S. farmworkers being paid less.” The lawsuit seeks a preliminary and permanent injunctive relief preventing USDA from suspending the Farm Labor Survey.

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USDA, USTR Seek Experts for Agricultural Trade Advisory Committees

The Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office are accepting applications for new members to serve on seven agricultural trade advisory committees. Members of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee advise USDA and USTR on operating existing U.S. trade agreements, negotiating new agreements, and on other trade policy matters. Members of six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees provide technical advice and guidance on international trade issues that affect both domestic and foreign production in specific commodity sectors. To be considered for candidacy, applicants must have significant expertise in both agriculture and international trade matters. Committee members, who serve four-year terms, represent a cross-section of U.S. food and agricultural stakeholders. They must be U.S. citizens, qualify for a security clearance, and be willing to serve without compensation for time, travel, or expenses. The committees hold frequent conference calls and generally meet in Washington twice a year. Application information is available online at fas.usda.gov.

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Wheat Export Values Firm on Increased Futures, Export Value

Wheat futures prices have reached unexpected heights recently. Higher futures prices usually pressure export basis values when farmers sell wheat into the rally because that increases exportable U.S. wheat supplies. However, U.S. Wheat Associates points out the market is undergoing a completely different phenomenon. Extremely tight elevation capacity out of the Gulf and Pacific Northwest due to massive exports to China is sustaining high wheat export basis values, despite increased farmer selling. Soft Red Winter futures are up 11 percent over the last month to recently $5.94 a bushel, the highest level since December 2014. U.S. Wheat Associates Market Analyst Claire Hutchins says grain traders generally agree that the run-up in futures prices is attributed to technical buying. That’s where managed money or commodity funds buy significant amounts of U.S. wheat futures contracts with the expectation that the contracts will gain value over time. Hutchins expects export basis levels to stay at these higher levels through January, assuming that Chinese buying remains strong.  

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NASDA to host 29th Annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord

NASDA will virtually host the 29th Annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord Meeting next week, October 20-22. Expecting the largest ever attendance, delegates from the state and provincial departments of agriculture from the United States, Mexico, and Canada will gather to discuss implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, COVID-19 response, African swine fever, and gene editing, among other topics. The U.S. delegation lead, currently at 32 states strong, is NASDA President and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. The Canadian delegation will be led by Manitoba Minister of Agriculture & Resource Development Blaine Pedersen and the Mexican delegation will be led by Hidalgo Secretary of Agricultural Development Carlos Muñiz (moo-knee) Rodríguez. The Tri-National Agricultural Accord represents a longstanding commitment among the senior state and provincial agricultural officials of Canada, the United States, and Mexico to work together collaboratively on agricultural trade and development issues. The current arrangement is rooted in a U.S./Canada exchange dating from 1984.

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.