READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 28th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Vilsack: No Land Grab or Beef Diet Limits

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says there’s no truth to the talk that the Biden Administration wants to take land away from people and discourage consumers from eating beef to help fight climate change. Vilsack says the president wants to protect 30 percent of the nation’s land by 2030 but doesn’t plan to use eminent domain to take possession of that land. The Hagstrom Report says Vilsack told ag journalists that the talk of a land grab is really off base. “There’s no intent to take away land from farmers,” he says. “The goal is to give farmers more opportunities.” Vilsack also talked about rumors that the Biden Administration plans to limit how much beef Americans eat. Vilsack says there is no effort in place to limit the intake of beef coming out of the White House or USDA. “In the political world, games get played, and issues get brought into play,” Vilsack says. The rumor seems to have started thanks to a University of Michigan study on beef. The study says cutting the intake of all animal-based foods by 50 percent and replacing that with equivalent quantities of plant-based food would decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent. “There’s no policy paper in the administration suggesting that people eat less meat,” he adds.

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CME Group Raises Daily Price Limits on Grains

After a biannual review, the CME Group is expanding the daily price limits for the Chicago Board of Trade grain and soy futures, and the new limits go into effect on May 2. The new limits include 40 cents for corn, currently at a limit of 25 cents a bushel. Soybean limits are now one dollar per bushel, with the current limit at 70 cents. Soy Meal is up to $30 per short ton, soil oil is now 3.5 cents a pound, and soft and hard red wheat futures are both up to 45 cents per bushel. CME price limits represent the maximum price range permitted for a futures contract in each trading session. Price limits vary by product, as does what happens when a limit gets reached. “Some of the price limits are expanded by 50 percent,” says Jerry Gulke of the Gulke Group. “That’s a lot of volatility.” Gulke also tells Ag Web Dot Com that limit up and down on corn will now be 80 cents. That’s $160 per acre on 200-bushel corn. On 10,000 acres, gross income could move almost $1.5 million per day. Now that the trading limits have widened further, Gulke says it should give volatility a whole new meaning in future months.

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Indiana Governor Defends Biofuel Producers and Farmers

On Monday night, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb vetoed Senate Enrolled Act 303, legislation that would have stalled sales of homegrown biofuels in two ways: The first is by mandating confusing labels on E15 fuel dispensers and by muddying key regulations on retailers seeking to offer the lower-cost blend. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says her organization is deeply grateful to Governor Holcomb and Lt. Governor Crouch for listening to the concerns of Hoosier biofuel producers and standing up for rural families. “From the very start, SEA 303 got fueled by a wave of misinformation,” Skor says. “Hoosiers already enjoy legal access to lower-carbon, lower-cost E15 at 79 locations, and this veto is an important step toward ensuring greater competition at the pump, lower prices for drivers, and stronger markets for Indiana farmers.” Earlier this month, Growth Energy wrote a letter to Governor Holcomb asking that he veto the legislation, joining a chorus of ag and biofuel leaders in the state in opposition. State groups that worked to get the legislation vetoed included the Indiana Ethanol Producers Association, Indiana Corn Growers Association, the Indiana Ethanol Plant General Managers, and the Indiana Mayors and County Commissioners.

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America Grows Act Introduced in the Senate

The America Grows Act of 2021 was introduced on Monday in the Senate. It would significantly increase U.S. public investment in agricultural research and development. The bill would increase funding for agricultural research by five percent every year on an inflation-adjusted basis at four USDA agencies over the next decade. Those agencies are the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Backers of the legislation say more support for agricultural research is badly needed. U.S. public funding has declined in real dollars since 2003, while investments in other forms of domestic research have risen dramatically. The U.S. has fallen far behind its major competitors like China and Brazil when it comes to agricultural research funding. However, the America Grows Act would help to reverse the trend and reassert American leadership on the global stage. A recent study in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics says agricultural research has one of the highest returns of any public investment, estimated at $17 for every $1 spent. Maintaining U.S. competitiveness is vital to ensuring abundant, affordable food supplies, as well as supporting the economy. Food and agriculture account for nearly $3 trillion of the U.S. GDP.

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Export Inspections of Corn and Soybeans Rise While Wheat Drops

Week-to-week exports of corn and beans rose while wheat assessments declined. Corn inspections in the seven days ending on April 22 came in at 1.95 million tons. That’s up from 1.56 million metric tons the previous week and was almost double the 1.08 million tons two weeks ago. Soybean assessments last week totaled almost 224,000 metric tons, up from 222,065 tons the previous week. The USDA says that’s well below the 561,063 tons inspected during the same week a year earlier. Wheat inspections through April 22 totaled just over 564,000 tons, down from almost 626,700 a week before. Last week’s total, however, was up from the 506,700 tons assessed during the same week in 2020. Since the beginning of the marketing year on September 1, the USDA has inspected 41.2 million metric tons of corn for offshore delivery, well above the same period the year before. Soybean inspections since September are at 55.3 million metric tons, ahead of the 33.4 million tons inspected at the same point last year. Wheat assessments since the start of its marketing year on June 1 are at 22.6 million metric tons, just ahead of last year’s 22.5 million tons.

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Renewable Fuel Credit Prices Climb to Highest Point Since 2013

The price of renewable fuel credits soared to its highest point on record early this week. Reuters says higher costs for soybean oil pushed up both renewable fuel and biomass-based credits. Renewable fuel credits for 2021 traded at $1.50 each, after trading at $1.44 in the previous session. Biomass-based credits traded at $1.58 each, up from $1.52 during the prior session. Both of those are the highest prices since Reuters began reporting the data for renewable fuel credits in 2013 and biomass-based credits in 2014. Front-month soybean oil, which can be used as a feedstock in biomass-based fuels like biodiesel, traded at 67.71 cents per pound on Tuesday, their highest point since 2008. The credits, known as RINs, rose at the same time the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments for a case involving the Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires refiners to blend biofuels into their fuel mix each year or buy RINs from those that do. The Supreme Court’s decision around the case will likely heavily influence the future of the RFS and biofuels.

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.