READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 1st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Acreage Report Shows Slightly Higher Corn and Soybean Plantings

The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates 92.7 million acres of corn planted in the United States for 2021, up two percent from last year. The June 30 Acreage report also estimates soybean area planted at 87.6 million acres, up five percent from last year. Growers expect to harvest 84.5 million acres of corn for grain, up two percent from last year, and 93 percent of corn acres planted in the United States are biotech varieties, up one percentage point from last year. Producers planted 95 percent of the soybean acreage using herbicide-resistant seed varieties, one percentage point higher than in 2020.  All wheat planted area for 2021 is estimated at 46.7 million acres, up five percent from last year. This represents the fourth-lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. All cotton planted area for 2021 is estimated at 11.7 million acres, three percent below last year.

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Grain Stocks Down Sharply in USDA Report

The Department of Agriculture’s quarterly Grain Stocks report, released with the June 30 Acreage report, shows sharp declines in corn and soybean stocks. Corn stocks totaled 4.11 billion bushels, down 18 percent from the same time last year. On-farm corn stocks were down 39 percent from a year ago, but off-farm stocks were up 11 percent. Soybeans stored totaled 767 million bushels, down 44 percent from last year. On-farm soybean stocks were down 65 percent, while off-farm stocks were down 27 percent. All wheat stored totaled 844 million bushels, down 18 percent from a year ago. On-farm all wheat stocks were down 38 percent, while off-farm stocks were down 12 percent. Durum wheat stored totaled 27.5 million bushels, down 34 percent from last year. On-farm stocks were down 24 percent, while off-farm stocks were down 42 percent. The Grain Stocks and Acreage reports sent corn, soybean and wheat markets sharply higher, hitting price limits on Wednesday.

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Former Ag Secretary Perdue 2017 Real Estate Transaction Drawing Attention

A report from the Washington Post questions a real estate transaction made by Sonny Perdue just after his selection to be Agriculture Secretary in 2017. The Washington Post reports Purdue’s now-former company bought a small grain facility in South Carolina for $250,000, while ADM purchased the facility six years prior for $5.5 million. However, the county the facility is located in appraised the property at $530,000 in 2018. AN ADM spokesperson told the Post, “This was nothing more than a business decision to sell a significantly underperforming asset.” Both a representative of Perdue’s former company and ADM confirmed the negotiations for the transaction started in 2015, when ADM originally asked for $4 million for the property. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow called the findings distributing. Responding to the report, she states, “I’ve already called on the Office of Government Ethics to review this situation, and believe that they should expedite their efforts.”

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OCM Applauds Introduction of Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act

House lawmakers Wednesday introduced the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act to reform and bring accountability and transparency to Commodity Checkoff Programs. Applauded by the Organization for Competitive Markets, the organization claims checkoff programs “have long been plagued by scandal after scandal for misappropriation of funds, lack of transparency, and misusing farmer and rancher tax dollars against the best interests of the producers.” Representative Dina Titus, a Democrat from Nevada, and Nancy Mace, a Republican from South Carolina, introduced the legislation.  Mace states, “This program has devolved from producing ‘Got milk?’ ads to creating taxpayer-funded lobbying firms, and it needs to stop.” The bill would amend the authorizing checkoff laws to ensure the programs cannot contract with organizations that engage in lobbying, conflicts of interest, or anti-competitive activities that harm other commodities. It would also require that they publish all budgets for public inspection and submit to periodic audits by the USDA Inspector General.

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USDA Seeks New Partnerships to Safeguard, Restore Wetland Ecosystems

The Department of Agriculture is investing up to $17 million for conservation partners to help protect and restore critical wetlands on agricultural lands. Through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced Wednesday it is prioritizing proposals that focus on assisting historically underserved producers conserving wetlands. USDA says restored wetlands help to improve water quality downstream, enhance wildlife habitat, reduce impacts from flooding and provide recreational benefits. NRCS Chief Terry Cosby states, “Our goal is to support agricultural producers in their efforts to conserve natural resources on their land.” The program enables effective integration of wetland restoration on working agricultural landscapes, providing benefits to farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program and to the communities where the wetlands exist. The funding is for fiscal year 2022, which begins on October 1, 2021. Partners interested in applying should contact their NRCS state office for more information. Proposals are due by August 15, 2021.

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NIFA Invests Over $5.4M in Biobased Products Research

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced $5.4 million in bioprocessing, bioengineering, biofuels and biobased products research investments through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. NIFA recently awarded $4.8 million for 12 Bioprocessing and Bioengineering grants under NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, and more than $600,000 for six Biofuels and Biobased Products grants under NIFA’s Small Business Innovation Research program. NIFA  =director Dr. Carrie Castille states, “NIFA’s Bioprocessing and Bioengineering awards fund projects that will stimulate new trade opportunities for the U.S. bioeconomy.” For example, the University of Idaho received nearly $330,000 for a project to develop an environmentally friendly approach for wood protection. Other projects include exploring the use of pennycress, a non-edible oil, in developing biodegradable plastic, and a bio-based extended-release insect repellent. The next Phase 1 request for Small Business Innovation Research applications is scheduled to open in July 2021, with an October 2021 deadline. Learn more online at www.nifa.usda.gov.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Tucker 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.