READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, July 13th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Releases July WASDE Report

The latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Report from the Department of Agriculture Monday predicts lower corn and soybean prices for the growing year. The corn outlook calls for larger supplies, greater feed and residual use, increased exports, and higher ending stocks. Corn production is forecast 175 million bushels higher based on greater planted and harvested area from the June 30 Acreage report. With supply rising more than use, ending stocks are up 75 million bushels. The season-average farm price declined ten cents to $5.60 per bushel. Soybean production is projected at 4.4 billion bushels, unchanged from last month. Harvested area, pegged at 86.7 million acres in the June 30 Acreage report, is unchanged from last month but up 4.4 million from last year. The season-average soybean price is $11.05 per bushel, down 20 cents from last month. The outlook for wheat this month predicts reduced supplies, lower domestic use and exports, and decreased ending stocks. The projected season-average farm price increased ten cents per bushel to $6.60.

Cattle Groups Welcome USDA Processing Capacity Investment

The Biden administration’s executive order focusing on increasing competition, including in beef markets, gained praise from U.S. cattle groups. The order includes a review of the Product of the USA label, creating increased market opportunities and considering new rules under the Packers and Stockyards Act. The Department of Agriculture Also announced $500 million to increase meat processing capacity. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association applauded the announcements. NCBA Government Affairs President Ethan Lane says, “NCBA’s top priority in Washington is pushing for policies that strengthen the business climate for our producers.” Lane adds the order is a “vital next step toward securing a steady beef supply chain, and increasing opportunities for profitability for our producers.” U.S. Cattlemen’s Association President Brooke Miller stated, “USCA applauds President Biden for hearing the calls from cattle country regarding increased consolidation in the U.S. cattle industry.” R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard says, “It is clear the Secretary intends to open the bottleneck created in the cattle industry.”

Meat Institute Opposes Government Intervention in Meat Markets

The North American Meat Institute opposed recent action to make changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act. In a statement, the organization says, President Biden’s executive order calling for the Department of Agriculture to change the Packers and Stockyards rules will have unintended consequences for consumers and producers. Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts states, “Government intervention in the market will increase the cost of food for consumers at a time when many are still suffering from the economic consequences of the pandemic.” Potts says the proposed changes will “open the floodgates” for litigation and limit livestock producers’ ability to market their livestock as they choose. On Friday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to increase competition in the U.S. economy, including in the beef sector. The executive order also asks USDA to review the Product of USA labeling requirements. Additionally, USDA announced a $500 million investment to increase processing capacity of meatpacking facilities across the nation.

USDA Announces Dates for Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands Signups

Farmers can apply for the Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands signup until August 20. This year, the Department of Agriculture updated signup options to provide greater incentives for producers and increase the program’s conservation and climate benefits, including setting a minimum rental rate and identifying two national priority zones. The CRP Grassland signup is competitive, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency will provide annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes. FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux (DOO-shu-know) says, “Bottom line, CRP now makes more financial sense for producers while also providing a bigger return on investment in terms of natural resource benefits.” CRP Grasslands helps landowners protect grassland, including rangeland, and pastureland, while maintaining the areas as working grazing lands. Protecting grasslands contributes positively to the economy of many regions, provides biodiversity of plant and animal populations, and provides important carbon sequestration benefits. Producers and landowners should contact USDA by the August 20 deadline to enroll in the CRP Grasslands signup.

USDA: Rye and Winter Wheat Most Common Cover Crops

The Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service says farmers utilizing cover crops most commonly choose rye grass or winter wheat. Researchers reported which cover crops were grown the fall before planting corn, cotton, and soybeans. For corn fields intended for use as grain or silage in data from 2016, more than 90 percent of acres with cover crops used a grass or small grain cover crop, such as rye, winter wheat, or oats. At 63 percent of acreage, rye was more than twice as common as winter wheat, at 26 percent, as the cover crop on corn for grain fields. Rye and winter wheat were also the most common cover crops on soybean fields in 2018. Winter wheat was the most common cover crop used on cotton fields in 2015. This likely reflects the role of wheat stubble in protecting cotton seedlings from wind and the potentially negative impact of certain chemicals produced by cereal rye on growing cotton plants.

Fuel Prices Could Soon Stabilize

The nation’s average gas price continues its climb, up 0.5 cents per gallon from a week ago to $3.13 per gallon. The national average now stands five cents higher than a month ago and 93.7 cents higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel increased 1.1 cents in the last week and stands at $3.25 per gallon. However, GasBuddy experts say gas prices should stabilize in the weeks to come. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “with U.S. gasoline demand falling slightly last week, we may have already seen peak consumption over the July 4 holiday.” Crude oil prices may test the $80 benchmark, but are trading around $73 to $75 to start the week. U.S. oil inventories plummeted by nearly seven million barrels, while gasoline also saw a large drop of 6.1 million barrels. De Haan adds, “we’re potentially only 4-6 weeks away from gas prices beginning a seasonal decline that we’re likely all eagerly awaiting.”

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.