READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, August 13th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Releases August WASDE Report

The much-anticipated August World Agriculture Supply and Demand report sent crop prices slightly higher Thursday. The monthly report from the Department of Agriculture expects lower corn supplies, reduced feed and residual use, increased food, seed, and industrial use, lower exports, and smaller ending stocks. The season’s first survey-based corn yield forecast, at 174.6 bushels per acre, is 4.9 bushels below last month’s trend-based projection. The season-average corn price received by producers increased 15 cents to $5.75 per bushel. U.S. soybean supply and use changes include higher beginning stocks and lower production, crush, and exports. Soybean production is forecasted at 4.34 billion bushels, down 66 million on lower yields. The survey-based soybean yield forecast of 50.0 bushels per acre is down 0.8 bushels from last month. The season-average soybean price is $13.70 per bushel, unchanged from last month. The U.S. wheat outlook projects reduced supplies, lower domestic use, unchanged exports, and decreased ending stocks. The projected season-average farm price increased $0.10 per bushel to $6.70.

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Ag Credit Survey: Strong Farm Economy Supports Ag Credit Conditions

A sharp turnaround in agricultural economic conditions and lasting support from government programs is boosting farm income and loan repayment rates. Both increased from a year ago at the fastest pace on record. The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank released its quarterly Ag Credit survey Thursday. The survey shows the improvement in farm finances eased credit issues and contributed to softer demand for farm loans. With support from a strong farm economy and historically low interest rates, farm real estate values rose ten percent from a year ago, the largest increase since 2013. The outlook for profit opportunities in 2021 remains strong for most farmers as commodity prices remained well above recent years. Conditions in the cattle industry remained somewhat weaker, however, and drought continued to hinder conditions for some farmers and ranchers. Nearly all banks in the KC Fed district reported that production expenses for crop and livestock producers increased, and cash rental rates also increased, which could pressure margins going forward.

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Cattle Industry Commits to Climate Neutrality by 2040

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Thursday solidified U.S. cattle ranchers’ commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability with the release of U.S. cattle industry sustainability goals. The goals call for demonstrating climate neutrality of U.S. cattle production by 2040. NCBA past president Marty Smith says, “By setting goals, we’re publicly committing to continuous improvement and setting targets that allow us to measure and document those efforts.” The goals also seek to create and enhance opportunities that result in a quantifiable increase in producer profitability and economic sustainability by 2025, and enhance trust in cattle producers as responsible stewards of their animals and resources by expanding educational opportunities in animal care and handling programs to further improve animal well-being.  The goals are the culmination of a grassroots, rancher-led process through the Sustainability Goals Task Force formed this year. The task force evaluated the current state of U.S. beef cattle sustainability, and determined which improvements are most critical.

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R-CALF Issues Rebuke on Call for Regional Cash Market Minimums

A document sent to the Senate Agriculture Committee from R-CALF calls for mandating large packing plants to purchase at least 50 percent of their cattle needs from negotiated cash cattle markets. Announced Thursday, R-CALF USA says the white paper provides real-time evidence that varying minimum cash cattle purchase requirements region-to-region will allow major beef packers to continue denying timely market access to independent cattle feeders. The document is titled, “Why a 50 percent National Negotiated Cash Volume Is Needed and Why That Volume Should Not Vary Region by Region.” The group’s paper provides the example of at least one Iowa cash cattle seller who was informed that one major packer was out of the market for five weeks and another was reducing Iowa cash cattle purchases. By mandating that all large packing plants purchase at least 50 percent of their cattle needs from negotiated cash cattle markets, the group says Congress can ensure that independent cattle producers located everywhere have access to a competitive market.

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European Commission Delays Certificate Regulation, Protecting U.S. Dairy Exports

The European Commission this week decided to extend the implementation deadline for its new health certificate requirements to January 15, 2022. The International Dairy Foods Association says the announcement backs off on threats to shut down U.S. dairy exports to EU member states as well as transshipments of U.S. dairy products through the European Union. IDFA and U.S. officials considered the certificate requirements—requiring animal health monitoring and veterinarian sign-off, among other requirements—to be burdensome and in conflict with international standards set by the World Organization for Animal Health. IDFA says the EC’s extension provides U.S. and European officials with enough time to complete their discussions and determine appropriate implementation procedures for U.S. exports. IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes states, “We are grateful for the support and intervention of the Biden Administration to resolve this matter and hope the U.S. government will continue working with IDFA to help U.S. dairy gain access to the EU market.”

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Food Prices Increase Again in July

Food prices rose again in July, according to the latest Consumer Price Index. The food index increased 0.7 percent in July as five of the major grocery store food group indexes rose, and the food away from home index increased 0.8 percent. The index for food at home also rose 0.7 percent, as the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs continued to increase. The index for cereals and bakery products, which declined in June, rose 1.2 percent in July, its largest one-month increase since April 2020. The index for other food at home rose 0.8 percent in July, also the largest monthly increase since April 2020. The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.7 percent in July, and the index for dairy and related products advanced 0.6 percent. The index for fruits and vegetables was the only major grocery store food group index to fall in July, declining 0.9 percent after rising 0.7 percent in June. The index for fresh fruits fell 1.8 percent over the month.

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.