National Ag News for May 4, 2022

Producer Sentiment Improves Despite Inflation Worries

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer improved in April, rising eight points to a reading of 121. However, that remains 32 percent below its level from the same time last year. Producer perspectives on current conditions and future expectations saw an uptick over the past month. The Index of Current Conditions improved seven points to a reading of 120, and the Index of Future Expectations rose nine points to a reading of 122. Rising commodity prices, especially for corn and soybeans, appear to be the reasons behind producers’ improved financial outlook. Even with improved prices, producers say rising input costs are the top concern for their farming operation. In April, 42 percent of producers surveyed chose higher input costs as their biggest concern, which was more than twice as many who chose government policies or lower output prices. Sixty percent of respondents expect input prices to rise by 30 percent over the next year.

USDA Accepts Two Million Acres Into CRP General Signup

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA is accepting more than two million acres in offers from agricultural producers and landowners through the Conservation Reserve Program’s general signup. It’s the first of the program’s multiple signups occurring this year. With about 3.4 million acres expiring this year, Vilsack encourages producers and landowners to consider the Grassland and Continuous signups, both of which are currently open. “Our conservation programs are voluntary, and at the end of the day, producers are making market-based decisions as the program was designed to allow and encourage,” Vilsack says. Producers submitted re-enrollment offers for just over half of expiring acres, similar to the rate in 2021. Offers for new land into General CRP were considerably lower than last year’s numbers, with fewer than 400,000 acres being offered versus more than 700,000 acres last year. Producers with accepted acres still need to develop a conservation plan before enrolling on October 1.

Hands-On Practice Responding to FAD Outbreak

The National Pork Board recently organized a foreign animal disease exercise to practice and troubleshoot a simulated response to a mock disease outbreak. Over 40 people from academia, production, the USDA, the veterinarian community, and the Iowa Pork Producers Association teamed up during the all-day event. The staff at the Swine Medicine Education Center at Iowa State University hosted the event. “The value of this exercise is the continuous practice as regulation, technology, and stakeholder awareness evolve,” says Dr. Tyler Bauman, a herd veterinarian for The Maschhoffs, LLC. “The more we prepare, the quicker we can respond to an actual incident.” Participants practiced every procedure in the coordinated response plan based on location and the outbreak’s status to identify, understand, and address their knowledge gaps. “There were real-time insights from the High Path Avian Influenza outbreak that state veterinarians could share,” Bauman adds. “Each stakeholder at the drill shared a wealth of knowledge in their roles.”

EPA Delivers Final RFS RVO Rule to the White House

The Environmental Protection Agency delivered its final rule setting the 2021 and 2022 Renewable Fuel Standard renewable volume obligations to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The rule, delivered on April 29, may also revise the existing RVO for 2020. The OMB review is the final step before the rulemaking is published. In December 2021, the EPA released a proposed rule that included RVOs for 2021 and 2022. The rule also intended to revise the already finalized 2020 RVO, something the U.S. biofuel industry emphatically doesn’t support. Biodiesel Magazine says with the final rule now under OMB review, it looks like the EPA will be able to finalize the RVO rulemaking by June 3. That would keep EPA in compliance with a consent decree related to a legal challenge by Growth Energy which sought an injunction requiring the EPA to promptly issue the RVOs for 2021 and 2022.

CNH Workers Announce a Strike in Wisconsin and Iowa

CNH Industrial, the company behind Case IH and New Holland equipment, saw workers in Racine (Ray-SEEN), Wisconsin, and Burlington, Iowa, go on strike as of Monday. In a statement, the company says, “We are disappointed that the parties were unable to reach an agreement and that the United Auto Workers has decided to call a strike. We are working to resolve the issues and will continue to negotiate in good faith, trusting the union to do the same.” UAW workers say they called for a strike after the company failed to present an agreement that met member demands and needs. “Our members at CNHi strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity, and to establish fair work rules,” says Chuck Browning, vice president and director of the UAW’s Agricultural Improvement Department. Over 1,000 UAW members have now set up pickets in the Racine and Burlington locations.

Brazil’s Commodity Exports to Arab Nations Rising Quickly

Reuters says Brazilian exports to the 22 countries in the League of Arab Nations rose in the first quarter amid a spike in agricultural commodities and a drive to stock up on food. Brazil’s total exports hit $3.86 billion during the period, 33 percent higher than the same time last year. Iron ore typically accounts for most of Brazil’s sales to Arab nations. That hit $690.29 million in the first quarter, a drop of 12.5 percent year-on-year. But strong food demand worked in favor of the country’s exporters, who made a windfall. Brazil’s chicken meat sales rose by over 10 percent to $591 million, while sugar sales jumped over 19 percent to almost $589 million in the first three months of this year. Soy product sales were 122 percent higher than the same time last year, coming in at $318 million. Wheat exports jumped more than 438 percent to almost $286 million.


By Tucker 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.

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