National Ag News for September 19, 2022

Agricultural Share of Exports Hit High Mark in 2021

The value of all U.S. exports has grown at an average annual rate of six percent since 2002 and reached a record high of $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2021. The USDA says while the bulk of U.S. exports consists of industrial supplies and capital goods, agriculture’s share of total U.S. exports has steadily increased. Between fiscal years 2002 and 2021, the value of agricultural exports rose by an average of 11 percent every year, exceeding the overall rate of increase for the rest of American exports. In 2021, ag producers accounted for 12 percent of the total value, up from nine percent in 2002. Even as total U.S. exports dropped 12 percent when COVID-19 began in fiscal year 2020, ag exports stayed steady because of surging shipments of soybeans, corn, and pork to China. In 2021, total U.S. exports rebounded by 14 percent as global demand recovered and trade restrictions relaxed.  

USDA Resumes Export Sales Reports

U.S. soybean exporters are off to a decent start as far as sales in the new marketing year. However, the first USDA report in several weeks says the shrinking U.S. crop, questionable Chinese demand, and South American competition are all threats to future sales opportunities. Reuters says those factors are pressuring U.S. corn exports too, but the latest level of sales was already uneventful ahead of the U.S. harvest. Technical issues prevented USDA from publishing weekly U.S. export data for almost a month. The data released last week included four weeks of sales ending on September 8. The data drought spanned marketing years as 2022-2023 began on September 1 for corn and soybeans. Soybean sales beat expectations in those four weeks at 5.75 million tons. For the 2022-2023 marketing year, U.S. corn sales during those four weeks hit 2.465 million tons. Total corn sales in the new marketing year reached 12.3 million tons.

Farmers Union Holds Successful D.C. Fly-In

Last week, more than 250 members of the National Farmers Union came to Washington, D.C., from all over the country to advocate for family farmers. During the week, members attended hundreds of Congressional meetings, met with over a dozen federal agencies, and directly participated in discussions with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Rostin Benham, and many others. “This has been an incredibly productive and successful fly-in for National Farmers Union,” says NFU President Rob Larew. “It’s a testament to the passion and interest of our members that they’re willing to take time away from the farm and come to Washington and build bipartisan support for Fairness for Farmers and their farm bill priorities.” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says National Farmers Union, in many respects, has been the architect and the designer of the work the Biden administration is doing in terms of farm country and agriculture.

*********************************************************************************** Taiwan Team to Purchase 69.8 Million Bushels of U.S. Wheat

Representatives from the Taiwan Flour Millers Association signed a letter of intent last week with U.S. Wheat Associates to buy 1.9 million metric tons of U.S. wheat over the next two years. Officials from U.S. Wheat Associates say that’s about 69.8 million bushels of American wheat worth $576 million. The signing took place at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Taiwan is the sixth-largest U.S. wheat export market and the seventh-largest overseas market for U.S. agricultural products. “American farmers place great value on the relationship between U.S. agriculture and Taiwan,” says Michael Peters, USW Vice Chairman. “We pride ourselves as being dependable partners who grow the highest quality agricultural products in the world.” The team from Taiwan also signed Letters of Intent with the U.S. Soybean Export Council and the U.S. Grains Council to purchase soybeans and corn. The total estimated commitment in the three letters is estimated at $3.2 billion.

RIPE Awarded $80 Million for Pilot Conservation Program

Rural Investment to Protect our Environment (RIPE) and its partners have been awarded $80 million for a pilot program by USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program. RIPE is a producer-led organization advancing RIPE 100. It’s a conservation program that would pay producers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship, offering equitable payments above costs associated with practice implementation. Under the three-year program, the pilot will help producers in Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Virginia prove the value of paying farmers and ranchers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship practices that deliver public value through carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reductions, improved soil health, water quality and conservation, and other environmental practices. Other key principles of the pilot include easy enrollment, equitable payments, and no penalty for early adopters. Participants will get technical support in learning how to implement climate-friendly practices such as cover crops, no-till, nutrient management, and more.

Lamb Board Hosts Farm Tours for Food Influencers

People who influence opinions about food are taking to the backroads of America and learning how American lamb is raised while natural resources are protected. The American Lamb Board selected key market areas for the tours, including Boston, Seattle, Boulder, and Napa. “Our Lamb Checkoff engages with food influencers because they add another layer of credibility to our messages,” says ALB Chairman Peter Camino (Kah-MEE-no). “We’ve had numerous occasions when influencer relationships created opportunities we didn’t anticipate.” On August 1, a group of 25 Boston-area chefs and food media influencers made the trip to a farm in Boxford, Massachusetts, and enjoyed a deep dive into learning about lamb. The tour shed light on the intricacies of raising sheep in New England and highlighted the regenerative farming practices the producer already employs. The next tour was held on September 18 and hosted a group of influencers at Ninety Farms, located near Seattle.


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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