National Ag News for April 03, 2023

Farmers Planting More Corn and Soybean Acres in 2023

USDA released its Prospective Plantings report showing producers are planting more corn and soybean acres than last year. Farmers intend to plant 92 million acres of corn, up four percent from last year. Soybean growers intend to plant 87.5 million acres this year, up slightly from last year. The all-wheat planted area is estimated at 49.9 million acres, up nine percent from 2022. Winter wheat planted estimates are 37.5 million acres, 13 percent higher than in 2022. Spring wheat acres are expected to reach 11.3 million, 18 percent below last year. All-cotton planted acres are expected to total 11.3 million acres, 18 percent lower than in 2022. USDA also released the Quarterly Grain Stocks report. Corn stocks totaled 7.4 billion bushels, five percent lower than March 2022. Soybeans stored totaled 1.69 billion bushels, 13 percent lower than last year. All-wheat storage totaled 946 million bushels, eight percent lower than March 2022.

USDA Expands Margin Protection for Corn and Soybean Growers

USDA announced it is expanding the Margin Protection insurance plan. The agency will add more than 1,000 counties to the insurance option that provides coverage against an unexpected decrease in operating margins for corn and soybean farmers. This expansion comes from growing interest among producers and will be available by June 30. Interested producers will need to purchase their coverage by September 30 to be eligible for the 2024 crop year. “Increasing the availability of a program is sometimes the best way we can improve upon an effective program and serve our farmers with more risk management resources,” says Marcia Bunger, administrator of the Risk Management Agency. Margin Protection protects against decreases in margin caused by reduced county yields, reduced commodity prices, increased prices of certain inputs, or any combination of these issues. “This expansion will provide a viable insurance option for so many more farmers across the country,” Bunger adds.

Next Generation Fuels Act Reintroduced in the House

The Next Generation Fuels Act has been officially reintroduced in the House of Representatives. Several of America’s top agricultural organizations endorsed the move, saying it would help address the country’s most pressing energy issues through a transition to cleaner fuels and vehicles. “The Act would clean up the nation’s fuel supply and transition new vehicles to use cleaner, more efficient fuels that would also lower costs for drivers,” says Tom Haag (Hayg), president of the National Corn Growers Association. “By establishing a clean, high-octane standard for fuel and requiring that sources of additional octane result in at least 40 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, automakers could improve fuel efficiency through advanced engines.” Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union, says there’s no time to waste. “America’s farmers and ranchers are ready to be part of the global climate solution,” Larew says. “This will benefit farmers, consumers, and the planet.”

U.S. Ethanol Gets Full Access to Japan

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry released its final proposed rule for partial amendment of the “Act on Sophisticated Methods of Energy Supply” structures last week. The act, in place through 2028, allows the country to further contribute to its climate targets through the consumption of lower-carbon ethanol. For the first time, ethanol will successfully access 100 percent of the biofuel market in Japan. Ryan LeGrand of the U.S. Grains Council, Emily Skor of Growth Energy, and Geoff Cooper of the Renewable Fuels Association issued a joint statement applauding the news. “The U.S. ethanol community thanks the Japanese government for recognizing the role ethanol can play in the global effort to address climate change at the same time it takes steps to decarbonize its transportation sector,” the statement says. “Countries around the world are recognizing that biofuels like ethanol are a simple and effective solution to meeting our climate goals.”

NCBA, PLC Denounce New Public Land Rule

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council have serious concerns about a new rule from the Bureau of Land Management. The proposed rule is titled “Strengthening the Stewardship of America’s Public Lands” and would completely upend BLM’s multiple-use mandate and jeopardizes the agency’s ability to be a good partner to the ranchers who manage millions of acres across the West. “Ranchers have a reasonable expectation of transparency and predictability when dealing with the Bureau, and this proposed rule falls short on both counts,” says Kaitlynn Glover, executive director of the PLC. “The covert manner in which the rule was developed and announced has left permittees feeling like the rule is either a capitulation to the extremist environmental groups who want to eradicate grazing from the public landscape or a concerted effort to develop rules that preclude ranchers’ input.” She also says BLM will face serious questions needing answers.

U.S. Hog Inventory Up Slightly

As of March 1, U.S. farms had 72.9 million hogs and pigs. That number is up slightly from March 2022 but down two percent from December 1, 2022. The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service shows that of the 72.9 million hogs and pigs, 66.7 million were market hogs, while 6.13 million were kept for breeding. Between December 2022 and February, 32.1 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, up slightly from the same period one year earlier. From December through February, producers weaned an average of 11 pigs per litter. Producers intend to have 2.93 million sows farrow between March and May 2023, and 2.97 million sows farrow between June and August 2023. Iowa hog producers had the largest inventory at 23.4 million head. Minnesota had the second-largest herd at 8.9 million head. North Carolina was third in the country at eight million head.


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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