National Ag News for April 4, 2022

Study Shows Red Meat Exports Important to Corn and Soybean Industries

A new study shows a record value of beef and pork exports brought significant returns to America’s corn and soybean industries in 2022. The independent study done by World Perspectives and commissioned by the U.S. Meat Export Federation says America’s beef and pork exports contributed to an estimated total economic impact of 15 percent per bushel of corn and 13 percent per bushel for soybeans. “For every bushel of corn that we marketed in 2022, a little over $1 was attributed to red meat exports, and with soybeans, pork exports contributed $1.94 per bushel,” says USMEF Chair Dean Meyer. “Pork and beef exports bring critical support to our bottom lines.” Beef and pork exports accounted for 503.4 million bushels of U.S. corn usage, which equates to a market value of $3.4 billion. Pork exports account for 89.7 million bushels of U.S. soybean usage, which equated to a market value of $1.33 billion.  

Thune Reintroduces Repeal of the “Death Tax”

Senator John Thune (R-SD) and 40 colleagues reintroduced legislation to permanently repeal the federal estate tax. The “Death Tax Repeal Act” would end a tax that hits family-run farms, ranches, and businesses hard after the owner’s death. “Agriculture is the backbone of the rural American economy,” Thune says. “Family-owned farms and ranches often bear the brunt of this tax, which makes it difficult and costly to pass these businesses down to future generations.” Todd Wilkinson, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says no cattle producers should ever be forced to sell their family’s farm or ranch to pay a tax bill due to the death of a family member. “Repealing the death tax is a commonsense way to keep the farm or ranch in the family,” Wilkinson says. “As a land-based, capital-intensive industry, most cattle families are asset rich and cash poor, with few options to pay tax liabilities.”

Dairy Farm Innovations Yield Big Environmental Benefits

From parlor to pasture, many advances in dairy farm management are helping drive up dairy farm efficiency in North America, and that helps drive down environmental impact. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers issued a report titled “Environmental Benefits of Modern Dairy, Hay, and Forage Production Technologies.” The report points out several statistics that help quantify the environmental impact of modern dairy practices in North America. As milk yield increased 19 percent over the past 15 years, feed use dropped 15 percent. Land use also dropped 26 percent, greenhouse gas emissions decreased 17 percent, and water use dropped 10 percent. “Over the past 15 years, the industry has gained a better understanding of how to go about managing a dairy animal,” says Chad Huyser (Heiser), president of Lely (LAY-lee) North America. Technology is also helping dairy farmers better understand how to manage some of the cost drivers around dairy more efficiently.

Contrasting Soybean Harvests in South America

South American countries typically account for almost 55 percent of the world’s soybean supply. A University of Illinois Farmdoc Daily report says South America’s top soybean producers are experiencing varying harvest expectations this crop season. Brazil looks to be on the verge of breaking a record in soybean production. However, Argentina will have its worst harvest in more than 20 years. The contrast in harvest predictions is due to La Niña. Overall, South America’s soybean production is still expected to bypass the previous year, but to a smaller extent than first thought. The consequences of a larger soybean crop in South America, combined with the potential for a larger U.S. soybean crop this fall, could push prices lower. The effects of La Niña this season were more concentrated in southern South America, affecting extreme southern Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. Paraguay, the world’s fourth-largest soybean exporter, was spared from the drought’s effects.

EPA Comments on National Farmworker Awareness Week  

Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe spoke out in celebration of National Farmworker Awareness Week. “During National Farmworker Awareness Week, we applaud more than two million unsung heroes who do the toughest work to help put food on our tables in the United States,” McCabe says. “Farmworkers often work through day and night in the face of challenges like extreme heat to promote healthy and secure food supplies.” McCabe also says she’s seen that firsthand in her home state of Indiana. This week, the EPA is highlighting these unsung heroes and their contributions to the nation. EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment, and that includes how its policies and programs support farmworkers and their families across the country. “As an agency, we are committed to continuing to work closely with farmworkers and the broader agricultural community to confront environmental issues and other challenges,” she adds.

Farm Credit Merger is Complete

Farm Credit Mid-America and Farm Credit Midsouth officially merged on April 1 to become Farm Credit Mid-America. The new association now serves more than 137,000 customers. Those customers live in 391 counties across Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee. “This is an exciting time for Farm Credit Mid-America as we bring our customer-owners and team members together to form an even stronger cooperative,” says Andrew Wilson, Chair of Farm Credit Mid-America’s Board of Directors. “Together, we are fulfilling our purpose to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture by serving their needs with excellence.” Dan Wagner continues to serve as Farm Credit Mid-America’s President and CEO. “With a combined net income of $477 million and $38 billion in total assets owned and managed, we are well-positioned to capitalize on our customers’ opportunities, and we are committed to agriculture and rural communities when challenging times arise,” Wagner says.


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.