National Ag News for May 25, 2023

Iowa Cash Rents Hit Highest Average Value on Record

The recent yearly survey of Iowa’s cash rental rates for farmland shows rates jumped by nine percent so far in 2023. The average is now $279 per acre, the highest average value on record. This new peak rate is three percent higher than the previous high of $270 in 2013. By way of comparison, average nominal (not inflation-adjusted) corn and soybean prices paid to farmers in the first quarter of this year were 2.8 percent higher and 4.4 percent lower, respectively, than in the first quarter of 2013. Of the usable responses to the Iowa State University Extension survey, 42 percent came from farmers, 37 percent from landowners, nine percent from professional farm managers and realtors, and seven percent came from ag lenders. The survey showed considerable variability across counties in year-to-year changes, typical of these surveys. A total of 91 out of 99 counties showed higher rents for corn and soybeans.

Ribbon Cutting on National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

USDA and the Department of Homeland Security celebrated the dedication and ribbon-cutting of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas. This facility is the first of its kind in the U.S. It offers the highest level of bio-containment laboratories and safety protocols and will allow scientists to study and diagnose critical animal diseases. “America’s farmers, ranchers, and consumers count on our researchers to understand, monitor for, and develop solutions to combat a variety of high-consequence animal pathogens,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. A facility of this magnitude positions us to respond.” The valuable scientific information delivered by researchers at NBAF will also allow America to remain a leading contributor of countermeasures that will protect agriculture, economies, and citizens across the globe. A USDA news release also says it’s a historic investment for agriculture and our nation in ensuring the health, safety, and security of the U.S. food supply.

EPA to Recommend Delaying Electric Vehicles Biofuel Program

The Environmental Protection Agency will recommend delaying a program that would allow electric vehicle manufacturers to access tradeable credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Two sources told Reuters that the White House will review the EPA’s final rule. The plan would have given EV automakers credits for charging vehicles using power generated from natural gas or methane. The threat of potential lawsuits also could have played a part in the postponement. The initial proposal last November could have generated as much as 600 million tradeable credits in 2024 and 1.2 billion in 2025. Prices for equivalent biofuel credits have recently traded over $2 each. The two sources also say the Biden Administration is still hoping to pass a final rule on the EV program before the end of 2023, even if it gets uncoupled from the yearly blending mandates. Biden is boosting the EV industry in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

China Opposes U.S. Trade Agreement with Taiwan

China had a lot to say about the recent trade agreement between the U.S. and Taiwan. says China’s Ministry of Commerce urged the U.S. to “carefully handle economic and trade relations with Taiwan.” The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office recently announced that the U.S. and Taiwan reached an agreement on the first part of their 21st Century trade initiative. The agreement covers customs and trade facilitation, regulatory practices, and small businesses. The pact is not expected to alter goods tariffs, but supporters say it will tighten economic bonds between the two nations and open up the Chinese-claimed island to more U.S. exports. It will also improve the ability of the island nation to resist Chinese economic coercion. China reacted angrily to the Taiwan president’s recent meetings with high-level U.S. officials, including Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. The announcement came just ahead of trade meetings between the U.S. and China.

USDA Wants Input on Prevented Planting Crop Insurance Coverage

The USDA published a Request for Information announcing public listening sessions and soliciting public comments on possible changes to prevent planting crop insurance coverage. In addition to the written public comment period, the Risk Management Agency will hold in-person and virtual listening sessions from June through August. “We truly care about what our customers, the nation’s agricultural producers, have to say,” says RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “That’s why we’re hosting listening sessions in 11 states in addition to accepting written comments.” The request for information is looking for input on the harvest price option, the “1 in 4” Rule, the ten percent additional coverage option, the contract prices, as well as general information on farmers’ willingness to pay additional premiums for expanded prevented planting benefits. They also want recommendations on other potential prevent planting limitations. Additional details on the listening sessions, including the schedule, are available on the RMA website.

Soy Innovation Challenge Winner’s New Approach to Soy Meal Processing

The United Soybean Board announced Satavie is the winner of the 2023 Soy Innovation Challenge. The Challenge called on entrepreneurs, innovators, startups, and research teams to bring new ways to advance the use of soybean meal and demand in existing markets. Satavie was selected as the winner out of 80 applicants from around the world. The company has a unique approach to extracting concentrated soy protein from soybean meal. Their new method ensures high levels of digestibility, improved nutrient absorption, and increased feed conversion rates that are ideal for swine, poultry, and aquaculture feed. As the winner of the contest, the company gets $100,000 from the United Soybean Board and $5,000 of in-kind technical services and credits from Amazon Web Services. The company’s president says the impact on the soy industry will be enormous. Their water extraction patented technique leads to better health outcomes, overall growth, and improved meat quality.  


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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