National Ag News for September 6, 2023

Lower Beef Demand in Most Worldwide Markets

Other than in the U.S., beef markets around the world are seeing softer consumer demand. A Rabobank Q3 Global Beef Quarterly Report says cattle prices are split into two groups: those in North America and Europe, and those in the rest of the world. Declining supplies and strong consumer demand in the U.S. are driving cattle prices higher, and lower domestic beef supply has also held up prices in Canada and Europe. It’s the opposite in most other regions, where increased supply and lower demand are making prices softer. Rabobank says U.S. cattle prices have increased almost 30 percent over the past 12 months, while Australian cattle prices have dropped by more than 30 percent, calling it the largest spread they’ve seen in the past decade. In a number of regions, particularly in Asia, beef purchases made in anticipation of COVID recovery haven’t been consumed yet, leaving supply chains full.

Farmer Sentiment Drops in August

Producer sentiment lowered during August as the Purdue University/CME Group’s Ag Economy Barometer dipped eight points to a reading of 115. The month’s decline was driven by producers’ weaker perception of current conditions on their farms and throughout U.S. agriculture. The Current Conditions Index fell 13 points to a reading of 108. The Future Expectations Index also dropped by five points to a reading of 119 in August. Rising interest rates and concerns about high input prices continue putting downward pressure on producer sentiment. When asked about their top concerns over the next year, 34 percent of survey respondents said higher input prices and 24 percent said rising interest rates. Even though crop prices weakened during the summer, only one in five producers chose declining commodity prices as one of their top concerns. The Farm Capital Investment Index was lower this month, dropping eight points to a reading of 37.

FAPRI Releases U.S. Baseline Outlook

The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri released its annual U.S. Baseline Outlook report. It includes projections for agricultural and biofuel markets and helps in evaluating alternative scenarios for agricultural policy. “Projected prices for most crops, poultry, and dairy products all retreat in 2023 from recent peaks, and so do some production expenses,” says FAPRI Director Pat Westhoff. Among the findings, the report says if weather conditions allow crop yields to return to trend-line levels in 2023, prices for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and many other crops are likely to fall. Higher fertilizer, fuel, and feed costs contributed to a very sharp increase in farm production costs last year, but a smaller increase is projected in 2023. Lower prices in some inputs will likely bring down production costs in 2024 and 2025. Hog, poultry, and dairy prices will fall, but beef prices will remain high.

Entries Open for 2024 Dairy Checkoff’s New Product Competition

Dairy Management, Inc. is accepting applications from college students for the 2024 New Product Competition. The competition seeks innovative dairy product concepts and is open to undergraduate and graduate students in the U.S. DMI wants students to develop innovative, dairy-based products for health and wellness consumers. Successful entries must meet competition criteria, demonstrate innovation, and provide value to consumers. The competition is an opportunity for students to develop new products in line with current industry and consumer insights to uncover innovative dairy-based products for health and wellness. Consumers are emphasizing health and wellness, so they’re looking for products that provide benefits to digestion, immunity, joint health and mobility, and overall health. The judging panel will include experts from across the dairy industry. Winning teams get recognized at the American Dairy Science Association’s annual meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida, from June 16-19, 2024. The contest will award a combined $27,000. 

Agriculture On Guard Against Cyber-Attacks

Agriculture has seen increasing online attacks in recent years. Global AgTech says technology makes running daily operations easier and helps increase output. Different types of technology help with efficiency, yield, and profitability, and they include computers, robotics, drones, software, and vehicles. One of the biggest reasons agriculture has become an online target is due to the vital role it plays in the country’s economy. Farms are also considered easy targets. Many farmers haven’t implemented cybersecurity measures and are unaware of the vital role those measures play in the success of their operations. Industry experts recommend farmers implement security measures to protect their businesses. Among some of the recommended best practices, farmers should have a dedicated contingency plan. It’s also important to protect all login information. Make sure to put measures in place to protect against phishing attacks. It’s also very important to install antivirus software and make sure it stays updated.

World Record Soybean Yield Set in Georgia

Alex Harrell of Smithville, Georgia, set the world record for soybean yield with an average of 296.7 bushels per acre. The yield was harvested on August 23 and verified by the University of Georgia Extension Service. “We knew it was going to be good, but maybe not quite this good,” says Alex Harrell. “There’s no silver bullet when it comes to high yields, but it’s important to have good products, people, and timing.” Harrell’s world record soybean yield is indicative of advancements in precision breeding, biotechnology, and increased knowledge of farm management practices. Harrell experienced favorable conditions through the growing season. Only two significant weather events with excess rain caused emergence challenges and some flooding. “I’m used to soybeans being in the average range of about 40 bushels an acre,” says Doug Collins, University of Georgia Lee County Extension Agent. “Neither Alex nor I thought the yield would be that high.”


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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