National Ag News for September 7, 2023

Monthly Monitor Forecasts a Positive Crop Outlook

The University of Missouri’s Monthly Monitor surveys economists nationwide about their projections for agricultural trends. The report, compiled by the Rural and Farm Finance Policy Analysis Center and Farm Journal, is forecasting a positive outlook for farm finances even as the weather has created significant challenges in North America. July’s results showed more optimism than the previous Monthly Monitor in June. Economists seem to be more positive about the crop side of the ag economy compared to livestock. Sixty-four percent of the economists surveyed were positive about crops, and 55 percent had a negative view of livestock. Despite the weather challenges, farmers are seeing continued productivity and efficiency gains that lead to strong balance sheets. Looking ahead, the economists say global competition and geopolitical risks could impact crop prices in the next six months. In livestock, economists worry about feed costs and how they could affect livestock prices and profitability.

Farm Bureau Testifies at FMMO Hearing

American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Roger Cryan testified at the ongoing Federal Milk Marketing Order Pricing Formula hearing. Farm Bureau membership includes cooperatives and independent dairy farmers, most of whom are directly or indirectly affected by the pricing provisions in the FMMOs. Farm Bureau’s testimony focused on the reduction or elimination of negative producer price differentials and the de-pooling they cause. An orderly pool is the key to orderly marketing and the continued benefits of the Federal Milk Marketing Orders for farmers, cooperatives, processors, and consumers. The key to an orderly pool is the proper alignment of the four Class prices. Other proposals include supporting the National Milk Producers Federation’s suggestion to drop barrel cheese from Class 3 component and price calculations. AFBF also proposes that 640-pound blocks get added to the National Dairy Sales Report, to the cheddar cheese price calculation, and to the Class 3 protein calculation.

Stabenow, Boozman Want USDA Funds for Market Development

The National Corn Growers Association applauds Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) for sending a letter to the USDA on increasing market development opportunities. The Senate Ag Committee leaders want the agency to allocate funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation to support creating new and better market opportunities for farmers, as well as in-kind international food assistance. “Cultivating new foreign markets is one of our top priorities,” says National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag (HAYG). The letter says, “Farm bill trade promotion programs help address the need to build new markets. We believe that resources available under the CCC can support similar efforts to open access to markets and promote American-grown products overseas.” The CCC funds are used by government to implement specific programs established by or to carry out activities under the CCC Charter Act. NCGA has called on Congress to increase investments in these programs.

Idalia Kills at Least Five Million Chickens in Florida

Almost a week after Hurricane Idalia hit Florida, the livestock body count is climbing higher, especially in poultry operations. The Messenger says estimates say as many as five million chickens died from the Category Three storm. Winds were around 125 mph when the storm hit land. The hurricane tore apart barns and fence lines and killed livestock from cattle to chickens. Chicken coops were ripped apart by high winds or high waters, and many coops were crushed by falling trees. The chickens that survived the storm were seen roaming around looking for food as their feeders were destroyed in the storm. Many others died in the heat and humidity. The storm hit farmers hard, tearing up crops and multiple livestock facilities. A spokeswoman for the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences says the actual death count of poultry could take months after all the assessments are completed.

USDA Grant Helping Promote Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Gevo (JEE-voh), Incorporated, announced that it’s received a $30 million grant from USDA for its Climate-Smart Farm-to-Flight Program. The grant is from USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. The Gevo program is intended for tracking and quantifying the carbon-intensity impact of climate-smart practices while creating market incentives for low-carbon-intensity corn to help accelerate the production of sustainable aviation fuel and low-CI ethanol. “Our Farm-to-Flight Program aims to count all the carbon at the field level and reward farmers on a performance basis for delivering low-CI corn, as well as to accelerate the production of SAF to reduce dependency on fossil-based fuel,” says Dr. Paul Bloom, Chief Carbon Officer and Chief Innovation Officer for Gevo. “The program will also focus on deploying our Verity Tracking platform to farmers to help them measure, report, and verify their CI reductions.” The grant will also help count all carbon through the entire business system and reward farmers.

Governors Standing Firm on States’ Rights in the Farm Bill

Groups like Competitive Markets Action and the Organization for Competitive Markets applauded the National Governors Association for urging Congress to prioritize the next farm bill. The co-chairs of the NGA’s Education, Workforce, and Community Investment Task Force sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to consider several key priorities for the new bill. The governors emphasized the importance of avoiding preempting state-level laws regarding agricultural production. They said, “States succeed when the federal government avoids granting a private right of action against states that maintain their own production or manufacturing standards on agricultural products.” The Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act is a controversial bill currently being considered by Congress. The groups say it would upend states’ rights by nullifying more than a thousand state and local agriculture laws.  Marty Irby, president of Competitive Markets Action, says they applaud the Governors Association for advocating on behalf of farmers and states’ rights.


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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