National Ag News for October 2, 2023

Corn and Soybean Ending Stocks Lower in 2023

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its Grain Stocks report that showed lower numbers for corn and soybeans. Old crop corn stocks on hand as of September 1 totaled 1.36 billion bushels, one percent lower than the same time last year. Old crop soybeans stored in all positions were down two percent from September 1, 2022, and all wheat stocks were up slightly from a year earlier. Of the total corn stocks, 605 million bushels were stored on farms, 19 percent higher than last year. Old crop soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2023, totaled 268 million bushels, two percent lower than last year. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 72 million bushels, up 14 percent from a year ago. All wheat stored in all positions on September 1 totaled 1.78 billion bushels, up slightly from September 1, 2022. On-farm stocks were one percent higher than in 2022.

USDA Issues 2023 Small Grains Summary

All wheat production totaled 1.81 billion bushels in 2023, up ten percent from last year’s total of 1.65 billion bushels. The harvested area totaled 37.3 million acres, up five percent from the previous year. The U.S. yield was estimated at 48.6 bushels an acre, 2.1 bushels higher than in the prior year. The levels of production and changes from 2022 by type were winter wheat, at 1.25 billion bushels, was up 13 percent from last year. Other spring wheat totaled 505 million bushels, up five percent, and Durum wheat production hit 59.3 million bushels, seven percent lower than the previous year. Oat production was estimated at 57 million bushels, one percent lower than 2022 totals. USDA estimated the yield at 68.6 bushels an acre, 3.8 bushels higher than the previous year. Barley production hit 185 million bushels; six percent higher than in 2022, and yield was 72.4 bushels an acre.

Drought Monitor Shows Improvements After Rainfall

Western parts of the Midwest were inundated with heavy rains while the eastern part received little to no moisture. Large areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin and parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri all received two inches or more. Abnormal dryness and moderate to exceptional drought were reduced in these areas. Meanwhile, drought continued expanding over Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, and in parts of Missouri, Michigan, and Illinois. Northern and eastern parts of the High Plains region received as much as two inches of rainfall, while parts of Wyoming and Kansas stayed dry. Drought conditions contracted in North and South Dakota and Nebraska. In the South, bands of heavy rain fell in eastern Oklahoma, western Arkansas, and the Louisiana and Texas borders with Arkansas, with some amounts topping five inches of rain. But the western half of Texas and Oklahoma, along with much of Mississippi and Tennessee received little to no rain.

Legislation Will Require Crop Insurance Transparency

Looking for less secrecy in the Crop Insurance Program, representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) introduced the Crop Insurance Transparency Act. If passed, it would require USDA to publicly disclose the names of producers and insurers who receive federal crop insurance subsidies and the amount received. “At a time when federal crop insurance payments are at an all-time high, it is an abject failure that a majority of our small farmers and ranchers do not even have access to the crop insurance safety net,” says Blumenauer. “Reform begins with accurate and transparent information.” Norman adds that one-third of all crop insurance subsidies don’t make it to farmers, but instead go to massive insurance companies. “Millionaires and billionaires are likely receiving crop insurance subsidies at a time when most farmers are struggling to get by,” says Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group. “It’s time to lift this veil of secrecy.”

U.S. Hog Inventory Rises Slightly

The U.S. inventory of all hogs and pigs on September 1, 2023, was 74.3 million head. That was slightly higher than September 1, 2022, and up two percent from June of this year. The breeding inventory was 6.08 million head, down one percent from last year and one percent from the previous quarter. The market hog inventory was 68.2 million head, slightly higher than last year and two percent higher than the previous quarter. The June-August pig crop was 34.2 million head, slightly higher than in 2022. Sows farrowing during the period totaled 2.95 million head, down four percent from 2022. U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.93 million sows farrow between September and November, down five percent from the actual farrowings during the same period a year earlier. Intended farrowings between December 2023 and February 2024 total 2.91 million sows, down one percent from the same period a year ago.  

State Attorneys General Against the Eats Act

A coalition of 16 State Attorneys General sent letters to Congressional leadership regarding the EATS Act. Sponsors of the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act have positioned the bill as a regulatory solution, but it will undermine states’ rights to regulate agriculture within their local jurisdictions and nullify numerous state and local laws that already exist. Those hundreds of laws that would be invalidated support family beef, dairy, egg, and pork producers, as well as hundreds of laws related to food safety and invasive pest control. The letter states that, “For over 200 years, state and local governments have been responsible for ensuring that there is a safe and healthy food supply for their consumers and that locally sold farm products are governed by locally accountable elected officials.” Groups like the Organization for Competitive Markets and Competitive Markets Action say the Act would up-end the crucial balance between state and federal authority.  


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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