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Agriculture News

Follow the Rules When Seeking FSA Disaster Aid

DTN | Posted on April 11, 2019

Nebraska farmers affected by the devastating effects of recent floods and blizzards can use USDA Farm Service Agency cost-sharing programs to help recover financially. However, there are several rules and regulations producers must follow to receive aid. The majority of the meeting was dedicated to discussing the Emergency Conservation Program. County Executive Director for the Dodge-Sarpy/Douglas FSA Bryan Ralston told the crowd the program provides cost-share to producers who have had severe damage to farmland and pastures due to a natural disaster.The program pays up to 75% of the actual cost to repair land and the cost-share cannot exceed 50% of the agricultural market value of the affected land.Practices available to producers to address the damage include debris removal from crop and pasture land, fence restoration, grading, shaping and leveling land, conservation structure restoration and shelterbelt restoration.The requirements of ECP stipulate the damage to fields must be of such magnitude that it would be too costly for the producer to rehabilitate without federal assistance, he said. The minimum qualifying cost of restoration is $1,000 per participant.

Report Details Risks of U.S. Hemp Industry

Rabo Agrifinance | Posted on April 11, 2019

The U.S. hemp industry is poised for growth, but there are serious financial, regulatory and agronomic risks that farmers must understand. A report by Rabo AgriFinance says the market is “highly fragmented,” and there is no reliable source for pricing and production data. The report notes that the 2018 Farm Bill set off a process to completely overhaul hemp industry regulations, including the legalization of hemp and hemp-derived products. USDA plans to release its new rules in the fall, but new regulations won’t take effect until the 2020 planting season, and hemp production is not legal in all 50 states.

AVMA releases first-ever animal depopulation guidelines

Feedstuffs | Posted on April 11, 2019

Guidelines are important tool to help veterinarians make humane decisions in the most-dire situations, including natural disasters, hazardous disease outbreaks or terrorist incidents.

Are we on the cusp of another farm crisis?

MPR News | Posted on April 11, 2019

Are we on the brink of another farm crisis? To help us explore that question this hour, guest host Chris Farrell spoke with an academic who shared what happened in the 1980s, when American farmers faced a real economic crisis.And then an economist and a Minnesota farmer explored what's happening now.

History's 'The American Farm' Docuseries Follows the Lives of 5 Family Farms

TV Insider | Posted on April 11, 2019

Shot on location across the country, The American Farm is an authentic portrait of the fight to go from seed to stalk, and from farm to fork. The History Channel series presents an up-close look at one full year of family farming, told through an unprecedented year on the ground, capturing breathtaking visuals, private moments and personal interviews.

Weather Disasters Underscore Need for Adaptive Management Programs

Solutions from the Land | Posted on April 11, 2019

Weather-induced disasters in multiple points across the nation in recent weeks seem to be occurring at a rate that has run unabated in recent years. Massive flooding in the Missouri River basin has taken lives and caused billions of dollars in agricultural losses in the Midwest. Flooding is continuing throughout this week in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri where a late winter storm – a so-called "bomb cyclone" – has sent river waters soaring above their banks, breaching more than a dozen levees and causing fatalities. Property losses are huge and still mounting as they continue to be estimated. Solutions from the Land (SfL) extends its sympathy for the losses that are being suffered by the people of the region and hope residents there can find the strength needed to bring about a full recovery. By building coalitions of land managers, scientists, government and value chain partners and others around agro-forest ecosystems or landscapes, better efforts can be made to ensure continued production of essential food, feed, fiber, energy and similar products in a time of changing climates, all while improving the delivery of environmental and economic values from the land

Outlook remains dim for farmers as trade war and weaker growth raise risks, new report says

CNBC | Posted on April 5, 2019

A new report sees few reasons for optimism in the U.S. agricultural sector, pointing to the global slowdown impacting demand, the continued trade war with China and flooding in the nation’s farm belt. “U.S. agriculture will face challenges in 2019 as slowing domestic and global economic growth rates, trade talks continue and weather casts uncertainty in the short- and long-term markets, ” the latest quarterly rural economic review from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division said.According to CoBank, U.S. commodity markets remain focused on negotiations between U.S. and China to resolve the trade war that has caused retaliatory tariffs on a wide range of U.S. farm products, including soybeans and pork. And the ratification in Congress of the trilateral U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, a replacement for NAFTA, also faces hurdles.The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report Monday it expects China’s demand for oilseeds and related products to grow in the current marketing year but at a slower pace due to African swine fever. The disease has devastated domestic hog production in Asia’s largest economy, reducing the need for feed.For calendar 2018, the U.S. shipped $3.14 billion worth of soybeans to China, down 74 percent from 2017, when it was $12.25 billion

Canada’s $27B canola market could lose $2.7B over China’s import block

Global News | Posted on April 4, 2019

China’s decision to block imports of Canadian canola products signals a significant threat to Canada’s canola farming industry — and has the government rushing to resolve the dispute. The canola farming and export business in Canada is a major economic driver and represents one of the country’s most valuable commodities. The crop contributes approximately $26.7 billion to the economy every year and employs more than 250,000 people, according to Brian Innes, vice-president of public affairs with the Canola Council of Canada.

The recovery begins on flooded Iowa farms

Successful Farming | Posted on April 4, 2019

According to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, stored grain damaged by floodwaters cannot be sold or fed, meaning a direct loss for most farmers. Some individual insurance policies may cover part of the loss. Good grain sitting more than 1 foot above the flood line can be fed and sold with specific case-by-case FDA approval. Farmers are to contact their local Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the best way to dispose of damaged grain in their area.Flood damage across the Midwest is expected to top $3 billion, with ag losses in Iowa alone estimated at $214 million. That amounts to a lot of visits to the FSA office, inspections by the DNR and EPA, and visits to the bank. Farm bankruptcies were already on the rise throughout the Midwest after years of low commodity prices and fallout from the trade war. Some farmers won’t survive to farm another year.

2019-2020 Farm Program Decision and Fairness across Covered Commodities

Farm Policy News | Posted on April 4, 2019

The PLC (Price Loss Coverage) program option makes payments only if MYA (marketing year average) price is below ERP.  Thus, a key program decision factor is the relationship between a covered commodity’s expected MYA price and ERP.  Assuming a simple forecast that 2019 MYA price is the currently projected 2018 MYA price, expected 2019 MYA price ranges from 23% under ERP for long-grain rice to 51% above ERP for sesame seed (see Figure 1, Appendix Table 1, and Data Note 1).  Corn, soybean, and wheat MYA price is 4% under, 2% over, and 6% under ERP, respectively, as of March 2018.  Only 1 other covered commodity (dry peas) is within their range of values.  Ten covered commodities have a MYA price that is 13% or more under ERP.  The lower is MYA price compared to ERP, the more likely will a PLC payment be triggered.  As of March 2018, this simple forecast analysis suggests corn, soybeans, and wheat will have a closer program decision than most other covered commodities and that it will be critically impacted by how demand and supply evolve over the 2019 production period.  Small decreases in supply or small increases in demand could eliminate 2019 PLC payments for corn, soybeans, and wheat.  Alternatively, the likelihood of PLC payments will increase if supply and demand changes for these crops lead to lower prices.  Other key program decision factors include that: (1) ARC (Agriculture Risk Coverage) program option, but not PLC, pays on yield variation, (2) PLC pays over a wider, often much wider, range of MYA prices as ARC payments are limited to 10% of its benchmark revenue while PLC payments are bounded by the lower US loan rate, and (3) PLC payments start at 100% of ERP while ARC payments start at 86% of benchmark revenue.