READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, October 14th…

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NOAA Increases Odds of La Niña

The fall forecast is trending more towards the chances of a La Niña weather pattern. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration raised the chances of La Niña development this fall to 70 percent from 55 to 60 percent as forecasted last month. An official “La Niña watch” was issued Thursday by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, which means the pattern is likely to form within the next few months. The forecast says the combined ocean and atmosphere system are more clearly trending toward La Niña conditions, according to Pro Farmer. A typical La Niña weather pattern brings a warm and dry winter for the southern tier of the nation and a potentially cooler, stormier winter across the north. NOAA will issue its official winter forecast for the U.S. next Thursday.


U.S. Dairy Farmers Dumping Millions of Gallons of Excess Milk

The nation’s dairy farmers are dumping more milk this year amid a glut of supplies and low market prices. The Wall Street Journal reports dairy farmers in the U.S. have dumped 43 million gallons of milk in 2016, the most in 16 years. While the industry works to find new uses for the excess milk, many producers cannot afford to transfer the raw product for alternative use at current market prices, which have plummeted 36 percent since record prices in 2014. Dairy and meat producers started expanding operations two years ago in response to a shortage, a move that set the stage for the current global supply excess. The U.S. Department of Agriculture intervened again this month, pledging to buy excess cheese supplies. Full relief may be on the horizon, but not until the next farm bill. The American Farm Bureau Federation says it is evaluating recommendations for the next farm bill that would provide relief to the dairy industry. Meanwhile, a National Milk Producers Federation spokesperson said the Trans-Pacific Partnership would not be a magic bullet but would provide some relief to the industry.


Top Court in Germany Backs Canada-EU Trade Deal

The Constitutional Court of Germany Thursday supported a trade deal between the European Union and Canada. The top court in Germany rejected a legal challenge to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. The decision allows EU trade ministers to move forward on a vote next week to approve the agreement. It would also require ratification from national, and some regional parliaments to go fully into force. The emergency ruling followed a hearing this week in which activist groups sought to block the deal. Three German activist groups handed in 125,000 signatures to the court in August in opposition to CETA, which they fear will undermine workers’ rights and worsen standards for consumers, according to Reuters. What’s thought to be a precursor to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, CETA has also faced opposition from some EU member states. Unlike TTIP, however, CETA is looking more likely to be implemented than TTIP, after negotiations regarding TTIP broke down last week.


Outlook for Equipment Manufacturers set to Improve

A Wells Fargo analyst says the equipment manufacturing industry’s demand cycle should bottom out within the next 12 to 18 months, signaling a turnaround for the industry. The turnaround would mean improved sales volumes and margins for Deere & Company’s fiscal 2017 and 2018, and improved outlooks for other manufacturers. The Wells Fargo data shows Deere and AGCO Corp. outperforming average market performance for the first time since 2012 and 2008, respectively. Wells Fargo predicts a $15 to $20 increase per-share value for Deere, based on the projected turnaround. Such a recovery would bring much-needed relief for the company, according to Bloomberg, which has cut production amid a recession in the agricultural economy. When the Deere reports earnings next month, it is expected to post a third consecutive year of falling revenue and net income. The recent commodity market downturn, which has led to less farm income, has stalled purchasing of new equipment by farmers.


Certified Angus Beef Sales top One Billion Pounds

Sales of Certified Angus Beef products for the fiscal year that ended September 30th topped one billion pounds for the first time. The fiscal year 2016 sales figure represents a 13 percent increase over 2015, 119 million pounds to 1.015 billion. Average growth over the past five years was three percent, but the growth rate is nearly 75 percent in the last decade of annual records, marking the 12th straight year of growth. Overall, beef retailers made it through six years of relatively flat to declining sales to arrive at a year of explosive growth, setting a record with sales of 435 million pounds, an 18.5 percent increase. Of the top 100 retail chains carrying Certified Angus Beef products, 70 percent saw a rise in beef sales.


Domino’s Pizza Donating $1 Million to FFA

Just ahead of the annual FFA convention, Domino’s Pizza announced this week the chain would donate $1 million to the National FFA Organization. The five-year commitment will begin in 2017. Each year, the gift will help fund college scholarships to students aspiring to further their education after high school, as well as grants for supervised agriculture experiences. The donation will also assist agriculture literacy and advocacy programs, and FFA’s Living to Serve platform that supports hunger and environmental initiatives. A Domino’s Pizza spokesperson said “there is no Domino’s without the dairy, tomato, wheat and other farmers across the United States,” adding “a commitment to FFA is a commitment to supporting the future of agriculture.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service