07-27-18 USDA to Survey County Small Grains Acreage

USDA to Survey County Small Grains Acreage

LAKEWOOD, COLORADO –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey producers in 32 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, for its County Agricultural Production Survey (CAPS).

The survey will collect information on total acres planted and harvested, and total yield and production of small grains crops down to the county level. CAPS will provide the data needed to estimate acreage and production of selected crops in the United States.

“The data provided by producers will help federal and state programs support the farmer,” said Bill Meyer, director of the NASS Mountain Region Field Office. “I hope every single producer understands the importance of these data and will take the time to respond if they receive this survey. Producers lose out when there is no data to determine accurate rates for loans, disaster payments, crop insurance price elections and more. When enough producers do not respond to surveys, NASS is not able to publish data. Without data, agencies such as USDA’s Risk Management Agency or Farm Service Agency do not have information on which to base the programs that serve those same producers” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 27th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 27th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

European Union Agrees to Buy More U.S. Soybeans

President Donald Trump and European Union leaders announced they’ve agreed to work toward “zero tariffs” and “zero subsidies” on a wide range of non-automobile goods. The sides will also work to resolve U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum which are hitting the European markets hard. In a news conference on Wednesday, the President said the EU has agreed to buy “a lot of soybeans” and increase imports of natural gas from the U.S. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (Zhean Claude-Yunker) says the two countries have agreed to hold off on implementing any more tariffs while they work to avoid a crippling trade dispute. An Associated Press article quotes the President as saying it was a “very big day for free and fair trade.” Trump says they will “resolve the steel and aluminum tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs.” He says America does have some of its own retaliatory tariffs that will be resolved as a part of the trade talks. Juncker says he came to America to make a deal, which they’ve done. “We’ve identified a number of areas to work together on, including working toward zero tariffs on industrial goods,” Juncker says. As American soybean farmers have struggled in recent months, Juncker says the EU can buy more soybeans and will immediately do so.  

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NAFTA Back in the Spotlight

The Mexican negotiating team is back in Washington to continue the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation after talks among the U.S., Mexico, and Canada stalled two months ago. The Mexican Economy Minister will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for the first time since the Mexican presidential election on July first to formally restart the talks. A source close to the talks tells Politico there’s hope that the U.S. might have a new position in the talks. “It wouldn’t make sense to restart the talks if there’s no change in position,” the source says. A big part of this week’s meeting between the U.S. and Mexico will be to see if the U.S. “has found a way to work through the challenges with Mexico.” There is some skepticism that may be the case. A vice president with the National Trade Council doesn’t see how (Trade Rep) Lighthizer will back down, saying “he’s been pretty consistent on the poison pill issues.” Mexico and Canada both shut down the idea on Wednesday that the NAFTA renegotiation could be split into two bilateral deals with the U.S. in spite of President Trump’s repeated comments that the U.S. could reach a deal with Mexico first.

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Ag Committee Leaders Meet to Discuss Farm Bill

Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, House Ag Chair Michael Conaway, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson met today about the farm bill conference. The meeting took place even though the Senate hasn’t voted to go to conference. The Hagstrom Report says, “The Big Four,” as they’re sometimes called, issued a brief joint statement that didn’t mention any of the major differences between the two bills. The biggest differences between the two bills are the work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and payment limits. The statement says, “We look forward to working together to get a farm bill done as quickly as possible and we’re committed to finding solutions to resolve the differences. We must keep working to provide American farmers and families with the certainty and predictability they need and deserve.” An aide involved in the talks say the four have agreed to weekly phone calls, have begun discussing when they can meet in August and are committed to having a new farm bill in place by September 30.

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USDA Preparing Alternative to WHO Antibiotic Guidelines

USDA officials are reportedly developing an alternative set of guidelines on antibiotic use in animal agriculture, rather than abide by those developed at the World Health Organization. The WHO recommendations first came out last November, proposing to end the use of medically important antibiotics in healthy animals to promote growth and prevent disease. The agency wanted the drugs only used in sick animals, or in healthy animals that were being raised near infected animals. WHO also wants a complete ban on using antibiotics in animals that are used to treat humans. The agency’s goal is to keep the drugs as effective as possible for human use. USDA rejected those findings, saying it should have a broader role in developing the guidelines. A Bloomberg report quotes a USDA official as saying the WHO policies “are not in alignment with U.S. policy and not supported by sound science.” The report says USDA officials are working on a series of guidelines that Bloomberg says aren’t as stringent as the WHO recommendations. A draft of the USDA guidelines allows antibiotics to be used in healthy animals for disease prevention and offers potential uses to promote animal growth, which is currently illegal in the U.S.  

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Study: Farmers Will Buy Less Crop Insurance if it Costs More

Crop insurance critics have said for a long time that it’s such a vital product that a rise in premium rates will have no impact on farmer participation. A peer-reviewed study says such claims may be convenient for special interest groups hoping to weaken the risk-management tool by making it more expensive. However, those claims aren’t correct. Dr. Josh Woodard of Cornell University says, “crop insurance would likely respond fairly quickly to large cuts.” Woodard’s work was recently published in the Journal of Risk and Insurance. He says crop insurance demand is clearly responsive to price. That’s been proven by a rise in participation following Congressional actions over the years to provide premium support instead of ad hoc disaster payments. “Crop insurance is already expensive, but participation is necessary to obtain new loans to invest in new technologies and conservation practices,” Woodard says. “Significantly cutting this support would not only hinder farmers ability to run sustainable operations, it will push many farmers out of crop insurance and out of the business.” The findings are quite a bit different from past studies which assumed that crop insurance demand would be unresponsive to price changes.

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Farm Bureau Recognizes Boot Camp Graduates

The American Farm Bureau Federation recognized the 15 farm and ranch women leaders that graduated from the organization’s 12th annual Women’s Communications Boot Camp. The graduates completed an intensive three-day course which included hands-on sessions on public speaking, working with the media, and messaging. “It’s gratifying to see the increased confidence of these women leaders as they sharpen their skills for sharing messages about agriculture,” says Sherry Saylor, an Arizona row crop farmer and Chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. “Boot Camp graduates are more persuasive and effective in connecting with influencers at the local, state, and national level.” The AFB Women’s Leadership Committee partners with Farm Bureau staff to provide training for the Women’s Communications Boot Camp. This is the 12th year of the program, which has more than 180 graduates. It’s open to all women in the Farm Bureau. There is an application process used to select each year’s participants.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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