05-15-19 USDA Reopens Continuous CRP Signup

USDA Reopens Continuous CRP Signup

Extensions also available to Many Expiring Contracts

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2019 – USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications beginning June 3, 2019, for certain practices under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) continuous signup and will offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized CRP, one of the country’s largest conservation programs.

“USDA offers a variety of conservation programs to farmers and ranchers, and the Conservation Reserve Program is an important tool for private lands management,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “CRP allows agricultural producers to set aside land to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health.”

FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the CRP continuous signup when 2014 Farm Bill authority expired. Since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill last December, Fordyce said FSA has carefully analyzed the language and determined that a limited signup prioritizing water-quality practices furthers conservation goals and makes sense for producers as FSA works to fully implement the program.

Continuous CRP Signup Continue reading

05-15-19 American Farm Bureau Federation Calls for Quick Resolution on China Trade

American Farm Bureau Federation Calls for Quick Resolution on China Trade

America’s farmers need a swift resolution to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a letter to President Trump.

The six-year downturn in farm prices that has produced “near-unprecedented economic uncertainty and hardship” is worsening as a result of Chinese tariffs, he wrote. “U.S. farmers and ranchers now face a third wave of tariff increases by China in retaliation against the latest increase in U.S. tariffs that went into effect last Friday, May 10. The mere threat sent prices further downward for certain commodities last week.” Continue reading

05-15-19 Trade Assistance Must Help All Affected Farmers, NFU Says

Trade Assistance Must Help All Affected Farmers, NFU Says 

WASHINGTON – Following the recent escalation of trade tensions between China and the United States that will likely exacerbate the erosion of agricultural export markets and further depress commodity prices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to announce a trade assistance package to support struggling family farmers and ranchers.
In a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, National Farmers Union (NFU), which represents 200,000 family farmers and ranchers and rural residents across the country, provided recommendations for how best to “craft a package that will adequately address the broad, long-term impacts to all of American agriculture.”
NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in anticipation of the
agency’s announcement:

05-15-19 Inside the CDA’s Colorado Proud Program with Marketing Specialist Wendy White…

Inside the CDA’s Colorado Proud Program with Marketing Specialist Wendy White…

Featuring BARN Ag Reporter Samuel Bailey

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – May 15, 2019 – Did you know that Colorado Proud is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year?

Joining the BARN’s Samuel Bailey on the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss the CO Proud Program, its impact and much more is Wendy White, Marketing Specialist at the Colorado Department of Agriculture in the Markets Division

051519_CDA-CoProud-WendyWhite_SBaylie_8m18s Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 15th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 15th

New Trade Aid Likely Days Away

Department of Agriculture officials say support for farmers dealing with depressed markets will be made available quickly. President Donald Trump has promised farmers $15 billion in aid following the latest round of tariffs implemented Friday. Speaking to farm broadcasters Tuesday, a slew of USDA officials discussed the new aid being prepared for farmers. USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs Ted McKinney suggests a new package of aid for farmers is “days away.” McKinney also confirmed the formula for the payments will differ from the previous formula, which rewarded higher production and was not available if a farmer couldn’t produce a crop. Details are still being finalized and Farm Service Agency administrator Richard Fordyce says he has not received any instruction regarding distributing the payments. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue confirmed the trade aid plan Friday, after previously stating there would be no additional aid this year. However, the failure to reach an agreement with China last week, and the additional tariffs, is putting more strain on U.S. farmers.


Trump Plans to Meet with Chinese President Xi in June

President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would meet with Chinese President Xi (Zhee) Jinping next month. The announcement comes as the trade war between the two largest economies in the world grew even more intense. Reuters says China has already announced it would retaliate on a host of American goods, ranging from frozen vegetables to citrus fruits to natural gas. That move followed the Administration’s decision to hike tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. Reuters says Trump mentioned this week that he would talk to Xi at a G-20 summit in late June. “Maybe something will happen,” he said during remarks at the White House. “We’re going to be having a meeting, as you know, at the G-20 in Japan and that’ll be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting.” Speaking later at a White House dinner, Trump said it’ll be clear in three or four weeks if a U.S. trade delegation’s trip to Beijing two weeks ago was successful. China’s top diplomat says talks aren’t supposed to be a “one-way street” and need to be conducted on the basis of equality.


Perdue Urging Japan to Reach a Quick Trade Deal with the U.S.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says President Trump is looking forward to a trade deal with Japan “sooner rather than later.” The website FX Street Dot Com says Perdue called on Japan to quickly strike a trade deal with Washington that would cover farm products and a host of other goods. Perdue says the two countries can’t kick the trade can down the road forever and the president would “welcome an agreement” when he meets with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (AH-bay) later this year. In the same comments, Perdue acknowledged that a quick deal might be difficult. The details of the negotiations, including the timing of an eventual deal, are being left to the top negotiators of both countries. “We are very much aware of the elections of the upper body of Japan’s Parliament in July,” Perdue says. “We are respectful of that, but President Trump is expecting that Japan would treat us as the premier customer we are.” Trump hosted Abe at the White House last month. He hopes to clinch a deal in time for his visit to Tokyo on May 25-28.


African Swine Fever Continues to Spread in Vietnam, South Africa

Government officials in Vietnam say the country has culled more than 1.2 million pigs infected with African Swine Fever. Pork Business Dot Com says the virus is continuing to spread quickly through Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s 95 million people consume most of its 30 million pigs domestically. Pork makes up 75 percent of the total meat consumption in Asia. The virus has spread into 29 Vietnamese provinces. Many Vietnamese provinces weren’t able to cull pigs properly once the outbreak got going. Some of the biggest challenges to culling pigs in Vietnam were a lack of funding and available space to bury the dead pigs. In March, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization advised Vietnam to declare the ASF outbreak a national emergency. Meantime, a fourth South African province has reported an ASF outbreak. The affected areas in South Africa are quarantined and investigations are underway to trace the origin of the outbreaks and identify other farms that may be infected.


Cash Rental Rates Stay Mostly Steady in 2019

Cash rental rates for farmland are a popular topic in farm country. As farm incomes climbed earlier this decade, cash rents predictably followed suit. Now that farm incomes have dropped going into a sixth-straight year, cash rental rates have declined. However, the decline isn’t as steep as many in the industry thought it would be because of lower incomes. For the 2019 crop season, the Farmers National Company saw cash rental rates make a minor move lower, but overall the rates stayed mostly steady compared to the previous year. Farmer interest in renting land remained strong enough in most areas to continue to support those steady cash rent prices. In the Northern Plains states and other areas with lower yields, it was more challenging to establish cash rents. In spite of the continuing pressure on farm incomes and working capital, Farmers National says it had an “excellent experience” in collecting rental payments on their clients’ managed farms. Land rental rates are usually a bit slower to go up as land values and farm incomes rise. Rents tend to be slower to decline as farm incomes drop as they have in recent years.


Senate Ag Committee Approves Three USDA Nominees

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved three more of President Trump’s nominees for USDA positions. The Hagstrom Report says the committee approved Scott Hutchins to be Agriculture Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, as well as Mindy Brashears to be Under Secretary for Food Safety. The committee also approved the nomination of Naomi Earp to be Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. The vote was done by voice because the committee actually approved the nominations last year. However, the Senate failed to approve them before the end of the last Congressional session. Trump since re-nominated all three candidates. The committee didn’t think it was necessary to hold another confirmation hearing. No date has been set yet for the full Senate vote on confirmation. Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow wasn’t happy that the Trump Administration hired all three nominees as deputy secretaries, which meant they were able to work without Senate approval. Stabenow voted for all three candidates, including Earp, who she voted against last year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service