Tag Archives: USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced up to $16 million in available funding to help socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers own and operate successful farms. Funding is made through the USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501 Program). The program is administered by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).

“All farmers and ranchers deserve equal access to USDA programs and services,” said Mike Beatty, director of the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “2501 grants go a long way in fulfilling our mission to reach historically underserved communities and ensure their equitable participation in our programs.”
For 30 years, the 2501 Program has helped reach socially disadvantaged agricultural producers – farmers and ranchers who have experienced barriers to service due to racial or ethnic prejudice. The 2014 Farm Bill expanded the program’s reach to veterans. The 2018 Farm Bill boosts mandatory funding for the program through FY 2023. With 2501 Program grants, nonprofits, institutions of higher education and Indian Tribes can support underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers through education, training, demonstrations, and conferences on farming and agribusiness, and by increasing access to USDA’s programs and services.
Since 1994, the 2501 Program has awarded 451 grants totaling more than $103 million. Among recent 2501 projects, an FY 2018 grant awarded to the Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance in Okolona, Mississippi helped agricultural community leaders connect senior farmers and new and beginning farmers to preserve farming legacies. A 2501 grant to Florida International University helped veterans and young urban farmers build sustainable urban agriculture operations in South Florida.
Eligible 2501 Program applicants include not-for-profit organizations, community-based organizations, and a range of higher education institutions serving African-American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities.
The deadline for applications is August 15, 2019. See the request for applications for full details.

Corn and soybean development continued to lag behind the average pace last week, but conditions for both crops rose slightly, according to the latest USDA NASS Crop Progress report released Monday.

As of Sunday, July 14, an estimated 17% of corn was silking, up 9 percentage points from the previous week but 25 percentage points behind the five-year average of 42%.

Corn condition, estimated at 58% good to excellent, was up 1 percentage point from 57% the previous week. That’s still the lowest good-to-excellent rating for this time of year in seven years.

“Among the top eight corn-producing states, Nebraska has the highest good-to-excellent rating at 77%, while Ohio and Indiana are at the bottom with 38% and 39%, respectively,” said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. “In Missouri, only 32% of corn was rated good to excellent.”

Soybean development also remained behind normal last week. NASS estimated that 95% of the soybean crop that was planted had emerged as of Sunday, 4 percentage points behind the five-year average of 99%. Twenty-two percent of soybeans were blooming, up 12 percentage points from the previous week but 27 percentage points behind the five-year average of 49%.

The soybean crop’s good-to-excellent rating of 54% was up 1 percentage point from 53% the previous week. As with corn, the soybeans’ good-to-excellent rating is the lowest in seven years.

“Again, Nebraska tops the list with 71% of soybeans rated good to excellent, while Ohio was at 33%,” Hultman said.

Winter wheat harvest moved ahead another 10 percentage points last week to reach 57% complete as of Sunday, behind last year’s 72% and 14 percentage points behind the five-year average of 71%.

“The Kansas harvest is 81% complete, while Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma are all within 4 percentage points of being finished,” Hultman said.

Seventy-eight percent of the spring wheat crop was headed, jumping 22 percentage points from 56% the previous week, but was 9 percentage points behind the five-year average of 87%.

Spring wheat condition was rated 76% good to excellent, down 2 percentage points from the previous week’s 78% good to excellent, but still a high rating for the crop for this time of year, Hultman said.

Twenty-four percent of sorghum was headed, 7 percentage points behind the five-year average of 31%. Sorghum coloring was estimated at 14%, behind the average of 19%. Sorghum condition was rated 74% good to excellent. Oats were 87% headed, behind the average of 95%.

Cotton squaring reached 60% as of Sunday, behind the average pace of 69%. Cotton setting bolls was 20%, also behind the average of 25%. Cotton condition was rated 56% good to excellent, up 2 percentage point from the previous week’s 54% good to excellent. Twenty-four percent of rice was headed, behind the average of 31%. Rice condition was rated 67% good to excellent.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

Clay Patton recaps the report here: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/futures-one-crop-progress-report-conditions-improve-but-still-behind-7139.html

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Silking 17 8 59 42
Soybeans Emerged 95 90 100 99
Soybeans Blooming 22 10 62 49
Winter Wheat Harvested 57 47 72 71
Spring Wheat Headed 78 56 91 87
Cotton Squaring 60 47 70 69
Cotton Setting Bolls 20 13 30 25
Sorghum Headed 24 22 30 31
Sorghum Coloring 14 13 19 19
Barley Headed 75 55 88 89
Oats Headed 87 74 95 95
Rice Headed 24 16 30 31

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Corn 3 9 30 48 10 3 9 31 47 10 3 6 19 51 21
Soybeans 3 9 34 46 8 3 9 35 46 7 2 6 23 53 16
Spring Wheat 4 20 66 10 3 19 70 8 1 3 16 67 13
Cotton 3 12 29 47 9 2 17 27 47 7 10 18 31 34 7
Sorghum 1 2 23 61 13 1 2 24 61 12 5 12 36 43 4
Barley 5 19 62 14 1 4 22 63 10 1 2 12 70 15
Oats 2 5 25 57 11 2 5 28 56 9 4 3 22 58 13
Rice 1 6 26 50 17 1 6 27 49 17 1 5 25 56 13

**

National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SR = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR
Topsoil Moisture 4 17 67 12 3 12 70 15 13 25 57 5
Subsoil Moisture 3 13 72 12 3 10 70 17 11 26 58 5

More than 50 doctors across the U.S. signed an open letter to the USDA calling on the organization to overhaul the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and ensure that recommendations are for all Americans. The letter ran in both the New York Times and Washington Post today.

Currently, the Advisory Committee is reviewing the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines to begin shaping their recommendations for the USDA and Health and Human Services to consider. They are focused on the healthy population, but only 12 percent of the population is metabolically healthy.1

The open letter was spearheaded by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., a mission-based organization focused on improving global health, and has actively advocated for the Dietary Guidelines to reflect current, quality science.

The letter highlights that, today, 72 percent of Americans have a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese range2 and 52 percent have either diabetes or prediabetes.3 In addition, it highlights that more than 20 percent of all healthcare spending in the U.S. is on obesity-related illness.4

“We believe that it is critical for the U.S. government to overhaul the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and provide nutrition guidance that uses today’s science and promotes healthier eating habits, recognizing a low-carbohydrate eating approach as a viable option for people. Doing this can improve our nation’s health and reduce medical costs,” said Joseph E. Scalzo, president and chief executive officer, The Simply Good Foods Company. “The Dietary Guidelines have unfortunately taken America down the path of overconsumption of carbohydrates and sugar, resulting in less healthy citizens.”

Atkins Nutritionals, a subsidiary of The Simply Good Foods Company, has actively engaged with government officials, health professionals and other key opinion leaders to help increase awareness of the more than 100 clinical studies spanning the past two decades that show the health benefits of a low-carbohydrate eating approach. In addition, the company’s nutrition experts have presented at public hearings and submitted public comments, detailing the benefits of reducing carbohydrates.

The letter references the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) consensus study that recommended that the Guidelines address the needs of all Americans, cautioning against a one-size fits all approach.5 Also highlighted within the letter is American Diabetes Association’s recent recommendation that in addition to other eating approaches, a low-carbohydrate eating approach can help manage diabetes.6

“The ADA’s inclusion of low-carbohydrate eating in its recently published Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes shows how an important health organization is providing such guidance as an option for people battling diabetes,” said Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc., vice president, nutrition and education, Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. “All Americans can benefit from Dietary Guidelines that are based on the best, most recent science available, eschew a one-size-fits-all approach, and make meaningful changes in nutrition recommendations.”

Corn was rated 57% in good-to-excellent condition and soybeans were rated 53% in good-to-excellent condition, as of Sunday, July 7, according to this week’s USDA NASS Crop Progress report.

In a state by state breakdown Nebraska had the third best corn in the nation at 76% good to excellent. Colorado had the best corn in the nation at 85% good to excellent.

For soybeans Nebraska looks to have the best beans in the nation with a rating of 73% good to excellent. Kentucky close behind at 72% good to excellent. South Dakota on the other  hand is struggling registering just 28% of it’s soybean crop at good to excellent.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Emerged 98 94 100 100
Corn Silking 8 NA 34 22
Soybeans Planted 96 92 100 99
Soybeans Emerged 90 83 100 98
Soybeans Blooming 10 NA 44 32
Winter Wheat Harvested 47 30 61 61
Spring Wheat Headed 56 25 78 73
Cotton Squaring 47 37 57 54
Cotton Setting Bolls 13 7 20 16
Sorghum Planted 97 94 100 99
Sorghum Headed 22 20 25 26
Sorghum Coloring 13 NA 16 16
Barley Headed 55 31 74 75
Oats Headed 74 58 90 90
Rice Headed 16 10 20 22

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Corn 3 9 31 47 10 3 9 32 47 9 2 5 18 54 21
Soybeans 3 9 35 46 7 2 9 35 47 7 2 5 22 55 16
Winter Wheat 3 7 26 47 17 3 7 27 48 15 15 19 29 28 9
Spring Wheat 3 19 70 8 1 3 21 67 8 1 3 16 66 14
Cotton 2 17 27 47 7 5 13 30 45 7 8 19 32 34 7
Sorghum 1 2 24 61 12 2 25 63 10 4 11 34 46 5
Barley 1 4 22 63 10 1 4 23 64 8 1 2 12 68 17
Oats 2 5 28 56 9 2 5 28 56 9 3 3 21 60 13
Rice 1 6 27 49 17 1 4 27 54 14 1 5 22 59 13

**

National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SR = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR
Topsoil Moisture 3 12 70 15 2 10 69 19 10 20 62 8
Subsoil Moisture 3 10 70 17 2 9 69 20 10 22 62 6

Ninety-two percent of intended soybean acres were planted as of Sunday, June 30, according to this week’s USDA NASS Crop Progress report. NASS has stopped reporting corn planting progress for the season, but reported that corn emergence was at 94%. For the portion of the crops that had emerged, corn was rated 56% in good-to-excellent condition and soybeans were rated 54% in good-to-excellent condition.

Check this page throughout the afternoon for additional highlights from this week’s report.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

Clay Patton recaps the full report here: http://bit.ly/2J50iUd

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Emerged 94 89 100 100
Soybeans Planted 92 85 100 99
Soybeans Emerged 83 71 98 95
Winter Wheat Headed 97 94 100 100
Winter Wheat Harvested 30 15 50 48
Spring Wheat Headed 25 7 55 52
Cotton Squaring 37 30 41 39
Cotton Setting Bolls 7 3 11 9
Sorghum Planted 94 84 98 96
Sorghum Headed 20 17 22 23
Barley Headed 31 9 47 52
Oats Headed 58 43 80 81
Rice Headed 10 5 14 15

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Corn 3 9 32 47 9 3 9 32 48 8 2 4 18 55 21
Soybeans 2 9 35 47 7 2 8 36 47 7 1 5 23 55 16
Winter Wheat 3 7 27 48 15 3 8 28 46 15 15 19 29 28 9
Spring Wheat 1 3 21 67 8 3 22 67 8 1 4 18 64 13
Cotton 5 13 30 45 7 4 13 33 45 5 6 18 33 36 7
Sorghum 2 25 63 10 3 25 61 11 3 12 32 49 4
Barley 1 4 23 64 8 1 4 23 64 8 1 2 13 66 18
Oats 2 5 28 56 9 2 5 29 56 8 3 3 21 60 13
Rice 1 4 27 54 14 1 6 27 52 14 5 24 56 15

**

National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SR = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR
Topsoil Moisture 2 10 69 19 2 8 64 26 9 18 62 11
Subsoil Moisture 2 9 69 20 2 8 65 25 9 20 62 9

USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey says more than 5,000 dairy operations have signed up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program.

The exact number was 5,364 as of last Thursday afternoon. Northey says about 40,000 dairy operations are eligible to enroll, but overall he’s pleased with the number of producers who’ve signed up since June 17. The DMC, created by the 2018 Farm Bill, replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, which many producers didn’t like.

The Hagstrom Report says the new program will make payments to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount, which is selected by each producer when they sign up for the program.

Northey did say the DMC will not solve all the problems of the dairy industry but told reporters last week that it “offers a little bit of support in a challenging time.” The program is retroactive to January first, while USDA is hopeful of making payments soon. The White House Office of Management and Budget is still working on approving all the details of the program.

In July, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will collect updated information on 2019 acres planted to corn, cotton, sorghum, and soybeans in 14 states.

NASS previously collected planted acreage information during the first two weeks of June, with the results published in the June 28 Acreage report. Excessive rainfall had prevented planting at the time of the survey, leaving a portion of acres still to be planted for corn in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; cotton in Arkansas; sorghum in Kansas; and soybeans in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

If the newly collected data justify any changes, NASS will publish updated acreage estimates in the Crop Production report to be released at noon ET on Monday, Aug. 12. It will be available online at www.nass.usda.gov/Publications.

United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1, 2019 was 75.5 million head. This was up 4% from June 1, 2018, and up 1% from March 1, 2019. This is the highest June 1 inventory of all hogs and pigs since estimates began in 1964, USDA reported on Thursday.

Breeding inventory, at 6.41 million head, was up 1% from last year, and up 1% from the previous quarter.

Market hog inventory, at 69.1 million head, was up 4% from last year, and up 1% from last quarter. This is the highest June 1 market hog inventory since estimates began in 1964.

The March-May 2019 pig crop, at 34.2 million head, was up 4% from 2018. This is the largest March-May pig crop since estimates began in 1970. Sows farrowed during this period totaled 3.11 million head, up slightly from 2018.

The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 49% of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 11.00 for the March-May period, compared to 10.63 last year.

United States hog producers intend to have 3.18 million sows farrow during the June-August 2019 quarter, down slightly from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2018, but up 3% from 2017. Intended farrowings for September-November 2019, at 3.17 million sows, are up slightly from 2018, and up 2% from 2017.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 47% of the total United States hog inventory, unchanged from the previous year.

“The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report posted an increase of 4% in all inventory on June 1. A total of 75.5 million head were reported. Overall inventory levels increased 1% from March 1, as year-to-year growth in the hog herd continues to be consistent with previous plans,” said DTN Analyst Rick Kment.

“The 69.1 million head of market hog inventory is the largest June 1 total since estimates began in 1964, leaving concern that additional growth will continue over the near future,” Kment said. “Even though farrowing intentions are down slightly from a year ago, numbers are 3% above 2017 levels, creating expectations of continued large supplies through the near future.

“Market reaction to this report is expected to be neutral to slightly bearish, as very little directional changes are revealed in this report.”

To view the full Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, visit https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

Darrell Holaday, Country Futures, breaks down the report and it’s impact on the markets: http://bit.ly/2FCFmBw

2019 2018

2019 as
percent of 2018

(1,000 head) (1,000 head) (percent)
All Hogs June 1 72,866 75,520 104
Kept for Breeding 6,320 6,410 101
Kept for Marketing 66,546 69,111 104
WEIGHT BREAKDOWN
Under 50 lbs. 21,327 22,019 103
50-119 lbs. 19,083 19,606 103
120-179 lbs. 13,988 14,427 103
180 lbs. and over 12,147 13,059 108
FARROWINGS/INTENTIONS*
Mar-May 3,108 3,100 100
Jun-Aug* 3,185 3,200 100
Sep-Nov* 3,175 3,174 100
Spring Pig Crop 34,177 32,942 104
(number) (number) (percent)
Mar-May Pigs per Litter 11.00 10.63 103

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the Congressional District Profiles and Rankings from the 2017 Census of Agriculture on the NASS website. This summary presents data by congressional district that includes land, farms, market value of agricultural products sold, rankings, and producer characteristics. These profiles are often used by producers, congressional leaders, and others to support agriculture in their districts.

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse had this to say about Nebraska’s Third Congressional District:

    “The profiles are a quick way to see what’s going on with agriculture in a particular area – to show its value at the local level,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “They provide an easy way to evaluate high-level data, compare characteristics of one district to another, and educate colleagues, policymakers, and non-farming neighbors about farming in that location.”

    NASS released the Census of Agriculture State and County profiles on May 30. Still to be released is the Watersheds Report on July 25; the American Indian Reservations Report on August 26; Zip Code Tabulations on September 18; and Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Profiles on October 1. All of these products will be available atwww.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.

    Other products to be released this summer and fall include state-specific Census blogs showcased onwww.usda.gov and additional Census Highlights publications found on the NASS website. Notifications of when these products are available are announced @USDA__NASS on Twitter. In addition to these products, special tabulations of data may be requested on the NASS website, if needed.

    Already preparing for the 2022 Census of Agriculture, NASS is asking for content change suggestions and for new producers who did not receive a 2017 Census of Agriculture form last year to sign up to be counted in future censuses and surveys. Both forms can be found at www.nass.usda.gov.

(Washington, D.C., June 26, 2019)— U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced an update on the implementation status of the 2018 Farm Bill. President Trump signed this Farm Bill into law on December 20, 2018, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) promptly began implementing key programs. In addition, USDA held several listening sessions with stakeholders and the public specific to each agency’s respective mission areas.

“America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers depend on the certainty and availability of USDA’s programs and assistance. That is why we are working diligently to implement the 2018 Farm Bill with efficiency and accuracy,” said Secretary Perdue. “We have listened to our stakeholders and consulted with our customers. As we continue to implement the Farm Bill, USDA is committed to focusing on responsiveness and putting our customers first.”

Implementation Progress:

TITLE I – Commodity Programs

Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy):
Dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program in 2018 were able to retroactively participate in the MPP-Dairy for 2018. This enrollment opportunity ended on May 10, with more than $7 million dollars paid out to assist producers through this retroactive coverage as of May 28, 2019.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) began offering reimbursements to eligible producers for MPP-Dairy premiums paid between 2014-2017 on May 8, 2019. As of May 28, more than $1.7 million in cash refunds have been paid to dairy producers.

Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC):
Dairy producers now have access to a new web-based decision tool, developed in a partnership with the University of Wisconsin, to evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels available through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.
Sign-up began on June 17th with margin payments made to qualifying producers beginning in early July.

Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC): FSA will open ARC/PLC elections for the 2019 and 2020 crop years beginning in September 2019.

TITLE II – Conservation

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP):
FSA began accepting applications on June 3, 2019, for certain practices under the continuous CRP, offering a one-year extension to existing CRP participants who have expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less, and reopening enrollment for existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements.
FSA plans to offer a General CRP sign-up in December 2019.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP): On April 26, 2019, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released guidance to State committees to identify RCPP coordinators in each State.

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP): On May 10, 2019, NRCS posted guidance for state conservationists regarding the handling of participant requests to apply for new contracts, as well as extending unexpired contracts from 2014. Additional guidance was posted regarding changes needed for existing RCPP partnership agreements to enroll in new CSP contracts.

Technical Changes to NRCS Conservation Programs: On May 6, 2019, NRCS published an interim final rule to make existing regulations consistent with the 2018 Farm Bill. These include:
Waiving duplicative requirements under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program;
Expanding the purposes of the Healthy Forests Reserve Program to allow protection of at-risk species and allowing permanent easements on Tribal lands;
Authorizing that certification of technical service providers be through a qualified non-federal entity; and
Requiring that $3 million of funds to implement the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program be used to encourage public access for hunting and other recreational activities on wetlands enrolled in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG):
On May 15, 2019, NRCS announced that it is investing $25 million per year over the next five years to help support On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, part of the CIG and available to farmers eligible to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. NRCS will accept proposals through July 15, 2019 for the new On-Farm Trials.
On May 30, 2019, NRCS announced the availability of $12.5 million to support CIG on agricultural lands. NRCS will accept proposals through July 30, 2019.

TITLE III – Trade

Borlaug Fellowship Program 2019: On May 6, 2019, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) announced Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Borlaug Fellowship Program.

Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement: On May 20, 2019, Secretary Perdue signed the Local and Regional Food Aid Procurement Program report and it was sent to Congress.

Agricultural Trade Promotion and Facilitation: on May 28, 2019, FAS announced a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for FY 2020 Market Access Program, Foreign Market Development Program, Emerging Markets Program, and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program funding. Submissions are due on June 28, 2019.

TITLE IV – Nutrition Programs

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): On April 12, 2019, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the solicitation for the FY 2019 SNAP Process and Technology Improvement Grants required by Section 4010 of the Farm Bill. Responses were due by June 10, 2019.

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): On April 15, 2019, FNS issued an information memorandum on TEFAP state plan changes and information on TEFAP food funding.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): On April 16, 2019, SNAP staff provided key technical assistance to National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for the 2019 Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program solicitation. The Request for Funding was updated on May 9, 2019 and applications were due June 10, 2019.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): On, April 18, 2019, FNS launched the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot. This pilot will be evaluated to help inform the regulations required by Section 4001 of the Farm Bill.

Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR): On May 9, 2019, FNS held a monthly FDPIR Farm Bill Implementation Call with Tribal Leaders.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP): On May 5-8, 2019, FNS attended the American Commodity Distribution Association Conference in Niagara Falls and provided updates on the Farm Bill’s CSFP and TEFAP provisions.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): On May 17, 2019, FNS issued three associated documents to the States: (1) a set of Q&As to follow up on the informational memo; (2) an addendum to the E&T State Plan Handbook to provide instructions on reflecting the new self-enacting Farm Bill requirements in the State plan; and (3) information the new 100% funds reallocation process for 2020 that will be shared with the States.

TITLE V – Credit

Loan Limits: On May 17, 2019, FSA issued an amendment to increase the loan limits as authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill – specifically, to $600,000 for direct loans and $1,750,000 for guaranteed loans.

Farm Ownership Loans: On May 8, 2019, FSA issued an amendment to clarify eligibility requirements for farm ownership loans, including increased loan limits, and waiver authority for the 3-year experience requirement in the case of a qualified beginning farmer or rancher.

TITLE VI – Rural Development

Cushion of Credit: On June 7, 2019, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published the announcement of new Cushion of Credit Program Provisions affecting RUS borrower participation on the Federal Register. The current 5 percent rate will be paid to borrowers until September 30, 2020. Beginning on October 1, 2020, CoC deposits will earn 4 percent interest until September 30, 2021. Starting on October 1, 2021 and thereafter, account balances will earn the applicable, variable 1-year Treasury rate.

BioPreferred Program C
Completed the transfer of the BioPreferred / BioBased Markets program from Department Administration to Rural Business Cooperative Service to ensure the increased development, purchase, and use of biobased products.

Interagency Task Force on Rural Water Quality: The Rural Utility Service will host the kick-off meeting on July 10, at the USDA Whitten Building.

Council on Rural Community Innovation and Economic Development: Rural Development is holding the next meeting with support from the Office of Science Technology Policy on July 10, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Implementation Outreach
Presented at the P3 Water Summit and the Council on Infrastructure Financing Authorities (CIFA) in San Diego, California and at the Infrastructure Investment Summit in Washington, DC on the Interagency Task Force on Rural Water Quality that will examine drinking water and surface water contamination in rural communities.
The Innovation Center hosted a Human Experience (HX) Lab on May 23rd focused on the Lender’s experience and interaction with Rural Development related to the Community Facilities and Water & Waste Disposal Guaranteed Loan Programs.

TITLE VII – Research and Related Matters

Matters on Certain School Designations and Declarations: On May 16, 2019, a Federal Register notice on Matters related to school designations and declarations was published (Section 7102).

Carryover of Funds for Extension at 1890 Land-Grant Colleges: On May 24, 2019, guidance was sent to 1890 universities regarding this provision. (Sec. 7114)

TITLE VIII – Forestry

On April 12, 2019, Forest Service participants attended a National Consultation on P.L.115-325 (Indian Energy Act/Woody Biomass) hosted by Department of Interior/Bureau of Indian Affairs to capture Tribal input.

Good Neighbor Authority: On May 15, 2019, the Forest Service presented a virtual 2018 Farm Bill Listening Session, for Tribes; Tribal Forest Management Demonstration Project (also known as “638’ contracts). There was also discussion on tribal woody biomass projects authorized by Public Law 115-325 (amending the Tribal Forest Protection Act). The recording may be viewed here

Tribal Forest Management Demonstration Project: On May 23, 2019, in Phoenix, AZ, Forest Service made a formal presentation on implementation of Section 8703 to the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society.

Good Neighbor Authority: On May 31, 2019, Forest Service distributed non-financial templates to field offices for implementation of Good Neighbor Authority dealing with States.

TITLE IX – Energy

Definition update for Biorefinery Assistance Program: (9001 & 9003) On April 23, 2019, a Notice in the Federal register was published with a definition update.

Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels: (Section 9005) The workplan was published in the Spring Regulatory agenda on May 22, 2019.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants: (Section 9007) The workplan was published in the Spring Regulatory agenda on May 22, 2019.

TITLE X – Horticulture
Report on Plant Biostimulants: On April 22, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and representatives from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the Office of the Secretary (OSEC) and industry met to discuss the biostimulant report. The objective of the meeting was to outline the steps necessary to get the report completed, through clearance and to Congress by the December 21 deadline.

Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP): On April 18, 2019, AMS announced the availability of funding for the FMLFPP. These programs are part of the Local Agriculture Market Program (Sec. 10102).

Hemp: On February 27, 2019, AMS issued a Notice to Trade stating that USDA had begun the process of gathering information to initiate rulemaking to implement a program for the commercial production of hemp. AMS also stated that under the 2018 Farm Bill tribes and institutions of higher education could continue operating under authorities of the 2014 until 12 months after USDA establishes the plan and regulations required under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Hemp: On April 18, 2019, AMS issued a Notice to Trade regarding importation of hemp seeds.

Hemp: On May 28, 2019, AMS issued two Notices to Trade (NTTs) regarding hemp production. The first of these speaks to questions raised concerning provisions pertaining to the interstate transportation of hemp and who may obtain a license to produce hemp. The second NTT clarifies avenues for Tribal participation under authorities in the 2014 Farm Bill to grow industrial hemp for research purposes during the 2019 growing season.

Plant Variety Protection Office: On April 24, 2019, AMS announced that the Plant Variety Protection Office will begin accepting applications for seed-propagated hemp for plant variety protection.

Organic Agricultural Product Imports Interagency Working Group: On May 14, 2019, AMS established the Organic Agricultural Product Imports Interagency Working Group with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The first meeting will take place in June 2019.
TITLE XI – Crop Insurance

Forage
On April 23, the Federal Crop Insurance Board of Directors approved modifications to the annual forage policy to accommodate 2018 Farm Bill changes.

Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA)
On April 26, the 2020 SRA changes were distributed to Approved Insurance Providers. The SRA includes new requirements for training loss adjusters and agents, including the submission of Actual Production History to RMA.

TITLE XII – Miscellaneous
The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program: On April 23, 2019, The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program RFA was issued (Section 4205).

Tribal Consultation: On May 1-2, 2019 USDA met with tribal leaders during the OneUSDA Farm Bill Tribal Consultation and discussed the 2018 Farm Bill implementation.

Pima Cotton Trust Fund: On April 15, 2019, FAS issued $27.3 million in payments under the Pima Agriculture Cotton Trust Fund.

Wool Trust Fund: On April 15, 2019, FAS issued $14.9 million in payments under the Agriculture Wool Apparel Manufacturers Trust Fund.

Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives: On April 16, 2019, AMS announced the availability of funding for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (Sec. 12513).

Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program: On April 23, 2019, AMS announced the availability of funding for the Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program (Sec. 12102).

Feasibility Study on Livestock Dealer Statutory Trust: On April 26, 2019, AMS published in the Federal Register a notice soliciting input for the study on a Livestock Dealers Trust (Sec. 12103).

Veteran Farmer or Rancher (12306): On April 26, 2019, RMA Implemented the new definition for Veteran Farmer or Rancher that gives the same benefit for Veterans as beginning farmers or ranchers. These benefits include:
Exemption from paying the administrative fee for catastrophic and additional coverage policies;
Additional 10 percentage points of premium subsidy for additional coverage policies that have premium subsidy;
Use of another person’s production history for the specific acreage transferred to you that you were previously involved in the decision making or physical activities to produce the crop; and
An increase in the substitute Yield Adjustment, which allows you to replace a low yield due to an insured cause of loss, from 60 to 80 percent of the applicable transitional yield (T-Yield).

Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSCP): On June 20, 2019, USDA announced $75 million in funding for the eradication and control of feral swine through the FSCP in a joint effort between NRCS and APHIS. Applications are being accepted through August 19, 2019, for partners to carry out activities as part of these pilot projects in select areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.