Tag Archives: agriculture

Farmers The USDA’s most recent forecast of net farm income in 2020 pegs it at $96.7 billion, up 3.3 percent or $3.1 billion, from last year. If realized, 2020 would represent the fourth consecutive year of improved farm income. However, according to American Farm Bureau, 2020 farm income would only be slightly higher than the 20-year, inflation-adjusted, national average of $93 billion. Cash receipts from crop and livestock sales are projected to $384.4 billion, up 2.7 percent or $10.1 billion, from 2019. Total animal/animal product receipts are expected to increase 4.6 percent with growth seen in hogs, cattle/calves, and poultry/eggs. Projected receipts from cattle/calves, $69 billion, is expected to be the highest since 2015. Cash receipts from crops are forecast at $198.6 billion, up $1.9 billion or 1 percent, from the prior year. Corn receipts are projected to be $1 billion higher; soybeans are projected to be about $1 billion lower. Federal government payments are expected to fall 37 percent. This is due to the expectation of no Market Facilitation Payments (MFP) this year. The final tranche of the 2019 payments, $3.7 billion, was made earlier this month.

 

The farm income forecasts offer positive news for Nebraska. Higher cattle/calves receipts are particularly positive as Nebraska is second only to Texas in the number of beef cattle. Poultry receipts in Nebraska should also be higher due to the ramp up of production at the Costco facility in Fremont. On the crop side, typical production levels with steady prices could be coupled with lower per bushel costs.

 

The USDA projections do not include any growth in exports to China due to the Phase 1 deal. If China ramps up purchases of U.S. agricultural goods, a big “if” given the uncertainties created by the coronavirus outbreak and its accompanying economic impacts, the farm income numbers could improve. Another uncertainty is federal support payments. As noted above, the income projections do not include any MFP payments this year. With the Phase 1 agreement and passage of a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, most people thought a MFP program this year was unlikely. However, a President Trump tweet on Friday said additional aid to farmers will be provided until the trade deals “fully kick in.” Either way, more exports to China or additional MFP payments should improve income conditions on the farm or ranch.

 

On July 25, 2019, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced details of additional actions the U.S. Department of Agriculture would take to support American agricultural producers while continued efforts on free, fair and reciprocal trade deals take place. As part of those actions, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced up to $17 million of food purchases in American lamb under the authority of Section 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs.

 

A pre-solicitation notice issued Feb. 18 announced a near-term opportunity for a solicitation of lamb products to be procured as to include, but not limited to, lamb shanks. A delivery period is suggested as May through September.

 

Solicitations will be issued soon and will be available electronically through the Web-Based Supply Chain Management system. Public WBSCM information is available without an account on the WBSCM Public Procurement Page. All future information regarding this acquisition, including solicitation amendments and award notices, will be published through WBSCM, and on the Agricultural Marketing Service’s website at www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food. Interested parties shall be responsible for ensuring that they have the most up-to-date information about this acquisition. The contract type is anticipated to be firm-fixed price. Deliveries are expected to be to various locations in the United States on an FOB destination basis.

 

Pursuant to Agricultural Acquisition Regulation 470.103(b), commodities and the products of agricultural commodities acquired under this contract must be a product of the United States, and shall be considered to be such a product if it is grown, processed and otherwise prepared for sale or distribution exclusively in the United States. Packaging and container components under this acquisition will be the only portion subject to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement and Free Trade Agreements, as addressed by FAR clause 52.225-5.

 

To be eligible to submit offers, potential contractors must meet the AMS vendor qualification requirements. The AMS point of contact for new vendors may be reached via email at NewVendor@usda.gov. Details of these requirements are available online at: https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food/becoming-approved.

 

Source: USDA/AMS

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Thursday a new department-wide initiative aimed at reducing the agriculture industry’s environmental impact while continuing to use innovation to increase production and output to meet growing global demand.

The Agriculture Innovation Agenda aligns USDA’s resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050. The strategy will set benchmarks for food loss and waste, carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions, water quality, and renewable energy.

“Farmers are the original and best conservationists on earth,” said U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. “Through innovation, conservation, and continual adaptation of practices, farmers across the U.S. have learned to do more with less. Secretary Perdue and his team at USDA should be applauded for their leadership in this area and I have full confidence our Kansas farmers and ranchers will rise to the challenge and not only decrease their impact on our environment but do so while creating more fuel, food, and fiber than ever before.”

Read more about the USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda HERE.

Today’s announcement comes one day after the unveiling of Farmers for a Sustainable Future, an initiative of 20 different farm groups to serve as a primary resource for policy makers as they consider sustainability and climate policies important to the agriculture industry.

“The Green New Deal and other left-wing, socialist, government takeover plans proposed by the Democratic party would destroy Kansas agriculture,” said Rep. Marshall. “I have fought for Kansas farmers and ranchers and am encouraged to see so many in the agriculture industry come together to educate lawmakers and fight for meaningful and innovative environmental and conservation policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, without destroying agriculture as we know it.”

Read more about the Farmers for a Sustainable Future initiative HERE.

Persons of all ages are invited to attend a “Farm and Ranch Estate Planning Workshop” hosted by UNL Extension.  This workshop will be held on March 2 from 9:30 to 3:00 at the Merrick County Ag Building, Fairgrounds, Central City.

The program is free with the lunch being provided by the Archer Credit Union. Everyone attending is asked to register by calling the Merrick County Extension Office at 308-946-3843 to ensure that there is enough lunch, handouts, and other materials. Please register by February 27, 2020.

One presentation will focus on the decisions and situations which should be addressed when thinking about how your farm or ranch estate will be passed. Topics will include: the need for planning, proper family communications, who makes the decisions, concept of fair versus equal, family negotiations, and much more. The presentation is designed to give some basic information to those that haven’t yet started to think about their succession or transition plan for their assets.

In addition, an attorney will be making his presentation to give Ag Families the basics of what they need to start planning their wills, trusts, and other end of life documents that need to be in order.

The objective is to start the process of having the farm succession or transition planned. Bring your questions, as the session is designed to be interactive answering as many questions as possible.

Allan Vyhnalek, UNL Extension Educator for Farm Succession will present. He was recently assigned to the Ag Economics Department to work on farm and ranch succession and transition. Tom Fehringer, Columbus based attorney with an additional office in Central City, will make the legal presentation. He has worked with farmers for over 16 years will cover the legal aspects of end of life and end of business decision making.

While the workshop will use examples related to Agriculture, the estate planning parts of the workshops will be applicable to all and anyone with interest is invited to attend. Participants at previous events always report that they wished they would have started sooner, when asked about the value of attending the presentation.  The consequences of not having an appropriate plan in place can jeopardize the financial stability of your operation, and the future of the family.  More importantly, we need to have our wishes known to others so the legacy of the farms and ranches can be passed to the individuals or entities intended.

For more information or assistance, please contact _308-946-3843 to register or Allan Vyhnalek, 402-472-1771.

Twenty-one farm and ranch groups that represent millions of U.S. farmers and ranchers are launching Farmers for a Sustainable Future. It’s a new coalition committed to environmental and economic sustainability.

The coalition will serve as a primary resource for lawmakers and policymakers as they consider climate policies. One important task for the new coalition is to share with elected officials, media, and the public, U.S. agriculture’s commitment to sustainability and the incredible strides they’ve already made to reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint.

As policy proposals are developed and considered, the goal is for the coalition and its guiding principles to serve as a foundation to ensure the adoption of meaningful and constructive policies and programs affecting agriculture. Those guiding principles include calling for policies that support science-based research, voluntary incentive-based conservation programs, investment in infrastructure, and solutions that ensure vibrant rural communities and a healthy planet.

The coalition says farmers and ranchers are committed stewards of the land, leading the way to climate-smart farming by promoting soil health, conserving water, enhancing wildlife, using nutrients efficiently, and caring for their animals.

Nebraska — Ben Sasse, U.S. Senator and relentless advocate for Nebraska agriculture, earned the endorsement of the future, current, and immediate past Presidents of Nebraska Cattlemen.

“I’m proud to have the support of cattlemen across Nebraska, and I’m proud to fight for them in Washington. Nebraska runs on the hard work of our ag industry. Our ranchers feed the world — that’s a big job, but Nebraska gets it done. Our farm and ranch families deserve the best because they produce the best.” – U.S. Senator Ben Sasse

“Washington has a lot to learn from Nebraska — and Ben Sasse makes sure they’re listening to us. We’re the best in the world at what we do, and Ben has worked hard to put Nebraska ag — and our producers — first. He fights for us, we’ll fight for him.” – Nebraska Cattlemen President Ken Herz, Lawrence

“Nebraska’s cattlemen and women spend our lives raising the absolute best beef in the world. It’s pretty simple: we want less government interference and a whole bunch more trade. Ben Sasse gets that and fights for us.” – Nebraska Cattlemen President-elect William Rhea III, Arlington

“Ben Sasse stood up to fight for President Trump’s USMCA trade deal and introduced livestock haulers legislation that pushed back against overly strict regulations and maintained safety on our roads. That stuff matters to Nebraska’s producers — and that’s why cattlemen across our state are supporting Ben Sasse for U.S. Senate.” – Nebraska Cattlemen Immediate Past President Mike Drinnin, Clarks

The first month of 2020 saw mixed results in the total number of U.S. tractor and self-propelled combine sales. Total farm tractor sales grew compared to January of last year while combines fell by 25 percent. That’s according to data out this week from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

Total U.S. farm tractor sales increased 4.7 percent in January compared to last year while January self-propelled combine sales dropped 24.4 percent. Total sales of two-wheel-drive tractors grew in all segments during January by a total of 4.9 percent more than January of 2019. Sales of tractors with more than 100 horsepower led the way in sales growth, up 19.6 percent to 1,361 units.

The total number of four-wheel-drive tractor sales fell 6.6 percent to 169 units sold. “The sales numbers we’re seeing for January are in line with our expectations,” says Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Ag Services at AEM. “With the approval of the USMCA and the Phase One trade agreement with China, we believe we’re seeing some positive trends on the horizon for ag equipment sales.”

Senators Gary Peters of Michigan and Richard Burr of North Carolina are working on bipartisan legislation to give the U.S Commerce Department a greater ability to defend smaller segments of agriculture.

Politico says the bill would give the department greater authority to “self-Initiate investigations” to help those less influential sectors combat potential trade manipulation. Peters says, “If you’re a big industry, such as the steel industry, you can hire an army of lawyers and economists to push back against unfairly subsidized trade by foreign governments.

If you’re a smaller industry like cherries or blueberries or other agricultural products, it’s a lot more difficult.” Peters sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection this week, calling for an investigation into tart cherry exports from Turkey. He says shortly after the U.S. slapped duties on cherries from Turkey back in 2018, cherry exports from Brazil surged as much as 1,200 percent. He points out in the letter that “Brazil doesn’t appear to have a discernible tart cherry industry.”

The House of Representatives passed a bill that authorizes funding for more agriculture inspectors to work with U.S. Customs. The Hagstrom Report says the House passed the legislation, known as the Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 after it had already passed the Senate.

“I’ve long raised the issue of inadequate staffing levels at the border,” says House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson. “It’s critical that we have enough CBP agriculture inspectors, specialists, and canine teams to protect our rural communities and our economy from foreign animal and plant pests and diseases.” A joint press conference featuring several representatives from agricultural states expressed happiness that the bill made it through both chambers of Congress.

The legislation authorizes the hiring of 240 new agriculture specialists and 200 agriculture technicians until staffing shortages are resolved. It also assigns 20 agriculture canine teams to prevent harmful pests and foreign animal diseases from getting into the United States. During the press conference, the lawmakers pointed out that the country faces a shortage of agricultural inspectors that could leave the U.S. ag industry vulnerable to diseases, pests, and other threats that could potentially devastate the American economy and affect the health and safety of millions of American people.

U.S. net cash farm income, the total income after expenses, is forecast to decrease $13.1 billion to $109.6 billion in 2020. When adjusted for inflation, the drop is almost 11 percent compared to the previous year. U.S. net farm income is a broader measure of profitability.

It incorporates noncash items like economic depreciation and gross imputed rental income, and it forecast to increase by $1.4 billion to $96.7 billion in 2020. That’s a 1.4 percent jump over 2019. The USDA says if the forecast changes are accurate, net cash farm income in 2020 would be 0.6 percent below the inflation-adjusted average calculated throughout 2000-2018. Net farm income would be 5.4 percent above the average during 2000-2018. The two income measures will diverge this year because of how net sales from inventories are treated.

Net cash farm income records the income in the year a sale took place, while net farm income counts it in the year production occurred. For example, high net sales at $14.9 billion from crop inventories forecast in 2019 are expected to boost net cash farm income significantly that year. Very low net sales from inventories ($0.5 billion) in 2020 are expected to contribute to a decrease in net cash farm income between the two years.