Tag Archives: USDA

The National Milk Producers Federation urges all dairy farmers to sign up for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program. Enrollment in the program administered by the Department of Agriculture opened Tuesday.

NMPF cites the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, and the expectation of volatile dairy margins in the next year, in the need for DMC protection. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says, “Coronavirus-related volatility in dairy markets is expected to continue well into 2021, with DMC payments a possibility.” DMC, the main risk-protection tool for dairy farmers enacted in the 2018 farm bill, is designed to promote stable revenues and protect against financial catastrophe on some or all of a farmer’s milk.

Despite forecasts in late 2019 predicting that DMC assistance would not be needed by farmers in 2020, margins instead fell to their lowest levels in more than a decade in the first half of this year, triggering payments that kept many dairies afloat. NMPF says DMC coverage offers certainty in times of need, allowing for better financial planning and faster payment when necessary.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday announced that it was extending authorization for all schools to offer free meals for students through the 2020-21 school year. The move is intended to allow districts the flexibility in offering either in-person or off-site meal programs for students as the country continues to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

“The USDA has taken the lead on ensuring that our nation’s children have access to warm, nutritional meals, no matter their schooling situation or the family’s ability to pay,” said U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall, M.D. “As a father, grandfather and physician, I am committed to ensuring that our children, especially those unable to return to the classroom, are provided access to school lunches and provided an opportunity for access to at least one hot meal each day. Since the start of this pandemic, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has ensured that the USDA and its meal programs were responding to the needs of the schools and communities that it serves, and I applaud this next step in maintaining nutritional support for our most vulnerable.” 

 

“As our nation recovers and reopens, we want to ensure that children continue to receive the nutritious breakfasts and lunches they count on during the school year wherever they are, and however they are learning,” said Secretary Perdue. “We are grateful for the heroic efforts by our school food service professionals who are consistently serving healthy meals to kids during these trying times, and we know they need maximum flexibility right now. I appreciate President Trump for his unwavering commitment to ensuring kids receive the food they need during this pandemic and for supporting USDA in continuing to provide these unprecedented flexibilities.”  

This announcement builds on several previous program changes and flexibilities implemented by the USDA starting in March to ensure schools could continue to provide meals for their students. USDA previously extended child nutrition waivers through December 2020 based upon available funding at the time. The flexibilities extended today will allow schools and other local program operators to continue to leverage the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) to provide no cost meals to all children both on-site at schools or at meal sites in the community.

OMAHA (DTN) — USDA on Friday released its October Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports.

According to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman, Friday’s new U.S. ending stocks estimates were neutral for corn and wheat, bullish for soybeans, while the world ending stocks estimates were neutral for corn, bullish for soybeans and bearish for wheat.

Check this page throughout the morning for important highlights from the reports and commentary from our analysts on what the numbers mean.

You can also access the full reports here:

— Crop Production: https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

— World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE): http://www.usda.gov/…

SOYBEANS

USDA lowered soybean ending stocks for the 2020-21 marketing year to 290 million bushels, a 170 mb decline from September that was just slightly above the lowest pre-report estimate. USDA trimmed production forecasts by 45 mb, lowered beginning stocks by 52 mb and increased exports by 75 mb.

CORN

Old-crop corn ending stocks for 2019-20 were dropped 258 mb to 1.995 bb. With those lower beginning stocks, USDA also ended with lower corn ending stocks for 2020-21, which USDA dropped 336 mb to 2.167 bb. Production was pegged at 14.722 bb, down 178 mb from the September report.

Corn yields were adjusted ever so slightly to 178.4 bushels per acre, down from 178.5 million bushels in last month’s report. Harvest acres were also cut by 1 million acres down to 82.5 million acres.

For crop demand, USDA lowered feed and residual use by 50 mb to 6.475 bb. Ethanol demand was also lowered by 50 mb to 5.05 bb. Export demand was held at 2.325 bb, the same as September.

Total use was pegged at 14.575 bb, a 100 mb drop from the September report. With ending stocks at 2.167 bb, that dropped the stocks-to-use ratio for corn down to 14.8%, compared to 17% just a month ago.

The average farm price for the 2020-21 corn crop was pegged at $3.60 a bushel, a dime above last month’s estimate.

Globally, USDA also lowered beginning stocks 4.91 million metric tons (mmt) and lowered global production 3.56 billion bushels as well. Exports were lowered 1.56 mmt as well. Collectively, that dropped the global ending stocks down 6.34 mmt for September to 300.45 mmt.

LIVESTOCK

USDA increased expected beef supply projections to 27.2 billion pounds, an increase of 90 million pounds from September estimates. Total use of beef is expected to increase by 255 million pounds during the month of October to 27.7 billion pounds. Pork supplies are estimated to decrease 80 million pounds during the month of October to 28.2 billon pounds. Export expectations of pork decreased by 200 million pounds in the October estimate at 7.3 billion pounds, moving total use to 21.8 billion pounds, based on increased domestic disappearance in the market. Estimated steer prices increased to $108.71 per cwt compared to September projections of $107.3 per cwt. Barrow and gilt prices posted the most significant projected price increase moving to $43.25 per cwt in Octobers estimate from September’s target of $39.40 per cwt.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated six Nebraska counties as primary natural disaster areas. Producers in Colfax, Cuming, Dawes, Dodge, Stanton and Thurston counties who suffered losses caused by recent drought may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Producers in the contiguous counties listed below are also eligible to apply for emergency loans:

  • Nebraska: Box Butte, Burt, Butler, Dakota, Dixon, Douglas, Madison, Pierce, Platte, Saunders, Sheridan, Sioux, Washington and Wayne
  • Iowa: Monona and Woodbury
  • South Dakota: Fall River and Oglala Lakota

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is May 11, 2021.

FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish ProgramEmergency Conservation ProgramLivestock Forage Disaster ProgramLivestock Indemnity ProgramOperating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.

There was plenty to talk about coming off of the USDA report that sent corn, soybeans, and wheat sharply higher but also threw a wrench in cattle trade. Arlan is keeping an eye on weather in both South America and the Black Sea Region. He also breaks down cash trade in cattle and why hogs are still trying to sort out their latest report almost a week later.

 

The quarterly hogs and pigs report released by the USDA showed that in the third quarter of 2020 the US hog inventory was up 1% vs. year ago levels.

According to USDA the US inventory of all hogs and pigs on September 1, 2020 was 79.1 million head. This was up 1% from September 1, 2019, but down 1% from June 1, 2020. Breeding inventory, at 6.33 million head, was down 2% from last year, but up slightly from the previous quarter. Market hog inventory, at 72.8 million head, was up 1% percent from last year, but down 1% from last quarter. The June-August 2020 pig crop, at 35.1 million head, was down 3% from 2019. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.18 million head, down 3% from 2019. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50% of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was 11.04 for the June-August period, compared to 11.11 last year.

US hog producers intend to have 3.12 million sows farrow during the September-November 2020 quarter, down 5% from the actual farrowings during the same period one year earlier, and down 3% from the same period two years earlier. Intended farrowings for December 2020-February 2021, at 3.11 million sows, are down 1%
from the same period one year earlier, but up slightly from the same period two years earlier.

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, down 1% from the previous year.

Darrell Holaday, Country Futures, believes there is some discrepancy between the USDA data and the cash hog market. Cash hogs continue to move higher which doesn’t line up with a larger supply as the data indicates.

Friday at 2PM CT the USDA will release the September cattle on feed report. Given the dry conditions that have plagued much of the Midwest since early August, placements in the September report are expected to be high. That would be the result of yearling cattle coming off of pasture early. Along with calves being weaned early.

In general analyst also expect the total number of cattle on feed to be higher in September 2020 than September 2019. While cattle marketed will be below year ago levels. That could be due partially to fewer work days than the previous year. For the most part weekly cattle slaughter rates have started to equal year ago levels.

Watch for more on this website Friday afternoon when the data is released.

September Cattle on Feed Report Estimates

September Cattle on Feed September 2020 Est. Range of Estimates
On Feed 103.50% 102.2-103.9%
Placed 106.00% 100.8-110%
Marketed 96.70% 95.7-97.5%

 

The Department of Agriculture seeks public comments on recommended improvements to the Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program by November 5, 2020.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency contracted for an independent evaluation of the program to determine its effectiveness as a risk management tool for livestock producers. RMA Administrator Martin Barbre says, “We want to be sure that the recommendations RMA implements are good for the industry and good for livestock producers.”

In addition to the PRF program, the recommendations could be applied to other Rainfall Index programs such as beekeeping and Annual Forage. RMA will review all comments and determine what recommendations should be implemented for the 2022 crop year.

The independent evaluation includes several recommendations, including adjusting the County Base Value productivity range, better targeting of indemnities, and focusing on viable forage production areas. Other recommendations include focusing on coverage on risk-reducing intervals and taking an alternative approach to reducing frequent shallow losses.

After serving as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture since 2017, the man who led the American Soybean Association for 21 years is returning to familiar territory.

Stephen Censky is leaving USDA to return to the helm of the grower group as Chief Executive Officer. Censky will officially join ASA on November 9 and resumes his post after the departure of Ryan Findlay, who’s credited with helping the organization restructure internally and establish an independent government affairs office in Washington, D.C.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says, “There is no doubt that I personally, as well as the whole USDA family, will miss Steve’s experience, preparedness, and steady leadership. During his tenure, we accomplished a great deal in a short time, even in the face of serious challenges in American agriculture.” He adds that Censky’s roots are in agriculture and he’s one of the best and most professional public servants America has. Censky says, “It’s a privilege to return to ASA and represent our nation’s soybean growers.

ASA is in many ways home, and I’m excited about working with both new and familiar faces in St. Louis and D.C. and building on the great changes made since I was last there.”

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says it is modernizing egg product inspections.

This is the first effort to update the inspection methods since Congress passed the egg Products inspection Act in 1970. FSIS says the Egg Products Inspection Regulations final rule aligns the egg products regulations to be consistent with current requirements in the meat and poultry products inspection regulations. Under the new rule, federally inspected egg product plants are required to develop and implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points systems and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures.

FSIS will continue to test for Salmonella and Listeria in egg products. FSIS requires that plants produce egg products that meet food safety standards and are edible without additional preparation. Under the system, plants will be able to tailor a food safety system that best fits their facility and equipment.

In addition, FSIS will be assuming regulatory authority over egg substitutes and freeze-dried egg products, which pose the same risk as egg products and will be inspected in the same manner.