ASFMRA AgNews - Vol 13. Issue XLV [October 23, 2018]

By ASFMRA Press posted 26 days ago

  

Where Artificial Intelligence Could Take Agriculture

Typically, when AI is brought up around farmers, the conversation turns to how many brood cows they covered this year for breeding. In this article, AI refers to artificial intelligence.

The ability to capture data on the farm has never been more readily available than it is today. Many questions about how to use and implement data are daunting and prevent producers from moving beyond the comfort of basic yield monitors and autosteer.

To make the leap into data management less daunting, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and farm management information system groups have shifted their attention toward taking some of the burden out of making data-based decisions by using machine learning algorithms.

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Average U.S. Farm Real Estate Value Remains Near 2015 Historic High

Farm real estate (including land and the structures on the land) generally accounts for over 80 percent of U.S. farm sector assets, and often serves as collateral for farm loans.

The value of U.S. farm real estate is thus a critical barometer of farm financial performance.

Farm real estate (including land and the structures on the land) generally accounts for over 80 percent of U.S. farm sector assets, and often serves as collateral for farm loans.

The value of U.S. farm real estate is thus a critical barometer of farm financial performance.

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Land Value Trends Across the U.S.: Utah and Idaho

In sunny dry Utah and southeastern Idaho, land prices are holding firm, even in light of one of the most severe droughts in the state’s history. Wild land fires have destroyed substantial amounts of fall and winter grazing, raising prices on alfalfa hay significantly. Further hay prices are high due to reduced production from the drought. This has maintained confidence in firm land prices and anticipated farm income for 2018 and 2019 due to decreasing hay inventories. The remainder of crop income continues to be low along with depressed dairy income which is pressuring land prices, but so far no significant decrease is apparent.

Further, there is no increase either due to low farm returns. Southeastern Idaho has not experienced the drought as Utah has, so crop yields are near or at record levels for small grains and potatoes. Recent and new construction in dairy processing facilities along with new potato plant expansion in the Magic Valley of Idaho has kept land prices firm in that region. Eastern Idaho land prices also remain firm in spite of huge grain and potato yields.

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ARC, PLC and CRP Checks in the Mail

More than $4.8 billion in payments are being made, starting this month, to agricultural producers through the Farm Service Agency’s Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage and Conservation Reserve programs. Approximately $3 billion in payments will be made under the ARC and PLC programs for the 2017 crop year, and approximately $1.8 billion in annual rental payments under CRP for 2018.

“Despite a temporary lapse of Farm Bill authorities, farmers and ranchers can rest assured that USDA continues to work within the letter of the law to deliver much needed farm safety net, conservation, disaster recovery, and trade assistance program payments,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and make up a portion of the agricultural safety net to producers when they experience a substantial drop in revenue or prices for their covered commodities.

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CoBank Report Expects Limited Farm Price Improvements

The latest Quarterly Rural Economic Review from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division indicates any significant farm price improvements over last year’s prices will be limited, particularly with record U.S. yields for many of the major crop commodities adding to available supply levels. Meanwhile, the animal protein and dairy sectors continue to benefit from strong domestic demand and the promise of better access to Mexico and Canada, but will need more export market growth to absorb their current pace of output and expansion.

“Agricultural markets are being squeezed as prices remain weak,” said Dan Kowalski, vice president of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. “While recently negotiated trade deals show some upside for agriculture, global demand for output from the U.S. agriculture sector is being outpaced by current U.S. production.”

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Trade Talks between EU and U.S. Remain Tense

The European Union and U.S. are reviewing their trade ties, spurred by U.S. accusations that the bloc is duping American businesses. But don’t expect a complete overhaul of their more than $1 trillion commercial relationship anytime soon.

Even though President Donald Trump notified Congress Oct. 16 that the U.S. intends to begin official trade talks with the 28-nation EU, formal negotiations are yet to get underway and quarreling between the two sides signals an arduous process lays ahead.

The Trump administration in June hit the EU with steel and aluminum tariffs, prompting rapid retaliation from Brussels against iconic American products like bourbon whiskey and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

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Colorado YPN Group

Thanks to the generous support of Bayer CropScience, the Colorado Chapter Young Professionals Network (YPN) members, along with a few potential members, were able to enjoy a fun evening at Topgolf in Centennial, CO.  The funds provided covered the cost of beverages and golf.  Everyone had been looking forward to the event and they certainly weren't disappointed. Even the older chapter members at the meeting were jealous they could not attend. Hopefully this successful event will help the Colorado Chapter's Young Professionals Network to grow!

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