Ag News

ASFMRA AgNews - May 14, 2019

By ASFMRA Press posted 05-13-2019 10:15


Land Values in Florida Rock Solid

In March, Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate hosted its annual Lay of the Land Conference in Orlando. Each year during the conference, Dean Saunders, founder of the Lakeland-based company, releases his “Lay of the Land Report,” which provides property values based upon verified sales for the previous year. Florida’s land market values remained strong in 2018, bolstered by the nearly 1,000 people moving into the state daily and an unemployment rate below 4%.

He noted the strong economy and no state income tax is a big draw.

People want jobs, water, and sunshine. “The rising tide of our growing population floats all boats,” Saunders said. “All sectors [of property value] are doing pretty well.”

Where is Average Property Value Going?

Grain Shipping Troubles on the Rivers Run Deep

As the Mississippi River levels remain high and barge traffic slows, the impacts on grain trade continue to build.

Greg Lumsden, Cargill’s MarketGuide product line leader, says that farmers will be having delays with grain delivery.

Therefore, it’s going to be real important for farmers to be proactive and communicate well with their grain company or local elevator.

“All of us are in this together and it’s a huge mess,” Lumsden says.

Record Levels Seen this Year on the Mississippi River.

Survey Highlights Negative Trend in Worker Availability

The 100-year-old California Farm Bureau Federation provides support for 2.5 million jobs that represent $56 billion in crop value and has been doing so for lots of years, aiming to improve the well-being and quality of life for the state's farmers and ranchers.

They’ve had their hands full in that mission, even more so of late. This was evident in their recently-released 2019 survey of over a thousand members of the farm and ranch industry, a broad spectrum across most all counties and commodities, that showed a continuing problem in employee shortages.

Read the Survey Results.

House Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing: “Reviewing the State of the Farm Economy”

On Thursday, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing titled, “Reviewing the State of the Farm Economy.” Today’s updates provides a brief recap of some of the issues that were discussed at the Subcommittee meeting.

In his opening remarks at the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Filemon Vela (D, Tex.) stated that, “Every one of us seated up here has heard from farmers in our districts about the bad farm economy. Commodity prices are low, input costs are rising, and financial pressure is mounting on farmers across the country.”

Read the Meeting Recap.

House Ag Hearing: Crop Insurance Has Limits, We Need Disaster Aid

A pending disaster aid bill dominated talk at a House agriculture subcommittee hearing on the farm economy Thursday. Farmers told the panel the aid package, covering natural disaster damage from 2017 through this spring’s flooding, is needed because of holes in crop insurance and other existing farm protection programs.

Of the $17 billion package which is expected to be considered by the House this week, $3 billion is allotted to help farmers throughout the country who suffered loss from hurricanes, wildfires, droughts and floods. Unfortunately, the damage to farms, orchards and fisheries exceeds that $3 billion.

See the Argument for More Aid.

China to Impose Tariffs on U.S. Goods Despite Trump Warning

China said on Monday it would impose higher tariffs on a range of U.S. goods, striking back in its trade war with Washington shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump warned it not to retaliate.

China's finance ministry said it plans to set import tariffs ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent on 5,140 U.S. products on a target list worth about $60 billion. It said the tariffs will take effect on June 1.

The announcement came less than two hours after Trump warned Beijing not to retaliate after China said it "will never surrender to external pressure."

Are Tariffs Coming?

U.S. Planning to Support Farmers Aid China Trade Spat-Agriculture Secretary

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Friday that President Donald Trump had asked him to create a plan to help American farmers cope with the heavy impact of the U.S.-China trade war on agriculture.

A new aid program would be the second round of assistance for farmers, after the Department of Agriculture's $12 billion plan last year to compensate for lower prices for farm goods and lost sales stemming from trade disputes with China and other nations.

"While China may backtrack, @POTUS is steadfast in his support for U.S. farmers and directed @USDA to work on a plan quickly," Perdue said on Twitter on Friday.

How Will US Help Farmers?