ASFMRA AgNews - October 15, 2019

By ASFMRA Press posted 10-10-2019 08:50


Snow, Freezing Temperatures Threaten Northern U.S. Corn, Soybeans

Plunging temperatures and heavy snow forecast for the upper U.S. Plains from Friday to Sunday are likely to damage unharvested corn and soybean crops in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa, meteorologists said on Wednesday.

The winter-like blast could dump up to 3 feet of snow in central and eastern North Dakota and send temperatures plunging into the 20s Fahrenheit in Nebraska, western Iowa, southwest Minnesota, and the Dakotas, said Kyle Tapley, senior agricultural meteorologist with space technology company Maxar.

Read the Full Story.

The Big Players in Agrifinance

A few years ago, an accountant I know told me about some of her clients. They were a couple of guys on a mission to assemble hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. farmland for a Canadian pension fund. That’s when I started to realize there’s a lot more going on in the world of agrifinance than you hear about. Following are some of the big players in the agri-finance universe.

The types of players include banks that specialize in agricultural loans, nonbank finance companies that do land and equipment loans, farmer-owned lending co-ops, REITs that own and manage farm real estate, private equity funds that buy cropland, sovereign wealth funds, and, of course, pension funds.

Read the Full Story.

Opinion: Despite Tough Ag Economy, Missouri Farmland Prices Stable

New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show Missouri farmland values holding steady despite the challenging agricultural economy.

The figures, compiled by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, found the average value of cropland was unchanged from 2018, at $3,490 per acre.

Read the Full Story.

More Trade Aid to Farmers? 'We'll See What Happens,' Say Trump

Ahead of high-level Sino-U.S. trade talks, President Trump said on Monday that “I would much prefer a big deal” that would end the trade war, while at the same time touting the billions of dollars that farmers are receiving to mitigate the impact of lost exports. “We’ll see what happens next year,” said the president. “Maybe by then we’ll have it straightened out.”

Read the Full Story.

How To Address Fertility Concerns from 2019 Flooding

John Wilson, extension educator in Burt County, Nebraska, and Certified Crop Adviser, shared his experiences in recovering from the 2011 flooding in Nebraska to assist those who are bringing flooded ground from this year back into production in 2020.

“We had more ground under water than any other in the state,” he says regarding Burt County in 2011.

In the webinar, Farming After The Flood, Wilson provided details from a 2012 study he helped conduct that included corn and soybeans to learn in an agronomic perspective what role the flooding from the previous year played in the following crop year.

Read the Full Story.

World’s First Fully Autonomous Farm by 2025?

A place to farm today and forge the future? A home to test technology designed to address the deepest pain points in agriculture? Welcome to the Grand Farm and its moonshot goal to become the world’s first fully autonomous agriculture operation by 2025.

Far beyond full autonomy, the Grand Farm aims to be a laboratory for entrepreneurs and ag tech companies—a development and testing ground for the future of every facet of farm technology. Located on 40 acres south of Fargo, N.D., the project will begin facility construction and technology testing in 2020.

Read the Full Story.

John Phipps: MFP Payments' Impact on Farmland Values

By now quite a few of us have received half of the proposed 2019 MFP payments – in my county the rate was $40/acre for that payment. This is not trivial, but it is hard to compare to unrealized or even imagined prices that might have occurred without the tariff actions. The timing is helpful for farmers squeezing the last drops from lines of credit, but it also could be messing with our heads now that rent negotiation season is in full swing.

Watch the Video.

FSA Releases 2018/2019 ARC County Payment Rates

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has posted county payment rates for 2018/2019 Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) County payments that are currently being paid to producers across the country. You can view the Excel spreadsheet here. These are the last payments of the 2014 farm bill.

The 2018/2019 Price Loss Coverage (PLC) national payment rates are also final and available for many major field crops. You can view them here.

RMA Updates Prevent Plant FAQ

The Risk Management Agency (RMA) updated its Prevent Plant FAQ to include answers to questions regarding the prevented planting disaster payment that was previously announced. Eligibility, amount of payment, payment limit application, and the 2-year purchase requirement are explained in more detail in the updated FAQ section. Approved Insurance Providers will begin making the disaster payments to their insureds starting this week after RMA provides the necessary data to process the payments.

Administration Announces RFS Agreement

The Administration announced an agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and USDA on how to move forward under the Renewable Fuels Standard. The EPA and USDA will take the following actions under the agreement:

  • In a forthcoming supplemental notice building off the recently proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Standards and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2021, EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020.
    • EPA will seek comment on actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning in 2020, and that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel is met. This will include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries.
    • EPA intends to take final action on this front later this year.
    • In the most recent compliance year, EPA granted 31 small refinery exemptions.
  • Building on the President’s earlier decision to allow year-round sales of E15, EPA will initiate a rulemaking process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15.
  • EPA will continue to evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform.
  • USDA will seek opportunities through the budget process to consider infrastructure projects to facilitate higher biofuel blends.
  • The Administration will continue to work to address ethanol and biodiesel trade issues.

Congressional reaction was mixed to the announcement. Republicans, including Senators Grassley (R-IA), Ernst (R-IA), and Hoeven (R-ND) generally lauded the announcement as a positive step forward. Democrats, including House Agriculture Committee Chairman Peterson, Representatives Bustos and Loebsack (D-IA) generally commented that the announcement lacks specifics and question whether it will be ultimately beneficial for the ethanol industry and corn producers. The American Petroleum Institute issued a statement expressing concern.