ASFMRA AgNews - July 7, 2020

By ASFMRA Press posted 07-06-2020 08:04


Plummeting Corn and Soybean Prices for Indiana Farmers

Currently, corn is priced at around $3.41 per bushel and soybeans are priced at around $8.79 per bushel. At this time last year, corn prices were roughly $4.50 per bushel and soybeans could be sold for closer to $9 per bushel. Prices have been inching up slowly in recent months, but experts say it's hard to predict future trends, especially as the patterns of the coronavirus itself is hard to nail down.

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How the Wealthy are Replacing Third- and Fourth-Generation Farmers

Many of the farmers in Heber City were aging, and selling their land meant they could retire. Most encouraged their kids to go into another business — small farm operations have been struggling for years now. The next generation is not interested in farming, or they can’t afford to pay the inheritance tax and decide to sell.

But as each acre of farmland was sold and developed, it became even more difficult for those left to eke out a living.

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Lessons from a Growing Population: Female Farmers

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s latest census, women now make up 36 percent of all reported U.S. farmers — a 27 percent increase from 2012.

“Just take a look around our farmers’ market,” said Noey Turk of Yes Yes Nursery. “It’s probably the most diverse and balanced group of farmers you’ll ever encounter, with some of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met.”

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Carbon Farming: Source of Profit, or Pipe Dream?

There’s an ongoing debate among environmentalists and policymakers about whether the best strategy going forward is to continue to give farmers money to plant the kinds of crops and use the techniques we know lead to healthier soils, or to create a marketplace and measure the amount of carbon farmers sequester and turn it into tradable credits. The latter strategy, capitalists argue, might lead to more rapid adoption.

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$300M Wind Farm Rising in Ohio

About 100 farmers and property owners hosting the turbines figure to get between $12,000 and $15,000 a year for the life of the project, and more than $1 million a year in total payments, for giving up for what amounts to about a half-acre to an acre of land, and for putting up with noise from the turbines and what some consider an eyesore.

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House Releases FY 2021 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations Subcommittee for Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies will meet at 6 pm on July 6th to mark-up its version of the FY 2021 spending bill to fund USDA, FDA and other agencies. The subcommittee released its bill prior to the mark-up. The bill would provide the FPAC Business Center with $232.194 million for salaries and expenses, compared to the FY 2020 level of $203.877 million. The FSA salaries and expenses (S&E) would receive $1.460 billion compared to $1.413 billion in FY 2020. The RMA S&E) for FY 2021 would be $59.374 million compared to $58.361 million in FY 2020 and the NRCS would receive $833.785 million compared to $829.628 million. There are no underlying poison pill amendments to farm, crop insurance or conservation programs in the draft bill.

FCIC Board Approves LRP Subsidy Changes for 2021

The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation's Board of Directors (Board) approved revisions to the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) plan of insurance for Feeder Cattle, Fed Cattle, and Swine, under section 508(h) of the Federal Crop Insurance Act, on May 21, 2020 and announced the changes last week.

The following revisions are applicable for the 2021 and succeeding crop years:
  • Allow premium to be paid at the end of the endorsement period
  • Increase premium subsidy. Premium subsidy will increase based on the coverage selected by the livestock producer as outlined in the Product Management Bulletin PM-20-042.

FSA Allows On-Line CFAP Applications

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will now accept applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) through an online portal, expanding the options available to producers to apply for this program, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the portal, producers with secure USDA login credentials—known as eAuthentication—can certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center. Producers who do not have an eAuthentication account can learn more and begin the enrollment process at Currently, the digital application is only available to sole proprietors or single-member business entities.

As of last Monday CFAP totaled just over $4 billion in payments to slightly over 250,000 producers.

SBA Updates PPP Report, Congress Extends Program

The Small Business Administration provided an updated Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Report. Almost $130 billion remains available under the PPP. As of June 12, 4.6 million loans totaling more than $512 billion have been made. Of that amount, 130,512 loans totaling more than $7.6 billion in the “Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting” category, or 1.49% have been made.

Last week Congress passed a bill to extend the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from June 30 to August 8. The program has close to $130 billion in unspent funds. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.