Tag Archives: USDA

Nebraska – For the month of March 2019, topsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 2 short, 47 adequate, and 51 surplus, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 4 short, 62 adequate, and 34 surplus.

Field Crops Report: Winter wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 34 fair, 53 good, and 8 excellent.

Kansas – For the week ending March 24, 2019, there were 2.3 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 1 short, 64 adequate, and 35 surplus.

Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 1 short, 72 adequate, and 27 surplus.

Field Crops Report: Winter wheat condition rated 3 percent very poor, 8 poor, 37 fair, 45 good, and 7 excellent.

Weekly reports will begin April 1st for the 2019 season.

Dairy producers who participated in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program now can participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy for 2018 coverage.

The Department of Agriculture announced the eligibility last week. Producers enrolled in 2018 LGM-Dairy, administered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency under 2014 Farm Bill, were ineligible for coverage under MPP-Dairy, a safety net program available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency. FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says changes in the 2018 Farm Bill “includes the ability for producers with LGM coverage to retroactively enroll in MPP-Dairy for 2018.”

The MPP-Dairy program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producers in a dairy operation. LGM-Dairy is an insurance product that provides protection when feed costs rise, or milk prices drop. This retroactive sign-up is only for dairy producers with 2018 LGM coverage who produced and marketed milk in 2018 but did not obtain full year MPP-Dairy coverage.

LINCOLN, NE – As the flood water recedes and snow melts, farmers and ranchers are getting a better look at the amount of damage their operations have suffered from last week’s extreme weather events.

One of the more significant losses experienced by landowners has been livestock death. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has assistance available to help landowners cope with the aftermath of livestock death.

Through NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program, commonly referred to as EQIP, farmers and ranchers can apply for assistance to properly dispose of dead livestock. Applications are being accepted now through July 1, 2019.

NRCS State Conservationist Craig Derickson said, “This was an unprecedented and devastating event for Nebraska. Some ranchers are dealing with hundreds of dead animals. This is not only damaging to their bottom-line, but if these animals are not disposed of properly, there could be negative impacts to water quality and other natural resources. NRCS conservationists are available to provide technical and financial assistance to help producers dispose of livestock carcasses in a safe manner.”

Producers who have not already disposed of livestock can apply for EQIP now. Producers can then get a waiver to allow them to begin working to dispose of deceased livestock before having an approved EQIP contract.

“Typically, producers cannot begin working on an EQIP practice before their EQIP contract has been approved. But since this situation is so time-critical, NRCS is encouraging producers to sign up for EQIP first, then submit a waiver to go ahead and begin animal disposal prior to having their EQIP contract approved,” Derickson said.

Producers in the area who suffered other damages due to the blizzard and flooding – such as damaged fencing, water sources, or windbreaks – may also seek assistance from NRCS through general EQIP funding. The sign-up period for general EQIP is continuous and has no cut off application date.

Derickson said, “NRCS is committed to helping producers get back on their feet after these extreme weather events while also ensuring Nebraska’s natural environment remains healthy and productive.”

For more information about the programs and assistance available from NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center orwww.ne.nrcs.usda.gov.

Butterball, LLC, a Mount Olive, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Schwarzengrund, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The prepacked raw ground turkey was produced on July 7, 2018. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]

  • 48-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (85% LEAN/15% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188, and UPC codes 22655-71555 or 22655-71557 represented on the label.
  • 48-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (93% LEAN/7% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 22655-71556 represented on the label.
  • 16-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (85% LEAN/15% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 22655-71546 represented on the label.
  • 16-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (93% LEAN/7% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC codes 22655-71547 or 22655-71561 represented on the label
  • 48-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “Kroger GROUND TURKEY FRESH 85% LEAN – 15% FAT” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188, and UPC code 111141097993 represented on the label.
  • 48-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “FOOD LION 15% fat ground turkey with natural flavorings” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 3582609294 represented on the label.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-7345” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide.

The problem was discovered by FSIS and public health partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, who had been investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Schwarzengrund illnesses involving 5 case-patients from 2 states.  Wisconsin collected three intact Butterball brand ground turkey samples from a residence where 4 of the case-patients live.  The case-patients and ground turkey Salmonella Schwarzengrund isolates are closely related, genetically.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. In some persons, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

(Washington, DC) – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture decision to put Lincoln on the short list for relocation of two critical USDA programs, the National Institute for Food and Agriculture and the Economic Research Service.

“Nebraska is well positioned to host these essential federal programs, given our ag history and long commitment to agricultural research and innovation. I also believe that Nebraska has the values to superbly lead an innovative partnership for America’s universities, other states, and farm programs.”

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is a Member of the House Appropriations Committee and is the Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s Feb. 26 announcement of a June 17 signup start for the new Dairy Margin Coverage program has galvanized NMPF efforts to aid members in understanding the new plan as farmers begin to decide how to best incorporate much-needed – and much-improved — assistance into business planning.

In hearings before the House and Senate agriculture committees, Secretary Perdue set the following key dates for dairy-program implementation:

  • March 18 – Producers locked out of the Margin Protection Program last year because they were already enrolled in Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy policies may begin to retroactively enroll in Margin Protection Program coverage for 2018, pursuant to the program as modified last year by the Bipartisan Budget Act.
  • April 15 – Producers will have access to an updated online decision tool to help evaluate their options under the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program, the successor to the Margin Protection Program.
  • April 30 – Producers will be able to receive to partial refunds of Margin Protection Program premiums pursuant to a farm-bill provision allowing the payback.  Secretary Perdue noted that this provision is happening later than hoped; for the first two years of MPP, producer premium and payment information was recorded by hand rather than electronically, thus creating a need to first re-enter that information electronically.
  • June 17 – DMC signup scheduled to begin.
  • July 8 –DMC payments scheduled to begin, retroactive to Jan. 1.

 

Perdue and top USDA officials, at NMPF’s urging, have prioritized DMC implementation as part of the farm bill – and indeed, dairy signups rules will be in place before those of crop programs such as the ARC and PLC programs.

NMPF is also engaging key government leaders who have oversight over the process. When the government shutdown ended in late January, NMPF sent a letter to Secretary Perdue urging USDA to quickly open DMC sign-up while allowing producers adequate time for decisions. NMPF also asked the department to conduct aggressive outreach to producers across the country, using multiple mediums to target not only those who had signed up for the previous program, but also those who had not.

NMPF Outlines Dairy-Program Priorities

Those efforts complement NMPF’s own efforts, which include a farm bill resources page on its website and presentations on the importance of the program before producer groups and farm organizations.

NMPF is urging USDA to implement the DMC in a responsive, farmer-friendly manner. This includes:

  • Providing producers with their net premium refunds under the old Margin Protection Program in advance of the DMC sign-up, which will be important in many cases to producers’ sign-up decisions for the future.
  • Showing significant flexibility to producers who have made changes to their production history due to changes in the structure of their operations, especially due to intergenerational farm transfers or cases where farmers have exited the business and later reconstituted as new entities.
  • Allowing producers to pay their premiums in installments, whether they select annual enrollment or the five-year enrollment option.
  • Allocating funding to updating the decision tool and other related producer education efforts.
  • Incorporating high-quality alfalfa hay costs now required of the National Agricultural Statistics Service into the DMC feed cost formula to ensure that the formula more accurately reflects producer costs.
  • Urging USDA to ensure that the Farm Service Agency, which runs DMC, and the Risk Management Agency, which runs the Livestock Gross Margin and Dairy-Revenue Protection programs, are fully coordinated and informed on this point so that producers do not face any hurdles in signing up for both programs – an option now available under the new farm bill — should they choose to.

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2019 – USDA Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that on Thursday, March 14, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. EDT, USDA Rural Development will conduct a listening session webinar to listen to questions and comments from the partners, stakeholders and customers who will be affected by the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.

Topics will include new tools in the 2018 Farm Bill to increase access to rural broadband e-Connectivity, expanding credit to rural communities, and other key provisions relating to USDA Rural Development programs.

Registration is required to participate. A registration link can be found at www.rd.usda.gov/about-rd/farm-bill. The deadline for registration is 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday, March 13.

Interested parties unable to participate in the listening session may submit comments on the 2018 Farm Bill to USDA Rural Development through March 30, 2019, via email to RD.Innovation@osec.usda.gov.

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the January 2019 income over feed cost margin was $7.99 per hundredweight, triggering the first payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new but yet-to-be established Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers that was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced last week that sign up for DMC will open by mid-June of this year.  At the time of sign up, producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $8.00 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for January 2019.

For example, a dairy operation with an established production history of 3 million pounds (30,000 cwt.) that elects the $9.50 coverage level for 50 percent of its production could potentially be eligible to receive $1,887.50.

Sample calculation:
$9.50 – $7.99 margin = $1.51 difference
$1.51 times 50 percent of production times 2,500 cwt. (30,000 cwt./12) = $1,887.50

The calculated premium for coverage at $9.50 on 50 percent of a 3-million-pound production history for this example would be $1,650.

Sample calculation:
3,000,000 times 50 percent = 1,500,000/100 = 15,000 cwt. times 0.150 premium fee = $1,650

Operations making a one-time election to participate in DMC through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on their premium for the existing margin coverage rates.

“Congress created the Dairy Margin Coverage program to provide an important financial safety net for dairy producers, helping them weather shifting milk and feed prices,” FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. “This program builds on the previous Margin Protection Program for Dairy, carrying forward many of the program upgrades made last year based on feedback from producers. We’re working diligently to implement the DMC program and other FSA programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.”

Additional details about DMC and other FSA farm bill program changes can be found at farmers.gov/farmbill.

The Department of Agriculture has announced additional steps to keep African swine fever from entering the United States, even as the disease spreads internationally.

The steps strengthen the protections announced last fall after the deadly swine disease reached China. USDA says the goal remains to protect our nation’s swine industry from the disease. The new measures include training additional beagle teams with Customs and Broder Patrol to identify pork products, expand screening of arriving products into the United States, increase inspection of garage feeding facilities, develop reliable testing procedures for the virus in grains and feeds, and heighten producer awareness.

USDA says the steps are in continued cooperation with Canada and Mexico on a North American coordinated approach to ASF defense and response. ASF is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease affecting both domestic and wild pigs in all age groups. It is spread by contact with the body fluids of infected animals. It can also be spread by ticks that feed on infected animals.

A new forecast from the Department of Agriculture predicts net farm income will increase ten percent in 2019. The forecast from the USDA Economic Research Service predicts net farm income will increase $6.3 billion in 2019 to $69.4 billion, following a 16 percent decline in 2018.

Meanwhile, net cash farm income is forecast to increase $4.3 billion, or 4.7 percent, to $95.7 billion. In inflation-adjusted 2019 dollars, net farm income is forecast to increase $5.2 billion, and net cash farm income is forecast to increase $2.7 billion. Overall, farm cash receipts are forecast to increase $8.6 billion to $381.5 billion in 2019. Crop cash receipts are forecast to be $201.7 billion in 2019, an increase of $4.0 billion.

Total animal and animal product receipts are expected to increase $4.6 billion. Receipts for milk, cattle/calves, corn, and fruits/nuts are forecast to increase largely due to expected higher prices for those commodities.