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Shortage of sugar could see imports from Mexico

The sugar market could be facing a shortage next year, as an early freeze and wetter conditions than usual have ruined some of this year’s crop.  On Friday, Nov. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it fully intends to take appropriate actions to ensure an adequate supply of s...

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Shortage of sugar could see imports from Mexico

The sugar market could be facing a shortage next year, as an early freeze and wetter conditions than usual have ruined some of this year’s crop.  On Friday, Nov. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it fully intends to take appropriate actions to ensure an adequate supply of s...

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Senator Fischer Leads Ag State Colleagues in Calling on EPA to Provide Clarity on Biogenic Carbon Emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, led 17 of her colleagues from agriculture states in signing a bipartisan letter calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to provide clarity on the regulatory tre...

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Missouri collecting containers found floating in floodwaters

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds of containers — many carrying hazardous materials — have floated into Missouri since flooding in the upper Missouri River basin during the spring. Missouri Department of Natural Resources officials say the agency collected more than 740 containers this yea...

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Rural Radio Network launches weekly agriculture newsletter

Lincoln, Nebr. – The Rural Radio Network, a division of the Nebraska Rural Radio Association, today announced the launch of a new weekly digital newsletter. Each week, subscribers will receive the latest agriculture news, market information and weather forecasts, helping them make informed deci...

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Remains found in Nebraska linked to Missouri killings

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — Human remains discovered in a Nebraska stock trailer appear to be from one of two Wisconsin brothers who were fatally shot by a Missouri farmer, authorities said Monday. The Lincoln County sheriff’s office in North Platte, Nebraska, announced that a local rancher fou...

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Crops

The Tuesday Fontanelle Final Bell with Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics

Nice to have green on the screen even with bad trade news.  Weekly crop progress report. Kansas Wheat condition.    the corn market analysis going into next week & beyond. Lower U.S. dollar, Global plantings.  Propane shortages continue with the need for harvest dry down.  Thoughts of exports.  Cattle is hitting some lofty levels.  Holiday pressure begins.

Shortage of sugar could see imports from Mexico

The sugar market could be facing a shortage next year, as an early freeze and wetter conditions than usual have ruined some of this year’s crop.  On Friday, Nov. 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it fully intends to take appropriate actions to ensure an adequate supply of sugar to the U.S. market. “We’ve had a horrible harvest,” said Luther Markwart, executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. “We’re going to leave over 140,000 acres of sugar beets in the ground, which to put it into perspective is a field about a mile wide from Denver to Scottsbluff.” In Scottsbluff, Kendall Busch, president of the Nebraska Sugarbeet Growers Association said, the Western Sugar Factory is still harvesting sugar beets and processing. Still, many of the other sugar factories, such as American Crystal Sugar and Minn-Dak Farmer’s Cooperative, are done with harvest.  In the U.S., 85 percent of the sugar supply is homegrown in sugar beets and sugar cane, the other 15 percent comes from imports.  “Mexico will get the first chance to fill any shortages,” Busch said.  If Mexico can’t fill the shortage, then the USDA will go to the world market. Markwart is quick to add, though, that the U.S. has plenty of sugar since last year there was an oversupply of sugar stock. “So, there is plenty of sugar on hand since September, and we are now harvesting our beet and cane crop. We are making it, delivering a little bit to customers and storing it,” he said.  A short crop will mean in July or August, the sugar market will become tight, and the U.S. will probably need some sugar imported. “(The USDA) needs to make sure they bring the right amount, and not to oversupply the market. Our growers are hurting with a damaged crop year, and the last thing they need is an oversupplied market and a depressed price,” Markwart said.  Both Busch and Markwart agree the USDA needs to look at the numbers and balance them correctly. In a Nov. 15, release the USDA noted it will make a decision this month but could take up to Dec. 10. Busch says, it's good the department is being cautious as some sugar has yet to come in In November, the WASDE Report said the U.S. sugar production projection declined by 572,000 short tons raw value from the previous month. USDA will be addressing options soon to stabilize U.S. sugar supplies for the domestic market, avoid forfeitures and prevent or correct market disruptions.  

USSEC working to grow soybean export markets, ASF vaccine investigation in China - Ag News Update (11/19/19)

Good Tuesday Morning! Rural Radio Network's Alex Voichoski has the morning agriculture news update. Stories: U.S. Soybean Export Council working to create new export markets (Comments from Ed Beaman) China launches an investigation into illegal ASF vaccines   For agriculture news delivered to your inbox, subscribe to the Rural Radio Network newsletter!     

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Livestock

The Tuesday Fontanelle Final Bell with Mike Zuzolo of Global Commodity Analytics

Nice to have green on the screen even with bad trade news.  Weekly crop progress report. Kansas Wheat condition.    the corn market analysis going into next week & beyond. Lower U.S. dollar, Global plantings.  Propane shortages continue with the need for harvest dry down.  Thoughts of exports.  Cattle is hitting some lofty levels.  Holiday pressure begins.

Senator Fischer Leads Ag State Colleagues in Calling on EPA to Provide Clarity on Biogenic Carbon Emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, led 17 of her colleagues from agriculture states in signing a bipartisan letter calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to provide clarity on the regulatory treatment of biogenic carbon emissions produced from feedstocks such as corn and soybeans. This clarity will remove an obstacle to investment in rural America. “Rural communities in our states see the economic and environmental potential that a growing U.S. bioeconomy offers. EPA’s treatment of biogenic carbon emissions from agricultural processing facilities, however, is a significant barrier to that growth. We have concerns that regulatory uncertainty is stalling significant potential investment in rural America. That investment would create jobs and draw resources to create new low-carbon products and materials,” the letter reads. Multiple scientific studies have stated that the carbon dioxide absorbed during growth and photosynthesis by renewable agricultural feedstocks is more or less equal to the carbon dioxide released during the processing, fermentation, or combustion of those same feedstocks within a one-year cycle. In other words, biogenic carbon emissions from such facilities are not contributing to long-term increases in atmospheric greenhouse gasses. Read the full letter here. Signatories include Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).

Remains found in Nebraska linked to Missouri killings

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (AP) — Human remains discovered in a Nebraska stock trailer appear to be from one of two Wisconsin brothers who were fatally shot by a Missouri farmer, authorities said Monday. The Lincoln County sheriff’s office in North Platte, Nebraska, announced that a local rancher found the remains mixed with dirt in a plastic tub inside the trailer. “We believe it probably is one of the brothers,” said Roland Kramer, the department’s chief deputy. The rancher had just bought the trailer through an online ad from a seller in Missouri, Kramer said. He added that Lincoln County officials seized the trailer for possible use as evidence and would work with Missouri authorities as requested. Garland Nelson, 25, of Braymer, Missouri, is accused of fatally shooting 35-year-old Nick Diemel and 24-year-old Justin Diemel, of Shawano County, Wisconsin, then burning their bodies and dumping them in a manure pile. Jack Diemel, the brothers’ father, said the two had traveled to Nelson’s farm to collect on a $250,000 debt, according to court records. The father reported his sons missing July 21 after they failed to show up for a flight home to Milwaukee and did not answer their phones.  According to a probable cause statement, Nelson shot the brothers, put their bodies in 55-gallon barrels and used a skid loader to move them one at a time from a barn to a pasture. There, he allegedly burned them using diesel fuel and an unknown liquid. Nelson told investigators he then dumped the remains on a manure pile and hid the barrels elsewhere on his property, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of Kansas City, Missouri.

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Technology

Panel to discuss ag production needed to meet global demands

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Panelists at a discussion in Lincoln will cover strategies for increasing agricultural production to meet global demand. The discussion is part of the Heuermann Lecture series sponsored by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 25 at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Drive. The discussion will be followed by a showing of a documentary film, “Follow the Water.” Experts say ag production must increase more than 70% by 2050 to meet the worldwide demand for food, fuel, feed and fiber.

Farmers Using Less Water to Irrigate

The 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey results are out this week, showing that over 231,400 farms irrigated 55.9 million acres. That included 83.4 million acre-feet of water in the United States. By way of comparison, the 2013 survey showed there were just over 229,230 farms that irrigated 55.3 million acres, which included 88.5 million acre-feet of water. The results show that even though the number of farms irrigating, and the amount of land increased slightly over those five years, the total amount of water used to irrigate land actually declined. The 83.4 million acre-feet of water used to irrigate land in 2018 represent a 5.8 percent drop from 2013. The average acre-feet applied to land was 1.5, which is lower than the 1.6 in 2013. An acre-foot is the amount of water required to cover one acre to a depth of one foot. The largest portion of irrigated farmland acres in the U.S. was dedicated to cropland, including grains and oilseeds, vegetables, nurseries, greenhouses, as well as hay crops. The survey also shows that more acres are irrigated with sprinkler systems than with gravity irrigation.

AEM releases October 2019 ag equipment sales numbers

October 2019 saw increases in U.S. sales of self-propelled combines while both 4-wheel-drive tractors and 2-wheel-drive tractor sales fell modestly compared to October of last year, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). U.S. total farm tractor sales decreased 3.5 percent in October compared to last year while U.S. October self-propelled combine sales grew 8.1 percent. Total U.S. sales of 2-wheel-drive tractors in October decreased 3.5 percent compared to October last year: under 40 HP 2-wheel-drive tractors decreased 3.9 percent, and sales of 40-100 HP tractors fell 4.9 percent, while sales of 100-plus HP tractors grew 1.9 percent.  Total October U.S. 4-wheel drive tractor sales notched down 2.8 percent. For Canada, October 4-wheel-drive tractor sales fell 51 percent (from 102 to 50 units sold year-over-year) and self-propelled combine sales decreased 9.2 percent. October 2-wheel-drive tractor Canadian sales were mixed (11.6 percent decrease for under 40 HP, 6.1 percent increase for 40-100 HP, and 18.8 percent decrease for 100-plus HP). “This month’s numbers show cause for caution in the Ag sector,” said Curt Blades, senior vice president of Ag Services at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “We’re hoping a return to stability in global trade policies and practices occurs soon in order to ease uncertainty for North American farmers, and ultimately, Agricultural equipment manufacturers.” The full reports can be found in the Market Data section of the AEM website under Ag Tractor and Combine Reports. U.S.:  https://www.aem.org/market-data/statistics/us-ag-tractor-and-combine-reports/ Canada:  https://www.aem.org/market-data/statistics/canadian-ag-tractor-combine-reports/ AEM is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.

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Ag Policy

Australia Approves $1 Billion Dairy Takeover By Chinese Buyer

SYDNEY (Dow Jones) -- Australian authorities approved the sale of one of the country's biggest infant-formula makers to a Chinese buyer, but imposed certain conditions on the deal amid increased scrutiny of Chinese investment in the country. The deal to sell Bellamy's Australia Ltd. to China Mengniu Dairy Co. for about 1.5 billion Australian dollars (US$1 billion) comes as Chinese interest in Australian-produced baby products soars. It still needs the support of Bellamy's shareholders, who will vote on the plan on Dec. 5. Foreign takeovers are a sensitive political matter in Australia, where nationalistic politicians vigorously oppose deals seen to threaten food and water security at a time of rising global demand. Investment from China is especially contested because many companies there are state owned. Bellamy's shares were trading nearly 2% higher on the day to A$13.20 by midday Friday, after the announcement was made. Australian and New Zealand dairy products have a strong reputation in China, where consumers have distrusted domestic producers following the 2008 tainted-milk scandal. Infant formula in Australia is popular among Chinese tourists visiting the country, and Australian grocers have at times had to ration some products given the demand. Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he concluded the Bellamy's acquisition is not contrary to the national interest, agreeing with a recommendation from the Foreign Investment Review Board. However, conditions imposed on the Bellamy's deal include that a majority of the board of directors be Australian resident citizens and Bellamy's keep its headquarters in Australia for at least ten years. The approval also requires an investment of at least A$12 million in establishing or improving infant milk formula processing facilities in the Australian state of Victoria. Those conditions will ensure that Bellamy's maintains its presence in Australia and that the company proceeds with the previously announced investment in the processing facilities, Mr. Frydenberg said in a statement. Bellamy's is No. 4 by market share in the Australian infant milk formula market. Australia's conservative government "welcomes foreign investment where it is consistent with our national interest," the treasurer said. "Without foreign capital and investment, Australia's output, employment and standard of living would be lower."

MFP Payments Coming Before Thanksgiving

Second Tranche of USDA Payments for 2019 Comes in Around $7.8 Billion OMAHA (DTN) -- The Trump administration announced a second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments on Friday. According to a USDA news release, payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving. MFP for 2019 is providing $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers, meaning the second tranche will be for about $7.8 billion. Under MFP2, USDA so far has paid out $6.69 billion to 564,181 producers. USDA reports the top five states for payments are Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota. The 2018 MFP paid out $8.6 billion to more than 1 million farmers. Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25% of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50% they have already received from the 2019 MFP. "This second tranche of 2019 MFP payments, along with already provided disaster assistance, will give farmers, who have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, much needed funds in time for Thanksgiving," U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a news release. "President Trump has shown time and again that he is fighting for America's farmers and ranchers. While we continue to have confidence in the president's negotiations with China, this money shows President Trump following through on his promise to help and support farmers as he continues to fight for fair market access." MFP signup at Farm Service Agency offices will run through Dec. 6, 2019. Payments will be made by FSA to producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long-grain and medium-grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton and wheat. MFP assistance is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm's total plantings of MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019, according to the USDA news release. Per-acre payments are not dependent on which crops are planted in 2019. A producer's total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. County payment rates range from $15 to $150 per acre, depending on the effects of trade retaliation in that county. According to USDA, dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on Dairy Margin Coverage production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019. Acreage of non-specialty crops and cover crops had to be planted by Aug. 1, 2019, to be considered eligible for MFP payments. Per-acre non-specialty crop county payment rates, specialty-crop payment rates, and livestock payment rates are all currently available on www.farmers.gov. USDA said it may issue a third tranche of payments in January 2020, depending on market conditions as well as trade opportunities. MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity, according to USDA. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers. No applicant can receive more than $500,000. According to USDA, eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2015, 2016 and 2017 of less than $900,000 unless at least 75% of the person's or legal entity's AGI is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry -related activities. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations. Farmers who filed a prevented planting claim and planted an FSA-certified cover crop with the potential to be harvested, qualify for a $15-per-acre payment. For more information on MFP payments go to http://www.farmers.gov/…

Perdue defends, celebrates USDA agency moves to Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said Friday that he has “absolutely zero regrets” about moving the headquarters of two research agencies from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City, despite continuing criticism that the move would harm agricultural research and make it less available to federal lawmakers. Perdue joined political leaders from Missouri and Kansas in touring the new headquarters for the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food in Kansas City, Missouri, and to celebrate a move that he said would improve researchers work by placing them closer to farmers, colleges with agriculture experts and hundreds of private agribusinesses. He said he was surprised by the opposition that erupted in Washington when the plan to move about 550 employees to Kansas City was announced in June, but he still believes it was the right decision. “I thought we were doing the right thing and I am convinced today even more so having been here and seeing where we will be on the ground that we did the right thing,” Perdue said. “I applaud this decision, I celebrate this decision and I have absolutely zero regrets of beginning this process and finishing this process right here in Kansas City.” Perdue praised the congressional delegations, governors and other leaders in Kansas and Missouri for working together to win a competition for the headquarters that originally drew 136 expressions of interest from around the country. He and others said the agencies will benefit from being closer to people with agricultural knowledge. “There’s a certain culture here, and that influences your on-the-ground ability there, rather than sitting somewhere that doesn’t have any agriculture,” he said. “You’re going to find more people in this region that know about agriculture, have the challenges and stress of the year-in and year-out agriculture and be able to make decisions and policies that help inform better research and policy from the USDA.” USDA economist Laura Dodson, acting vice president of the union that represents ERS employees, called the idea that moving to Kansas City would help the agencies’ agricultural research “patently ridiculous.” “We do a national level of research,” she said. “Suggesting we could be better researchers seeing a single cornfield in one state is wrong. We are in service of national agriculture, we service all, not just one region or a specific few.” The Economic Research Service examines issues including the rural economy, international trade, food safety and programs that provide food assistance to poor Americans. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture provides grants for agricultural research. Dodson also said the move had devastated morale at the two agencies, where those who made the move are expected to do the same amount of work with far fewer employees. She used to work with 12 researchers, but her unit consists of her and one other worker. Many agency employees refused to move to Missouri, raising concerns about finding qualified researchers to replace them. Perdue said a recent job fair for 107 vacant positions at the agency drew 6,000 applications, and he expects the agencies to be fully staffed during the first quarter of 2020. He rejected concerns about a loss of institutional memory after hundreds of employees chose not to move, saying those who moved to Kansas City would quickly train new hires. Dodson predicted that the agency would have a difficult time filling highly specialized research jobs requiring difficult academic training. Even before the agencies moved from the nation’s capital, every job opening required a national search because “not many people can do what we do” and the pool of economists who could work at the agency is not deep, she said. The USDA said Friday that as of the pay period ending Oct. 26, ERS has 30 employees in Kansas City, with 69 employees permanently remaining in Washington, D.C., while NIFA has 66 employees in Kansas City, with 18 employees remaining in Washington. ERS has 16 employees and NIFA has 15 employees in Kansas City-based positions whose relocation dates have been extended to Dec. 9 and March 30, 2020 respectively. In total, ERS has 122 positions occupied and NIFA has 92 positions occupied. Both agencies also are using re-employed workers, short-term contractors and employees from other agencies “to help ensure mission continuity through the transition” and the USDA has well over 150 active recruitments in process between both agencies, the agency said.

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Markets

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