Tag Archives: USDA

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.

Cattle market makes another day of new highs except for December.  Will this strong trade continue?  Firmer cash market last week.  Rumors we might see the Holcomb KS plant open earlier.  Average weights are above a year ago.  Lower grain markets.  Year ago today March Corn 2nd largest crop…but still at the same price today.  How much did the USDA WASDE glitch effect the markets?

WASDE report.  How valid were some of the results in Re-surveying North & South Dakota Harvest weather going into next week.  Open interest in the cattle-could we see some buying & is there in a top going in.  Planting progress in South America.

OMAHA (DTN) — USDA expects the nation’s corn farmers to harvest 13.67 billion bushels (bb) of corn this year, pulling in a national average yield of 167 bushels per acre (bpa). That’s a decline of 100 million bushels (mb) and 1.4 bpa from last month, respectively, and within the range of pre-report expectations.

Soybean production, at 3.55 bb, was down slightly from last month, with the national average yield estimate 46.9 bpa, unchanged from last month.

Friday’s new U.S. ending stocks estimates were bearish for corn, slightly bearish for soybeans and slightly bullish for wheat, while the 2019-20 world ending stocks estimates were bullish for corn, neutral for soybeans and bearish for wheat.

You can also access the full reports here:

— Crop Production: https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

— World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE): http://www.usda.gov/…

CORN

With the national average yield at 167 bpa and corn production at 13.66 bb, USDA’s supply forecast declined correspondingly, but the 2019-20 ending stocks did not.

For the 2019-20 marketing year, USDA pegged domestic ending stocks at 1.91 bb, down from 19.3 bb last month. USDA lowered its forecast for use in the feed and residual and ethanol categories by 25 mb each while cutting its export forecast by 50 mb.

The national average farm gate price increased a nickel to $3.85.

The U.S. stocks-to-use ratio was 13.7%, down from last season’s 14.6%.

Global ending stocks for 2019-20 declined to 296 million metric tons, down 6.5 mmt, due to lower production forecasts.

SOYBEANS

U.S. soybean production was pegged 3.55 bb, the same as the October report and down 880 mb from 2018’s production of 4.43 bb.

Yield also held pat for soybeans at 46.9 bpa. Soybean yields for the year are about 4 bushels below 2018’s yield of 50.6 bpa. Harvested acres were held pat at 75.6 million acres as well, the same as the October report.

USDA did raise 2019-20 ending stocks by 15 mb to 475 mb for the November estimate. That compares to the 913 mb carryover from the 2018-19 soybean crop.

To increase stocks by 15 mb, USDA lowered domestic crush by 15 mb, going to 2.105 bb. Export estimates held at 1.775 bb, the same as October.

Soybean prices are projected at $9 a bushel, the same as last month.

Global soybean production for 2019-20 was pegged at 336.56 million metric tons (12.37 billion bushels), compared to 338.97 mmt (12.46 bb) in October. Global ending stocks were pegged at 95.42 mmt (3.5 bb), up slightly from the October projection of 95.21 mmt.

With South America still in the midst of planting season, Brazil’s projected production remained at 123 mmt (4.5 bb) and Argentina’s production remained at 53 mmt (1.95 bb).

The soybean stocks-to-use ratio for the 2019-20 marketing year was 11.8%, up slightly from last month.

WHEAT

USDA forecast domestic wheat ending stocks for 2019-20 at 1.013 bb, down from last month’s 1.044 bb estimate and within the range of pre-report expectations.

All-wheat production, at 1.92 bb, was unchanged from last month following a revision to spring wheat production. Spring wheat production is forecast at 562.38 mb, down from 623.23 mb from 2018.

USDA also cut the national average farm-gate prices for wheat from $4.70 per bushel to $4.60.

Global ending stocks for 2019-20 of 288.28 mmt was up from last month and was above the range of pre-report expectations.

USDA left unchanged China’s production for 2019-20 132 mmt.

The ending stocks-to-use ratio for wheat was 48.1%, down from last month’s 49.3%.

U.S. PRODUCTION (Million Bushels) 2019-20
Nov Avg High Low Oct 2018-19
Corn 13,661 13,602 13,786 13,030 13,779 14,420
Soybeans 3,550 3,513 3,609 3,396 3,550 4,428
U.S. AVERAGE YIELD (Bushels Per Acre) 2019-20 (WASDE)
Nov Avg High Low Oct 2018-19
Corn 167.0 167.3 170.0 164.5 168.4 176.4
Soybeans 46.9 46.6 47.6 45.9 46.9 50.6
U.S. HARVESTED ACRES (Million Acres) 2019-20
Nov Avg High Low Oct 2018-19
Corn 81.8 81.3 81.8 79.2 81.8 81.7
Soybeans 75.6 75.4 77.2 74.5 75.6 87.6
U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2019-20
Nov Average High Low Oct
Corn 1,911 1,799 1,959 1,479 1,929
Soybeans 475 429 521 306 460
Wheat 1,014 1,035 1,078 995 1,043
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (million metric tons) 2019-20
Nov Avg. High Low Oct
Corn 296.0 299.5 304.1 291.1 302.5
Soybeans 95.4 95.0 109.4 88.0 95.2
Wheat 288.3 286.8 287.8 285.4 287.8

A USDA official said earlier this week that the U.S. hemp industry could have a producer-funded checkoff program coming soon. The Agricultural Marketing Service’s Director of the Specialty Crops Programs’ Promotion and Economics Division spoke at the Hemp Industries Association’s annual conference.

Hemp Industry Daily notes that the director said the hemp industry “clearly has shown interest” in paying fees to promote their product, saying that “the idea here is that a rising tide would lift every boat.” If a checkoff program comes to fruition, hemp would join 21 other crops that have their own checkoffs, including soybeans, cotton, milk, pork, watermelon, and even popcorn. Growers would pay mandatory fees to go into a fund that’s used for research and marketing.

A checkoff would benefit the emerging hemp industry struggling to get out from under marijuana-related misconceptions. A checkoff program would also be seen as an endorsement from USDA, making hemp a legitimate crop with long-term potential.

Thousands of farmers took the plunge into hemp production after the 2018 farm bill legalized production of the plant. That flood of new growers is why some hemp farmers are struggling to find markets for their first post-farm bill harvest. Despite increasing demand for hemp-related products, the rush of new growers appears to have driven down prices.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the “OneUSDA Internship” opportunity for Summer 2020. As part of the Federal Pathways Program, the OneUSDA Internship Program will provide students a way to explore serving their country through a career in government while gaining work experience in agriculture, natural resources, rural development, and other career fields.

 

“Our goal at USDA is to recruit the best and retain the best through our OneUSDA Internship Program offered nationwide,” said Secretary Perdue. “Today’s young people are the future of America and there are few things more American than agriculture. We’re aiming to find young talent, with a diverse background, across all 50 states, to begin their careers as interns with USDA.”

 

The OneUSDA Internship Program offers Federal opportunities to students currently enrolled in qualifying educational programs or institutions, with a comprehensive developmental program intended to provide students with experience in a dynamic work environment that will enhance their educational goals and shape their career choices. An internship with USDA will involve various components of on-the-job experience, mentorship, and training tailored to the student’s education, experience, and interests.

 

During 2019, USDA was proud to host thousands of interns throughout the country, many of which were through the Federal Pathways Program. In the Summer of 2020, USDA will hire Pathways Interns in hundreds of locations in nearly every state in the country for the following occupational fields:

 

USDA is making sure the Summer 2020 OneUSDA internship job announcement is easier-than-ever for students to find and apply for. After choosing the geographic location of preference and the career path that best matches with student’s area of study and professional aspirations at http://www.usda.gov/Internships, students simply follow the weblinks to https://www.usajobs.gov/ to set up an account, then follow the prompts to apply to the internship.

 

When applying, students will also have an opportunity to indicate their preferred occupational area of interest and USDA Agency or office. The application window will open on November 1st and close on November 15th. Application review will begin immediately

 

For more information, visit www.USDA.gov/Internships.

 

 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $1.4 billion in projects in 21 states (PDF, 143 KB) to build and improve rural electric infrastructure.
“Modern and reliable electric infrastructure has been a cornerstone to rural prosperity since the Rural Electrification Act of 1936,” Secretary Perdue said. “This funding we are providing is critical to rural communities and reflects President Trump’s commitment to increasing prosperity across all of rural America. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Background:
USDA is providing financing through the Electric Loan Program. It will help build and improve 6,886 miles of line to strengthen reliability in rural areas. The loans include $255.8 million for investments in smart grid infrastructure that uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in electricity usage.
Among the loans announced today, Georgia’s Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation is receiving $229 million to connect 25,650 customers, and build and improve 1,275 miles of distribution line to enhance system resilience and reliability. Sawnee serves nearly 180,000 customers in seven counties north of Atlanta.
The Haywood Electric Membership Corporation, which serves about 27,000 members in three southern states, is receiving a $24 million loan to connect 1,800 customers, build and upgrade 58 miles of distribution line, and build four miles of transmission line. The loan includes $750,000 to finance smart grid technologies. Haywood provides electric service to eight counties in Western North Carolina, and to portions of two counties in northeastern Georgia and South Carolina.
Florida’s Peace River Electric Cooperative is receiving a $25.2 million loan to connect 3,988 customers; build and upgrade 103 miles of line; build and improve substations, switching stations and metering points; and replace 30 transmission poles. Peace River serves about 43,000 residential and small commercial customers over 3,704 miles of line in central Florida.
USDA announced investments today in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a key recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).

The U.S. row-crop harvest remains the slowest it’s been in a decade, according to USDA NASS’ latest Crop Progress report released Monday.

Nationwide, corn harvest progressed 11 percentage points last week to reach 41% as of Sunday, 20 percentage points behind the five-year average of 61% and falling further behind the average pace than the previous week when harvest was 17 percentage points behind the five-year average. The pace of this year’s corn harvest remains the slowest since 2009 when only 20% of corn was harvested as of Oct. 25, said DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini.

“North Dakota is just 6% harvested, with South Dakota at 14% and Wisconsin 13% harvested,” Mantini said.

The condition of corn still in fields was rated 58% good to excellent, up 2 percentage points from 56% the previous week. The poor-to-very-poor category declined to just 12% from 14% the previous week.

Soybean harvest moved ahead 16 percentage points last week to reach 62% as of Sunday. That was 16 percentage points behind the five-year average of 78%, a slight improvement from last Monday’s report, when harvest was running 18 percentage points behind average. As with corn, the pace of this year’s soybean harvest remains the slowest since 2009 when 44% of the crop was harvested as of Oct. 25.

While row-crop harvest remained behind the average pace, winter wheat progress stayed near, to slightly ahead of, the average pace last week. As of Sunday, 85% of winter wheat was planted, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 82%. Winter wheat emerged was estimated at 63%, near the five-year average of 64%.

In its first condition rating for the 2020 winter wheat crop, NASS estimated 56% of winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, 3 percentage points better than last year’s rating of 53% good to excellent at the same time of year.

Sorghum mature was estimated at 96%, ahead of the average of 94%. Sorghum harvested reached 65%, also ahead of the five-year average of 62%.

Cotton bolls opening was estimated at 95%, ahead of the average of 93%. Cotton harvested was estimated at 46%, also ahead of the five-year average of 43%. Rice harvested was 97%, just slightly behind the average of 98%.

To view weekly crop progress reports visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Mature 93 86 100 99
Corn Harvested 41 30 61 61
Soybeans Dropping Leaves 97 94 100 99
Soybeans Harvested 62 46 69 78
Winter Wheat Planted 85 77 77 82
Winter Wheat Emerged 63 53 62 64
Cotton Bolls Opening 95 93 91 93
Cotton Harvested 46 40 43 43
Sorghum Mature 96 92 93 94
Sorghum Harvested 65 49 52 62
Rice Harvested 97 93 95 98

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Corn 3 9 30 47 11 4 10 30 45 11 4 8 20 48 20
Winter Wheat 4 9 31 44 12 NA NA NA NA NA 3 11 33 45 8
Cotton 5 15 40 33 7 5 18 36 33 8 18 16 31 27 8

**

National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SR = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR
Topsoil Moisture 6 13 62 19 8 16 59 17 4 9 71 16
Subsoil Moisture 7 15 63 15 8 17 60 15 6 13 68 13

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky will lead a trade mission to West Africa, October 28-31, to help United States exporters unlock new opportunities in a region where strong economic growth is driving demand for imported food and farm products.

“At USDA we are working to sell the bounty of American agriculture. West Africa is a bright spot with a growing middle class that are hungry for our delicious and wholesome agriculture products,” said Deputy Secretary Censky. “Through this trade mission and other efforts, USDA is proud to support President Trump’s Prosper Africa initiative, which is seeking to boost two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa. Prosper Africa brings together the full range of U.S. government resources to connect U.S. and African businesses with new buyers, suppliers, and investment opportunities – a win for the United States and for countries across the African continent.”

Deputy Secretary Censky will be joined by Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, officials from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and representatives from the following companies and organizations:
AFRO Plus Logistics, Bear, Delaware
American Premier Meat, Connersville, Indiana
American Soybean Association/World Initiative for Soy in Human Health, St. Louis, Missouri
Anna Carter’s The Seed Lady, Los Angeles, California
Archer Daniels Midland Company, Chicago, Illinois
Berkeley Capital Group, Inc, New York, New York
Crown Products, Inc, Metairie, Louisiana
CTB, Inc., Milford, Indiana
DAUUS Company, Bloomington, Minnesota
East West International Group, Inc, Moreland, Ohio
Fobrose Group, Houston, Texas
Geotan Enterprises, LLC, Humble, Texas
Ghantex Holdings Limited, Houston, Texas
Global Export Marketing Co. Ltd., New York, New York
Green Plains Inc., Omaha, Nebraska
Growth Energy, Washington, D.C.
Hills Harvest, College Park, Maryland
International Feed Corporation, Excelsior, Minnesota
I.P.P International, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
JBR International Trade Group, Inc., DuPont, Washington
Livestock Exporters Association of the USA, Chicago, Illinois
Marquis Energy, Hennepin, Illinois
Mariani Packing Company, Vacaville, California
National Swine Registry, West Lafayette, Indiana
Neil Jones Food Company, Vancouver, Washington
North Star Food Trading LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Now International, Bloomingdale, Illinois
Oakmont & Associates, Addison, Texas
Perdue Foods, Salisbury, Maryland
Steel City Global Trading, LLC, Enterprise, Alabama
St. Louis African Chamber of Commerce, St. Louis, Missouri
Tam Global Consultants, Portland, Oregon
Tomex Foods, Inc. Lombard, Illinois
Triad Fisheries Ltd, Portland, Oregon
U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc., Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
U.S. Grains Council, Washington, D.C.
U.S. Soybean Export Council, Chesterfield, Missouri
U.S. Wheat Associates, Arlington, Virginia
United Source One, Belcamp, Maryland
Virginia Natural Beef Inc., Lexington, Virginia
Wakava Food and Beverage, LLC, St. Louis, Missouri
Wygold LLC, Woodland, California

The mission will be based in Accra, Ghana, and will also include buyer delegations from Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Nigeria, and Senegal.

 

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today honored the 25th anniversary of the legislation that recognized 29 tribal colleges and universities as land-grant institutions. Signed on October 20, 1994, the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act enabled tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) to receive federal support and train the next generation of agricultural professionals.
“For 25 years, tribal land-grant colleges and universities have enjoyed a strong partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Mike Beatty, Director of USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “Tribal colleges and universities draw on the strength of traditions while preparing graduates who can contribute to their communities.”
Tribal colleges and universities (aka “1994s”) play a significant role among tribal nations. These institutions serve as anchors in their communities, advance tribal health, promote economic opportunity, further environmental conservation, and prepare young people for the workforce. In addition to offering the distinctive land-grant mix of research, education and extension, they also frame that education in the context of Native American history, indigenous knowledge, and traditions. Today there are 36 federally recognized tribal colleges and universities designated as land-grants.
USDA supports tribal colleges and universities through student scholarships, internships, and support for research, classroom education, and extension (sharing knowledge, training, and informal education with agricultural professionals and local communities).
The 1994 institutions are the latest additions to the land-grant university system that has democratized American higher education. The Morrill Act of 1862 created land-grant institutions to give working class citizens equal access to higher education, focusing on agriculture and mechanical arts. A second Morrill Act of 1890 authorized land-grant institutions for African Americans. The 1994 Act gives tribal higher education centers the same status as other land-grant institutions.