Tag Archives: USDA

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue talked over the weekend about his willingness to make changes in National Ag Statistics Service methods of crop data collection.

A Farm Journal article says during 2019 and it’s many challenges, many farmers were openly questioning the crop projections that were coming from NASS throughout the year. Perdue admits that he had some concerns about their crop reports and the survey methods NASS uses. “In fact, it was kind of paranoia in light of all the prevented planting and other kinds of things that were falling on us,” he recalled. “We got a little conspiratorial too, thinking NASS was also out to get us.” He thinks the NASS numbers that took the market by surprise last June might have been more correct than the market ultimately was in its reaction.

However, that doesn’t mean Perdue thinks the methodology for estimating crop size couldn’t be improved. “We’re going to get better,” Perdue says. “If you’ve got an idea about how we can better use electronics, or maybe an app for better surveys, we’d love to hear about it. We’re open to the kind of ideas of using modern technology to get you the best data that you can use to make plans for your farm.”

The Trump administration is taking another step toward dismantling Michelle Obama’s school nutrition guidelines, proposing a new rule that could lead to more pizza and fries and less fruit and a smaller variety of vegetables on school menus.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the rule changes are needed to give schools more flexibility and reduce waste while still providing nutritious and appetizing meals.  But Sam Kass, who served as executive director of Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity, called them “a shameless, embarrassing capitulation to lobbyists at the expense of American children and their well-being.”

The programs serve about 30 million students, most from low-income families.

WASHINGTON – As the U.S. Department of Agriculture works towards 2018 Farm Bill implementation with the introduction of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) interim rule, National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging the agency to strengthen the working lands program to better help farmers improve conservation practices on their operations. In comments submitted to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and in a statement released today, NFU President Roger Johnson emphasized the program’s value and recommended improvements to ensure its efficacy.

“Family farmers and ranchers understand the importance of conserving natural resources and mitigating climate change – their very livelihoods depend on it. But the agricultural practices that build soil, water, and air quality, bolster biodiversity, and sequester atmospheric carbon often require significant time, money, and expertise. That’s why programs that provide financial and technical assistance for conservation efforts – including the Conservation Stewardship Program – are so vital and so popular. Currently, far more farmers are applying for contracts than available funding can support.


“Given the high demand for and considerable value of CSP, it is especially important that every single dollar set aside for the program in the farm bill be used prudently and in full. There are a number of ways to get more environmental bang for the program’s buck. For one, the application process should not penalize long-term stewardship by prioritizing applicants who have not previously engaged in best practices over those who have. Instead, contracts should be awarded based on overall environmental benefits provided.


“Additionally, CSP should not just benefit the largest operations, nor should it benefit those not actively farming – in order to make funding available to the largest number of engaged farmers possible, USDA should enforce a payment limit of $200,000 and prohibit payments to cash-rent landlords.


“Finally, CSP should give greater consideration to soil health. Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy farm: not only does it boost crop yields, but it also mitigates climate change by storing carbon and helps farmers adapt by building resilience to extreme weather events. All conservation programs, CSP included, should reflect the vital role of soil health – we urge NRCS to be more specific and expansive in its soil health efforts to better help farmers as they cope with a rapidly changing climate.”

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will re-contact respondents who previously reported acreage not yet harvested in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin in the spring, once producers are able to finish harvesting remaining acres. If the newly collected data justifies any changes, NASS will update the Jan. 10 estimates in a future report. Stocks estimates are also subject to review since unharvested production is included in the estimate of on-farm stocks.

When producers were surveyed for the Crop Production 2019 Summary there was significant unharvested acreage of corn in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; and soybean acreage not yet harvested in Michigan, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. The unharvested area and expected production were included in the totals released on Jan. 10.

As a result of this work, NASS may release updated acreage, yield, production, and stocks estimates for corn and soybeans later this spring. Because farmers’ ability to complete harvest is impacted by winter weather, timing of the re-contacts and subsequent publication schedule will be announced at a later date.

OMAHA (DTN) — USDA on Friday bumped up corn yield and soybean production while showing overall lower quarterly stocks for corn, soybeans and wheat from the same period a year ago.

Corn production was forecast at 13.69 billion bushels (bb) with a national average yield of 168 bushels per acre (bpa), 1 bpa higher than last month’s forecast.

USDA increased final 2019 soybean production to 3.558 bb, up from 3.550 bb in the December report, a surprise to analysts who expected to see the effects of the historically challenging production season continue to ripple through the country’s soybean supplies.

Corn quarterly stocks were down 5% from the same time last year while soybean stocks were down 13% from the same period last year.

According to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman, Friday’s new U.S. ending stocks estimates were bearish for corn, neutral for soybeans and wheat; the 2019-20 world ending stocks estimates were neutral for corn, soybeans and wheat; the Grain Stocks report was roughly neutral for corn and soybeans and slightly bullish for wheat.

Check this page throughout the morning for important highlights from the reports and commentary from our analysts on what the numbers mean.

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/…


Farmers planted 30.8 ma to winter wheat this fall, compared to 31.2 ma last year and the average pre-report estimate of 30.7 ma. This represents the second lowest United States acreage on record.

USDA said area seeded to hard red winter wheat is expected to total 21.8 ma, down 3% from 2019.

Soft red winter wheat area, at 5.64 ma, is up 8% from last year.

Farmers planted 3.37 million acres to white winter wheat, a 4% decrease.

In Kansas and Oklahoma, USDA said farmers planted 27,000 acres to canola, 58% below last year. If realized, planted acreages in both states would represent a new record low.

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/…



USDA forecast corn production at 13.69 bb with a national average yield of 168 bpa, 1 bpa higher than last month’s forecast.

The agency lowered its harvested acreage estimate by about 300,000 acres, which offset some of the increased production from a slightly higher average yield. The 13.69 bb production forecast is up 31 mb from last month’s estimate and at the high end of pre-report expectations.

USDA’s estimate of a 3.558-bb soybean crop for 2019 is a 20% drop from 2018’s crop of 4.428 bb.


To reach its 2019 estimate, USDA adjusted the 2019 average soybean yield up half a bushel from the December report to 47.4 bpa, based on increases in Illinois and Indiana. Despite the slight jump upward, that average yield still stands 3.2 bushels below the 2018 crop.

Harvested acres were adjusted down 600,000 acres from the December report to 75 ma, down 14% from last year, with the largest decreases coming from the Dakotas.



Domestic ending stocks for the 2019-20 crop year declined 18 bb from last month’s forecast to 1.89 bb, but the agency made some fairly large changes in its forecast for use. USDA increased its forecast for feed and residual use by 250 mb, which it said was based on its latest estimates from the Grain Stocks report. USDA cut the corn export forecast by 75 mb and food, seed and industrial use by 20 mb. The national average farm gate price was unchanged from last month at $3.85 per bushel.

Globally, ending stocks for 2019-20 declined to 297.8 million metric tons (mmt), a 2.75 mmt decline from last month that was in line with the analysts’ forecast.


U.S. soybean ending stocks for 2019-20 were left at 475 mb in the January report. The agency left supply and demand almost completely untouched from December, only dropping beginning stocks to 909 mb, boosting production slightly and cutting imports by 5 mb.

The average U.S. soybean farmgate price was increased 15 cents to 9 dollars per bushel, reflecting stronger soybean oil prices.

Globally, USDA left South American soybean production untouched, with Brazil’s estimate at 123 mmt and Argentina’s 53 mmt. Global ending stocks were pegged at 96.7 mmt, a slight upward adjustment from December’s estimate of 96.4 mmt. Major changes in supply/demand.


USDA forecast 2019-20 domestic ending stocks for wheat at 965 mb, a 9 mb decline from last month’s estimate. The change was due to a 10 mb increase in feed and residual use and a 1 mb decline in use for seed. The national average farm gate price was $4.55 per bushel, unchanged from last month.

Globally, USDA revised ending stocks down by 1.42 mmt. USDA lowered foreign production in Russia by 1 mmt and in Australia 0.5 mmt. It also raised production forecasts for the European Union by 0.5 mmt.


Quarterly “disappearance” or usage for soybeans and wheat were both higher from the same period last year running from September to November while corn usage was down slightly.

Corn disappearance was pegged at 4.52 bb, down just slightly from 4.54 bb over the same quarter last year. Corn stored from September to November totaled 11.4 bb, down 5% from the same period last year and right in line with the average pre-report estimates. Of total stocks, USDA reported 7.18 bb on the farm, down 4% from the same period last year. Off-farm stocks was pegged at 4.21 bb, down 6% from a year ago. On-farm storage in states such as North and South Dakota may be a little misleading because of unharvested acres, which USDA still brands as being stored on the farm.

Soybean usage from September to November amounted to 1.22 bb, up 8% from the same period last year. Soybeans stored in all positions on Dec. 1 totaled 3.25 bb, slightly above the pre-report average from analysts and down 13% from the same period last year.

On-farm storage was pegged at 1.53 bb, down 21% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks were reported at 1.73 bb, down 5% from last year.

Wheat usage for the quarter was pegged at 512 million bushels (mb), up 35% from the same period last year. All-wheat stored on Dec. 1 totaled 1.83 bb, lower than the pre-report average estimate and 9% below last year’s stored crop. Off-farm stocks were listed at 1.31 bb, down 13% from last year. On-farm stocks were estimated at 519 mb, up 3% from last year.


Farmers planted 30.8 ma to winter wheat this fall, compared to 31.2 ma last year and the average pre-report estimate of 30.7 ma. This represents the second lowest United States acreage on record.

USDA said area seeded to hard red winter wheat is expected to total 21.8 ma, down 3% from 2019.

Soft red winter wheat area, at 5.64 ma, is up 8% from last year.

Farmers planted 3.37 million acres to white winter wheat, a 4% decrease.

In Kansas and Oklahoma, USDA said farmers planted 27,000 acres to canola, 58% below last year. If realized, planted acreages in both states would represent a new record low.

Pre-Report trade. If the wheat is leading higher on the S&D Report the dollar will have a reaction. Trade might not be worried about the corn.  bullish surprise in the report though could be the corn, seeing where we are at in harvest.   Phase Two comes after elections.  Phase one is on track for January 15th.  Iran still being talked about.  World Supply Demands with South America.  Winter seeding for the wheat brought to the front of the classroom.  USMCA.  Wall Street Journal & the tide turning.  Cattle market & waiting for the cash continues to be on the quiet side.

The Department of Agriculture last week issued a proposed rule to reapportion the Beef Checkoff Program’s Cattlemen’s Beef Board. R-CALF says the proposed rule reveals importers control more cattle inventories than any state in the United States except Texas.

To make its calculations regarding who controls domestic cattle inventories, R-CALF says USDA counts imported live cattle and converts imported beef into a live cattle equivalent. Importers now control about 6.9 million cattle in the U.S. market. Only the state of Texas, which controls about 12.6 million cattle, exceeds the importers’ control.

The organization says the combination of cattle and beef imports represent the largest agricultural commodities imported from Canada and Mexico. USDA data shows U.S. imported $4.1 billion in cattle and beef from Canada and Mexico in 2018. R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard claims the importers dominant control over cattle inventories “affords them extraordinary influence” on U.S. lawmakers, adding cattle and beef importers are opposed to mandatory country-of-origin labeling because “they do not want consumers to know the origins of their cheaper-sourced products.”

WASHINGTON– The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert due to illnesses caused by Listeria monocytogenes associated with FDA-regulated hard boiled eggs that have been recalled by Almark Foods. FSIS is issuing this public health alert out of an abundance of caution to ensure that consumers are aware that these products should not be consumed.

The following ready-to-eat FSIS-regulated product has been identified as containing ingredients involved in the Almark Foods recall: [View Label (PDF only)]

  • 3.6-oz. plastic packages containing “CHEESEWICH Ready to Eat BACON N EGGS” with “USE BY” dates 12/27/19, 1/3/20, 1/23/20, 1/30/20, 2/6/20, 2/14/20, 2/19/20 and 2/28/20 and lot codes 281191, 302191, 309191, 316191, 323191, 331191, 336191, 344191.

The products contain separately packaged bacon and hard-boiled eggs. Packages bear establishment number “P-45031” inside the USDA mark of inspection. Customers with questions may contact Almark Foods’ Customer Helpline at (877) 546-0454 Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm EST.

CDC, FDA and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to hard-boiled egg products produced by Almark Foods. There have been no confirmed reports of illness due to consumption of the FSIS-regulated products produced containing these eggs. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider. Consumers that have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections can occur in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to MPHotline@usda.gov. For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg product, the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.

Kansas health officials say a voluntary recall of several pork products produced in Clay Center will be issued on Monday because of possible listeria contamination.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said in a news release Saturday that Clay Center Locker Plant will issue the recall for any ready-to-eat product including smoked pork loins, ham hocks and smoked ham from the plant produced on Nov. 21.

The department is urging the public not to consume any of the products, including those bought at the retail counter in the plant and hams that were delivered to the FFA Clay Center and Chapman chapters.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved industrial hemp licensing plans for Louisiana, Ohio and New Jersey. The states are the first to get such approval, though 34 other states have hemp research or pilot projects under a 2014 law.   The state of Nebraska has submitted their plan to the USDA and is awaiting approval.

Louisiana’s Agriculture and Forestry commissioner says he’s pleased to be on track to issue licenses for the 2020 planting season. The federal government legalized hemp last year.

Hemp is related to and looks like marijuana but contains only traces of THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets people high. Hemp fiber and seeds are used to produce textiles, rope, paper, cosmetics, fuel, and CBD, among other things.