Thursday’s Ag News Roundup

Will we see a lot of movement in the markets today? You never really know what will happen when the time rolls around for USDA to release the monthly Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reports. The general consensus among analysts is this: Look for USDA to lower its estimates for corn production but increase the numbers for soybean production. Analysts also expect a lowering of USDA’s projections on new crop ending stocks for corn and soybeans, but a hike in the ending stocks estimate for wheat. The two reports are scheduled to be released at 11 a.m.

There’s already a lot of anxiety in agriculture about the future of NAFTA, and what the President had to say yesterday probably won’t calm anybody’s nerves. With Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sitting alongside him in the Oval Office, President Trump told reporters – quote – “It’s possible we won’t be able to make a deal and it’s possible we will.”  NAFTA talks are continuing today in our nation’s capital.

Perhaps the trade posture for U.S. ag will be strengthened as Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue meets with leaders of major ag export destinations this week. He’s attending the G-7 Agriculture Ministers Meeting in Italy, and he’s putting out the word that unjustified trade barriers must come down…

Another government leader speaking out on issues of importance to ag is House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway. He held a news conference by telephone yesterday, talking about a variety of issues, including tax reform. Like many in agriculture, Chairman Conaway wants to see the death tax eliminated, but he’s also encouraged by what Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady has had to say about preserving beneficial aspects of existing tax law…

Conaway also says he’s hopeful that legislation to create a guest worker program will eventually move forward.

On the local front, our bizarre weather experience this year is starting to show its signs with delayed development in certain crops. And that includes sorghum, says Sorghum Checkoff agronomist Brent Bean…

Similar to what Brent Bean had to say, Texas A&M AgriLife agronomist Calvin Trostle offered these observations from the South Plains…

This week’s Crop Progress shows harvest of summer crops running ahead in Texas. But that’s an observation made about the state as a whole. Here in our area, we’re beginning to hear these reports of crops looking like there a bit behind.

And, one more note before we close: USDA says it is holding off on accepting most new CRP program enrollment offers until later in the 2018 fiscal year. USDA is wanting to slow things down in order to review CRP allocation levels.

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