The chairmen of the ag committees in Congress do not seem to have warm feelings for the budget put out by President Trump yesterday. When it comes to agriculture, specifically, the President’s budget cuts $47 billion from farm assistance programs over a ten-year spending cycle and would force farmers to pay more for crop insurance premiums. But, how far the President’s proposals go remains to be seen. In a joint statement released late yesterday, Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway said, quote: “As Chairmen of the Agriculture Committees, the task at hand is to produce a Farm Bill for the benefit of our farmers, ranchers, consumers and other stakeholders. This budget, as with every other president’s budget before, will not prevent us from doing that job.” The chairmen went on to state their commitment to maintaining a strong safety net for agricultural producers and improving nation’s nutrition programs.
One recent change to the current Farm Bill is last week’s action by Congress to restore price supports for cotton. Not only does this safety net provide farmers some protection against steep price declines, it also helps them in getting their crops financed ahead of planting:
That was Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers.
Deadlines for purchasing crop insurance for spring-planted crop are get closer. And, USDA says there have been some changes made to improve crop insurance programs:
That was Rob Johansson, acting deputy undersecretary at USDA for farm production and conservation. Meanwhile, the Risk Management Agency sent out a news release yesterday that provides links to a lot of information about what’s new with crop insurance. You can find that news release here: http://www.kgncnewsnow.com/crop-insurance-deadlines-changes/
Going back to our Commander in Chief, remarks made by President Trump at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland two weeks ago have inspired hope within U.S. agriculture that our country might join the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, after all. And now a coalition of U.S. ag and food industry groups has sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer expressing a desire to share specific ideas with the Trump administration on how to reengage in the TPP negotiations. This coalition, known as the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, or simply Dialogue, works with literally hundreds of organizations, including such ag industry heavyweights as the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the National Corn Growers Association. In the letter to Lighthizer, Dialogue says, if the 11 nations currently planning to sign the TPP agreement in March do so without the U.S., our country will “be placed at a substantial disadvantage, as other countries gain entry into these markets at substantially lower tariffs and under preferential terms.” No word on whether the Trump Administration plans to accept the coalition’s offer of help.
As we’ve been reporting, there’s been a sell-off of feeder cattle due to the drought and poor wheat conditions. According to local cattle industry analyst Ed Czerwien, that selloff continued at area auctions last week:
As for feedlot cattle, the average spot price for steers in area feedlots last week was $126.15, which was 24 cents higher than the previous week. Looking at beef, the weekly average choice boxed beef cutout last week was $209.08, an increase of $2.66. Sales volume also went up by 33 units with 5, 882 total loads sold. Ed Czerwien provides us his with beef and cattle updates every Tuesday morning, which you can also listen to here: http://www.kgncnewsnow.com/czerwien-early-sell-off-continues/
While it is that time of the year for calving, it is also a time when many cattle producers deal with stillbirth or premature death. With nutrition and health so essential in managing cattle, Dr. Gayman Helman of the Texas A&M Veterinary Diagnostic Lab here in Amarillo offers this advice:
Dr. Helman went to say that he has seen cases of being calves being aborted or dying soon after birth because vaccinations were given at the wrong time, an example of why that client-patient relationship with a veterinarian is so crucial.
KGNC-AM devotes a full hour to ag news every morning from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. with our Golden Spread Agribusiness Update. If you’d like to hear this morning’s show, go here: http://www.kgncnewsnow.com/ag-hour-replay-02-13-18/