An ag appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2019 was approved by the U.S. House yesterday, but don’t expect speedy action in the Republican-controlled Senate. As we talked about yesterday, this spending bill and others to come are viewed as being merely symbolic gestures by House Democrats to pressure Republicans into ending the partial government shutdown. It is notable, perhaps, that ten House Republicans did vote to support the bill.
Meanwhile, as the shutdown continues, farmers this week were encouraged by the news that USDA will extend the deadline for applying for trade mitigation payments. But David Gibson of Texas Corn Producers says farmers are running into problems with other government programs, such as being unable to visit their local FSA office to take care of matters related to loans:
However, here’s somethings that’s kind of ironic. While, FSA offices are closed due to the shutdown, Gibson says he’s been notified that NRCS offices are open.
It turns out that NRCS and FSA are funded in different ways in the Farm Bill, so that’s why one agency is in operation and the other is not.
Cotton prices have tumbled lately, down to around 74 cents a pound in the futures market, as opposed to about 80 cents a month ago. But, Dr. John Robinson, Texas A&M cotton economist, says farmers shouldn’t rule out marketing at least some their cotton at current prices. He says, if cotton planting nationwide comes out to something like the 13.5 million acres we saw last year, we could wind up with a bumper crop. That’s because, unlike last year when we had widespread drought conditions at planting time, much of cotton country has been getting some rain lately:
Over the next few weeks, Dr. Robinson will be sharing his outlook for the 2019 cotton season at various producer meetings in the Texas Panhandle, including at this event just announced by Texas A&M AgriLife: