Tuesday’s Ag News Roundup

It looks like the local cotton industry might be experiencing some growing pains as the larger amount of cotton produced in the Texas Panhandle has gins operating well beyond a cutoff point that traditionally has occurred around February. Aaron Nelsen of Texas Cotton Ginners Association tells us many gins still have weeks of activity ahead of them:

With ginning output putting pressure on capacity, Nelsen says we will likely see more gins being built in in our increasingly cotton-oriented region.

Many analysts expect this to be a year where we’ll see increased acreage across the country for cotton and also for soybeans. So, it is logical to conclude that acres for corn will be reduced. The fluctuation in planting trends is likely a reason why corn prices have risen lately on the CME. And, with the December futures contract hovering around $4.10 a bushel, David Gibson of Texas Corn Producers says some farmers are getting an early start on locking in prices:

Gibson says, with the possibility that locally produced corn sold on a cash basis might command prices above the futures market, right now farmers are looking at prices that could at least cover cost of production.

Much to the delight of many in agriculture, USDA has announced it is scrapping plans to increase regulation of organic meat production. What is involved here is the policy put forth on the last full day of the Obama Administration – policy formally known as the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. Yesterday, the Trump Administration USDA issued a statement saying that, after careful review and two rounds of public comment, the determination has been made that the proposed rule “exceeds the Department’s statutory authority, and that the changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program.”

The big policy issue everyone is eager for news on is, of course, the writing of the next farm bill. But things may be hitting a snag, and a familiar snag at that. There is word that, at least on the House side, the nutrition title of the farm bill – i.e. food stamps – has become an obstacle in trying to move forward. However, the word from Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway’s office is that markup by the end of the month remains the goal.

As we have reported, there is concern that the steel and aluminum tariffs announced by President Trump could lead to a trade war, with U.S. ag exports being the ultimate victim. There is a new development on that front as the American Soybean Association issued a news release to announce the organization is requesting a meeting with President Trump. One thing ASA especially wants to communicate is the importance of China, as highlighted by the fact that China purchases nearly one out of every three rows of U.S. soybean production.

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: https://www.kgncnewsnow.com/ag-hour-replay-03-13-2018/




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