Record Corn and Soybean Forecasts

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A record high soybean crop and overall corn yield are expected this year, according to the latest Crop Production report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Up 4 percent from 2017, soybean production is forecast at a record 4.59 billion bushels, while corn growers are expected to decrease their production slightly from last year, forecast at 14.6 billion bushels. Average …

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USDA Announces Trade Disruption Relief for Farmers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers negatively impacted by recent trade actions. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, …

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Planted Acreage Report Surprises

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USDA’s planted acreage report out Friday contained some surprising numbers for the trade. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates 89.6 million acres of soybeans planted in the United States for 2018, down 1 percent from last year, and corn area planted is estimated at 89.1 million acres, also down 1 percent from last year. All cotton planted area for …

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White House Reorganization Plans Would Change USDA

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During an open media cabinet meeting Thursday, which was mostly dominated by President Trump commenting on the immigration issue, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Mick Mulvaney gave an entertaining summary of the administration’s plans to reorganize the government. “It’s been almost a hundred years since anybody really reorganized the government,” said Mulvaney, before providing a couple of examples …

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USDA’s Northey Kicks Off Alltech ONE18

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After the opening entertainment, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey was first to take the stage Monday morning at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was just discussing the issue of agricultural trade with China when President Trump tweeted “China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best …

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USDA Predicts Higher Corn for Ethanol Use

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA released its May World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) report last week with an initial assessment of U.S. and world crop supply and demand prospects and U.S. prices for 2018/19. For corn, the report projects lower production with both lower acreage and yields forecast as compared with the previous year. The corn crop is projected at 14 billion bushels, …

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Ag Secretary Says RFS Waivers Create Demand Destruction

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had the opportunity to give his opinion about the EPA granting numerous Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to refiners during a Senate Agricultural Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. While the purpose of the hearing was to review USDA’s FY2019 budget request, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) brought up the RFS waiver issue and pointed out that he …

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Sec. Perdue Comments on RFS and RINS

Cindy Zimmerman

Not much was said publicly during National Ag Day on Tuesday about the continuing RFS/RIN price dispute which is still being discussed at the very highest levels of government. But Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue did give an update during his remarks at the National Press Club Ag Day event. “We’ve been in fairly intense discussions about the solution,” said Perdue. …

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Ethanol Production Going Strong

Cindy Zimmerman

For the first month of 2018, the amount of corn used to make ethanol in the U.S. was down two percent from December 2017 but up one percent from January 2017, according to the latest USDA Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report. Corn use for fuel alcohol totaled 476 million bushels in January 2018 with dry milling fuel production and …

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Northey Takes Oath of USDA Office

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It was a long time coming, but finally Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue administered the oath of office to Bill Northey to serve as the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS) at USDA. Northey has served as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, and is a former president of the National Corn Growers Association. “After months of waiting, I’m …

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