Timely Farm Bill with Strong Crop Insurance Critical for Agriculture

September 20, 2018 | Newsline

Farmers and ranchers need quick passage of the current farm bill to help them weather these tough economic times. Micheal Clements has more.
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Fresh/Chilled Beef Tariff Profile

September 20, 2018 |

Our Market Intel series on commodity-specific tariff profiles continues with beef.

Dairy Revenue Protection Webinar Slated for Friday, Sept. 28

September 20, 2018 |

A webinar on the new Dairy Revenue Protection program is slated for Friday, Sept. 28, 1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. Central.

One of These Days

In the Midst of a Long Post-Recession Run, We Must Consider ‘One of These Days’

September 20, 2018 |

“One of these days.” If you’re a fan of classic TV, you’re likely to think of “The Honeymooners” when you hear this phrase. If music is your thing, it could be Pink Floyd’s instrumental classic or Tim McGraw’s song of the same name. My economist mind jumps to the general economy. We are now 111 months past the last recession—the second-longest growth period for the U.S. economy. The 120-month period from March 1991 to March 2001 holds the record. Thus, the title – “One of these days.” Do not in any way take this as a forecast of an upcoming recession. There are many, many indicators suggesting the economy is doing quite well. For one, over 200,000 new jobs were created in August and the current unemployment level of 3.9 percent is among the lowest in the last 17 years. In addition, gross domestic product growth was over 4 percent in the second quarter of the year and is expected by many to come in above 3 percent for the year overall. Wage growth in August was just a shade under 3 percent, the highest monthly rise in wage rates since June 2009. With that, consumer spending continued to rise by 0.4 percent in July-over-June levels, maybe not as strong as a few months back, but still respectable. The Dow Jones Industrial Index is at or near record highs depending on the day of the week. Figure 1 highlights the U.S. unemployment percentage and the quarterly GDP growth rate.

Innovation is Key for Central Arizona Farmers

September 19, 2018 |

Arizona is known for its exceptionally hot summers and mild winters. It’s also one of the few places in the country where people can farm 365 days a year.

As Harvest Marches On, Tariff Pain to Follow

September 19, 2018 |

Since our trade partners began applying retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, the industry has experienced a significant amount of uncertainty, price fluctuation and disrupted trade markets. For some already harvested commodities, like cherries, the impacts of lost sales and depressed prices are well known. For other crops, like soybeans and corn, the impacts of current trade activities have been felt acutely by those who have sold in the spot market over the summer or watched helplessly as futures contracts swung wildly, but the feeling that the worst is yet to come hangs over producers. The consensus is that the impact of lower prices and weak demand from some key foreign customers will be most widespread as the combines roll and harvest 2018 gets underway.

House Lawmakers Seek Permanent Tax Solutions for Farmers

September 19, 2018 | Newsline

A bill making its way through the House of Representatives would make the tax cuts passed last year permanent. Micheal Clements has more.
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Staying in the Game on WOTUS

September 19, 2018 |

Fall is one of my favorite seasons on the farm. From calving to harvest, it’s a time to celebrate life on the farm and the results of months of planning and tending.

Farm Bureau: Broadband is not a Luxury, it’s a Necessity

September 18, 2018 |

Farmers and ranchers must have access to fixed and mobile broadband to be more efficient, economical and environmentally responsible, the American Farm Bureau Federation said in recent comments on the Rural Utility Service’s e-Connectivity Pilot Program.

Corn Harvest Charging Ahead

September 18, 2018 |

Harvest numbers continue to roll in. USDA’s September 17 Crop Progress report indicates 9 percent of the U.S. corn crop has been harvested, up 2 percentage points from last year and up 3 percentage points from the five-year average.

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