Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture


New-Crop Sales to China: How Do they Actually Measure Up?

August 14, 2020 |

New-crop sales of soybeans, corn, sorghum and cotton to China have been getting a lot of attention. These purchases are being closely watched and interpreted as potential signs as to whether China will be fulfilling their Phase 1 commitments, which were finalized in January 2020. Data from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service’s U.S. Export Sales Report, released on August 13 and covering sales through August 6, back up the rumors of large sales. However, how do new-crop sales compare to previous years? To find out, we compare new-crop sales (2020/21 marketing year) to the similar week from the last five years.

De-Pooling and Record-Large Negative PPDs Continue Into July

August 14, 2020 |

On the back of COVID-19-related price shocks and a record-high cheese price, the July Class I milk price was nearly $2.60 per hundredweight, or 13%, below where it would have been prior to a 2018 farm bill change, spurring the withholding of 8-plus billion pounds of milk over two months, a 32% reduction from the prior year, from Federal Milk Marketing Order revenue sharing pools across the county. As a result, FMMO revenue sharing pools were short $527 million in June and $667 million in July, for a combined $1.2 billion. This shortfall caused record-low FMMO minimum milk prices across the U.S. that showed up in dairy farmers’ milk checks as negative producer price differentials The PPD in California, for example, amounted to nearly -$10 per hundredweight for July. Put simply, most dairy farmers are not happy. To make matters worse, public and private risk management tools were unable to protect against these record-large milk check deductions.

Record Crops Estimated for 2020

August 13, 2020 | Newsline

Outstanding growing conditions could lead to a massive harvest this year. Chad Smith tells us the August crop report from USDA estimates record production in 2020.
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Monster Crops Expected in 2020

2020 USDA Corn, Cotton & Soybean August Yield Estimates Are Largest Ever

August 13, 2020 |

Corn, cotton and soybean yields are likely to hit record levels in 2020, according to USDA’s Crop Production Report, released on August 12. For the 2020 crop year, USDA estimates U.S. corn yield to be 181.8 bushels per acre, surpassing the previous record-setting estimate of 178.5 bushels per acre earlier this year. USDA has 2020 soybean yield estimates rising to 53.3 bushels per acre, up from 49.8 bushels per acre estimated earlier this year and surpassing the record yield of 52 bushels per acre set in 2016. USDA estimates 2020 cotton yields to reach 938 pounds per acre, up from 823 pounds per acre in 2019, surpassing the historic record of 904.7 pounds per acre. Prior to the report’s release, analysts pegged the average corn yield at 180.4 bushels per acre and the average soybean yield at 51.3 bushels per acre. Ahead of the report, cotton analysts estimated cotton production would decline to 17.19 million 480-pound bales.

Lack of DMC Payments Does Not Reflect Dairy Farmers’ Difficulties

August 12, 2020 |

USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced DMC did not make payments to any producers for the month of June and it likely will announce zero payments for July as well.

Ag Foundation Announces Winners in STEM Contest

August 12, 2020 | News Releases

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture recognized two student teams for their innovative solutions to water management and filtration in the Spring 2020 Purple Plow Challenge.
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The State: of the Biden-Harris Ticket

August 12, 2020 |

The Democratic ticket will be Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, the Senator from California. We examine the impact Harris will have on this campaign and what is portends for Joe Biden.

New MacDonald Flies a Drone

‘Accurate Ag’ Authors Talk Books in Aug. 18 Webinar

August 12, 2020 |

If the first phrase that comes to mind when you think of Old MacDonald is “E-I-E-I-O,” then you might also picture Mr. Old Mac – skinny, overalls, straw hat, pitchfork…old — surrounded by his farm full of noisy animals.

Your Voice, Your American Farm Bureau

August 12, 2020 |

A lot has changed this year.

USDA Makes More Commodities Eligible for CFAP Assistance

Aquaculture, Eggs, Nursery Crops, Flowers and Sheep Now Eligible

August 12, 2020 |

USDA has made more commodities eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and has extended the deadline for all producers to apply for CFAP to September 11, 2020. Following the collection of comments and supporting data, USDA has added more specialty crops, livestock, aquaculture, nursery crops and flowers to the CFAP eligibility list.

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