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The 2017 Census of Agriculture, Our First Take

April 19, 2019 |

The 2017 Census of Agriculture was released last week to much-deserved fanfare. The Census of Ag is a herculean effort undertaken by USDA every five years by a staff of dedicated professionals intent on asking the right questions, in the right way, in order to paint the most accurate picture of U.S. agriculture at the time the data is collected. One small point of reference to highlight how seriously USDA takes the Census of Agriculture - the response rate for the 2017 Census of Agriculture was 71.8 percent. Many studies have been conducted regarding survey response rates. The following response rates are common, according to the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research: customer and member surveys – 5 to 40 percent; general public – 1 to 20 percent. The Census of Agriculture would likely be described as a hybrid of these two types. But by either definition, USDA’s doggedness for collecting responses is clearly impressive. The survey results will be the source of research and discussion for years to come; we dig into some of the high-level results here.

Egg-cellent Supply, Lower Retail Prices on Tap

April 17, 2019 |

The egg market is far too complex to distill into one short Market Intel, so what follows is a high-level look at egg production in the U.S.

What is Chapter 12 Family Farmer Bankruptcy?

April 11, 2019 |

In recent months much attention has been given to the rise in Chapter 12 family farmer bankruptcies in portions of the U.S., e.g., Farm Bankruptcies in 2018 – The Truth is Out There. On the legislative front, the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 was introduced to help more family farmers reorganize and restructure their debt following several years of low commodity prices and poor economic conditions in agriculture. Today’s article provides a high-level overview of the Chapter 12 family farmer bankruptcy provisions. Farmers seriously considering Chapter 12 bankruptcy should work with their creditors and an attorney to establish and confirm a Chapter 12 plan.

Southern Border Showdown, 2020

April 10, 2019 |

Last week, President Trump walked back the threat to close the southern U.S. border, a potential development that had caused a significant amount of concern among the agricultural community. Hindsight is 20/20, but we don’t need hindsight to tell us that a shutdown (or slowdown) at the southern border would be disastrous for U.S. ag trade. In 2018, the United States exported more than $19 billion in agricultural products to Mexico. In this Market Intel, we dig into why a border shutdown or even a limited port closure would have affected producers differently based on commodity, season and location. The Department of Transportation maintains detailed statistics on U.S.- North American freight by port, commodity group and mode. That data shows 69 percent of all two-way, U.S.-Mexico trade occurs by truck, 13 percent by rail, 11 percent by vessel, 3 percent by air and 4 percent by other means, including pipeline and mail. Agricultural trade follows a somewhat similar pattern; 69 percent of two-way, U.S.-Mexico agricultural trade occurs by truck, 20 percent by rail, 9 percent by vessel and 2 percent by other means, including air.

Watch Out for Those Overprotective Momma Cows

April 24, 2019 |

If you ever get the chance to visit with a cattle rancher or beef producer, you may hear some good stories about overprotective momma cows.

Farmers, the Unsung Heroes of Earth Day

April 24, 2019 |

My office window in Washington looks out on a construction site right now. If you come visit, you’ll see mounds of dirt, huge concrete poles, scaffolding and a small army of front-loaders and cranes.

AFBF Encourages Rural Communities to Participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

April 23, 2019 | Newsline

The American Farm Bureau Federation is encouraging rural communities to participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday. Micheal Clements has more.
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Farm Bureau Selects 10th Partners in Advocacy Leadership Class

April 22, 2019 | News Releases

The American Farm Bureau Federation recently selected an outstanding group of young farmer and rancher leaders as the organization’s 10th Partners in Advocacy Leadership class.
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Agriculture, Natural Resources Groups Support Multi-Stakeholder Proposal to Manage Wild Horses and Burros

April 22, 2019 | News Releases

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Public Lands Council (PLC), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), and Society for Range Management (SRM) today announced support for a proposal to reduce wild horse and burro populations on western rangelands.
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Farm Groups Ask President, Congress for Disaster Relief

April 19, 2019 | News Releases

A group of 135 farm organizations and banks that supply seasonal loans to farms and ranches today called on the President and Congress to put aside political differences and supply urgently needed relief in the wake of weather-related disasters in 2018 and 2019.
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