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AgLines: Sen. Fischer cosponsors bill to help ag producers be part of climate solution

AgLines: Sen. Fischer cosponsors bill to help ag producers be part of climate solution

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The U.S. Senate passed the Growing Climate Solutions Act by a vote of 92 to 8 this past week. Sen. Deb Fischer, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is an original cosponsor of the legislation, which would create a certification program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enable farmers and ranchers to more easily enter into carbon credit markets voluntarily. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

“Nebraska ag producers are good stewards of our land and resources,” Fischer said. “They also want to be a part of the climate solution. I am a cosponsor of the bill the Senate passed today. It would enable farmers and ranchers to voluntarily participate in carbon markets so they can build on the great work they are already doing.”

The GCSA would create a certification process at USDA to help solve technical entry barriers to farmer and rancher participation in carbon credit markets.

USDA would certify third party liaisons to help producers monetize sustainable practices. These liaisons would help producers voluntarily enter carbon credit markets and provide information on practices that capture carbon, reduce emissions, improve soil health, and make operations more sustainable.

Farm Business Network releases 2021 U.S. acreage report

Farm Business Network’s 2021 U.S. Acreage Report found that strong prices and good planting weather likely helped push the corn acreage number above the USDA’s March reading of 91.1 million acres.

Soybean planting, which was estimated at 87.6 million acres in March, FBN projects now could drop to 86.5 million — potentially indicating a razor thin carryout crop.

“The USDA report usually drives volatility that’s three to four times greater than a typical trading day,” said Kevin McNew, chief economist at Farmers Business Network. “With grain stocks at the tightest level in seven years, we want to provide our farmer members with the most comprehensive data and intelligence ahead of this report so they can make the best decisions for their operation.”

FBN’s report is based on survey responses from more than 2,000 farmer members, aggregated across 40 states, representing 4.2 million acres and nine principal crops.

For the corn crop, FBN’s latest data show that Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri were the three biggest leaders when it came to increasing corn acres. Farmer preference for corn appears to have worked against soybeans this season. While the overall loss of 1 million acres is a small drop, it could lead to big price implications. Illinois farmers appear to have reduced soybean acreage more than any other state, by 297,000 acres.

Spring wheat acres planted increased minimally and likely won’t put downward pressure on prices, with farmers in Montana expanding this planting of this crop. North Dakota and Minnesota appeared to reduce their spring wheat acres versus March.

“The biggest factor since our spring planting report has been the drought that has impacted a wide swath of the West and Midwest,” McNew said. “Looking ahead, there will be a number of key drivers — from Chinese demand to the drought conditions to international crops — that will impact markets.”

From June until harvest, there are several market factors to keep tabs on for each crop. As China continues to rebuild its hog herd, their demand for corn remains high. This demand, paired with production losses in South America, fueled higher prices in the U.S. growing season. Weather conditions could impact prices; timely rains could materialize and lower prices this fall compared to what is currently available.

On the soybean front, limited U.S. acres and an increase in Chinese demand should drive prices higher, McNew says. Substantial yield losses for the spring wheat crop, meanwhile, are nearly assured given the dismal crop ratings.

Nebraska hog inventory unchanged from June 2020

Nebraska inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1 was 3.80 million head, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This was unchanged from June 1, 2020, but up 4% from March 1.

Breeding hog inventory, at 450,000 head, was up 2% from June 1, 2020, and up 2% from last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 3.35 million head, was down slightly from last year, but up 4% from last quarter.

The March to May 2021 Nebraska pig crop, at 2.26 million head, was up 2% from 2020. Sows farrowed during the period totaled 195,000 head, down 3% from last year. The average pigs saved per litter was 11.60 for the March to May period, compared to 11.10 last year.

Nebraska hog producers intend to farrow 200,000 sows during the June - August 2021 quarter, up 10% from the actual farrowings during the same period a year ago.

Intended farrowings for September to November 2021 are 200,000 sows, up 5% from the actual farrowings during the same period a year ago.

The United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on June 1 was 75.7 million head. This was down 2% from June 1, 2020, but up 1% from March 1.

Breeding inventory, at 6.23 million head, was down 2% from last year, but up slightly from the previous quarter.

Market hog inventory, at 69.4 million head, was down 2% from last year, but up 1% from last quarter.

The March to May pig crop, at 33.6 million head, was down 3% from 2020. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.07 million head, down 3% from 2020. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 49% of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.95 for the March to May period, compared to 11.00 last year.

United States hog producers intend to have 3.11 million sows farrow during the June-August 2021 quarter, down 4% from the actual farrowings during the same period one year earlier, and down 5% from the same period two years earlier. Intended farrowings for September to November 2021, at 3.08 million sows, are down 2% from the same period one year earlier, and down 4% from the same period two years earlier.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with more than 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 49% of the total United States hog inventory, unchanged from the previous year.

Nebraska layers down in May

All layers in Nebraska during May 2021 totaled 7.84 million, down from 8.43 million the previous year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Nebraska egg production during May totaled 195 million eggs, up from 166 million in 2020.

May egg production per 100 layers was 2,483 eggs, compared to 1,970 eggs in 2020.

Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board to meet in Kearney

The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board has scheduled a meeting for 9 a.m. Monday, July 26, at the Kearney Public Library, 2020 First Ave. in Kearney.

In addition to regular business, the board will hear program updates and elect officers for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The meeting is open to the public. Time will be allowed at the start of the meeting to receive public comment to offer input to board programs.

A copy of the agenda is available by emailing sorghum.board@nebraska.gov or by calling the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board at 402-471-4276. A virtual option will be available.

Farm Service Agency accepting nominations for county committee members

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency began accepting nominations for county committee members on June 15.

Elections will occur in certain Local Administrative Areas for these members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. All nomination forms for the 2021 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 2.

“We need enthusiastic, diverse leaders to serve other agricultural producers locally on FSA County Committees,” said Tim Divis, acting state executive director for FSA in Nebraska. “Now’s your time to step up and truly make an impact on how federal programs are administered at the local level to reach all producers fairly and equitably.”

Divis said agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in a USDA program, and reside in the LAA that is up for election this year, may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. LAAs are elective areas for FSA committees in a single county or multi-county jurisdiction.

The committees are made up of three to 11 members who serve three-year terms. Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency. Committee members are vital to how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

Producers should contact their local FSA office to register and find out how to get involved in their county’s election. They should check with their local USDA Service Center to see if their LAA is up for election this year. To be considered, a producer must be registered and sign an FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at fsa.usda.gov/elections.

Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 1. To find your local USDA Service Center, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.

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