Tag Archives: USDA

The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency announced the May 2020 income over feed cost margin triggered the third payment in 2020 of the Dairy Margin Coverage program.

In May, the income over feed cost margin was $5.37 per hundredweight. To date, FSA has issued more than $176 million in benefits to dairy producers who purchased DMC coverage for 2020. Authorized by the 2018 farm bill, DMC is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price, the margin, falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Over 13,000 operations enrolled in the program for the 2020 calendar year. Although DMC enrollment for 2020 coverage has closed, signup for 2021 coverage will begin October 13 and will run through December 11, 2020. For more information, visit the farmers.gov DMC webpage or contact your local USDA Service Center.

Markets turn around…a correction that wasn’t a Tuesday.  USDA report out tomorrow.  Will see a quick knee jerk reaction to the report & then the report market reaction will mellow out some.  Will June report have more weight than the September report?  Will the weather & warmth for first part of July be a market issue?  Another pressure point has been COVID-19 & its effects on the markets of soybeans.


The latest quarterly hog and pig report from USDA shows the US hog inventory is up 5%.

As of June 1, 2020 the United States inventory of all hogs and pigs was 79.6 million head. This was up 5 percent from June 1, 2019, and up 3 percent from March 1, 2020.

Breeding inventory of hogs in the US came in  at 6.33 million head. That is down 1 percent from last year, and down 1 percent from the previous quarter. The March-May 2020 pig crop, at 34.9 million head, was up 1 percent from 2019. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.17 million head, up 1 percent from 2019. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 50 percent of the
breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high of 11.01 for the March-May period, compared to
11.00 last year.

Market hog inventory was up 6 percent from last year at 73.3 million head. That was also up 3 percent from last quarter.

To view the full Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, visit https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

2019 2020 2020 as percent of 2018
(1,000 head) (1,000 head) (percent)
All Hogs June 1 75,725 79,634 105%
Kept for Breeding 6,410 6,326 99%
Kept for Marketing 69,316 73,308 106%
Under 50 lbs. 22,210 22,160 100%
50-119 lbs. 19,693 20,370 103%
120-179 lbs. 14,396 16,090 112%
180 lbs. and over 13,017 14,687 113%
March-May 3,133 3,172 101%
Jun-Aug * 3,275 3,123 95%
Sep-Nov * 3,265 3,090 95%
Mar-May Pig Crop 34,454 34,933 101%
(number) (number) (percent)
Mar-May Pigs Per Litter 11.00 11.01 100%


Quarterly Hog and Pig report graph

Darrell Holaday, Country Futures, calls the report bearish and anticipates selling in the futures market on Friday.

Commodities have been on the lower side for 2020 so far, and farmers growing crops from corn to sunflowers and wheat need to be sure to get their 2020 ARC/PLC contracts into their local FSA office before Tuesday, June 30.

“The June deadline is critical. If they don’t get those contracts into us, they (farmers) become ineligible to receive a payment through the ARC/PLC programs. Should one trigger for an eligible crop when it comes time for issuing those payments,” said Bobbie Kriz-Wickham, public affairs-outreach coordinator at the Nebraska State USDA-Farm Service Agency office.

The Scotts Bluff County Farm Service Agency mailed out the 2020 Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program contracts to farm operators, but not many have made it back to the office. 

In the U.S., more than 1.4 million ARC and PLC contracts have already been received for the 2020 crop year, which is represents 89 percent of expected enrollment. FSA recently sent reminder postcards to producers who, according to agency records, have not yet submitted signed contracts for ARC or PLC for the 2020 crop year.

Although program elections for the 2020 crop year remain the same as elections made for 2019, all producers need to sign a 2020 ARC/PLC enrollment contract.

Producers need to return their 2020 ARC/PLC signed contracts by mail, postmarked on or before Tuesday, June 30, at the Scottsbluff office, which has a dropbox; or email valerie.rahrs@usda.gov.

New data from the Department of Agriculture shows nearly half of all family farmers and their spouses reported having a job off the farm in 2018.

USDA’s Economic Research Service reports the majority of households, regardless of farm size, say they work off the farm because it is more lucrative than farm work, provides more reliable income, and may offer health and retirement benefits.

Among small family farms, those with annual gross cash farm income under $350,000, about 88 percent reported working off the farm because it was more reliable and 75 percent because it was more lucrative.

Among large-scale farm households, those with annual gross cash farm income of $1 million or more, about 72 percent reported working off the farm because it was more reliable and 51 percent because it was more lucrative. About 40 percent of all principal operators or their spouses who work off the farm listed farm-related financial stress as a reason for having a job off the farm.

National Pollinator Week, June 22 – 28, celebrates agriculture’s partner in food production, the pollinator.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture added programs for pollinators, as they are essential in supplying around one-third of every bite we eat.

“So some of the ways we use our Farm Bill is often through CRP (Conservation Resource Program). To work with pollinator type programs, where we can do portions of acres with pollinator or through a new program CP43 prairie strips to benefit native pollinators,” said Mike Klosterman, Farm Bill wildlife biologist at the Scottsbluff Natural Resouce Conservation Office.

Pollinator mixes can fit a producer’s land by design or purchase with a variety of flowering species. The mixes shouldn’t have as much grass, but more native flowers, like Penstemons and blanket flowers to black-eyed Susans, and of course, milkweed, these varieties will bloom from the beginning of spring through to late summer at different times.

“Establishment can be a tricky part of any pollinator planting,” said Klosterman. “One thing we focus on is site preparation, and an important step is preparing the site, we want a good clean firm seedbed.”

A pollinator habitat will attract a variety of pollinators from insects to bats and the familiar European Honey Bee, while the bees are known pollinators. Klosterman said the native bees are hardier than the European transplants and will work harder and even when weather conditions are not ideal.

To learn more about the USDA CRP and CP-43 programs, contact your local NRCS office.

To hear more on planting preparation – click below



House Ag Chair Collin Peterson and several subcommittee chairs sent a letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue highlighting concerns about the implementation of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

The letter talks about the continued loss in both value and demand for agricultural products related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, they say CFAP doesn’t include commodities under contract, even though several of the most-impacted crops are typically grown under contracts, such as potatoes and malting barley.

USDA chose to cover livestock sales between January 15th and April 15th when COVID-19-related livestock market declines didn’t start until February of this year. Some of the lowest market prices also persisted well beyond April 15th, effectively and arbitrarily picking winners and losers based solely on when livestock was sold without regard to actual market conditions.  Another concern is the wool crop.  Price differences between graded and ungraded wool has raised a flag with sheep producers as cooperatives and individual buyers are not purchasing wool right now do to lost sales with China.  So for many the wool sits in sheds.

The House Ag Committee Chairs also say CFAP doesn’t recognize the cost premium of organic crops by differentiating organic prices for certified organic producers. USDA also used data not fully representative of the farmgate value of some specialty crops to determine their eligibility for CFAP and CFAP payment rates.

In addition to several other concerns, the Chairs point to lingering concerns over staffing levels and the existing workload at Farm Service Agency county offices, as well as what delays those factors may cause in distributing CFAP assistant.