Monday, December 5, 2016

Farm income to sink even more than expected, USDA says By Spencer Chase © Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2016 - USDA says that an already grim financial picture in the farm sector has actually gotten worse and will continue to do so. In its November update of its farm sector income forecast, USDA's Economic Research Service predicts a drop in farm income for the third consecutive year. Net cash farm income is forecast at $90.1 billion, down 14.6 percent from 2015, and down from $94.1 billion seen in August. Net farm income, meanwhile, is seen at $66.9 billion, a 17.2 percent drop from last year. The decreases come after the sector set record highs for farm income in 2012 and 2013. Help grow your crop insurance business with a proven leader focused on overall service and satisfaction. The animal ag sector is perhaps playing the biggest role in the decrease. Crop receipt forecasts are essentially unchanged, but animal and animal products receipts are forecast to drop $23.4 billion, about 12.3 percent, in 2016. Some slight relief looks to be headed to producers as production expenses are predicted to fall while government payments increase. Those payments are seen rising by $2.1 billion, or just over 19 percent in 2016, pushed by a whopping 159.6 percent jump in payments under the Price Loss Coverage program and a 35.7 percent increase in the Agricultural Risk Coverage program. For the second straight year, production expenses are expected to decrease. ERS forecasts a 2.6 percent drop in 2016 after those same expenses fell 8.1 percent in 2015. The 2016 decline is expected to total about $9.2 billion. Expenses peaked in 2014 at $390 billion. Net rent expenses are also expected to drop in 2016 by almost $20 billion, or 1.6 percent. While farm income is expected to continue its decline, total median farm household income - which also takes into account off-farm income - is expected to rise slightly, by less than 1 percent. The forecast is the last for 2016. Final data for the year is expected to arrive at some point in 2017, which will give economists a more definitive farm income picture for 2016. ERS will unveil 2017 farm income estimates early next year. In a statement, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack focused on what he felt like were positives from the report such as the healthy household income figure and low debt to asset and equity ratios. He said the report shows “that the health of the overall farm economy is strong in the face of challenging markets” and pointed out that the current five-year period for farm income is still the highest on record. In a separate report, ERS and USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service projected 2017 agricultural exports at $134 billion, a $1 billion increase from August estimates. Half of the increase - $500 million - comes from increased dairy estimates, and grain and fees exports are expected to jump about $300 million. Agricultural imports for 2017 are projected at $112.5 billion, a $1 billion drop from the August forecast. If the projections are realized, U.S. agriculture would observe a $21.5 billion trade surplus, an increase of almost $5 billion from 2016. However, that would still represent a decline of $4 billion from 2015 and a drop of $21.6 billion from 2014. (Story updated at 4:40 ET) #30 For more news, go to ©2016 Agri-Pulse Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy Learn about the benefits of subscribing to Agri-Pulse. Sign up for your four-week free trial Agri-Pulse subscription.

Agricultural producers urged to sign-up for federal assistance program

ALBUQUERQUE — Assistant State Conservationist Kris Graham Chavez of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Mexico announced Wednesday that a sign-up for fiscal year 2017 Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is underway and all New Mexico agricultural producers should consider applying for financial assistance under special conservation initiatives. The sign up deadline is Dec. 16. While producers can apply year round for EQIP assistance, this application cutoff announcement is specific to the following nine National Initiatives, two State Initiatives and two Local Programs that are Organic, On-Farm Energy, Conservation Activity Plans, Ogallala National Initiative, StrikeForce, Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Initiative, Drought Initiative, National Water Quality Initiative, New Mexico State Acequia Initiative, New Mexico Watershed Initiative, FY 2017 General EQIP and 2016 North Central RCPP. Producers can apply by visiting their local USDA Service Center and submitting their Conservation Program Application (NRCS-CPA-1200). Producers who have established a Client Gateway account may submit their application online. Producers need to receive a farm and tract number from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) by the application deadline. “We want New Mexico farmers and ranchers to know that we are ready to assist producers get conservation on the ground and hope they will take this time to stop by their local NRCS office to discuss their current conservation needs," Chavez said. "If one of these initiatives does not fit the needs of the customer, the field office staff will be happy to discuss a conservation plan and financial assistance that will be available in Fiscal Year 2018 that would fit their operation." EQIP provides a targeted, science-based approach to restoring and protecting habitat while strengthening rural economies and cultivating collaboration among conservation partners. EQIP provides a flat rate payment to producers to install conservation practices, such as Range Planting, Windbreaks, Residue Management No-Till, Riparian Forest Buffers, Watering Facilities, Fence, Tree Planting, and Wildlife Habitat Management. NRCS provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment. For more information about NRCS New Mexico visit NRCS New Mexico.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for December 2016

USDA Announces Commodity Credit Corporation Lending Rates for December 2016 12/01/2016 10:00 AM EST WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) today announced interest rates for December 2016. The CCC borrowing rate-based charge for December is 0.750 percent, up from 0.625 percent in November.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

uide I-102: West Nile Virus: Information for New Mexico

Guide I-102: West Nile Virus: Information for New Mexico Revised by Sonja Koukel (Community and Environmental Health Specialist, Dept. of Extension Family and Consumer Sci.)

Cotton Growers to gather Jan. 11 for annual conference

Cotton Growers to gather Jan. 11 for annual conference DATE: 11/30/2016 WRITER: Darrell J. Pehr, 575-646-3223, CONTACT: John Idowu, 575-646-2571, The New Mexico Cotton Growers Association Conference provides an opportunity for cotton growers in New Mexico to update their knowledge on important production practices and to also learn about new technologies in cotton production coming out from the industry. It also provides an opportunity for cotton growers to network among themselves and discuss matters that are of mutual benefit. The 2017 New Mexico Cotton Growers Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the Ruidoso Convention Center, 111 Sierra Blanca Drive, Ruidoso, New Mexico. This year’s conference will focus on cotton nutrition and fertilization, disease management, cotton varieties, cotton economics, the current regulatory environment and cotton classification and grading. “We have a lineup of great speakers, from within and outside of New Mexico, who will deliver cutting-edge information related to cotton production practices,” said John Idowu, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service agronomist. “We will also have representatives from seed, chemical and irrigation industries, to provide information on products that can lead to cost savings for farmers.” All New Mexico cotton growers, extension educators, crop consultants and stakeholders are welcome to attend. Registration fee is $25 per person, which includes lunch. Registration form can be downloaded at Mail, email or fax completed registration forms to Patrick Sullivan, 1946 S. Valley Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88005,, phone 575-541-0584 or fax 575-541-0788. Those who wish to come the day before the conference can stay at The Lodge at Sierra Blanca, 107 Sierra Blanca Drive, Ruidoso, 575-258-5500. The hotel offers a discounted conference rate in conjunction with the New Mexico Hay Association Conference. Please reference the NM Hay Association Conference when making reservations. If you have any questions, please contact Idowu at, 575-646-2571, or Sullivan at, 575-541-0584. - 30 -

Statement by Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Latest Quarterly Export Forecast for 2017

Statement by Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Latest Quarterly Export Forecast for 2017 WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued the following statement on the forecast for U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2017. "U.S. farmers and ranchers continue to rise to the challenge of supplying the world with high-quality, American-grown products. At a projected $134 billion in 2017, U.S. farm exports continue to rally and remain on the record-setting pace of the past eight years. Since 2009, the United States has exported more than $1 trillion in agricultural products, far more than any other period in our history, thanks to the productivity and ingenuity of American farmers and ranchers, aided in part by the work of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service to arrange and support trade missions and of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to break down trade barriers. "The $134-billion forecast represents an increase of $4.3 billion from 2016 and would be the sixth-highest total on record. U.S. agriculture is once again expected to post a trade surplus, totaling $21.5 billion, up nearly 30 percent from the $16.6 billion surplus in 2016. "The expected volume of 2017 exports is noteworthy, with bulk commodity exports expected to surpass last year's record levels - led by soybeans at a record 55.8 million metric tons, and corn, up 11 percent from last year, to 56.5 million metric tons. The volume of cotton exports is expected to begin recovering and most livestock and poultry products should see moderate increases in export volume as well. "Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, also driving rural economic activity and supporting more than one million American jobs both on and off the farm. Earlier today, USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) released the Farm Income and Financial Forecasts for 2016, demonstrating the strength and resilience of the farm economy in the face of challenging markets, in large part due to the contribution of exports. Over the past eight years, USDA has worked to boost export opportunities for U.S. agricultural products by opening new markets, pursuing new trade agreements, enforcing existing agreements, and breaking down barriers to trade. "USDA has made support for exports and production agriculture one of the Four Pillars of a 21st century rural economy, along with local and regional food systems, the biobased economy, and conservation and natural resources, and has made significant, targeted investments in these areas. Today's reports showing growing exports and stable farm incomes reflect the strategic, consistent work of the Obama Administration since 2009 to help rural America thrive. We must continue promoting a favorable trade environment for American exports and making targeted investments that drive the rural economy forward to ensure this progress continues." Full forecast: #

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Farm Income Forecast for 2016

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Farm Income Forecast for 2016 WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2016 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement today on the Farm Income and Financial Forecasts for 2016, released by USDA's Economic Research Service. "Today's forecast continues to show that the health of the overall farm economy is strong in the face of challenging markets. After reaching record highs in 2012-2014, net farm income declined in 2015 and is forecast to decline in 2016, but the bigger picture shows that farm income over the last five-year period reflects the highest average five-year period on record. The comprehensive farm safety net provided by the 2014 Farm Bill will continue to help America's farmers and ranchers respond to market conditions and provide financial stability for producers. Farm Bill program payments are forecast to increase over 19 percent to $12.9 billion in 2016, primarily through Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payments. "As we saw in the August forecast, the estimates again show that debt to asset and debt to equity ratios -- two key indicators of the farm economy's health -- continue to be near all-time lows, and more than 90% of farm businesses are not highly leveraged. Median household income for farming families remains near historic highs and is expected to remain stable relative to 2015. In 2016, higher off-farm earnings are expected to help stabilize losses due to low commodity prices. "The trend in strong household income reflects work of the Obama Administration since 2009 to make significant and targeted investments to help rural America thrive, including farming and non-farming families alike. At the beginning of the Obama Administration, rural areas were reeling from the Great Recession. Rural counties were losing 200,000 jobs per year, rural unemployment reached nearly 10 percent, and poverty rates reached heights unseen in decades. Over the past eight years, USDA has invested in building a more robust system of production agriculture, expanding foreign markets for U.S. farm goods, bolstering local and regional food systems across the country, and creating a new biobased economy in rural communities that today supports more than 4.2 million American jobs. Rural counties added over 250,000 jobs in both 2014 and 2015, and the rural unemployment rate has dropped below 6 percent for the first time since 2007. Rural populations have stabilized and are beginning to grow. Median household income in rural areas increased by 3.4 percent in 2015, poverty rates have fallen, and child food insecurity is at an all-time low. "The future of rural America looks much brighter today, but we must continue to focus on the targeted investments to help the rural economy retool itself for the 21st century." Full Forecast: #