Industry News | 2-22-21
USDA Expects Both Corn and Soybean Acres to Top 90 Million in 2021
USDA’s 2021 Ag Outlook Forum kicked off last week with a peek at the possible acreage mix for 2021. During the Forum, USDA’s new chief economist, Seth Meyer, pointed out that the acreage picture largely hinges on weather, as it normally does. Meyer told Outlook attendees the projection is based on the assumption of normal planting weather. He says if weather cooperates, U.S. farmers could see an increase in total planted acres in 2021, with a record combined corn and soybean planted acres this year.
Texas Freeze Will Cost Ag Producers Millions in Lost Production
Farmers and ranchers in the south continue to assess the damage following the record-setting and deadly Arctic blast. Texas state agricultural officials say the cost of this storm will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. "Just our citrus industry, their loss of just the fruit, not including damage to trees, is over $300 million and it will put a lot of our citrus growers out of business," said Sid Miller, commissioner of agriculture in Texas.
USDA Resources for Winter Storm Victims
USDA has programs to provide assistance to farmers, ranchers, and small businesses affected by the winter storm that has swept across the country. “USDA is committed to getting help to producers and rural Americans impacted by the severe weather in many parts of the country. As severe weather and natural disasters continue to threaten the livelihoods of thousands of our farming families, we want you and your communities to know that USDA stands with you,” says Kevin Shea, acting secretary of agriculture.
Infrastructure a Critical Need Going Forward
While most agree that as the agricultural sector improves it could benefit from infrastructure upgrades, not all share the same priorities. Ag advocacy groups have differing agendas on strengthening infrastructure, depending on specific needs in the marketplace. Some are pushing for domestic transportation while others see international trade as the priority. Peter Friedmann is among those in the latter category.
U.S. Wheat Producers Could Benefit from Russian Export Tax
U.S. wheat farmers could be among the beneficiaries of a Russian export tax. Beginning March 1 until June 30, the Russian government will be placing a tax of 50 euro (US $61) per tonne of exported wheat. This is in addition to barley and corn exports being taxed at rates of 10 euro (US $12) per tonne and 25 euro (US $30) per tonne, respectively, Reuters reported. “This tax is to help curb exports of wheat or corn, to help bring down inflation and to make sure that the country has enough food for local consumption,” said Moe Agostino, chief commodity strategist with Farms.com Risk Management.