Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thursday February 8 Ag News

Nebraska Soy Supports Global Seafood Production

Nebraska Soybean Board members and staff saw firsthand how soy grown in Nebraska contributes to seafood production worldwide at the United States Soybean Export Council’s Aquaculture Education Opportunity in Campeche, Mexico.

It was Nebraska Soybean Board Chairman Tony Johanson’s third time attending the Aquaculture Education Opportunity.

“The trip is meant to educate us on some of the practices being used in other countries to incorporate U.S. soybeans into fish diets and feed additives,” Johanson said.

As consumer demand for seafood rises, so does the need for farm-fed fish. Soybean meal is a high-quality protein that can be used in addition to or instead of fish meal in aquaculture. 

Eugene Goering, Nebraska Soybean Board member and secretary of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance, said the Aquaculture Education Opportunity allows soybean growers to better understand the challenges facing aquaculture.

“We get to learn what their needs are, and that helps us decide what projects to fund and what direction we need to be focusing our research on. The soybean checkoff dollars are investing into different research projects. Our own researchers have done a lot specifically with aquaculture feeds,” Goering said.

Some of those projects included the addition of taurine, an important nutrient in fish diets, to soybean meal, research in feeding techniques that prevent overfeeding and cleaning techniques that reduce water use.

Johanson said sustainability is one of the challenges facing aquaculture that the Nebraska Soybean Board hopes to solve with its research.

“We’ve got something we can build upon and keep going for years down the road. U.S. soybeans are one of the most sustainably produced products,” Johanson said. “We’re trying to make sure, year in and year out, that we’re producing a product we can use to supplement fish feed and livestock feed.”

Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding Sen. Briese Tax Relief Bill, LB 1084

“Today, in conjunction with other members of the Agriculture Leaders Working Group, the Nebraska Farm Bureau offered its support for LB 1084, legislation introduced by Sen. Tom Briese to generate new revenues to fund K-12 education, while also providing significant property tax relief.”

“As Nebraskans, quality education is important to all of us, yet we rely far too much on local property taxes to fund this state priority. LB 1084 provides a detailed plan on how the Legislature can move forward to address both. We thank Sen. Briese for bringing these ideas into the property tax discussion and for working with a diverse coalition of Nebraskans to do so.”

“Property tax reform should include relief for all property types: agriculture, residential, and commercial. Reform should include new revenues and fiscal restraints to reduce our property tax burdens. And, it should ensure adequate funding for high quality education for Nebraska students. LB 1084 does all of those.”

“The need for property tax relief is urgent. We cannot wait any longer and are willing to work with anyone and everyone when it comes to timely property tax relief. LB 1084 puts the ball in the Legislature’s court. Should our 49 senators and the governor fail to act, Nebraska’s property owners will be left with no other choice but to pursue relief through a ballot measure.”

ACE elects 2018 executive committee 

During its first quarter meeting, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Board of Directors elected its officers and Executive Committee members for 2018.

Re-elected to serve as officers on the Executive Committee are:
 ·    Duane Kristensen, representing Chief Ethanol Fuels, which owns ethanol plants in Hastings and Lexington, Nebraska. Kristensen accepted the nomination of President of the ACE Board.  “It is imperative to be involved in these complex times for our industry,” Kristensen said. “ACE has done tremendous work over the past 30 years, and I look forward through this capable organization and its staff to promote and provide many more opportunities for ethanol in the future.”

 ·    Ron Alverson, who represents Dakota Ethanol in Wentworth, South Dakota. Alverson accepted the Treasurer nomination this year after serving as ACE’s Board President for the past five years.  “Serving as chairman of ACE has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Alverson said. “The ACE Board of Directors, leadership and staff are the most talented, dedicated, generous and selfless people I’ve ever had the pleasure to be associated with. Duane will be an outstanding President with his world of experience and connections in the ethanol industry. Under his leadership, ACE will move our industry forward. I look forward to continuing to serve with him and others on the Board in the coming year.”

 ·    Dave Sovereign, who represents Golden Grain Energy in Mason City, Iowa, and serves on the board of Absolute Energy. Sovereign now serves as Vice President of the ACE Board of Directors.

 ·    Greg Krissek, who represents the Kansas Corn Growers Association, accepted the nomination of Secretary of the ACE Board of Directors.

 ·    Troy Knecht, representing the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, operates a diversified farming enterprise in Houghton, South Dakota, in addition to serving as the President of SDCGA.

This year, Chris Wilson was elected to ACE’s Executive Committee, representing Mid-Missouri Energy, a 60 million-gallon-per-year plant in Malta Bend, Missouri. Wilson serves as General Manager of the plant.  “I’m excited to join the ACE Executive Committee and looking forward to further advocating for rural America and renewable fuel,” Wilson said.

Swine Building Ventilation Workshops Set for March

Pork producers can learn more about building ventilation from the inside out through a series of workshops in March. Iowa Pork Industry Center joins Iowa Pork Producers Association and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in offering “Managing Your Unseen Employee: The Ventilation System” at six Iowa locations.

IPIC swine specialist Colin Johnson said this daylong workshop provides a two-pronged approach to understanding issues and consequences of decisions by combining classroom instruction with hands-on trials and application of knowledge gained in a real-world setting.

“Producers often question the efficiencies of their systems and are challenged seasonally in adjusting air exchange rates and the ventilation components within their barns,” Johnson said. “Iowa’s climate can provide a challenge but we aim to equip producers with the knowledge to make the best use of both their heating and cooling mechanisms within a given barn.”

The classroom sessions include the basics of ventilation systems, effective temperature requirements, troubleshooting tools and techniques. Producers will learn how to optimally ventilate their barns while keeping pigs of varying growth stages healthy and productive.

Following the classroom learning segments, Johnson said attendees will be able to see and feel the impacts that design, maintenance and management can have on various ventilation practices through the use of Iowa State’s 24-foot mobile Swine Ventilation Trailer.

“A valuable and much-appreciated benefit of these mobile workshops with Iowa State’s ventilation trailer is the ability to try one’s hand at investigating ventilation and controller settings without risk of on-farm biosecurity breaches,” he said. “This experience is invaluable for those who are responsible for building upkeep and ventilation on their farms.”

Workshop dates, locations and preregistration contacts
-    Thursday, March 1 - Sutherland, Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm, 6320 500th St. Contact: David Stender,, 712-225-6196
-    Tuesday, March 6 - Mason City, NIACC, 500 College Drive. Contact: Russ Euken,, 641-923-2856
-    Wednesday, March 7 - Montezuma, Meyer Seed and Chemical, 5204 Highway 63. Contact: Colin Johnson,, 515-291-9287 
-    Thursday, March 8 - Washington, National Guard Armory, 501 Highway 1 S. Contact: Tom Miller,, 319-653-4811
-    Wednesday, March 21 - Chickasaw County. Contact Mark Storlie for location,, 563-425-3331
-    Thursday, March 22 - Harlan, Ahrenholtz Construction, 2803 Southwest Ave. Contact: Erik Potter,, 515-460-5609

All workshops run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration starts at 9 a.m. Thanks to IPPA and other local sponsors, registration and the noon meal at all workshops are free. However, preregistration is required due to space limitations. Preregister by contacting the ISU Extension and Outreach swine specialist listed for the location you wish to attend.

50+ Organizations Support Moratorium on Iowa "Factory" Farms

Food and Water Watch press release

Today, a coalition of 55 environmental, citizen and agricultural organizations called on Iowa’s General Assembly to support legislative proposals for a moratorium on new and expanding factory farms in the state. The first-of-its-kind legislation moves beyond failed regulation attempts and focuses on implementing a statewide halt to new construction or expansion of factory farms in Iowa.

Currently, Iowa is home to over 10,000 factory farms, which produce more than 22 billion gallons of manure per year. The pollution generated by the industrial animal operations has resulted in widespread water contamination and diminished quality of life throughout the state.

“Across the nation, factory farming destroys communities and contaminates drinking water supplies and air quality,” said Krissy Kasserman, Food & Water Watch’s National Factory Farm Campaigner. “With Big Ag enjoying so many exemptions from key environmental laws, it’s clear that we can’t regulate ourselves out of this problem. A stop to the expansion of factory farming needs to happen now. It begins with Iowa.”

A harsh, unhealthy and environmentally risky form of food production, factory farming employs an unsustainable method of raising food animals that packs together large numbers of animals into confined spaces. Among the destructive results is the production of massive amounts of animal waste, creating risks to the local environment, natural resource contamination, the rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria and public health hazards, including respiratory infections, asthma, skin rashes, nausea and headaches. 

“It’s clear to Iowans that the factory farm industry is out of control. Our state agencies and lawmakers are failing to protect our communities and environment. Yet, we are seeing a massive expansion right now, with Iowa Select alone applying for more than 20 new or expanding factory farms in just a few months,” said Cherie Mortice, board president of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. “With 750 polluted water bodies in Iowa, we’re at a tipping point and need to put a stop to this industry immediately.”

“The Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture’s member groups are united behind the need to stop the proliferation of factory farms in Iowa in order to protect our environment, rural communities and quality of life,” said Diane Rosenberg, steering committee member for the Iowa Alliance for Responsible Agriculture. “Iowa’s General Assembly must act now to address these concerns by enacting a moratorium on new and expanded factory farms.”

“Our call for a moratorium is a call for the return of plain, old common sense,” said Chris Peterson, an independent Iowa hog farmer and regional representative for the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project. “Iowa is suffering under the enormous weight of a business that has no respect for the people, environment, animals and future of the state. The clock is ticking; we need to respond now.”

 Groups Want Injunction Against WOTUS Rule

The National Pork Producers Council and a diverse coalition of agricultural and business groups late yesterday – in the case American Farm Bureau Federation, et. al. vs. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – filed a request in federal court for a nationwide preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Obama administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule.

The Clean Water Act regulation issued in 2015 by the EPA gave the agency broad jurisdiction over U.S. waters to include, among other water bodies, upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams such as the kind farmers use for drainage and irrigation. It also covered lands adjacent to such waters.

A U.S. Court of Appeals in October 2015 blocked the rule’s implementation, but a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that lawsuits against the WOTUS Rule should be heard at the federal District Court level technically lifted that stay. (In 2015, NPPC, other agriculture and business groups and the attorneys general from numerous states filed lawsuits against the regulation in U.S. District Courts around the country.)

Last year, EPA announced it would repeal and replace the rule. The agency recently proposed to amend the existing regulation to delay the applicability date for two years. It is expected soon to propose a regulation to rescind the rule, then promulgate a new rule based on input from regulated parties, including farmers.

In asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas for a stay of the WOTUS Rule, NPPC and the other organizations argue that the EPA’s repeal-and-replace process likely will be subjected to legal challenges and that “a nationwide preliminary injunction is imperative.

“The risk that the WOTUS Rule might come in and out of effect repeatedly over the coming years as new regulations are promulgated and new lawsuits are brought represents a manifest irreparable harm not only to the States … but also to private landowners and business owners.”

In addition to a lack of regulatory certainty, the organizations contend, if the current WOTUS Rule were to go into effect, it would subject farmers and business owners to citizen enforcement suits, which, if successful, carry heavy civil and potentially criminal penalties.

NMPF Supports Legislative Provisions to Improve Dairy Safety Net, Expand Risk Management Tools

The National Milk Producers Federation today said the proposed dairy policy reforms included in the newly unveiled congressional disaster assistance package are “much-needed improvements to the dairy safety net,” according to NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern, and come at a time when many of America’s dairy farmers are struggling financially after a third year of stagnant prices.

NMPF sent a letter Thursday to the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, urging passage of the larger spending bill that contains reforms to the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) and provides access to additional risk management tools from the Agriculture Department (USDA). These key dairy-related elements in the bill will create $1.2 billion in baseline spending for the next Farm Bill, paving the way for additional improvements to the MPP.

The dairy provisions are part of a spending package announced Wednesday night by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. In the NMPF letter sent to McConnell, Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, NMPF outlined the difficult economic situation facing dairy producers today, including declining milk prices and global export challenges. The proposed dairy policy changes will better help farmers weather this challenging environment, the letter said.

The MPP reforms included in the dairy package include:
-    Raising the catastrophic coverage level from $4.00 to $5.00 for the first tier of covered production for all dairy farmers;
-    Adjusting the first tier of covered production to include every dairy farmer’s first five million pounds of annual milk production (about 217 cows) instead of four million pounds, a recognition of the growth in herd sizes across the country;
-    Reducing the premium rates, effective immediately, for every producer’s first five million pounds of production, to better enable dairy farmers to afford the higher levels of coverage that will provide more meaningful protection against low margins;
-    Modifying the margin calculation to a monthly (from bi-monthly) basis, to make the program more accurate and responsive to producers in difficult months;
-    Waiving the annual $100 administrative fees for underserved farmers;
-    Directing USDA to immediately reopen the program signup for 2018.

The disaster package also lifts the $20 million annual cap on all livestock insurance, including the Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) program. This will allow USDA to develop a wider variety of additional risk management tools that will be especially important for larger dairy producers and can complement the MPP.

“We applaud Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for spearheading the badly needed reforms to the MPP, which will make the program a more effective safety net for dairy producers,” said Mulhern. “These critical provisions are based on their proposal that was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last summer in a bipartisan vote. The reforms also reflect the assistance of Sens. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), as well as key members of the House.”

“Similarly, we commend Reps. Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) for crafting important language to remove the existing cap on livestock insurance products, including the Livestock Gross Margin-Dairy program. This will give dairy farmers the opportunity to access a variety of additional risk management tools that can complement MPP, and it garnered bipartisan support from our Senate allies. Taken together, these changes will provide important risk management tools for dairy farm operations of all sizes.”

Assuming these dairy provisions – and additional funding for the cotton program – are approved as part of the budget deal this week, NMPF will then focus on working with the Senate and House agriculture committees on shaping the 2018 Farm Bill. The added resources established by the fixes to the MPP and LGM program “help pave the way for final adjustments to the dairy safety net for the next five years as Congress crafts a new Farm Bill,” Mulhern said.

World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates - Feb 8, 2018

COARSE GRAINS:  This month’s 2017/18 U.S. corn outlook is for increased exports and reduced stocks. Exports are raised 125 million bushels, reflecting U.S. price competitiveness and reduced exports for Argentina and Ukraine.  With no other use changes, U.S. corn ending stocks are lowered 125 million bushels from last month.  The season-average corn price received by producers is projected at $3.30 per bushel, up 5 cents at the midpoint.  The U.S. sorghum supply, use, and midpoint price forecasts are unchanged relative to last month.

Global coarse grain production for 2017/18 is projected 2.3 million tons lower to 1,321.9 million.  This month’s foreign coarse grain outlook is for lower production, greater consumption, and lower stocks relative to last month.  Global corn production is lowered 2.8 million tons largely reflecting reductions for Argentina and Ukraine.  For Argentina, persistent heat and dryness during January and early February reduced yield prospects for early-planted corn in key central growing areas.  Production is lowered for Ukraine based on the latest official statistics.  Small increases for Moldova, Mexico, Bangladesh, and Thailand are partly offsetting. Barley production is raised for Argentina.  Mexico sorghum production is increased. 

Major global trade changes for 2017/18 include higher projected corn exports for the United States and Brazil, with reductions for Argentina and Ukraine.  Corn imports are raised for Turkey, the EU, and Brazil.  Foreign corn ending stocks are down from last month, mostly reflecting reductions for Argentina and Ukraine that more than offset increases for Mexico, Brazil, and Turkey.  Global corn ending stocks, at 203.1 million tons, are down 3.5 million from last month.

OILSEEDS:  This month’s 2017/18 U.S. soybean outlook is for reduced exports and increased ending stocks.  Soybean exports for 2017/18 are projected at 2,100 million bushels, down 60 million from last month, reflecting shipments and sales through January and increased export competition on larger supplies in Brazil.  With soybean crush unchanged, soybean ending stocks are raised 60 million bushels to 530 million.

The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2017/18 is projected at $8.90 to $9.70 per bushel, unchanged at the midpoint.  Soybean oil prices are forecast at 31 to 34 cents per pound, down 1 cent at the midpoint.  Soybean meal prices are projected at $305 to $335 per short ton, up $5 at the midpoint.

Global oilseed production for 2017/18 is projected at 578.6 million tons, down 1.5 million with lower soybean production partly offset by higher cottonseed.  Soybean production is reduced 1.7 million tons to 346.9 million.  Soybean production for Brazil is projected at 112.0 million tons, up 2.0 million, as favorable weather throughout the growing season has raised yield prospects.  Argentina production is reduced 2.0 million tons to 54.0 million on lower harvested area and reduced yields resulting from periods of unseasonable warmth and dryness.  Soybean production is also reduced for several other countries including Paraguay, Bolivia, India, Ukraine, and South Africa.  Other changes include reduced sunflowerseed production for South Africa, increased cottonseed production for China, and lower cottonseed production for India.

Global oilseed crush for 2017/18 is projected at 487.5 million tons, down 1.0 million.  Reduced soybean crush for Argentina and India accounts for most of the change.  Global oilseed stocks are projected lower with reduced soybean stocks for Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and India more than offsetting an increase for the United States.

WHEAT:  Projected 2017/18 U.S. ending stocks are raised this month by 20 million bushels as higher food use is more than offset by lower exports, while export forecasts for several major competitors are increased.  Estimated food use is increased by 5 million bushels to 955 million, based on the NASS Flour Milling Products report, which indicated higher-than-expected use in the first half of 2017/18.  Additionally, implied flour extraction rates were lower in the second quarter, as compared to last year, and a continuation of this trend is expected to support increased wheat for food usage into the second half of 2017/18.  No other supply or use categories are changed this month.  Based on NASS prices reported to date and price expectations for the rest of the marketing year, the projected season-average farm price (SAFP) remains unchanged at the midpoint of $4.60 per bushel.  However, the projected SAFP range is narrowed by 5 cents at both ends of the range to $4.55 to $4.65.

Global 2017/18 wheat supplies increased, primarily on higher production forecasts for Argentina and Ukraine.  Argentina’s wheat production increased by 500,000 tons to 18.0 million based on higher than-expected yields from the later harvest stages.  Ukraine wheat production increased 481,000 tons to 27.0 million based on updated government data.

World 2017/18 trade is raised this month as higher exports from Russia, Argentina, and Canada more than offset reduced exports from the EU and the United States.  Projected imports are increased for Indonesia and several African countries while reduced for India, the EU, Iran, Brazil, and Mexico.  Indonesia’s imports are raised 1.0 million tons to 12.5 million on increases for both food and feed use.  Indonesia is now the leading global wheat importer, surpassing Egypt, the traditional leader.  Total world consumption is projected 3.1 million tons higher, primarily on greater usage from Indonesia and China.  Projected global ending stocks are 1.9 million tons lower this month at 266.1 million but remain significantly higher than a year ago.

LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY:  The 2018 forecast for total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month, as higher forecast broiler production more than offsets lower beef, pork, and turkey production.  The beef production forecast is reduced from the previous month, as expected lower second-half beef production more than offsets higher first-half beef production.  NASS’s Cattle report, released January 31, estimated the U.S. cattle inventory continued to increase for the fourth consecutive year, but the report also indicated that fewer numbers of cattle were being held outside feedlots.  The number of cattle placed on feed in the first part of 2018 is expected to be lower, resulting in lower marketings and beef production in the second half of the year.  The January NASS Cattle on Feed report showed year-over-year increases in placement numbers in December, implying higher numbers of fed cattle will likely be marketed during the spring quarter.  Cattle weights are raised for the first half of 2018 on current weight patterns.  Pork production is reduced on the pace of slaughter to date.  Broiler production is raised largely on continued growth in bird weights.  First-half turkey production is reduced on hatchery data.  First-quarter egg production is reduced on a slower laying rate.  Estimates of 2017 meat and egg production are adjusted to reflect December data.

For 2018, beef exports are raised as demand from several key trading partners is expected to remain robust; no change is made to the beef import forecast.  Pork import and export forecasts are unchanged from last month.  First-half broiler export forecasts are raised on expectations of strong demand while turkey exports are reduced on the slow pace of recovery in exports in late-2017 and lower production in 2018.  Livestock, poultry, and egg trade estimates for 2017 are adjusted to reflect December trade data.

Fed-cattle prices for the first half of 2018 are raised from last month on continued demand strength. First-quarter hog and broiler price forecasts are raised from last month on stronger prices to date. The first-quarter turkey price is also raised, but the annual forecast remains unchanged.  Egg price forecasts are also raised on continued robust demand.

The milk production forecast for 2018 is lowered from last month on expectations of slower growth in milk per cow.  The 2018 fat basis export and import forecasts are unchanged from the previous month.  On a skim-solids basis, the import forecast is raised slightly while the export forecast is raised on strong global demand for skim milk powder, lactose, and whey products.  The 2017 production, trade, and stock estimates are adjusted to reflect December data.

Annual product price forecasts for cheese and butter are lowered from the previous month as demand remains relatively weak.  No changes are made to the annual prices for NDM and whey.  The Class III price is lowered on the cheese price projection while the Class IV price is down on a lower butter price forecast.  The all milk price is forecast is reduced to $15.70 to $16.40 per cwt.

Brazil Raises 2017-18 Soybean Crop Forecast, Citing Good Weather

Brazilian agriculture agency Conab raised its estimate for the country's soybean harvest in the 2017-2018 growing season, helped by good weather, and cut its forecast for the corn harvest.

Brazilian farmers will produce 111.6 million metric tons of soybeans in the season, Conab said Thursday, up from its forecast of 110.4 million tons in January. Brazil produced a record 114.1 million tons of soybeans in the 2016-2017 season.

Conab forecast a total corn crop of 88 million metric tons in the 2017-2018 season, down from the 92.3 million tons the agency forecast in January and less than the record 97.8 million tons produced in 2016-2017.

Brazil's mild winters permit the country's farmers to have two harvests of corn a year, and Conab cut its forecast for both, citing reduced productivity and a smaller area planted with the crop.

Sorghum Industry Builds Response As China Launches Sorghum Trade Investigations

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and sorghum industry led by the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) mobilized this week in response to new anti-dumping and countervailing duties investigations launched against imported U.S. sorghum by China.

China's Ministry of Commerce, known as MOFCOM, announced the cases on Sunday. The proceedings will be governed by procedures outlined by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and will likely last for a year or more.

Sorghum markets reacted early in the week as farmers and the trade became concerned about market access in China. NSP CEO Tim Lust and USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight noted in media interviews that the market in China is not shut down and, to the industry's knowledge, sales contracts continue to be executed.

"The U.S.–China agricultural relationship is beneficial to U.S. farmers, Chinese consumers and our respective partners," Lust said in a statement. "We appreciate our deep and long-standing relationships within these buyers and the feed and livestock industries in China."

USGC and NSP will participate fully in the investigations to demonstrate that U.S. sorghum farmers do not dump products into China or elsewhere and that U.S. sorghum is not unfairly subsidized.

"It is a prescribed process. There are lots of steps China must recognize in terms of sheer timing," Sleight said in an interview with the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB). "It is critical to cooperate in these investigations because that's the only way to defend your rights moving forward."

USGC has recently worked on two similar cases with China related to U.S. distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and one with Peru related to ethanol and has staff prepared to assist the sorghum industry in its defense.

Sleight said Council staff globally is also working to immediately find new export demand for U.S. sorghum, which has been dominated by China in recent years.

China was the largest market for U.S. sorghum in 2016/2017 with 205 million bushels in sales, according to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. That represented 82 percent of all U.S. sorghum exports.

Study: Foreign Competitors Increase Investment In Ag Exports; U.S. Lags Behind

The latest analysis of foreign export promotion program investment shows that several competing countries and the European Union spent close to $1 billion in public funds on agricultural export promotion in 2016, outspending the United States 4 to 1. That is an increase of 70 percent in real competitive public spending since 2011. U.S. public funding for the two largest agricultural export promotion programs is about $235 million per year and its real value has declined by 12 percent since 20111. The conclusions echo results of three similar competitive studies since 2013.

This study, "An Analysis of EU and Other Selected Foreign Export Promotion Programs," was commissioned by Wine Institute and other agricultural associations and conducted by Informa Economics, IEG, with Market Access Program funding. With a focus on EU export development investment, Informa Economics also reviewed agricultural export promotion investment by major competitors from Australia, Chile, China, New Zealand and others.

"The total public investment alone from just the EU and four European countries are expected to exceed $550 million in 2019, which is more than twice what the U.S. government authorizes for agricultural export development under the farm bill," said Mark Powers, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council and chairman of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports.

The study showed the EU is investing about $300 million per year on wine export promotion alone. Canada and Italy doubled their total annual spending, and Brazil and China tripled their total annual export promotion budgets according to the study.

"Other governments are investing more in global food and agricultural markets while inflation, sequestration and administrative costs are chipping away at U.S. funding," said Tom Sleight, CEO of U.S. Grains Council, which is a member of the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development. "That also cuts into the ability of American family farmers, livestock and dairy producers, fishermen and small agri-food businesses to compete in growing export markets."

Sleight said increasing competition is one of the reasons why organizations that participate in cost-share export programs with USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, as well as a number of members of Congress, are calling for more funding for U.S. programs. 

He said by 2016, private funding from industry members provided 70 percent of the total annual investment in the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, both administered by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. The remaining 30 percent from annual government funding has been stagnant at $200 million for MAP since 2006 and at $34.5 million for FMD since 2002.

Coalition members are asking that MAP and FMD funding be doubled by the last year of the new farm bill. That is also the goal called for in S.1839 and HR 2321, the "Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act," introduced in 2017.

"All the members of our coalition are grateful for federal export promotion support over the years," Powers said. "The investment has been very successful in boosting U.S. agricultural export volume and revenue at a rate that far exceeds its public expense. Because these programs also protect and create American jobs, and increase farm income2, there is no doubt they are highly successful public-private partnerships worth the increased investment."

Powers pointed out that Informa Economics evaluated future export promotion funding scenarios in November 20163. The econometric analysis suggested that if federal funding doubled and program participants also increased their contribution, after five years U.S. agricultural exports would increase by $22 billion, farm cash income would grow by $3.6 billion and 84,600 new full and part-time jobs would be created.

The executive summary of the Informa Economics competitive study, and more in-depth information about MAP and FMD programs and their outcomes, are posted online at

No comments:

Post a Comment