March 30, 2021
MN Wheat Weekly Update
National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) Update
NAWG CEO Participates in Agweek Panel Discussion
- This week, NAWG CEO Chandler Goule was featured in a panel discussion with Syngenta’s Mary Kay Thatcher and moderator Michelle Rook of WNAX. The discussion, which was a part of Agweek’s virtual Farm Show, centered around the potential changes for agricultural policy with the new Administration and new Congress. Check out their discussion here.
USDA Announces Additional COVID-19 Relief
- On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced implementation of COVID relief provisions recently authorized by Congress and through utilizing existing resources. The new Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative entails significant assistance to address past and ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and includes an additional $20 per acre payment for row crop producers. More information can be found here.
House Ag Spending Panel Holds Hearing on The Rural EconomyOn March 24, 2021, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing on the rural economy with testimony from Glen Smith, board chairman and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration (FCA), and Jeffery Hall, FCA board member. Smith discussed the agency’s responsibilities, the current state of the farm and rural economy, and the condition of the Farm Credit System (FCS) and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) as well as effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rural and farm economy.
US Wheat Associates, Weekly Price Report
- All wheat futures prices fell on the week with favorable growing conditions in the northern hemisphere. CBOT soft red winter (SRW) futures fell 15 cents to close at $6.13/bu. KCBT hard red winter (HRW) futures lost 17 cents to end at $5.68/bu. MGE hard red spring (HRS) futures dropped 14 cents to close at $6.13/bu. CBOT corn futures shed 6 cents to end at $5.52/bu. CBOT soybean futures lost 16 cents to close at $14.00/bu
- Commercial Sales: This week’s U.S. wheat commercial sales of 344,000 metric tons (MT) were down 12% from last week’s 390,000 MT but within trade expectations of 150,000 MT to 500,000 MT. Year-to-date commercial sales for delivery in 2020/21 total 24.9 million metric tons (MMT), 1% higher than last year. USDA expects total 2020/21 U.S. wheat exports will reach 26.8 MMT, 2% higher than last year, if realized.
- Widespread precipitation was seen across the central and southern Plains and Ohio this week. Steady rainfall is adding to soil moisture in Oklahoma and northern Texas. Parts of Nebraska saw record rainfall for the month of March while Kansas and areas of Colorado saw significant improvement to moisture conditions there. Dry conditions remain persistent in the Dakotas. Northeast Montana saw a slight expansion of severe drought conditions after little snowfall this winter.
MN Farm Bureau Federation IMPACT
USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is establishing new programs and efforts to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.
- USDA is dedicating at least $6 billion toward the new programs. The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers, timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and producers of renewable fuel, among others. Existing programs like the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) will fall within the new initiative and, where statutory authority allows, will be refined to better address the needs of producers.
- For more information visit farmers.gov/pandemic-assistance.
- Read today’s press release here.
- USDA will re-open sign-up for of CFAP 2 for at least 60 days beginning on April 5, 2021.
- FSA has committed at least $2.5 million to establish partnerships and direct outreach efforts intended to improve outreach for CFAP 2 and will cooperate with grassroots organizations with strong connections to socially disadvantaged communities to ensure they are informed and aware of the application process.
New Funding for Existing Programs
USDA expects to begin investing approximately $500 million in expedited assistance through several existing programs this spring, with most by April 30. This new assistance includes:
- $100 million in additional funding for the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which enhances the competitiveness of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops.
- $75 million in additional funding for the Farmers Opportunities Training and Outreach program, administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement, which encourages and assists socially disadvantaged, veteran, and beginning farmers and ranchers in the ownership and operation of farms and ranches.
- $100 million in additional funding for the Local Agricultural Marketing Program, administered by the AMS and Rural Development, which supports the development, coordination and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises and value-added agricultural products.
- $75 million in additional funding for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, administered by the NIFA, which provides funding opportunities to conduct and evaluate projects providing incentives to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers
- $20 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to improve and maintain animal disease prevention and response capacity, including the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.
- $20 million for the Agricultural Research Service to work collaboratively with Texas A&M on the critical intersection between responsive agriculture, food production, and human nutrition and health.
- $28 million for NIFA to provide grants to state departments of agriculture to expand or sustain existing farm stress assistance programs.
- Approximately $80 million in additional payments to domestic users of upland and extra-long staple cotton based on a formula set in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 that USDA plans to deliver through the Economic Adjustment Assistance for Textile Mills program.