Grassland losses slow, still exceed 2 million acres for fourth year

Roughly 2.1 million acres of grasslands in the Great Plains were converted to cropland in 2018, equal to the loss of four footballs fields of land per minute, said the World Wildlife Fund on Wednesday. At the same time, the Plowprint Report said a nearly equal amount of land was returned to …

China buys more; will it be enough for ‘phase one’?

The “phase one” trade agreement with China, one of President Trump’s top trade achievements, calls for Beijing to buy huge quantities of U.S. food, agricultural and seafood exports. Sales of soybeans, cotton, pork, corn, sorghum and wheat are stronger than a year ago but an Iowa think tank …

Reply to Trump aid offer: ‘We don’t need another subsidy program’

President Trump says his administration will "make it up" if farmers and ranchers are hurt by Chinese trade retaliation. Two agricultural leaders in Congress were skeptical of possible politically driven bail-outs on Tuesday, with Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts saying, "We don't want another subsidy program. We need to sell our product."

Ag truckers get 90-day waiver from DOT work limits

The Transportation Department issued a 90-day waiver for truckers hauling agricultural loads from an 11-hour limit per day behind the wheel. Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer said the waiver will allow more time for the government to decide how to get livestock and other ag commodities to market.

Chicken processors plan expansion in wake of low commodity prices

Top U.S. poultry processors are planning to expand production this year, reports Bloomberg. As prices for feed grains have plummeted, worrying farmers, processors are taking advantage of the lower costs.

U.S. farm income noses upward after three years of declines

Commodity prices are still in a trough but U.S. farm income is on the rise for the first time since 2013 because producers are sending more crops and livestock to market than initially expected, said the USDA. It forecast net cash farm income, a measure of liquidity, of $100.4 billion this year, far stronger than the February forecast of $93.5 billion, but only three-fourths of the record set in 2013.

Farmers lean toward more corn and wheat, less soy in 2018

After setting back-to-back records for soybean plantings, U.S. farmers indicated in a survey that they will plant more wheat and corn while cutting back on soybeans in 2018, said Farm Futures. Soybeans nearly matched corn, the most widely grown crop in the nation, in acreage this year with farmers believing the oilseed would be more profitable than corn.

Senate committee approves three CFTC nominees

On a voice vote during a brief meeting in the Capitol, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved the nominations of Rostin Behnam, Brian Quintenz and Dawn Stump for commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the watchdog agency for the derivatives market. If confirmed by the Senate, the nominations would restore the CFTC to nearly its full complement of five commissioners.

Drought-scalded spring wheat crop to be smallest in 15 years

The deepening drought in the northern Plains will result in the smallest harvest of spring wheat since 2002 — 423 million bushels, said USDA in its first forecast of the crop. Futures prices for hard red spring wheat, a high-quality variety and 90 percent of all U.S. spring wheat, soared in the past month as dry weather threatened a squeeze on supplies.

Russia to be world’s largest wheat exporter for first time, edging U.S.

In the three-way race for leadership in the world wheat market, Russia will be No. 1 in the current marketing year, says USDA's Grain: World Markets and Trade report. It's the first time Russia would take the top spot; the United States was No. 1 in 2016/17 and the EU led in 2015/16.