USDA announces debt relief plan for American farmers


Debt Relief Plan

The US Department of Agriculture announced its plan of debt relief for some farmers. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says they are publishing the first notice of funding availability for loan payments for socially disadvantaged farmers.

  The plan makes it possible to get debt relief in June as part of the American Rescue Plan. It authorizes funding through the Farm Service Agency to pay for 120% of direct and guaranteed loans with outstanding balances as of January 1st. Vilsack says the tools are designed to increase opportunity advance equity and address systemic discrimination in USDA programs.

How Healthy is Your Soil?

  Soil health research is set to end this year. The Soil Health Partnership, a project of the National Corn Growers Association, is set to close this week. The group says it has accomplished its original mission of finding the impact of conservation practices along with communicating soil health to farmers.

  However it adds the experiments are expensive and communication goals were labor intensive. The group has published two cover crop planting reports.. as well as two published research papers.

Cattle and Chickens

  The latest Iowa cattle and chicken reports are out. Cattle and calves on feed for slaughter in all Iowa lots totaled 1,155,000 head – down 1% from last month and down 4% from last year. Placements are down 13% from March and marketings are down 5%.

  The Iowa Chicken and Egg report shows a slight decrease of egg production at 1.23 billion. The average layers on hand were up slightly from last month to 48.6 million – but still down 7% from last year.

A Look at the Markets

 It was a tough weekend for the markets. Analyst Jamey Kohake has the details:

“Starting the week off in corn and beans, got a lot of red ink 9-10 lower in both corn and beans so far this morning. The 10-15 day forecast looks to have off and on rain chances for the western corn belt and just seeing some long liquidation off of that. And kind of a similar story in beans, hold together technically and that would be the 15 dollar mark and beans not to close below that also too to hold together this range we’re in right now with the new crop beans. But looks like to me we’re going into more of a range bound type trade waiting for more fresh news. Over to the meat sector kind of have a whipsaw trade, started off lower we saw cattle on feed on friday compared to 2020 it was bearish, but everyone knows 2020 was with covid. You go back to 2019 and the numbers I thought were pretty neutral to bullish. Packers obviously still got control of the market making something around a thousand bucks a head. And look for that to continue steady cash trade this week right around the 118 to 120 mark. Over to hogs, started off  weaker there still 80-90 lower had a nice late week rally last week off cutout, the cash was drawn, I still look for the markets to trend higher as demand is still strong and I look for that to be supportive again this week on the weekly export sheet.”

Colfax Auction

The Colfax sheep and goat auction on Saturday saw a sale of 731 head of sheep. Feeder lambs fetched the day’s high average price of $2.59 per pound, while fed lambs averaged $2.23 per pound. There were 121 head of goats at the auction whichsaw a high average price ranging from $180 to $475 per head.

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