USDA investing more in ag research

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Ag research investment

  The US Department of Agriculture is investing more into ag research.

  US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced on Wednesday an investment of more than a hundred and 46 million dollars in sustainable agriculture research projects.  Funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the program focuses on addressing labor challenges, promoting land stewardship, correcting climate change impacts in agriculture and food and nutrition needs.

  The dollars are part of the third installment of grants within the Sustainable Agricultural Systems program. Vilsack calls the investments important to help with rising challenges in agriculture.

Insurance option

  Farmers who sell locally will have a new insurance option. The new Micro Farm Policy announced this week is specifically for agricultural producers with small farms – earning an average revenue of a hundred thousand dollars or less – who also sell locally.

  The USDA’s Risk Management Agency claims it simplifies record keeping and covers post-production costs like washing and value added products. It created the policy based on research directed by the 2018 farm bill and will be available beginning with the 2022 crop year. The new policy is offered through Whole-Farm Revenue protection.

Hemp, hemp, hooray

  Hemp producers will soon be able to take part in a national survey. The National Agricultural Research Service will send out its first-ever Hemp Acreage and Production survey later this month.

  Thousands of potential hemp growers will get a letter seeing how much hemp for fiber, seed, flour and grain was planted and harvested as well as how many total pounds were produced. The USDA hopes to set a benchmark that will help the government and producers know how the new product is getting started.

  Hemp was legalized in the 2018 farm bill.

A look at the markets

Green in grains and cattle in the Thursday trade – analyst Don Roose has more:

“The grain market continues to focus on the crop the size of the crop. It’s the weight of the harvest that continues to anchor us on rallies. Support of the market comes to us through end users trying to cover basis levels are starting to firm up as we get close to 50 percent harvested we think by the end of the week we’ll be there on corn and soybeans we’ll be there, so the end user gets more nervous. We do have a little bit of strength coming back to the market today. With the petro-grains trying to move higher, the equity market is moving higher and all of that is adding up to some support underneath the market as harvest is moving along very aggressively but the producer selling is more limited than it is aggressive. We still have big numbers of cattle around us here but the cash market is trying to move over that 124 level, which is a hard target to move over the last several months. Packer margins are still running about 630 dollars in the black. The boxed beef coming under pressure which is helping the retail sales. The hog market is seasonal. This is the time of year where hogs struggle to move up in the cash market, weights continue to go up. Market’s just getting too far ahead of itself with the negative seasonals, so it’s more of a market that is choppy, trying to move to the downside technically.”

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