Farm Credit System Officials Concerned about Farmer Financials

Officials of the nation’s Farm Credit System say lenders were conservative when times on the farm were good, so they can be lenient during these tough times.  As for beginning farmers, many lenders in the Farm Credit System have special lending programs which give extra consideration to young and beginning farmers.  Gary Crawford.

Dallas P. Tonsager, Chairman and CEO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA.

Doug Stark, President and CEO, Farm Credit Services of America, Omaha, NE.

James Dodson, Chairman, Farm Credit Bank of Texas Board of Directors, Robstown, TX.

Progress For Corn Planting in the Southern Tier;Winter Wheat Condition and Crop Progress

Corn planting for some Southern states is ahead of schedule, thanks to a period of cooperative March weather. Rod Bain and USDA meteorologist, Brad Rippey.
Winter Wheat Condition and Crop Progress.  USDA meteorologist, Brad Rippey, looks at both crop condition and crop progress in parts of the nation’s winter wheat belt.

House Agriculture Committee Reviews Farm Credit System

March 29, 2017, Washington DC-The House Agriculture Committee hearing reviewed the Farm Credit System (FCS). Members of the committee heard from representatives of the Farm Credit Administration as well as representatives from institutions that provide credit. The hearing highlighted the century-long mission of FCS to provide credit to rural communities in both good times and bad, and it reviewed the overall health of the system.

Congress established the FCS in the Federal Farm Loan Act of 1916 at a time when credit was largely unavailable or unaffordable in rural areas, and lenders avoided agricultural loans due to their associated risks. The FCS was created to provide a permanent, reliable source of credit to American agriculture.

“Modern agriculture is far more complex than it was 100 years ago. With advances in agricultural technology, increasing global competition, rising input costs, and greater regulatory burdens, U.S. producers require more capital to keep their businesses afloat. That’s why it is so essential that farmers and ranchers across the country have access to reliable sources of credit. FCS has long played a crucial role in meeting that need, and I am confident that it will continue to do so for years to come,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below, including Chairman Conaway’s opening statement  and the archived webcast.

Witness List:
Mr. Dallas P. Tonsager, Chairman and CEO, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA

Mr. Jeffery S. Hall, Member of the Board, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA

Mr. James Dodson, Chairman, Farm Credit Bank of Texas Board of Directors, Robstown, TX

Mr. Doug Stark, President and Chief Executive Officer, Farm Credit Services of-America, Omaha, NE

Mr. Tom Halverson, Chief Executive Officer, CoBank, Denver, CO

U.S. Beef Exports Expected to Rise This Year

The export market is becoming more important to U.S. beef producers.

Here at home, we are eating more beef.  A decades-long downward trend in per person consumption of a popular food item may finally be reversing itself.  Gary Crawford and Shayle Shagam.

Ag Secretary Nominee Promises Strong Support for Ag Trade

The President’s nominee for Agriculture Secretary says he’ll be a major voice in the Administration for trade agreements that benefit agriculture. Gary Crawford and Sonny Perdue.

Ag Secretary Nominee On Cuba as a potential ag export market.  The nominee for Agriculture Secretary believes Cuba is a potential market for US ag goods, based on a trade mission he led as Governor of Georgia. Rod Bain and Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue.

U.S. Beef Industry to President Trump: Please Help Get U.S. Beef Back into China

March 27, 2017-Washington, DC – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today sent a coalition letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to raise the restoration of U.S. beef access to China when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. Leaders from the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the North American Meat Institute also signed the letter.

American beef producers have been denied access to China – a $2.6 billion import market — since 2003. Last fall China announced that it had lifted its ban on imports of U.S. beef, but attempts since then to negotiate the technical terms of access have been unsuccessful.

“We believe that access to the large and growing Chinese beef market is essential to the future health of the U.S. beef industry,” read the letter, which was signed by NCBA’s CEO, Kendal Frazier. “We understand that you have many important issues to discuss with President Xi, but we strongly encourage you to take this important opportunity to convey the urgent need for China to reopen its market to U.S. beef.”

In 2016, American beef producers sold $6.3 billion worth of U.S. beef to customers around the world, with three of the industry’s top foreign markets located in Asia.

Excerpts from U.S. Senate Committee Confirmation Hearing of Sonny Perdue for U.S. Agriculture Secretary

Full transcript at the Agrinet® AgBiz News tab.  U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Governor Sonny Perdue, the President’s nominee for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.