USDA Announces Livestock Gross Margin Insurance Program Changes

IARN — The Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced changes to the Livestock Gross Margin insurance program for cattle and swine starting in 2021. Changes include adding premium subsidies to assist producers and moving premium due dates to the end of the endorsement period for cattle. USDA Risk Management Agency Administrator Martin Barbre says the changes “build upon RMA’s continued effort to make livestock policies more affordable and accessible for livestock producers.” Barbre says the agency is working to ensure the changes can be implemented by the July 31 sales period. Read more

Some Corn And Soybean Crops Showing Stress From The Heat

Statewide, Iowa — The extreme heat of July is starting to stress some of Iowa’s corn and soybean crops, as conditions vary across the state. Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Angie Rieck-Hinz says much of the corn crop in western Iowa is having a difficult time. Read more

Hemp Producers Looking For USDA Assistance During Pandemic

IARN — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a list of commodities that are eligible for help from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The program is designed to help producers of these crops, who have experienced disproportionate losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many commodities have made the list: corn, soybeans, cotton, alfalfa, fruits & vegetables, small grains, and more. However, there is one commodity that has been left off this list, and that is hemp. There is a growing effort to get the crop put on to the list as well.

Yesterday, I talked with Andrei McQuillan, Chief Operating Officer at EcoGen Laboratories. EcoGen is the largest vertically integrated hemp producer in the United States. McQuillan told me about some of the concerns they have with being left off the list.

For more on this story, including comments from Andrei McQuillan, visit the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

NCGA Concludes First Virtual Corn Congress

IARN — As the saying goes: “There’s a first time for everything.” National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) members observed “a first,” as they met virtually for Corn Congress.

The Corn Congress meeting was held virtually for the “first time” in the organization’s history, shares John Linder, NCGA first vice president. The annual meeting, however, was still effective. Read more