Equipping Crops With Key Nutrients

IARN — Iowa farmers “hit the ground running” when it came to planting.

The state’s expected corn crop is three weeks ahead of the five-year average and nearly a month ahead of last year and the state’s expected soybean crop is off to a similar start.

Planting crops in a timely manner is a feat. However, one must nurture those crops to help them reach their full capacity. A technical sales manager offers further advice below. Read more

USDA Releases Payment Details For CFAP

IARN — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today released additional information regarding the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which seeks to assist farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Food Production and Conservation, says the Farm Service Agency (FSA) will start to accept applications next Tuesday, May 26.

“Through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, (the) USDA will provide 16-billion-dollars in direct payments to agricultural producers whose commodities suffered a five-percent, or greater national price decline,” Under Secretary Northey said.

U.S. Department of Agriculture staff built this program specifically for producers. Eligible producers may receive up to $250,000 for a combination of commodities. Payments will be prorated. Producers can expect to receive 80-percent upon approval.

Under Secretary Northey provides guidance for non-specialty crop producers, raising malting barley, canola, corn, upland cotton, millet, oats, soybeans, sorghum, sunflowers, durum wheat, and/or hard red spring wheat.

“Producers will be paid based on the inventory they held, which was subject to price risk on January 15. They will self-certify that inventory, and will be subject to spot checks on that certification. A payment will be made up to 50-percent of the producer’s 2019 production or inventory on January 15, whichever is smallest. The payment rate would be multiplied by the amount of inventory,” Under Secretary Northey said.

Livestock producers eligible for assistance raise: Cattle, lambs, yearlings, and/or hogs. Their payments will be calculated based on two sets of data, according to Under Secretary Northey.

“A single payment will be calculated based on the number of animals sold between January 15 and April 15. That number will be multiplied by a payment rate. We’re looking at the lost value during that time, on average,” Northey said. “Then the second payment, included in this initial payment that’s made, is based on the inventory a producer has on hand during at a date of their choosing between April 16 and May 14. We have a payment rate for that as well.”

Additional information on eligibility and payment rates can be found at

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Is China Making Good On Its Ag Purchases Under Phase One?

IARN — Just when things were beginning to look as though they were turning around regarding U.S. relations with China, COVID-19 reared its ugly head. It has stirred up a lot of anti-China sentiment in this country and openly in the Trump Administration. The President going so far as to say he was considering pulling out of the trade deal we waited two years to get. Many are concerned that China is not holding up its end of the agreement. This was not something many farmers wanted to hear as markets are already on shaky ground. One trade adviser says we need to take a step back and take a deep breath, China is honoring its purchases. Read more

NCBA Responds To Trump Comments On Beef Imports

IARN — President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday suggested the United States should consider terminating trade deals that bring live cattle into the United States. Most cattle imported into the United States come from Mexico and Canada, thus falling under Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. However, a recent Trump administration decision to allow fresh beef imports from Brazil is something the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association urged the President to reconsider. The association says there continue to be concerned with foot-and-mouth disease and USDA’s decision to reopen the American market to Brazilian beef. Read more