Deere & Company this week announced indefinite layoffs amid demand woes. Deere officials say more than 160 U.S. workers at agriculture machinery facilities in Illinois and Iowa will be laid off, after the company last week announced it would reduce production by 20 percent.
The “little guys” in the cattle business received a chance to fight back this week as an Independent Cattlemen’s Conference was held in Omaha, NE. It had the unambiguous name: Stop the Stealin’. We may surmise that packers are bad and independent cattle producers are good.
African Swine Fever has been largely in the forefront these past months, and rightly so. It is a very real threat that we are dealing with. However, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) joined with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and Iowa State University to renew the call for USDA to quickly set up a vaccine bank for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). The 2018 Farm Bill established funds to begin setting up an FMD vaccine bank, and some steps have been made. There is still some distance to go.
A monthly measure of farmer sentiment shows producers are more pessimistic about current conditions. The monthly Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer slipped to 121, down three points from August. However, the Index of Current Conditions, a sub-index of the barometer, dropped 22 points to a reading of 100. The barometer is based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the United States. A reading of 100 is considered neutral, with anything below negative, and anything above, positive.
Iowa Department of Agriculture officials believe, “Plans are good, planning is better,” especially when it comes to preparing for a potential African Swine Fever outbreak.
The Chicago Board of Trade displayed green across the board, after the release of the September Quarterly Grain Stocks report.