Weekly Export Sales Neutral

IARN — The latest weekly U.S. Export Sales Report was released Thursday morning for the week ending July 16th.

In the report, old crop corn sales were 220,600 metric tons – down 76 percent from the previous week – while new crop corn had net sales of 2.3 million metric tons. Old crop soybeans came in at 365,200 metric tons, up 17 percent from the previous week, but down 31 percent from the prior four-week average. New crop beans saw net sales of 2.3 million metric tons. Read more

Grassley, Tester Farmer Mental Health Bill Clears Senate

IARN — Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Jon Tester’s (D-MT. bill to improve access to mental health care in rural America and curb rising suicide rates among farmers cleared the Senate today as a part of the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Read more

Senate Seeks $20 Billion For Commodity Credit Corporation

IARN — Senate negotiations continue on the next coronavirus relief package. While those close to the talks suggest there will not be a bill ready until sometime next month, there is promise for additional relief to agriculture. Senator Joni Ernst, who sits on the Senate Agriculture Committee, told Agri-Pulse this week the package will likely include an additional $20 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding. That $20 billion would be in addition to the $14 billion already authorized in a previous relief package not yet used by the Department of Agriculture. Read more

USDA Provides Cattle Market Investigation Update

IARN — The Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wednesday released a report on its ongoing boxed beef and fed cattle price spread investigation. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the closure of the Tyson beef packing plant following a fire at the facility in Holcomb, Kansas, and the COVID-19 pandemic, “clearly disrupted the markets and processing systems responsible for the production and sale of U.S. beef.” Read more

Maximizing Trade Opportunities During Global Pandemic

IARN — “Certainly we have challenges in front of us with the coronavirus pandemic,” says Grant Kimberley, director of market development at the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). The organization’s staff, however, pledge to do “what it takes” to recapture lost market share.

In a typical year, Iowa Soybean Association members and staff would visit a handful of countries and host multiple trade missions. How the organization conducts business with international trading partners looks different this year, due to coronavirus.

“A lot of what we have done has been based off (of) relationships: Hosting and organizing trade missions to other countries and bringing buyers to the United States and Iowa. That’s been a challenge because of COVID-19 restrictions,” Kimberley said. “We’ve moved to more virtual conferences, trade mission-type activities and organized more virtual seminars/webinars to continue that relationship and contact with our key customers and buyers around the world.”

Kimberley says, “It remains vitally important to maximize on opportunities,” as 60-percent of the domestic soybean crop is exported each year. The industry has been presented with an opportunity, as global demand for soybeans increases two- to four-percent each year.

“It’s our mission to make sure we capture our fair share of that,” Kimberley. “We do have competition in South America, which creates challenges for us at times. But we’re working hard to try to gain new markets and we’re having success in places like Bangladesh and Pakistan. Those countries are growing their demand for soy, in general, and we find they value the quality of U.S. soy over other origins and are willing to pay a slight premium at times. The Latin America/Mexico region is always important for us. The Middle East is growing. Places like Egypt that demand continues to grow and d we’re trying to gain more market share there.”

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.