Clean Water Rules Are Going To Be A Battlefield

IARN — The battle over who has control of our water and the reach of the Clean Water Act has been a focal point for a few years in agriculture. The Obama Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule was labeled as a governmental overreach by many in agriculture. Some states argued that the Federal guidelines would be a step backward from what their states already did. The Trump administration scrapped WOTUS and replaced it with the Navigable Waters Rule (NWR). The rule officially hit the Federal Register last week. That should be the end of it, right? Well, we may only be just beginning. Read more

Senators Want Farm Payment Caps Removed

IARN — A bipartisan group of senators wants the Trump Administration to remove the caps on the amount of direct coronavirus relief farmers can get under USDA’s new aid package. The $19 billion plan for relief, put together by President Trump and Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, includes $16 billion in direct payments, which are capped at $125,000 per commodity and $250,000 per person. That’s in line with payment limits from the 2018 Farm Bill.

In a letter to the president, 28 senators pointed out that the limits could disproportionately hurt some of the hardest-hit corners of agriculture. Perdue is hoping to launch the aid program in May, and the senators want the payment limits scrapped before USDA puts the finishing touches on the aid program.

For example, fresh produce growers have higher production costs than other farmers. Strawberry growers can spend up to $30,000 an acre. The senators say that means the current payment limitations will be “too restrictive to meaningfully address the losses” they’re facing Read more

COVID-19 Ruins Corn Producers’ Chances For “Banner Year”

IARN — America’s corn producers had “turned a corner.” Coronavirus, however, crept up, ruining their chances of a “banner year.” The National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) lead spokesman joins in offering a brief rundown of new analysis, which outlines COVID-19’s impact on the U.S. corn industry.

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross speaks to new analysis, which offers insight into COVID-19’s impact on the U.S. corn industry.

“(It’s) showing about a 16 to 20-percent price loss across the country,” Ross said. “These numbers are constantly changing. Certainly these could be inaccurate the next day, as much as this market has been moving. But those are the numbers we’re showing – Roughly a 50-dollar per acre loss on the 2019 crop.” Read more

UPL Offers Suggestions For Successful Crop Season

IARN — Midwest farmers entered fields this week.

Planting offers hope, as producers navigate through COVID-19. A crop specialist shares how producers can establish a good foundation for crop development.

Two-thousand-nineteen delivered many hardships, some of which will carryover into this crop season. Producers must be mindful of enhanced weed pressure, due to previously idled crop ground. Lynn Justesen, UPL row crop technical service lead, says farmers must  aggressively tackle weeds early on. Read more

Lawmakers Seek Support For Local Media

IARN –More than 200 lawmakers seek federal assistance for local news and media outlets suffering from the lack of advertising funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawmakers say that in times of emergency and disaster, the public turns to their local media, and advertising plays an incredible role in funding those outlets. Read more

China Eyes U.S. Agricultural Goods As It Looks To Replenish State Reserves

IARN –Export sales data was not the only factor offering support to grains Thursday.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials reported a private export sale of 272,000 tons of soybeans to China for 2019/2020 marketing year delivery. Jim McCormick, branch manager of Ag Market.Net, says export data pairs well with trade rumors. Read more