Crop Insurance Flooding Bill Totals $6.4 Billion

(IARN) — Flooding added a lot of money to federal crop insurance payouts last year during the growing season. The bill is $6.4 billion so far, the costliest payout on record. Most of the money is tied directly to spring and summer flooding in states like North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. Meteorologist Steve Bowen, who works for a national insurance company, analyzed USDA data. “Given the record rainfall that occurred and the multiple waves of flooding that affected areas across the Mississippi, Missouri, and Arkansas River basins, the heightened impacts are not terribly surprising,” Bowen says. “Last year was a very tough season for farmers, and there are concerns that already saturated soils across the Plains and Midwest may set the stage for more possible flooding in 2020.” Read more

Ag Marketers Suggest Focusing On Profit, Not Price

(IARN) — “A lot of times we focus on price too much,” shares Matt Bennett, founding partner of Ag Market, the Farm Division of John Stewart and Associates. Bennett suggests producers consider profitability when making farm-based decisions. Read more

China Seeks U.S. flexibility On Trade Targets

(IARN) — China is seeking more flexibility from the United States on promises made in the Phase One trade agreement. The agreement signed last month allows China and the U.S. to engage in dialog for changes “in the event that a natural disaster or other unforeseeable event” delays either country from complying with the trade deal. China is expected to seek consultation on that basis, as the nation grapples with the coronavirus outbreak. China may have trouble meeting the requirements of the trade agreement if the virus continues to disrupt demand. Read more

Coronavirus Outbreak Weighs On U.S. Markets

(IARN) — United States officials are still determining Coronavirus’ impact on agriculture. Two sources with ties to agriculture offer insight into the situation at-hand.

Soybean futures opened fractionally lower, above Friday’s lows. Commodity markets slipped, after news of Coronavirus. Greg McBride, commodities broker with Allendale, says markets continue to worry about global demand. Read more

Protect, Secure On-Farm Data

(IARN) — “Everyone is at risk, when it comes to security breaches,” according to Jeff Shaffer, vice president of engagement management with Aon. Read more

Seasonal Farm Trade Tensions Brewing Between U.S. And Mexico

(IARN) — Despite the goodwill generated after the U.S. and Mexico approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, there could be more tensions between the two countries surrounding produce. Mexico responded to a letter from the top U.S. trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, pledging protectionist measures on seasonal farm trade for producers in the politically important states of Florida and Georgia. Mexico says if the U.S. acts in any way against Mexican agricultural imports, it will respond in kind. The Deputy Trade Minister of Mexico says, “If the U.S. government takes any steps of this kind against Mexican agricultural exports, the Mexican government will apply similar measures to U.S. products.” Read more