House GOP aides say party leaders have dropped plans to extend the current farm program and instead are going to press for immediate help for livestock producers whose federal protections against drought losses expired last year.
The decision Tuesday comes as Republicans feel pressure to extend relief to drought-hit farmers and ranchers before Congress begins its summer recess this week but are stymied by internal divisions on how to proceed with a broader renewal of farm subsidies and food stamps.
Republicans had initially announced plans to extend for one year the current farm and food programs, which expire on Sept. 30.
But Democrats balked and Republicans found themselves without the votes for a broader renewal.
Hyde County’s Mann Farms Hosts Blackland Field Tour
Mann Farms was the host of the 42nd Annual Blackland Farm Managers Tour at Fairfield in Hyde County. Richard Mann gave up about 10 acres for NC State Extension to use for their plots this year:
“They have worked hard and we hope to learn some things from these plots. We will definitely learn a lot more once we get the harvest results in. We’ve had an excellent season.”
Mann, who along with his sons and grandsons farms corn, soybean wheat and snap beans says this is the first time he’s been asked to do this, and he’d be happy to do it again. Ironically, until yesterday, Mann had never attended a field day.
Industry Asking China for Synchronized Biotech Approval
The effort to synchronize biotech approvals in the U.S. and China was a focal point for meetings this week between U.S. soybean leaders and Chinese government officials in Beijing. American Soybean Association CEO Steve Censky says the slow-down in Chinese approvals is largely tied to their upcoming elections. However – they emphasized that for China it’s really a food security issue…
“In our meetings with the Chinese government officials, one of the issues that we raised was concerns about their slow approval system. We emphasized that if we are going to continue to supply and help meet China’s food needs, we need a timely and predictable biotech approval process. We expressed concerns that their system seems to be going in the opposite direction.”
August Supply/Demand Report Could be Lowest in 24 Years
USDA will be cutting yield estimates for corn and soybeans in their upcoming crop report – but how much is still unknown. USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber says the field surveys used to formulate their production estimate for the August 10 crop report will provide the first true picture of the extent of the losses. He says while this is probably the worst drought since 1956 – this week’s crop conditions would suggest maybe a little smaller crop than 1988…
“If we look at crop conditions right now they are slightly worse than they were in 1988. The numbers that just came out for corn suggest about 48% in the poor/very poor category, that is just slightly higher than 1988. Similar for soybeans that are 37% in the poor/very poor and slightly higher than the 1988 levels. However, that doesn’t mean the yields will be on par with that year because there are changes in technologies and practices since then.”
Glauber says the drought came on so fast that the real impact on food inflation is also a bit uncertain