Corn Prices Projected to Decrease

Kelly Marshall

While optimists hoped the increased demand for ethanol would help drive corn prices, the USDA reports say it won’t be enough to off-set other factors.  Demand estimates are lower by 24 million bushels of corn, and ending stocks are higher by 25 million bushels.  Production estimates remain unchanged from March. “U.S. corn farmers have indicated their intention to grow another …

Ag Group, Corn, Marketing, Markets, NCGA, USDA

USDA Offers Grants for Value-Added Products

Kelly Marshall

The Value-Added Producer Grant program is gaining $44 million to help farmers, ranchers and businesses develop bio-based products and expand existing markets.  The USDA made the announcement just last week, and hope to help with grants to veterans, members of socially disadvantaged groups, beginning farmers and ranchers, and operators of small and medium sized family farms and ranches. “America’s farmers, …

Government, USDA

USDA Reports Big Growth in Organic Certification

Kelly Marshall

Certified organic operations continue to increase significantly, according to the latest numbers from the USDA.  Growth is seeing a double-digit trend, with 21,781 certified operations in the U.S. and 31,160 world-wide. “Organic food is one of the fasting growing segments of American agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As consumer demand for organic products continues to grow, the USDA organic …

Agribusiness, Food, Organic, USDA

Vilsack Traveling to Germany and France

Kelly Marshall

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be traveling to Berlin and Paris next week. April 4-5 he will be in Berlin, discussing rural economic development opportunities related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with German officials and farmers.  Christian Schmidt, the German Mister of Food and Agriculture, as well as other government officials will also meet about the benefits to …

Climate Change, Trade, USDA

Ethanol Trade Mission to Peru

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) took part in a recent trade mission to Peru led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack which included discussions about increasing cooperation with that country when it comes to ethanol production and exports. In this edition of the ZimmCast, RFA General Counsel Ed Hubbard talks about the March 13-15 trade mission which visited Lima and the …

Audio, Ethanol, International, RFA, Trade, USDA, ZimmCast

USDA Offers $90 Million in Competitive Grants

Kelly Marshall

The USDA will be making $90 million in competitive grants available to strengthen local food systems, develop market opportunities and support growers specialty crops. The grants will be run through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. “Over the past seven years, USDA …

Government, Local, specialty crops, USDA

Corn Up, Soybeans Down in #USDA Report

Cindy Zimmerman

The 2016 Prospective Plantings report out today from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows farmers expect to plant more corn and less soybeans this year. U.S. corn growers expect to plant 93.6 million acres to corn this year, the first increase in corn planted acreage since 2012 and, if realized, will be the third largest corn acreage since 1944. …

Audio, Corn, Cotton, Markets, MGEX, Soybean, USDA, Wheat

USDA Encourages Small, Healthy Changes in March

Kelly Marshall

The USDA has launched a challenge in honor of National Nutrition Month.  The MyPlate, My Wins Challenge encourages people to make a small, simple change towards a healthier lifestyle.  Teams or groups can join the challenge online and pledge to consume two foods from each of the My Plate food groups a day and be active twice a day for two …

Food, USDA

Former USDA Deputy Joins DuPont

Cindy Zimmerman

The mystery about why Krysta Harden resigned as USDA Deputy Secretary was revealed last week as Commodity Classic was getting underway in New Orleans. Harden has joined DuPont as vice president of Public Policy & Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), succeeding Linda Fisher who elected to retire last month. Harden will have responsibility for leading the company’s public policy and government …

Agribusiness, Dupont, Sustainability, USDA