November 22, 2014

Increase in FSA Microloan Limits

South Dakota Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Craig Schaunaman reminds farmers and ranchers that the FSA borrowing limit for microloans increased today from $35,000 to $50,000. Microloans offer borrowers simplified lending with less paperwork.  Schaunaman said it makes borrowing from FSA a “first opportunity” to farm or ranch or quickly expand existing operations.

“This will help more people because of new flexibilities created by the 2014 Farm Bill,” Schaunaman said. “We’re especially excited in South Dakota, because we want to encourage more beginners and young people, especially those from historically underserved communities, to consider farming and ranching as a way to become independent businessmen and women. It’s a rewarding way to build or expand a family operation.”

The microloan change allows beginning, small and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay.

Since 2010, FSA has made a record amount of farm loans – more than 165,000 loans totaling nearly $23 billion. More than 50 percent of USDA’s farm loans now go to beginning farmers.


USDA Reports Predict Records

USDA has lowered corn production estimates while leaving soybeans unchanged and trimming estimated spring wheat production. A record crop is still expected, according to the latest round of reports from USDA. The Crop Production report and World Agriculture Supply and Demand reports were released Monday.

USDA has projected that farmers will harvest 14.4 billion bushels of corn on an average yield of 173.4 bushels per acre, that’s down .8 bushel. That resulted in a 68 million bushel decline in production and ending stocks are estimated at 2.008 billion bushels. Globally, USDA increased its forecast for ending stocks by 0.9 million metric tons to 191.5 million. Global production increased by 1.4 million metric tons.

Ending stocks were unchanged for soybeans at 450 million bushels but adjustments were made as to supply and demand. A higher production forecast increased supplies, but was offset increases in crush export and residual numbers.   USDA boosted production to 3.958 billion bushel. World ending stocks were down .4 million metric tons from last month to 90.3 million.

USDA lowered wheat production for spring wheat to 595 million bushels. Overall wheat production dropped 9 million bushels to 2.026 billion. Globally, USDA increased its ending stocks estimate to 192.9 million metric tons from 192.6 million in October.

U.S. 2014/15 total sugar supply was increased 53,000 short tons, raw value from last month to 13.742 million. Imports are increased by 135,000 due to a reduction in the 2014/15 raw sugar tariff-rate quota.

The forecast for total meat production in 2014 was raised from last month, but the forecast for 2015 is lowered. Cattle feeders are expected to raise animals to heavier weights in 2014 and 2015 with less marketing, pork production is forecast lower in both 2014 and 2015, broiler production is raised for 2014 and turkey production for 2014 is raised, but the forecast for 2015 is unchanged. Egg production is raised for 2014 based on September data and the forecast for 2015 is raised as favorable returns are expected to stimulate a more rapid expansion.

Compiled by NAFB News


The Gift of Beef – Feeding a Family

In America, one in eight people goes to bed hungry at night. To fight hunger, the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary (SDCA), in partnership with the Beef Checkoff Program and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC), recently completed the “Feed A Family” project, where they donated beef to local food pantries and daycares.

In addition to the donation of ground beef, which was gifted to the Lake County Food Pantry, Lake Preston Food Pantry, Kingsbury County Food Pantry, Huron Salvation Army, and Madision Food Pantry, SDCA also put together packages complete with recipes, oven mits, seasoning and pie plates to prepare the recipes.

“Each year, we go to different communites and do something a little different,” explains Laurie Johnson, SDCA president and SDBIC board of director. “This year, we did pie plates and different beef recipes that you can prepare in a pie plate. Last year, we did crockpot recipes.”

Recipes included: Applesauce Meatloaf, Shepard’s Pie, Taco Pie, Spaghetti Pie, and Cowboy Casserole. SDCA also hosted a couple of cooking classes to teach area families how to prepare the recipes, which featured ingredients that most food pantries have on hand.

As the holiday season draws near, meat will be available for many area families in need, thanks to the beef checkoff. Not only does the donation of beef help those less fortunate, but the recipes provided during the cooking class were versatile, budget-friendly and easy-to-make for weeknight meals and hopefully will soon become family favorites.

By reaching this demographic, this project educated families on how to use beef as a go-to protein choice that is nutritional without breaking the bank.

The SDBIC is comprised of three representatives from eight agricultural organizations: SD Beef Breeds Council, SD Cattlemen’s Association, SD Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, SD CattleWomen, SD Farm Bureau, SD Farmers Union, SD Livestock Auction Market Association and SD Stockgrowers Association.

Source: SDBIC