November 25, 2014

Fresh Faces for USFRA

The United Soybean Board recently congratulated soy checkoff farmer-leader Nancy Kavazanjian on her election as chairperson of the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

Kavazanjian, a soybean farmer from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, is in her fourth year as a USB farmer-director.

“Nancy is a dedicated farmer-director and a great asset to our industry,” says USB Chairman Jim Call, a soybean farmer from Madison, Minnesota. “She’ll continue to be a leader in telling ag’s story.”

Previously, Kavazanjian served as vice chairperson of USFRA, which consists of more than 80 farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners representing virtually all aspects of agriculture. The organization works to engage in dialogue with consumers who have questions about how today’s food is grown and raised.

At the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention earlier this month, the Alliance announced the winners of its second class of the Faces of Farming and Ranching program.

Erin Brenneman (Iowa), Darrell Glaser (Texas), Jay Hill (New Mexico), Thomas Titus (Illnois) and Carla Wardin (Michigan) were all named program winners.

USFRA Media

They will share their personal stories and experiences through consumer-facing public appearances, events, media interviews and social media.

“I could not be more impressed with this year’s new Faces of Farming and Ranching,” said Nancy Kavazanjian. “The first Faces of Farming and Ranching had a positive impact on consumers across the country, and we are sure this new class also will see success as they connect with consumers and share their stories about how food gets from their farm or ranch to our plates. So many outstanding farmers and ranchers stepped forward and offered to be a consumer Face for USFRA. We are overwhelmed with amount of individuals who are willing to be a representative of the nation’s agricultural community.”

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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.

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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

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