The Agriculture Department this week releases the eagerly anticipated 2017 Census of Agriculture, which will provide fresh clues to consolidation trends in farming and measure the growth of small-scale and urban production and beginning farmers.
Some 25 states are at risk for moderate to major flooding through May, including Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska, in a region where floodwaters last month already swamped millions of acres of prime farmland and whole communities.
The Farm Credit Administration will issue guidance as soon as next week to system institutions on lending to producers who are clamoring to get financing for industrial hemp, but the commodity’s future remains clouded by regulatory hurdles.
Corn futures fell sharply after USDA projected that farmers would plant more corn acres this year, and the department reported that there is more grain in storage than analysts expected. USDA’s Prospective Plantings report projected soybean acres to be lower than last year.
A USDA senior adviser acknowledged “missed opportunities to engage stakeholders” on the department’s plan to move the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture outside the Washington, D.C., area, but said the relocations would benefit both employees and taxpayers.
The Senate is expanding a long-stalled disaster assistance bill to aid farmers and ranchers swamped by recent Midwest floods, but it’s still not clear when Congress will pass the legislation due to a dispute between the White House and House Democrats over funding for Puerto Rico.