Report 3-30-21

On Wednesday last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack laid out how the USDA will distribute additional COVID-19 aid. The agency will re-open the sign up for the CFAP-2 program for at least 60 days beginning April 5th. About $12 billion of aid is available for eligible farmers and ranchers who were affected by COVID-19 market disruptions. The USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers program will reach farmers and ranchers that didn’t benefit from the first COVID-19 aid program. This time around, the agency is dedicating at least $6 billion toward new programs, while distributing $4.5 billion to crop growers and $1.1 billion for cattle producers. The Department will also develop rules for new programs that will put a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged, specialty crop and organic producers and timber harvesters, as well as provide support for the food supply chain and renewable fuels.

According to Texas A&M Agri life Extension Service, egg prices have started their normal spring increase that peaks around Easter, due to higher demand by consumers for use of eggs in traditional recipes and as dyed eggs for Easter baskets and Easter egg hunts. Here is a tip from experts. Buy small eggs, which are produced by young hens, because they cost less than large eggs, and better suited for dying because the shells absorb the dye better than do the eggs of older hens.

Colorado honey production took a significant downturn in 2020, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Apiarists with five or more colonies produced a total of 1.23 million pounds of honey. That’s down 16 percent from 2019. There were 30,000 colonies producing honey in Colorado in 2020, which is 6 percent less than a year earlier. Colorado isn’t unique in lower honey production numbers though, since honey production in the United States also took a significant downturn, however, in spite of lower production, honey prices declined by 11% during the year.

The University of Minnesota Extension-Women in Ag Network is encouraging all women involved in agriculture in the U.S., and who are ages 18 and older to participate in the Weathering Stress in Agriculture 2021 survey. The questionnaire will build on knowledge gained from a similar survey in 2018-19, according to Megan Roberts, University of Minnesota Extension educator in agricultural business management. The data provided by the surveys will help researchers develop new resources that enhance leadership, management and production skills for women working in agriculture. Women can participate by going online at z.umn.edu/resiliencysurvey.  Roberts estimates it will take less than 10 minutes to complete the survey. A link to the survey is at Farm News & Views.net

U.S. grain traders have been concerned about the shortage of shipping containers that has slowed down shipments of grain overseas for several months. Now, the slowdown is raising the cost of many inputs that farmers and ranchers use for production of forages in their operations. For example, prices of net wrap for round bales, silage wrap and poly baling twin has increased dramatically recently mainly because shipping rates have double or tripled over the past few months according to agricultural suppliers.

Philosopher Bertrand Russell said, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves but wiser people are full of doubts.”

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