Nebraska Edition | Feb 28, 2019

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage Paid Permit #36 OMAHA, NE POSTAL CUSTOMER NEBRASKA EDITION F arm R anch February 28, 2019 Vol. 23 Issue 4 MARKET GLANCE Livestock and Products, Weekly Average Year Ago 4 Wks Ago 2/13/19 Nebraska Slaughter Steers, 35-65% Choice, Live Weight..............* * 125.50 Nebraska Feeder Steers, Med. & Large Frame, 550-600 lb.......192.36 177.98 179.94 Nebraska Feeder Steers, Med. & Large Frame 750-800 lb.........152.48 150.98 148.63 Choice Boxed Beef, 600-750 lb. Carcass...................................208.46 215.75 216.86 Western Corn Belt Base Hog Price Carcass, Negotiated............. 69.04 49.84 48.91 Pork Carcass Cutout, 185 lb. Carcass 51-52% Lean...................75.83 68.52 64.31 Slaughter Lambs, wooled and shorn, 135-165 lb. National..........131.14 134.55 132.63 National Carcass Lamb Cutout FOB...........................................372.34 386.15 373.85 Crops, Daily Spot Prices Year Ago 4 Wks Ago 2/13/19 Wheat, No. 1, H.W. Imperial, bu...................................................4.14 4.53 4.44 Corn, No. 2, Yellow Columbus, bu................................................3.42 3.52 3.47 Soybeans, No. 1, Yellow Columbus, bu.........................................9.21 8.13 8.01 Grain Sorghum, No.2, Yellow Dorchester, cwt............................. 5.63 5.75 5.59 Oats, No. 2, Heavy Minneapolis, Mn, bu..................................... 3.03 3.24 3.23 Feed Alfalfa, Large Square Bales, Good to Premium, RFV 160-185 Northeast Nebraska, ton.................................166.25 * * Alfalfa, Large Rounds, Good Platte Valley, ton........................... 90.00 103.00 105.00 Grass Hay, Large Rounds, Good Nebraska, ton..........................82.50 87.50 85.00 Dried Distillers Grains, 10% Moisture Nebraska Average............ 147.00 155.00 142.00 Wet Distillers Grains, 65-70% Moisture Nebraska Average......... 48.25 53.00 55.50 For daily agriculture news, updates and local happenings, visit www.farmandranchnetwork.net Proud Supporters Of farmandranchnetwork.net Your source for ag news that affects Nebraska and the Plains region. F arm R anch NetworkServiceCo FFA SPECIAL SECTION Buffalo, Dawson, Franklin, Furnas Hall, Harlan, Howard, Kearney, Phelps, Sherman, Webster counties. ............... 4-13 Banner, Box Butte, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Kimball, Morrill, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sioux counties................... 15-17 markets grain, hay, & cattle..................................... 2 COUNTRY LIVING floor plan..................................................... 3 hEARTLAND CATTLEMAN livestock news. ................................... 18-20 Shop hop ................................................................... 14 CLASSIFIEDS .............................................................. 21-23 New farm bill bit of good news among farm income and trade woes, Women in Ag speaker says Lori Potter, Kearney Hub KEARNEY— Passage of a new farm bill in December was a bit of good news in otherwise difficult economic times for ag producers that likely will continue through 2019. That was the general message at the Nebraska Women in Agriculture Conference Friday from Brad Lubben, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension ag economist and ag policy specialist. “It (farm bill) actually did happen, but it’s no really implemented yet,” Lubben said, because rules, sign-up deadlines and other details still must be announced. He cautioned that net farm income is affected by issues beyond farm programs. “Trade, environmental policy, food policy. There still are lots of other risks to deal with,” he said. The 2018 Farm Bill action timeline includes approval of House and Senate versions in June, approval of the conference committee version in mid-December, and its signing by President Trump on Dec. 20. The monthlong federal government shutdown started two days later, so there was no implementation work done initially. Also, Lubben said, the 2014 Farm Bill had expired in September, leaving ag producers in limbo for four months. He said that if a new bill hadn’t been passed farm programs would have reverted to the 1949 Farm Bill, the last permanent one with no expiration date. “If you don’t pass a new farm bill, you go back to the permanent one and nobody knows how to implement the 1949 Farm Bill,” he added. Although 2018 Farm Bill details still are months away, Lubben described it “a very status quo farm bill.” A few of the changes he reviewed are: - For payment limits, the definition of “family” has been extended beyond parents and siblings to better fit some third- generation of family farm partnerships that can include more distant relatives such as cousins. - Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs have a few revisions. Most Nebraska farmers have been enrolled in ALC, but he expects PLC to be the dominate choice now, especially for corn, because of continuing low market prices. - Initial sign-up for ALC or PLC will be for the 2019 and 2020 crop years, but then made annually. - The Conservation Reserve Program enrollment cap was raised from 24 million to 27 million acres, after shrinking in the years since a 2007 high of 37 million acres. - The two working lands program — Environmental Quality Incentives and Conservation Stewardship — now are combined. EQIP offers cost-share funding to implement conservation measures, while CSP rewards producers for existing good stewardship practices. Lubben said total spending of nearly $3 billion nationwide is somewhat less than in past years. In high-participation states like Nebraska, that will result in more competition for EQIP funds. Farm income trough Low commodity prices and trade uncertainty in 2019 will continue to weigh heavily on ag producers already burdened with low net farm income. December projections from USDA for average per-bushel prices in 2018 were: corn, $3.60; soybeans, $8.60; wheat, $5.15; and grain sorghum, $3.40. Lubben said that as farm income declined the past five years, there was increased reliance on farm programs to “buffer the fall.” However, farm payments also declined dramatically the past three years, which created a farm income gap for many ag producers. “It (farm income) still is at a dramatic low. There’s no getting around it,” Lubben said. “I’ve been predicting the bottom for four years in a row,” he continued. “I really thought 2017 was it and that 2018 was getting better, until May and the trade conflicts. It’s the lowest farm income since 2002. In real terms, this is the lowest income trough since the 1980s.” Lubben said the differences between now and the farm crisis of the 1980s are that ag producers have better balance sheets and interest rates are lower. Brad Lubben Barrett Stinson, Grand Island Independent Continued on page 3

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