Farm Groups Express Relief Farm Bill Is Signed And Done

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

Omaha (DTN) – Mick Henderson, board chairman for the Renewable Fuels Association and general manager of a Kentucky ethanol plant, was among the large group of people tied to farm groups and related industries who attended the White House farm bill signing ceremony.
President Donald Trump signed the 2018 farm bill into law, finishing off more than a year of work by Congress that leaders in farm organizations say will provide some policy certainty to farmers who remain stuck in a prolonged downturn fanned by trade disruptions.
Leading into Dec. 21, the farm bill is now signed, but USDA is staring at a government shutdown Dec. 21 because of the dispute between Congress and the president over funding a border wall. The president spent much Dec. 21 tweeting about the wall and Congress.
The farm bill is not a major piece of legislation for the biofuels industry in general. Henderson pointed out he is no expert on the bill, though there are some provisions such as research and development into new biofuels that could eventually benefit the industry. Perhaps most hopeful were the bipartisan votes on the legislation and getting the president to sign the bill.
“I don’t know if it gives you all of the certainty you need as a farmer to plant seed this spring, but it’s a start,” Henderson said. “It may be a sign of things to come. That may be wishful thinking with the polarization of politics in Washington, but I tell you, there were Democrats and Republicans standing up there shoulder to shoulder, and that’s a good sign.”
Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, said his members are relieved to know the farm bill is done “heading into an uncertain future for American agriculture.” Johnson added that the bill provides some improvements from the 2014 farm bill, but Johnson also indicated more support may be needed for farmers going forward.
“We’re entering a sixth year of devastatingly low farm prices, leading to substantial financial stress for farm families and forcing many out of business,” Johnson said. “This pain is exacerbated by the administration’s mishandling of international trade and biofuel policies, which are further depressing farm prices. As we head into 2019, Farmers Union will continue to push for a stronger farm safety net that reflects the realities of the current farm economy, and its implications for the viability of family farm agriculture in the United States.”
Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, who President Trump acknowledged during his signing ceremony, said the bill, “means risk management tools, foreign market development and environmental stewardship programs continue to be available, and on terms that reflect a much tougher farm economy than the one we faced when the last farm bill became law.”
Duvall added: “The farm bill helps to ensure the food security and economic security of our nation. Directly or indirectly, it benefits everyone in towns large and small.”
The American Soybean Association pointed to provisions to maintain the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, as well as maintaining a strong crop insurance program.
“This is a success for agriculture to have this legislation passed before the end of the year,” said David Stephens, president of ASA and a Kentucky farmer. “We appreciate the level of assurance the bill provides and will now be able to better focus on working with the administration and Congress on other issues affecting the competitiveness and profitability of U.S. beans.”
The farm bill allows farmers to switch commodity programs in 2019, and in 2021, farmers will be allowed annually to switch back and forth between ARC and PLC. Along with that, the new law creates a formula that would allow reference prices to move upward as much as 15%. Under the right conditions, that could bump up the corn PLC price to $4.26, while the soybean reference price would move to $9.66. Wheat would go to $6.33.
The crop insurance industry noted Congress pushed back on plans to cut back on insurance, as the National Crop Insurance Services stated, lawmakers heeded farmers’ advice to “do no harm to crop insurance.”
American Farmland Trust highlighted the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program got $2 billion over 10 years to pay landowners for keeping their land in agriculture.
Lastly, companies in the hemp industry praised the signing of a bill that will establish hemp as an agricultural crop nationally and removes hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. The Hemp Industries Association said that will remove some of the risk hemp farmers were facing, especially from lending institutions reluctant to finance the industry. States must submit plans to USDA as required by the farm bill. Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture stated it had already sent its plan to USDA.
“Kentucky’s regulatory framework perfectly aligns with the requirements spelled out in the farm bill,” said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “Hemp growers, processors and manufacturers deserve swift action so they can proceed with confidence. Kentucky has led the charge on industrial hemp with bipartisan support for the past five years. Now we are eager to take the next step toward solidifying Kentucky’s position as the epicenter of industrial hemp production and processing in the United States.”

New Leadership Represents Texas Cattle Producers On Texas Beef Council Board

Austin, TX – The Texas Beef Council’s (TBC) newly elected board of directors began the new fiscal year leading the state’s producer-run beef marketing organization. The TBC board of directors consists entirely of beef producers providing representation of the state through organization affiliation. In addition, the board may elect two directors at large, without nomination by a qualified organization, to round out the board with equitable geographic and sector representation.
Steven Lastovica of Salado is an at-large member and the newly elected chairman of the TBC board. Lastovica is the owner of Milano Livestock Exchange, a licensed and bonded livestock dealership providing stocker and feeder cattle to feedlots, as well as replacement females through internet and private treaty sales. Lastovica and his family also own and operate Lastovica Cattle Company, a registered Angus cattle operation.
Michael White of Vernon is the newly elected vice chairman of the TBC board representing Texas Farm Bureau. White is a fourth generation farmer and rancher in Wilbarger county. Gene & Michael White Farms raises wheat, cotton and commercial cattle. He has been involved with the Texas Farm Bureau since 1988 and served as vice president.
Joining Lastovica and White on the executive committee are Jason Beyer, representing packers; Brad Hasting, representing Texas Cattle Feeders Association; and outgoing chair Ryan Moorhouse representing Texas Cattle Feeders Association. The executive committee acts for the entire board on matters that require action between regularly scheduled meetings for the full 20 member board.
The TBC board establishes the budget and ultimately decides which demand building programs receive checkoff funding collected under the national Beef Checkoff Program. Directors can serve up to six consecutive one-year terms on the TBC board.
To learn more about your beef checkoff programs, visit or call 1-800-846-4113.

Texas Shorthorn Field Day Held At Boerne

The 2018 state field day and annual meeting of the Texas Shorthorn Association was held at the historic Herbst Ranch, Boerne. The event was hosted by H & M Farms owned by Charles Herbst and Pat Mattick. Demonstrations were presented on sonogramming to determine pregnancy in cattle; proper nutrients for developing calves; and beef grilling techniques.
During the annual meeting of the Texas Shorthorn Association, Dr. John Russell, Caldwell, was re-elected president of the association. Dr. Russell has been self-employed since 1979 at Cypress Square Veterinary Clinic in Houston. In 1998 he purchased some land in Burleson County and some bred Shorthorn cows. Tadmore Farms utilizes AI and embryo transfer in their breeding program. Their herd now numbers between 60 and 70 cows. In 2015 they campaigned the South Central Region Shorthorn Show Heifer of the Year.
Other officers elected include Kyle Lewis, Trenton, Vice-President; Linda Scott, Hurst, secretary-treasurer and Mary Bass, Olton, publicity officer. Directors elected to the board include Rebecca Bates, Rising Star; Justin Carney, Collinsville; Tracey Laughery, Rockwall; Dr. William Simpson, Eastland and Victoria Osburn, Celina.
For information on the Shorthorn breed or help in locating breeders in Texas, contact Linda Scott, Secretary-Treasurer, Texas Shorthorn Association, 401 Billy Creek Circle, Hurst, Texas 76053 or or

Direct Receipts

Direct Receipts: 23,200

Texas 12,800. 100 pct over 600 lbs. 48 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1 part load 700 lbs 139.00; 750-800 lbs (772) 139.95; several loads 850 lbs 137.09; few loads 691 lbs 148.00; 750-800 lbs (769) 143.22; 800-850 lbs (824) 141.18; few loads 900 lbs 137.00; Medium and Large 1-2 part load 700 lbs 139.00; 750-800 lbs (772) 139.95; several loads 850 lbs 137.09; few loads 691 lbs 148.00; 750-800 lbs (769) 143.22; 800-850 lbs (824) 141.18; few loads 900 lbs 137.00; Heifers: Medium and Large 1 few loads 700 lbs 134.00; few loads 750 lbs 134.76; 700-750 lbs (705) 139.68; 750-800 lbs (752) 142.54; few loads 775 lbs 140.00; several loads 725 lbs 133.45; several loads 750 lbs 133.00; 700-750 lbs (720) 132.59; several loads 725 lbs 133.23; several loads 725 lbs 134.75; Medium and Large 1-2 650-700 lbs (686) 137.31; few loads 725 lbs 133.91; part load 675 lbs 139.00; 700-750 lbs (711) 139.65; 750-800 lbs (768) 139.66;

Oklahoma 3200. 100 over 600 lbs. 34 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1-2 Current FOB 800-850 lbs 135.00. Heifers: Medium and Large 1 Current FOB 700-750 lbs 135.45-139.00. Medium and Large 1-2 Feb FOB 750-800 lbs 131.50.

New Mexico 200. 100 over 600 lbs. 42 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1 Current FOB 800-850 lbs 148.00. Heifers: Medium and Large 1 Current FOB 750-800 lbs 146.00.

Kansas 2000. 100 over 600 lbs. 19 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1 Current FOB 750-800 lbs 142.00. Medium and Large 1-2 Current FOB 800-850 lbs 137.00. Heifers: Medium and Large 1 Feb FOB 700-750 lbs 132.45; Mar FOB 700-750 lbs 131.45; Apr FOB 700-750 lbs 132.23; May FOB 700-750 lbs 133.75.

National Feeder Cattle Summary

St. Joseph, MO — January 4
National feeder cattle receipts: 79,300

Steers under 700 pounds were mostly $1-4 higher, instances up to $9 higher in Nebraska; steers over 700 pounds moved at price points that were steady to $4 lower. The Southeastern region saw sharply higher prices on all classes, due to good demand and very light receipts. Muddy pen conditions as temperatures increased in the North and rain and snow in the South have caused concerns, especially on the placements of heavier weight cattle. January 4 receipts across the country were hindered for several reasons. Not all markets were operational, due to the holiday interruptions early; heavy rains throughout the Southeast and winter storms on much of the North Central and South Center regions. Majority of the fed cattle trade took place on January 3, with the bulk of live sales in the Southern Plains and Nebraska trading steady at $123. Late January 4 morning, light dressed trade evolved in Nebraska at prices were steady compared to Dec. 28 at $195. Poor feedlot conditions have continued to plague most feeding regions, lowering cattle performance. Boxed beef cutout values were firm to higher on Choice and higher on Select. The volume reported was slightly more than Dec. 28. On the Choice side, rib cuts were steady to weak while all other cuts firm to higher. Ground beef prices were slightly higher on lighter volume. Forward negotiated sales remain light but mostly steady when compared to Dec. 28. Beef trimmings were higher on moderate to good demand and light to moderate offerings.

Texas 1400. 82 pct over 600 lbs. 37 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1 part load 574 lbs 158.00; 700-750 lbs (709) 145.00; 750-800 lbs (783) 142.82; 800-850 lbs (829) 141.91. Heifers: Medium and Large 1 600-650 lbs (647) 135.29; 700-750 lbs (735) 130.00; part load 857 lbs 125.00.

Oklahoma 300. 42 pct over 600 lbs. 42 pct heifers. Steers: 600-650 lbs (627) 143.71; pkg 785 lbs 143.50.

Kansas 7100. 88 pct over 600 lbs. 37 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1 450-500 lbs (469) 179.50; 500-550 lbs (521) 165.12; 550-600 lbs (569) 166.60; 600-650 lbs (621) 157.46; 650-700 lbs (672) 151.69; 700-750 lbs (718) 143.33; 750-800 lbs (777) 145.66; 800-850 lbs (822) 144.88; 850-900 lbs (877) 143.09; 900-950 lbs (914) 142.78. Medium and Large 1-2 600-650 lbs (634) 154.36; 650-700 lbs (685) 143.51; 700-750 lbs (723) 139.97; 750-800 lbs (776) 139.73; 800-850 lbs (814) 137.57. Heifers: Medium and Large 1 500-550 lbs (529) 148.55; 550-600 lbs (580) 142.06; 600-650 lbs (621) 138.49; 650-700 lbs (680) 136.71; 700-750 lbs (725) 135.99; 750-800 lbs (777) 134.92; 800-850 lbs (813) 135.14; 850-900 lbs (881) 133.80. Medium and Large 1-2 550-600 lbs (586) 136.16; 600-650 lbs (643) 132.20; 650-700 lbs (688) 132.00; 700-750 lbs (709) 130.20.

Missouri 23,200. 57 pct over 600 lbs. 40 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1 350-400 lbs (374) 181.65; 400-450 lbs (428) 180.22; 450-500 lbs (478) 178.04; 500-550 lbs (525) 169.47; 550-600 lbs (574) 163.26; 600-650 lbs (627) 157.61; 650-700 lbs (668) 155.09; 700-750 lbs (720) 152.15; 750-800 lbs (770) 146.54; 800-850 lbs (819) 142.58; 850-900 lbs (862) 140.14. Medium and Large 1-2 400-450 lbs (427) 168.14; 450-500 lbs (474) 164.01; 500-550 lbs (526) 158.82; 550-600 lbs (582) 155.39; 600-650 lbs (629) 147.40; 650-700 lbs (676) 147.59; 700-750 lbs (723) 141.62; 750-800 lbs (780) 143.45; 800-850 lbs (811) 137.67. Heifers: Medium and Large 1 300-350 lbs (328) 153.75; 350-400 lbs (374) 152.17; 400-450 lbs (429) 153.28; 450-500 lbs (470) 152.76; 500-550 lbs (525) 145.79; 550-600 lbs (575) 142.46; 600-650 lbs (627) 138.31; 650-700 lbs (672) 138.13; 700-750 lbs (723) 138.14; 750-800 lbs (774) 129.34. Medium and Large 1-2 350-400 lbs (371) 149.68; 400-450 lbs (423) 146.58; 450-500 lbs (470) 139.82; 500-550 lbs (525) 135.58; 550-600 lbs (578) 138.39; 600-650 lbs (623) 136.15; 650-700 lbs (670) 133.34; 700-750 lbs (720) 126.20.

Arkansas 2600. 25 pct over 600 lbs. 43 pct heifers. Steers: Medium and Large 1 300-350 lbs (333) 195.92; 350-400 lbs (378) 180.55; 400-450 lbs (416) 180.55; 450-500 lbs (476) 169.77; 500-550 lbs (517) 158.75; 550-600 lbs (583) 156.34; 600-650 lbs (624) 149.56; 650-700 lbs (676) 143.43. Heifers: Medium and Large 1 300-350 lbs (335) 154.57; 350-400 lbs (365) 155.91; 400-450 lbs (429) 151.95; 450-500 lbs (467) 145.43; 500-550 lbs (529) 133.81; 550-600 lbs (572) 135.51; 600-650 lbs (633) 130.02; 650-700 lbs (674) 129.05.






Monday, January 14, 2019 1:57 PM