Ag Secretary Heads Home to Survey Irma Damage

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black asked Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to see first-hand the damage the Hurricane Irma caused to crops in his home state on September 15. The secretary will also travel to Florida and Texas next week to survey agricultural damage from both hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Perdue’s Georgia tour will take in damage to the state’s …

Secretary Perdue in Florida

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited the Citrus Expo in Fort Myers, Florida this week to learn more about citrus greening and hold a farm bill listening session with Congressman Tom Rooney of the local district. During a very brief press gaggle, Perdue and Rooney answered questions from the press, including when he expects to have a full USDA confirmed …

USDA Forecast Optimistic Despite Conditions

U.S. farmers are expected to produce a record-high soybean crop this year, according to USDA’s August Crop Production report released Thursday. Soybean production is forecast at 4.38 billion bushels, up two percent from last year, while corn growers are expected to decrease their production by seven percent from last year, forecast at 14.2 billion bushels. Soybean yields are expected to …

USDA Getting #BackToOurRoots

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has been on a five-state “Back to Our Roots” Tour to gather input on the 2018 Farm Bill, meeting with farmers, ranchers, foresters, producers, students, governors, USDA employees, and other stakeholders. This is the first of two RV tours the secretary will undertake this summer. This first RV Tour features stops in five states: Wisconsin, Minnesota, …

U.S. & Mexico Ag Secretaries Talk Trade

While meeting with Mexican Secretary of Agriculture José Calzada Rovirosa, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today held a teleconference for U.S. media. The two leaders engaged in bilateral talks, including a panel discussion with U.S. and Mexican producers, several agricultural site visits, and a joint press conference – seeking to build on the U.S. and Mexico’s well-developed track record …

Historic Chinese Agreement to Help U.S. Rice

History was made this week when an agreement permitting US rice exports to China was signed during bi-lateral trade meetings held in Washington DC. An inspection of US rice mills and packaging facilities by the Chinese phytosanitary authorities is the next step to take place. The first exports to China will take several months but will provide a boost to …

USDA Reports Record High Soybean Acreage, Corn Acres Down

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is estimating a record high 89.5 million acres of soybeans planted in the U.S. for 2017. That’s up seven percent from last year. Corn acres are looking to be down about three percent. All cotton acreage for 2017 is estimated at 12.1 million acres, 20 percent above last year, while all wheat planted …

Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report

The Pork Checkoff hosted the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report on Thursday, June 29, 2017. This quarterly teleconference featured three agricultural economists and their reactions to the report. Panelists included: Dr. Lee Schulz, Extension Livestock Economist, Iowa State University Dr. Scott Brown, Assistant Extension Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia Joe Kerns, President, Kerns & Associates, Ames, IA Reports seemed to …

USDA Cuts in Trump Budget

Farmers and ranchers are concerned about President Trump’s “Taxpayer First” budget released this week but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended significant cuts to USDA in the name of balancing the budget on a press call with reporters Tuesday. The budget cuts USDA staff, crop insurance, conservation programs, and food assistance and eliminates funding for some programs including the Market Access …

Secretary Perdue Testifies at First Hearing

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue testified at his first hearing as the new head of USDA. The House Agriculture Committee welcomed Perdue to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify on the “State of the Rural Economy.” The new secretary submitted seven pages of written testimony which focused on his proposed “realignment” of USDA. “My goal is to make it the most …

Secretary Perdue Announces USDA Changes

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced a reorganization of USDA yesterday that includes the creation of a new undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, which was approved in the most recent farm bill. As part of the reorganization, Perdue also announced that the department’s Rural Development agencies would be elevated to report directly to the secretary of agriculture “in …

Perdue Shows Ethanol Support During Iowa Visit

Sonny Perdue made his support for renewable energy and ethanol clear during a visit to Iowa last week, telling a local FFA chapter that “renewable energy, ethanol is here to stay…you have nothing to worry about.” Listen here: Secretary Perdue visited Couser Cattle Company in Nevada, Iowa, where he was presented with a custom made corn products display and a …