Farm Bureau, Farmers Union urge quick passage of new farm bill

By Star-Herald

The two largest farming groups in the United States today are calling for swift passage of the farm bill by a congressional conference committee.

Faced with the lowest farm income in 12 years, the presidents of the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union are asking Senate and House conferees to move quickly. The groups said the bill needs to focus on commodity price supports, nutrition, trade promotion and soil and water conservation.

“America’s farmers and ranchers persevere even in the toughest times, but the farm economy has gone from bad to worse,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said. “Tariffs and stagnant global demand for commodities have left the agriculture economy in the worst shape we have seen since the farm crisis of the 1980s. Lender surveys and our own experience tell us spring could bring a wave of farm closures unless there’s major improvement in the marketplace.”

“Family farmers and ranchers are in need of certainty right now,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Low farm prices due to international trade disruptions, commodity market oversupply and domestic policy uncertainty is putting significant financial strain on farmers.”

AFBF and NFU, as well as more than 150 other organizations, also sent a letter to the Senate and House agriculture committees asking the farm bill conference committee to pass an on-time, five-year farm bill before the Sept. 30 expiration of the 2014 farm bill.

Farwell to host Sorghum Field Days on Sept. 6

LINCOLN – The 2018 Sorghum Field Days are scheduled at two locations in September, including Farwell on Sept. 6.

The program will discuss yield performance of commercial hybrids, updates on markets, sorghum agronomics and checkoff activities.

The event in Farewell will be at the farm of John Dvoracek, beginning at 11 a.m. on Sept. 6. To reach the irrigated plot from Highway 92 on the west edge of Farwell, drive 2 miles north on Salem, 1 mile west on 15th Avenue, and 1½ miles north on Tilden. Visitors can then turn left at the plot sign at the bridge and into the field at the plot sign at the bridge.

The field stops include both irrigated and dryland plot tours, with management information from the plot cooperator. Sorghum seed representatives will be available to share hybrid information.

A meal and program will follow the field tours. The meal program will include a sorghum agronomy update by Dr. Brent Bean, director of agronomy for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, and an update from the Nebraska Sorghum Board.

Participating seed companies include Arrow Seed, Channel Seed, DeKalb, Dyna-Gro, Fontanelle, Hoegemeyer, NuTech Seed, Pioneer and Sorghum Partners.

The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board and Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association are planning and coordinating the event.

Nebraska FSA announces new application deadlines for disaster assistance coverage

LINCOLN – Nancy Johner, Nebraska USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) state executive director, has announced new policy application deadlines for several crops covered through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP).

The NAP provides disaster assistance coverage for crops that are ineligible for federal crop insurance coverage – grasses, fruits and vegetables.

Johner said NAP application closing deadlines for alfalfa and mixed forages, grass, aronia berries and grapes have been changed for the 2019 growing season and beyond.

“In some cases, the new deadlines are as much as six months earlier than in the past,” Johner said. “We want to be sure producers who normally purchase NAP, or think they are interested in it for next season, are aware of the earlier sign-up deadlines.”

Impacted crops and the new policy application closing deadlines include:

— Alfalfa and mixed forages – The deadline to apply for 2019 coverage is Oct. 1.

— Grasses – The deadline to apply for 2019 coverage is Nov. 15.

— Aronia berries and grapes – The deadline to apply for 2019 coverage is Nov. 20.

“Producers of these crops who wish to have NAP coverage in 2019 must visit their local FSA office prior to the policy application closing deadline,” Johner said.

Like crop insurance, NAP coverage is valuable when weather and disease disasters strike. Eligible causes of loss for NAP include drought, freeze, hail, excessive moisture, damaging winds and flooding.

NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production. The fee for basic coverage is $250 per crop, with a maximum of $750 per county and a multi-county maximum of $1,875. Beginning, underserved and limited resource farmers are eligible to have the service fee waived for the NAP basic level of coverage.

This article provided by NewsEdge.