Summary of ERS Report on International Food Security

Late last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) released its latest report (“International Food Security Assessment, 2018-2028) in a continuous series of updates begun in the 1970s that explore issues associated with food security indicators.  June's update includes assessments for the current year and 10 years into the future.  Today's post includes highlights from the ERS report.
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Producers Express Concern in the Midst of Price Turmoil, While ERS Looks at Farm Sector Financial Health

Financial Times writer Gregory Meyer reported on Monday that, "US soyabean futures have tumbled to the lowest price in nine years as the market succumbs to healthy growing conditions and fears over imminent tariffs from China."  Amid this climate, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited with producers in the northwest earlier this week and heard first hand concerns about trade and the current financial environment.  With this background in mind, the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) released a timely update on Monday that painted an interesting "snapshot" of the U.S. ag economy titled, "Current Indicators of Farm Sector Financial Health."
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Ag Economy: Land Values and Farm Income Considerations

Today's update looks briefly at recent reports from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln that shed light on trends in farmland values.  Also, a recent survey from Iowa State University that provides statistical insights into farmland owners, is examined.  Lastly, news articles that continue to look at the deteriorating prices of some agricultural commodities, and their resulting potential negative impacts on farm financial well-being, are also discussed.
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Corn Belt Farmers Uneasy Over Potential Policy Impacts

Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Tuesday's Des Moines Register that, "Iowa farmers, battling too much rain, cold — and even snow — this planting season, have a new crop of concerns that could devastate commodity prices: An escalating U.S.-China trade war that's sparked tariffs on pork and, potentially, soybeans; trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico that exploded last week following U.S. tariffs on steel imports; EPA ethanol waivers for oil refiners that undermine demand for ethanol and corn; and, divisions over a new farm bill intended to provide protection to farmers."
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As House Considers Farm Bill, Lower Farm Income Persists, While Drought Impacts Southern Plains

As the House of Representatives works on passing its version of the Farm Bill this week, a report yesterday from the Kansas City Fed noted that, "bankers in the Tenth Federal Reserve District reported lower farm income and credit conditions for the fifth straight year."  Meanwhile, a recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that ongoing drought conditions in the southern Great Plains "could punish the agricultural sector, affecting everything from cotton to cattle to farming-equipment sales."   Today's update looks briefly at these reports regarding the agricultural economy as well as recent articles highlighting House Farm Bill developments.
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