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Nov 27, 2012

Drought dents U.S. farm-sector income: government estimate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. farm income will drop by 3 percent this year, the result of surging production costs aggravated by crop losses that stemmed from the worst drought in half a century, the government said on Tuesday.

Even so, income would be close to the record high set in 2011, the Agriculture Department said. In a quarterly forecast, it said production costs would rise by 8 percent this year, outpacing a gain in crop and livestock income.

Nov 27, 2012

Drought dents US farm-sector income – gov’t estimate

WASHINGTON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – U.S. farm income will drop by
3 percent this year, the result of surging production costs
aggravated by crop losses that stemmed from the worst drought in
half a century, the government said on Tuesday.

Even so, income would be close to the record high set in
2011, the Agriculture Department said. In a quarterly forecast,
it said production costs would rise by 8 percent this year,
outpacing a gain in crop and livestock income.

Nov 17, 2012

Despite severe drought, farm income may hit record high

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Farm and ranch income shriveled this summer during the worst drought in half a century, according to three Federal Reserve regional banks that oversee Farm Belt lending, with livestock producers hardest hit as pastures withered and feed prices soared.

Even so, agricultural economists from the Fed banks say the farm sector could post record high income this year. High market prices and insurance indemnities will help compensate grain producers for drought-shortened crops, a buffer that livestock producers lack, they said on Friday.

Nov 15, 2012

US Agriculture Secretary urges “reform-minded” farm bill

WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary
Tom Vilsack on Wednesday urged Congress to break a logjam and
pass a reform-minded farm bill, but two lobbyists said the
deadlocked $500 billion bill may not be enacted for months, or
even a year.

Vilsack, who is expected to stay at USDA for at least the
start of President Barack Obama’s second term, told Reuters the
department “would do everything we can” to implement a new farm
bill in time for the 2013 harvest next fall.

Nov 7, 2012

US crop insurance a post-election target, farm bill elusive

WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Federally subsidized crop
insurance will be a big target for lawmakers looking to cut the
budget deficit in the lame-duck session of Congress opening next
week, agricultural policy experts agreed the morning after a
status-quo general election.

But lawmakers will probably be unable to break their
deadlock over enacting a five-year, $500 billion farm bill
covering a wide range of agricultural policy from food stamps to
crop subsidies and soil conservation.

Oct 26, 2012

U.S. food movement seeks election-year vault to political force

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. food movement, which groups a kaleidoscope of causes from inner-city gardens to hunger prevention and no-biotech crops, plans to link the farmers market to the ballot box as it challenges large-scale agriculture this year.

It is the first attempt to turn a largely unorganized social movement into a political force.

Oct 17, 2012

Drought brings record U.S. cost for crop insurance subsidy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. taxpayers will pay a record $15 billion to subsidize the privately run crop insurance program this year, double the recent cost due to devastating drought in the Farm Belt.

The program’s runaway costs are in focus as Congress looks for ways to cut government spending, making crop insurance a bigger target for reforms.

Oct 11, 2012

World corn stocks tighten on smaller U.S., EU crops

WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – U.S. and world corn stocks
will be tighter than expected well into 2013 and drought has
slashed the wheat crop in leading exporter Australia, the U.S.
government forecast on Thursday, fueling a surge in futures
prices.

It was the second time in two weeks the Department of
Agriculture surprised the markets with smaller-than-expected
forecasts of stocks. This time, the USDA said unrelenting demand
would pull U.S. corn and soybean stocks to the lowest levels in
years – 17 years for corn and eight for soybeans.

Sep 28, 2012

Shrinking U.S. grain supply shocks market, prices surge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. corn and wheat stockpiles shrank far more than expected this summer, the government reported on Friday, reigniting a rally in grain prices on fears that strong demand and drought-decimated crops will keep markets tight.

Corn futures surged nearly 6 percent on the Chicago Board of Trade after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported corn stocks on September 1 were below 1 billion bushels for the first time in eight years. Wheat futures rose more than 5 percent, topping $9 a bushel after the data showed stockpiles were 7 percent less than forecast.

Sep 20, 2012

U.S. moves release time for key crop reports to midday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government will begin issuing major agricultural reports at midday, when Chicago trading is in full swing, abandoning the early morning release of the world’s most important crop data after almost two decades.

After a months-long debate following the adoption of nearly around-the-clock futures trading, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday that from January it would release its market-moving U.S. crop forecasts and five other major reports at noon Eastern Time (11 a.m. Central).