Latest News From Retail Business

USDA Announces Second Round of Debt Relief to "Distressed" Borrowers

This round is for those who were delinquent on a direct loan as of Sept. 2020, restricted a loan after Feb. 2020 through FSA, or those who owe more interest on a direct loan than the level of the principal.

8 Numbers to Understand Today’s Farm Bank Landscape

Agricultural lending by U.S. farm banks increased 8.1% in 2022 to $103.1 billion, according to the American Bankers Association's annual Farm Bank Performance Report.

3 Topics Producers Should be Tracking in the Farm Bill

“We don’t need to rewrite the entire farm bill,” Rep. Thompson (R-Pa.) says. “We’re comfortable with many parts of the 2018 bill and there aren’t many tweaks, instead things we need to protect and invest in."

Cargo Ships Leave West Coast Ports As Labor Talks Show 'Little to No' Progress

Rail strikes ran headlines in late 2022 and came to an end in December when Congress passed an agreement. But there may be another strike looming in the transportation sector unless the Biden administration changes pace.

The Ag Analyst’s Briefing: Week of March 27 Watchlist

The Fed hiked rates 25bps at last week’s FMOC meeting and indicated it will stay the course. So why are forward yields (1 year through 30 year still lower, suggesting Fed easing?)

Is There Anything New from the Latest Farm Bill Debate?

We need to know the final funding level in the debt limit debate before there are can be any attempt to mix and match farm bill titles and funds.

Senators Reintroduce the Next Generation Fuels Act

Emily Skor, Growth Energy CEO, says the fuel industry has only “scratched the surface” of ethanol potential. She feels this act will help unleash ethanol’s capabilities.

The Equity and WebAir Launch Drone Spray Company

Green Creek Drone Company will be led by Tony Weber as general manager and will also be working closely with The Equity’s Agronomy Department providing custom application of fungicides in select areas in 2023.

How Important is U.S. Ag and Food to the Economy?

In celebration of National Ag Day and National Ag Week, the 2023 Feeding the Economy report shows just how vital the industry is to U.S. families, communities and the world.

Ferrie: Ready, Set, Whoops! A Fast Start To Fieldwork Could Cost You Big In Corn At V5

Caution can help you avoid creating compaction or density layers. Plus, if you're applying anhydrous now, allowing 14 days between the application and planting can prevent dead or damaged plants and costly yield dings.

Crude Oil Prices Drop Below $70: What is the Outlook for Consumers at the Pump and Farmers Heading Into Spring Planting?

Oil prices are also off their highs of last year and gas and diesel prices are also sliding at the pump, but will that trend continue ahead of planting?   Energy experts are hoping the answer is yes.  

What Bodies of Water are Considered WOTUS?

The EPA’s new definition of Waters of the U.S. takes effect Monday. Here's a rundown of what is considered WOTUS and, therefore, subject to federal regulation.

US Importers Carried the Burden of Chinese Tariffs Placed by President Trump

Former President Donald Trump placed tariffs on more than $300 billion in Chinese goods during his presidency, raising costs for American companies, according to the ITC.

Slowing Rural Economy Creates Negative Outlook

Economic growth is stalling in rural America. That’s according to the Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University. 

Who Defines WOTUS? It Might Come Down to the President or Supreme Court

The House last week has already passed its WOTUS rule resolution and it’s up for a Senate vote. The White House has pledged a veto of the measure, should it reach President Joe Biden’s desk.

Peel Back The Onion: Understand Your Business's Trajectory

Tweaking three financial assumptions challenges most ag retailers to realize their income statements can go from showing a profit to only breaking even.

Cutting Costs, Not People

Realize 6, 7 or even 8 figures of savings without reducing your most valuable resource—your people.

Ferrie: Seize Your Corn Growing Opportunities for #Plant2023

Do some final noodling on hybrid selection, planting processes and agronomic practices to grow that big-yielding crop you want to harvest next fall. Here are five tips to help you make this season a success.

The Ag Analyst’s Briefing: Week of March 13 Watchlist

Numerous measures were announced over the weekend in response to SVB which now appear to reduce the risk of financial contagion.

New Systemic Nitrogen-Fixation Biofertilizer Can Be Used In-Furrow or In a Foliar Application

Envita offers corn growers season-long nitrogen availability, according to Azotic Technologies. The product retails for approximately $15 an acre.

USDA’s Cover Crop Program Would be Made Permanent through Biden's Budget

To put cover crop investments in motion, NRCS would draw on federal, state and private conservationists to hire “thousands” of employees for rural America.

4 Challenges To Attracting Top Talent

K&R conversations with more than 15,000 prospective candidates in 2022 validate how top leaders continue to look at career opportunities from a different lens.

Ground Truth: Managers Report Entry-Level Ag Retailer Salaries

Via a February email survey, The Scoop conducted its annual salary study, which asks for insights related to compensation for two key ag retail roles: sales agronomists and machine operators/applicators.

Sulfur in Soybeans: Learn How Precise Applications Pay in Yield

Missy Bauer, Farm Journal field agronomist, has found adding a dry ammonium sulfate at V3 or V4 growth stages can make the most significant impact on yields in soils with less organic matter.

US Nears USMCA Dispute With Mexico Concerning GMO Corn

By requesting consultations, the U.S. Trade Representative began a process to come to a settlement on ag biotechnology imports to Mexico. If a settlement is not reached, the issue will move to a full-blown trade dispute.

It Wasn’t Raining When Noah Built The Ark: Don't Wait for a Crisis to Change

Incorporate good ideas into your company’s DNA today. Work to do that before the stress of the coming cycle downturn paralyzes you from investing for the future.

New Conservation Funding and CRP Took Priority in Senate Ag Hearing

"The prioritization of resource concerns must be left to the local level where producers decide how they can best address their unique and varied landscapes and needs," said Sen. John Boozman.

US Trade Rep Tai to Discuss Biden's Trade Agenda Today

"In this current situation, the traditional approach to free trade agreements — which isn't just tariff cuts, but that they do tariff cuts on a fully comprehensive basis — isn't what we need right now,” Tai says.

EPA’s Year-Round E15 Proposed Rule Pushes Sales into 2024

"This proposal, while well-intended, still leaves the country with a patchwork of regulations that prevents the nation’s driving public from enjoying the full benefits of biofuels," said Sen. Deb Fischer.

Tar Spot Found to Thrive on High-Humidity Days

Before planting even starts, diseases are likely on soil residue. That includes tar spot. While many believe rainfall and temperatures are key tar spot drivers, Agronomist Missy Bauer says there's a third indicator.

One Year After Russia's Invasion of Ukraine: How Has World Trade Realigned?

A year ago, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine injected uncertainty about global grain supplies into the market. Today, initial concerns have been squashed by the reality of record exports from the Black Sea Region.

Vilsack Signals USMCA Case is Coming on GMO Corn Situation in Mexico

The U.S. appears to be pursuing a case via USMCA on the matter: “That is going to happen, because we're essentially in a circumstance where this is not a situation that lends itself to a compromise,” Vilsack said.

Top 10 Charts from the Kickoff of USDA's Ag Outlook Forum

Despite weather trends, planting projections for 2023 find corn, wheat and soybeans similar to 2022, for a combined 228 million acres—a 3% increase from 2022.

How One Ag Retailer Doubled Their Agronomy Business

Grant Mason, sales manager for Wheeler Brothers Grain in western Oklahoma, shares how the team doubled their agronomy business in just a few years.

Commodity Programs Might See a 12% Cut in the Proposed $1 Trillion Farm Bill

SNAP, which historically receives the greatest amount of farm bill funding, will see an 82% increase of a quarter-trillion-dollars.

Bushel Announces Columbia Grain International As Newest Customer

"We are committed to streamlining the work and efficiencies of our producers to ensure they get the information they need to increase their success," said Jeff Van Pevenage, CEO of Columbia Grain International.

Rural Economy Slows While Farmland Values Stay Strong

The rural economy seems to be set on cruise in neutral gear. That’s according to the Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) from Creighton University. 

U.S. Debt Will Likely Become a Major Issue in Washington

“Over the long term, our projections suggest that changes in fiscal policy must be made to address the rising costs of interest and mitigate other adverse consequences of high and rising debt," CBO Director Swagel said

DOJ Weighs in on Right to Repair Court Case

A filing Tuesday by the Department of Justice urged a federal court in Illinois not to throw out a class action suit that consolidated several farmers’ lawsuits against John Deere over repair restrictions.

The Ag Analyst’s Briefing: Week of Feb. 13 Watchlist

Key items we are watching this week include inflation (CPI and PPI) and retail sales reports, earnings from Andersons, Deere, Mosaic and Nutrien, and USDA’s baseline forecast.

What’s On Your Stop List?

Instead of focusing on adding more to the to-do list, start a “stop list.” You can stop doing things altogether, or you can stop doing them in a particular way. 

Destination Morocco: With Expanding U.S. Soybean Processing Industry it's a Growth Market for Meal

With the expansion of the U.S. soybean processing industry due to the push for green fuels farmers are looking for a new home for the extra meal...and they're finding it in Morocco.

Crop Insurance, Production Costs, ERP Among Key Topics at Senate Ag Farm Bill Hearing

A Senate Ag Committee hearing Thursday on the new farm bill raised a issue that is now evident: the Title 1 farm bill safety net can no longer deal with the current ag environment.

A cotton boll from Red Land Cotton.
New Cotton Trait A ‘Game Changer’ For Tarnished Plant Bug, Thrip Control

The first-of-its-kind biotech trait is commercially available to farmers as Bollgard 3 ThryvOn cotton with XtendFlex Technology – just in time for the 2023 production season. 

What's to Come For Ag Retail: Put The Future Into Focus

Ag retail has been cemented in supplying farmers with solutions to needs. But remaining stubbornly rooted in yesterday’s success poses risk to today’s infrastructure crumbling to serve the farmer of the future. 

4 Macro Factors Impacting the Agricultural Economy

What is the state of the U.S. economy? How will these macro factors impact the agricultural economy? John Deere's Kanlaya Barr provides a guide to a few risks you should monitor in the next year.

Producers Eliminate Fungicide and Insecticide Use, Cut Fertilizer 50%

To combat volatile weather, mitigate rising input costs and meet agronomic goals, producers are making choices geared toward soil health. Here are insights and tips from three of those producers.

Ferrie: Treat Sulfur Like A Macronutrient In Corn To Boost Yields

Fields planted to G and L1 hybrids especially need access to sulfur early season. Even hybrids planted in soils with organic matter levels at 3.5% or more are showing financially positive responses to the nutrient.

Mexico Says U.S. GMO Corn Will be Imported if it Passes a Test

Mexico's new decree will indicate that if U.S. GMO corn passes the sanitary filters of the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), it will have no problem entering Mexico.

The Cost of a Farm Bill: 2023 Row Crop Priorities

The 2018 farm bill was stamped with a $428 billon price tag when passed. With the bill set to expire on Sept. 30, here’s a breakdown of the topics ag groups look to push on the negotiating table.