Pro Farmer's First Thing Today: FSA Loan Deferral, TikTok Ban and More

09:35AM Aug 07, 2020
Here are audio highlights from around the ag industry, courtesy of Pro Farmer.
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Good Morning farm country. Davis Michaelsen here with your morning update for Friday, August 7. From Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today, these are some of the stories we are watching this morning:

Corn futures are trading midrange and fractionally lower after a quiet overnight session. Soybean futures are a penny or two lower after hitting new lows for the week. Winter and spring wheat futures are steady to fractionally higher amid some light corrective trade. The U.S. dollar index is firmer, with crude oil futures under pressure.

Chinese customs data shows the country imported 10.09 MMT of soybeans during July, a 16.9% jump from July 2019 but a 9.6% decline from the record-breaking 11.16 MMT of soybeans it imported in June. Brazil was the supplier of much of these soybeans.

Drought conditions since June for key areas of Argentina’s farm belt remain a concern for wheat producers, with the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange noting that the “back and forth between frosts and lack of rainfall has further stressed the development of wheat fields.”

French farmers were 99% finished with harvest as of Aug. 3, the country’s farm office reported. Recent hot, dry weather helped farmers to wrap up harvest of the small crop around five days faster than the five-year average.

Yesterday, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced it will offer a one-time annual installment payment deferral option to assist Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) borrowers experiencing financial hardship from the pandemic and other challenges in production agriculture.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar will lead a delegation to Taiwan on Sunday to meet with senior Taiwanese officials in a rare high-profile visit to the island. Planned discussions will focus on the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the visit comes as tensions between Washington and Beijing have rapidly escalated.

President Donald Trump signed executive orders Thursday night barring Americans or those subject to U.S. jurisdiction from transactions with the China-based owners of WeChat and TikTok, effective 45 days from Thursday.

President Trump said he plans to sign orders today or this weekend extending enhanced unemployment benefits and imposing a payroll tax holiday as lawmakers were unable to reach agreement on stimulus legislation that includes such provisions.

The President will reimpose a 10% tariff on Canadian aluminum, just over a month after implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement meant to lower barriers. The announcement only pertained to the 10% tariff on aluminum from Canada, not the 25% tariff on steel.

Cash cattle prices climbed in the Iowa market yesterday, with Iowa seeing light trade ranging from $103 to $105, with Kansas and Texas seeing action from $100 to $101 and Nebraska at $102. Cash hog bids slipped 54 cents on Thursday, with declines in the eastern Corn Belt offsetting gains in the western Corn Belt. 

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