Weekly Dry Bean Market Review

Trade activity in the dry bean sector remains light with moderate demand. USDA’s Weekly Bean, Pea and Lentil Market Review says new crop prices are steady to firm. For pinto beans, the bid price for growers is unchanged from last week at $45 per hundredweight. Black beans are holding steady at $45-to-$48. Navies are unchanged at $42.

MN NASS Office Recaps ’21 Season

The Minnesota field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service has published a review of the 2021 growing season for all major crops. According to the report, dry edible bean planting was underway by the end April. Planting progress quickly moved past last year and the average. By June 6 planting was 95 percent complete, five days ahead of normal. Emergence began ahead of last year and remained ahead of the previous year until June 20 when the 96 percent emerged fell slightly behind the previous year. Almost all the dry edible bean crop was blooming by early August and plants setting pods began less than a week into July. By the end of August, 58 percent of the crop was dropping leaves or beyond. Harvest began ahead of last year and normal and by September 26 nearly three quarters of the crop was harvested. Harvest was nearly complete by October 17 with 97 percent harvested. Crop condition ratings began on June 13 with 63 percent rated good to excellent but declined through the season. The final crop condition on September 19 was 21 percent good to excellent.

Trade Deficit Narrows

Thanks to an increase in agricultural and energy exports, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October. The Commerce Department said the deficit in October totaled $67 billion, down from a record $81 billion in September. Imports have been put at a disadvantage due to the backlog at U.S. ports.

Agriculture Disadvantaged by Supply Chain Issues

During a Commerce Committee hearing, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar detailed the impact supply chain disruptions are having on agriculture. Klobuchar said Minnesota farmers have seen a 47 percent decline in exports since the pandemic began. At the same time, ocean carriers have reported record profits. The cost and availability of containers for export is one issue. “It currently costs seven times more to ship an export from California to China than to ship that same product from China to California.” Klobuchar said rural businesses are often located far from transportation hubs, making it difficult to access international markets. Klobuchar and North Dakota Senator John Hoeven have introduced the Promoting Rural Exports Act to assist rural businesses in pursuing the export market.

Southern MN Native Takes New Role on Ag Committee Staff

Fountain, Minnesota native Chelsie Keys has been promoted to policy director for the Republican side of the Senate Agriculture Committee. She will lead policy development and strategy for Ranking Member John Boozman’s team. Keys started work on the committee in 2015 and previously served as the director of government affairs for the National Pork Producers Council.

More Input Decisions Being Made in Q4

According to a study conducted by No-Till Farmer, farmers are making significant purchases of 2022 crop inputs before the end of the year. Not surprisingly, liquid fertilizer is at the top of that list with more than 37 percent of participants saying they are increasing their normal pre-paid purchases before December 31. Thirty-five percent are locking in their crop protection products and 33 percent are planning to prepay for their granular fertilizer in the fourth quarter. Thirty percent are making more pre-pays for seed and 21 percent are going the same route with diesel fuel. 

Tax Changes Go Through an Evolution

There’s been many what-ifs when it comes to federal tax changes for farmers this year. As the Senate considers the Build Back Better Act, AgCountry Farm Credit Services Agribusiness Consultant Russ Tweiten says the loss of stepped-up basis is off the table and there aren’t proposed changes in top capital gains taxes. “If Congress passes anything between now and Christmas, it will be last minute to get confirmation. So far, we’ve gone from very radical tax changes to watered down, sensible solutions.” There is one possible tax change for agriculture in the current Build Back Better Act. “There’s a net investment income tax credit. This would add an additional 3.8 percent taxes on income. If you have $500,000 or more in income, you’ll pay those taxes. For many farmers, that’s not a big deal, but if you have an auction sale, there’s an additional tax. We’ll see what happens.”

Pre-Solicitation Announcement for Section 32 Purchase of Great Northern Beans

USDA has announced plans to purchase Great Northern Beans for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs. Solicitations will be issued in the near future and will be available through the USDA’s supply chain management system. The specifications of dry bean purchases are available online

Ports Impose New Fees on Shipping Containers

Starting this past week, the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports are charging new fees on shipping containers. Ocean carriers will be charged $100 per container, increasing by $100 increments every day until it leaves the terminal. For containers that are scheduled to move by truck, the fees will begin when containers sit longer than nine days. The fees will be imposed for those containers moving by rail if they sit at the port longer than six days. Fifteen senators, including North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and South Dakota Senator John Thune, have asked the Federal Maritime Commission to intervene.

WOTUS Listening Session Comes to North Dakota

In Bismarck Monday afternoon, EPA Assistant Administrator of Water Radhika Fox and Army Corps of Engineers Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jaime Pinkham took input on the Waters of the United States rule. WOTUS is being redefined. American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Scott VanderWal calls it “regulatory whiplash and it’s very disconcerting.” It’s not a new issue for agriculture. American Soybean Association Director of Government Affairs Ariel Wiegard told the EPA soybean farmers are frustrated with the cycle of regulation and litigation. A durable and certain definition is important for WOTUS. “Farmers shouldn’t have to ask the EPA or Army Corps of Engineers every time they want to plow or move dirt on their farms.” Last Thursday, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers reinstates the WOTUS definition from before 2015 and replaces the Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule. One in the Federal Register, there’s a 60-day comment period. The EPA will consider those comments and then, propose a final rule. EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox said the EPA is trying to find common ground. In 2022, the EPA plans to host 10 regional roundtable/listening sessions to get more feedback on WOTUS.