Tag Archive: USDA

What is the USDA Survey You Got in the Mail in December?

What is the USDA Survey You Got in the Mail in December?

In addition to Christmas cards, farmers and ranchers in Florida received the National Agricultural Classification Survey (NACS) in December 2016’s mail.  This questionnaire will assist the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify active farms and ranches in the United States, in preparation for the upcoming Ag Census.

The result of the NACS will determine who receives a census of agriculture questionnaire in December 2017. The census of agriculture is conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and is the basis for uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agricultural data representing every county in the nation.

Through the census of agriculture, producers are able to establish the value and importance of agriculture, and influence decisions which will shape the future of the industry in this country. The reporting deadline for the NACS is January 30, 2016.

The census of agriculture is the leading source of data about domestic agriculture. Farm organizations, businesses, government decision-makers, commodity market analysts, news media, researchers, county agents and many others utilize census of agriculture information. It ensures every farm and ranch is represented.

The census of agriculture defines a farm as an entity which produces and sells, or could sell, $ 1,000 or more of agriculture products within a given calendar year. The NACS is required by law, as part of the census of agriculture. Under this same statute all information reported by individuals is protected.

For more information about Ag Classification Survey, and the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit:

 

PG

Author: Les Harrison – harrisog@ufl.edu

Les Harrison is the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources. He works with small and medium sized producers in the Big Bend region of north Florida on a wide range of topics. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.

Les Harrison

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/14/what-is-the-usda-survey-you-got-in-the-mail-in-december/

Enrollment Open for 2017 ARC & PLC USDA Farm Bill Programs

Enrollment Open for 2017 ARC & PLC USDA Farm Bill Programs

FSA HeaderU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini has announced that producers on farms with base acres under the safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, can begin visiting FSA county offices to sign contracts and enroll for the 2017 crop year. The enrollment period will continue until August 1, 2017.

“FSA issued more than $ 7 billion in payments in October 2016 under the ARC-County and PLC programs for the 2015 crop to assist enrolled producers who suffered a loss of price or revenue or both,” said Dolcini. “Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers on the farm must enroll by signing a contract each program year. I encourage you to contact your local FSA office today to schedule an appointment to enroll.”

If a farm is not enrolled during the 2017 enrollment period, the producers on that farm will not be eligible for financial assistance from the ARC or PLC programs for the 2017 crop should crop prices or farm revenues fall below the historical price or revenue benchmarks established by the program. Producers who made their elections in 2015 must still enroll during the 2017 enrollment period.

The ARC and PLC programs were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and offer a safety net to agricultural producers when there is a substantial drop in prices or revenues for covered commodities. Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain and sweet rice), safflower seed, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat. Upland cotton is no longer a covered commodity. For more details regarding these programs, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

For more information, producers are encouraged to visit their local FSA office. To find a local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

 

PG

Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/03/enrollment-open-for-2017-arc-plc-usda-farm-bill-programs/

USDA Confirms Screwworms in the Florida Keys

USDA Confirms Screwworms in the Florida Keys

Key deer buck killed by an infestation of screwworms. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Key deer buck killed by an infestation of screwworms on Big Pine Key. Credit: Samantha Gibbs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Screwworms were eradicated from the Southeast back in 1959.  This week USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of New World Screwworms Cochliomyia hominivorax in three deer in the Florida Keys.  At this point, APHIS believes the infestation is isolated to Big Pine Key and No Name Key, but the USDA is moving forward with additional surveillance, fly trapping in the region, as well as the release of sterile flies to stop the spread of this pest.  The Florida Department of Agriculture (FDACS) has established an Animal Health Zone in the keys, with a checkpoint at mile marker 106 to check all animals coming out of the keys for screwworms.

“The screwworm is a potentially devastating animal disease that sends shivers down every rancher’s spine. This pest poses a grave threat to wildlife, livestock and domestic pets in Florida. We’ve eradicated this from Florida before, and we’ll do it again. We will work with our partners on the federal, state and local level to protect our residents, animals and wildlife by eliminating the screwworm from Florida. The public’s assistance is crucial to the success of this eradication program.”  Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam

Screwworm larvae. Credit: Heather Stockdale Walden, University of Florida

Screwworm larvae. Credit: Heather Stockdale Walden, University of Florida

Screwworms

New World Screwworms also called Primary Screwworms are actually fly larvae (maggots) that feed on open wounds of livestock, wildlife, pets, and even on rare occasion people.  The adult screwworm fly is slightly larger than a common house fly, but has large orange eyes and a dark blue metallic body.  The adult flies lay their eggs on open sores, wounds, navels of newborn animals, or mucous membranes.  The maggots hatch-out within a day and feed on the living flesh of the host animal for five to seven days before leaving the animal and tunneling in the ground. The screwworms grow to a length of up to 2/3 of an inch before leaving the host animal wound and pupating in leaf litter or the soil surface .  The adult flies emerge from the ground in 7-10 days, mate only once, and complete the 24 day life-cycle.  Unlike other flesh-eating blow-flies, screwworm flies only lay their eggs on living flesh wounds. Left untreated, infected animals may perish from toxicity build up or secondary infections after 7-14 days. This was a devastating insect pest for the Florida Cattle industry in the 1950’s, before USDA developed the eradication method of releasing sterile male flies.  Because the female flies mate only once, the release of sterile male flies is a very effective tool to significantly reduce populations.

With screwworm flies present, any open wound from castration, dehorning, branding, shearing or clipping, barbed wire fences, or other causes can attract the adult flies to lay their eggs.  The most obvious sign of infestation is a significant change in the appearance of a wound.  The wound will become more enlarged and much deeper with noticeable drainage, which can attract additional flies.  It is difficult to actually see the screwworms in the early stages of feeding, but as many as 200 maggots may be found in a single wound.  Infested wounds smell rotten and will often have bloody discharge. Wounds that are not healing properly, or are producing excessive drainage should be inspected for screwworms.

Adult screwworm fly. Source: Foreign Animal Diseases "The Grey Book" USAHA

Adult screwworm fly. Source: Foreign Animal Diseases “The Grey Book” USAHA

Be on the Lookout

It is important that every livestock producer, pet owner, hunter, and wildlife enthusiast in Florida be on the lookout for this pest. Though adult flies generally do not fly more than a few miles in search of host animals, they can fly much farther if necessary.  Hurricanes have been known to bring other invasive pests to Florida.  There is potential for this pest to be spread as Hurricane Matthew blows through week, or by other storms in the future.  The more likely spread of this pest will come with animal movement.  This is why FDCAS has set up the roadblock to check pets and animals coming into mainland Florida from the keys.  This is just one more reason why it is important for livestock producers to quarantine new animals that are purchased or moved to an operation for observation, before adding them in with primary herd.

While this is currently a very isolated issue, way down in the Florida Keys, it is important that animal owners in Florida are aware of the signs and symptoms from this potentially devastating pest.  Livestock producers, and pet owners should report any potential cases to 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) and consult with your veterinarian for wound treatment.  Non-Florida residents should call (850) 410-3800.

Sources of information used for this article:

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/08/usda-confirms-screwworms-in-the-florida-keys/

USDA 2016 US Cattle Inventory Report

USDA 2016 US Cattle Inventory Report

Much of the agricultural economy in the country is driven by the basic economic principles of supply and demand.  Why are commodity prices for crops grown in the Southeast so low?  For the most part it is related to an increase in the supply (production) and a reduction in demand from foreign exports due to the strong U.S. Dollar.  The one bright spot the past several years has been beef cattle prices.  This is changing however, and the recent report from USDA on total cattle inventory in the U.S. confirms that the beef herd is definitely rebuilding.  The following are the highlights of USDA’s recent report on the U.S. Cattle Inventory for January 1, 2016.

Source: USDA ISSN: 1948-9099

From this chart you can see that total cattle numbers have risen back to levels similar to 2011. Source: USDA Cattle ISSN: 1948-9099

January 1 Cattle Inventory Up 3 Percent

  • All cattle and calves in the United States as of January 1, 2016 totaled 92.0 million head. This is 3 percent above the 89.1 million head on January 1, 2015.
  • All cows and heifers that have calved, at 39.6 million head, are 3 percent above the 38.6 million head on January 1, 2015. Beef cows, at 30.3 million head, are up 4 percent from a year ago. Milk cows, at 9.32 million head, are up slightly from the previous year.
  • All heifers 500 pounds and over as of January 1, 2016 totaled 19.8 million head. This is 3 percent above the 19.3 million head on January 1, 2015. Beef replacement heifers, at 6.29 million head, are up 3 percent from a year ago. Milk replacement heifers, at 4.82 million head, are up 2 percent from the previous year. Other heifers, at 8.71 million head, are 3 percent above a year earlier.
  • All Calves under 500 pounds in the United States as of January 1, 2016 totaled 14.1 million head. This is 4 percent above the 13.5 million head on January 1, 2015. Steers weighing 500 pounds and over totaled 16.3 million head, up 4 percent from one year ago. Bulls weighing 500 pounds and over totaled 2.14 million head, up 2 percent from the previous year.

Calf Crop Up 2 Percent

  • The 2015 calf crop in the United States was estimated at 34.3 million head, up 2 percent from last year’s calf crop. Calves born during the first half of 2015 were estimated at 24.8 million head. This is up 2 percent from the first half of 2014. The calves born during the second half of 2015 were estimated at 9.50 million head, 28 percent of the total 2015 calf crop.
  • Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for all feedlots totaled 13.2 million head on January 1, 2016. The inventory is up 1 percent from the January 1, 2015 total of 13.0 million head. Cattle on feed, in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head, accounted for 80.2 percent of the total cattle on feed on January 1, 2016. This is down 1 percent from the previous year. The combined total of calves under 500 pounds and other heifers and steers over 500 pounds (outside of feedlots) is 25.9 million head. This is 5 percent above one year ago.

Download the full report:  USDA 2016 Jan 1 US Cattle Inventory Report

With the increase in inventory (supply) as well as the reduction in export demand, cattle prices are down significantly from the peak prices received at the end of 2014.  Cattle prices fell much faster than they rose.  There are many factors that affect the price calves sell for at your local auction, but it is clear that ranchers will have to work harder on efficiency to remain profitable in the years ahead.  Cattle prices are currently headed in the wrong direction, but there are market factors that can change this over time.  As retail beef prices begin to follow live cattle prices, perhaps there will be an increase in the demand that will help stabilize prices at a moderate level that can be profitable for the entire industry.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Lead Editor for Panhandle Ag e-news – Jackson County Extension Director – Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/06/usda-2016-us-cattle-inventory-report/