Naveen Adusumilli, Connor, Lawson, Wang, Hua
USDA ARS scientists are exploring whether municipal wastewater can supplement the irrigation needs of crops. A soil scientist leading the project is studying the impact on the soil when trace amounts of organic contaminants and pharmaceuticals present in municipal wastewater are released into the soil. Read it here (https://bit.ly/3g81HGE).
The latest US fisheries report outlined the status of 461 managed stocks. The two definitions needed for understanding stocks' situation are Overfishing - when the harvest rate is too high; and Overfihsed – when the population size is too small. Stocks of 47 species are rebuilt since 2000.
Repair for Damaged Levee - Damaged by the Tropical Storm Cristobal in early June 2020, nearly 2,000 feet of Grand Isle levee needs immediate repair. The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) announced that it would undertake an emergency bidding process and hope to complete it by the end of the year 2020. The total cost to repair the levee is estimated at $6 to $8 million. Funding will come from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).
Permanent Floodgate - A permanent floodgate on Bayou Chene below Morgan City is underway with an $80 million funding from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA).The structure will have a 403-foot barge gate that sunk during high waters. It will also provide flood protection in a six-parish region. This project is expected to be complete and operational by September of 2021.
Livestock and poultry farmers impacted by COVID-19 are proposing to campaign for assistance where healthy animals were euthanized due to the pandemic and supply chain interruptions due to trade conflicts. Currently, the legislation provides payments only if animals are killed because they are sick or killed to control the spread of disease.
On August 5th, the RMA announced extending the payment deadlines for crop insurance premiums and deferring interest accrual on those payments. Specifically, interest accruals will be waived to the earlier of 60 days after the scheduled payment due date or the termination date on policies with premium billing date between August 1st, 2020, and September 30th, 2020. Written payment agreements due between August 1st, 2020, and September 30th, 2020, are also subject to a 60-day deferral of payment, which is accompanied by postponement in interest accrual as well.
Producers in counties designated with a D2 status – severe drought on or after the last day of the nesting season are eligible for haying and grazing of all eligible CRP acres. Louisiana parishes currently eligible are Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, Saint Bernard, Saint Charles, Saint James, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Tammany, and Terrebonne.
CFAP Updates - On August 11th, 2020, the USDA announced key changes to CFAP.
A complete list of updates can be found at the USDA website: CFAP updates.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, chapter-12 bankruptcy filings in Louisiana have remained unchanged from a year ago. From July 2018 – June 2019 and from July 2019 – June 2020, Louisiana recorded 12 Chapter-12 filings. At the national level, bankruptcy filings have fallen during the past year.
The USDA is forecasting record production for corn and near-record production for soybeans for the 2020/2021 marketing year. At 15.3 billion bushels, the August corn forecast is up 0.3 billion bushels compared to the July forecast but down 0.6 billion from the initial estimate in May. The soybean forecast is also ~0.3 billion bushels higher than the July forecast. Despite the increase, futures prices remained mostly steady to slightly higher, suggesting the forecast fell within market trade expectations. New crop forecasts have traditionally become more stable in October, and therefore some room for additional movement on the estimates still exists.
Congress has included $300 million in the CARES Act for the fishing industry. Recent updates include a clear specification for aquaculture. The update helps address some of the lost revenue for aquaculture producers in Louisiana, particularly crawfish producers who lost 81 cents/lb on average for their product last season. Louisiana farmers are set to receive 65 cents/lb through the updates in the Act. Although lower than the estimated loss, producers welcomed the relief.