Farm Progress

7 ag stories you can’t miss – September 1, 2023

Catch up on highlights from the Farm Progress Show, the first look at Farm Futures 2024 acreage estimates, rising Mississippi River freight rates ahead of harvest and more!

Rachel Schutte, Content Producer

September 1, 2023

3 Min Read
7 ag stories you can't miss
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Did you miss some news this week? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a collection of the top headlines in agriculture.

Top highlights from the 2023 Farm Progress Show

Farm Progress editors fanned out and canvassed the 90-acre exhibit field to gather all the best new products for farmers. More than a dozen new tractors were introduced, including three new electric models. Autonomous technology, sprayer drones, sprayer technology and planters and more were on display for farmers, by more than 600 companies.

Check out their favorite picks from the big three-day show!

Freight rates soar as Mississippi River drops

The cost to transport grain from the Midwest to the rest of the world is soaring as shrinking water levels on the Mississippi River drive up barge freight rates — and the upcoming weather forecast offers no relief. Barge spot rates as of Aug. 29 in St. Louis are up 49% from last week and 42% from last year at $23.34 a ton. The river carries over 45% of U.S. agricultural exports. – Bloomberg

Vilsack announces new renewable energy funding

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA is awarding $266 million in loans and grants for agriculture producers and rural small businesses during his appearance at the 2023 Farm Progress Show. The new investments awarded through the Rural Energy for America Program will support 1,334 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. – Farm Progress

POET reopens Cloverdale, Indiana bioprocessing facility

POET, the world’s largest producer of biofuels, has reopened its bioprocessing facility in Cloverdale, Ind. The facility was idled in 2019 due to issues surrounding the implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard, but recent growing support for E15 fueled the decision to reopen. POET invested $30 million in new technology and upgrades before reopening, and the facility expects an annual production rate of 95 million gallons of bioethanol. – POET

Farm Futures releases 2024 acreage estimates

A Farm Futures August 2023 survey finds that farmers expect to plant 93.1 million acres of corn in 2024, down 1% from this year’s acreage. Surveyed farmers indicated a 2% increase in soybean acreage next spring to 85.4 million acres. Wheat acres are also expected to expand, with winter wheat acres forecasted 5% higher at 38.7 million acres and spring wheat acres rising 8% to 52.7 million acres. Read more about the 2024 acreage battle! – Farm Futures

Most regions experiencing lower beef demand

According to a new report from Rabobank, most beef markets are seeing softer consumer demand. In the U.S., declining supply and strong consumer demand are driving cattle prices higher, while in most other regions, the opposite is making prices soften. “Such a separation in prices will have consequences for beef exporters’ competitiveness, and we expect to see some shift in trade volumes as a result,” says Angus Gidley-Baird, senior analyst of animal protein at Rabobank. – BEEF

USDA forecasts 23% drop in farm income  

USDA’s most recent Farm Sector Income Forecast dropped net farm income expectations for 2023 lower than initial February estimates to $141.3 billion, down 23% from 2022’s $183 billion. The largest decrease in net farm income is tied to a projected fall in cash receipts from livestock due to lower prices for all major categories except cattle and turkeys. – American Farm Bureau

About the Author(s)

Rachel Schutte

Content Producer, Farm Futures

Rachel grew up in central Wisconsin and earned a B.S. in soil and crop science from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. Before joining the Farm Futures team, Rachel spent time in the field as an agronomist before transitioning to the world of marketing and communications. She now resides in northeast Iowa where she enjoys raising bottle calves and farming corn and soybeans alongside her husband and his family.

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