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Montana Ag Network: Monday, November 11

Posted at 1:58 PM, Nov 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-11 17:38:36-05

BILLINGS — Here is the Montana Ag Network report for Monday, November 11, 2019:


The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) concluded its Strategic Planning Conference in Tucson, Ariz., with the election of new officers. Cevin Jones, a cattle feeder from Eden, Idaho, was elected USMEF chair. He succeeds Iowa pork producer Conley Nelson.

"My first involvement with USMEF was when I was marketing chair with the Idaho Cattle Association," recalled Jones, who along with his brother operates Intermountain Beef, a custom feedlot. "As part of my duties I would go to national conventions where USMEF staff and leadership shared information about their work in international markets. This was a tremendous eye-opener. I valued the importance of export markets then, but value it even more today."

Jones became president of the Idaho Cattle Association in November 2003, shortly before one of the most disruptive events in the history of the U.S. beef industry.

"About one month later, I got the phone call — BSE," Jones said. "Then I truly realized how important our exports markets are, when they closed overnight. But in time I got to see USMEF in action, helping to get those markets reopened."

Jones later chaired the Idaho Beef Council and the Federation of State Beef Councils, and served on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, further enhancing his interest in expanding global demand for U.S. beef.

As he took the helm at USMEF, Jones encouraged members to remain steadfast in their commitment to international marketing, even in the face of trade barriers and ongoing volatility.

"I expect the trade environment to continue to be very challenging, but we have experienced, dedicated people on the ground in international markets across the world who give USMEF the ability to adapt and change," he said.

This week Montana Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) members are attending the organization’s 100th Annual Convention in Billings where they’ll have the opportunity to attend a variety of informative workshops and more.

These workshops will cover current topics of interest to farmers and ranchers including employment, rural broadband, mental health, estate planning, social media marketing and leadership. Other events include the MFBF board elections, committee meetings, Trade Show, MFBF Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet and the Resolutions Session where voting delegates from 30 county Farm Bureaus across the state meet to discuss and vote on what will become MFBF Policy for 2020.

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall will headline MFBF's 100th Anniversary Convention. And voting delegates will decide MFBF Policy for 2020 during the Resolutions Session.

For more information and to register, visit or call 406-587-3153.

The latest USDA World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates Report left little for wheat traders to hang their hats on. Some revisions on U.S. wheat production were made based on the unusual October weather affecting much of the Northern Plains. U.S. wheat production was lowered from 1.962 billion bushels to 1.920 billion bushels, primarily from a decline in both spring wheat and durum wheat here in Montana and North Dakota. The only other change in wheat was the drop of 12 million bushels in food and seed use. The net effect was a minor drop of 29 million bushels on U.S. ending stocks to a still burdensome 1.014 billion bushels.

The Nov. 8 report showed a drop in corn yield to 167 bushels per acre (bpa) from 168.4 bpa in October, but slightly lower than the 167.3 bpa from the average pre-report estimate. Production, however, was revealed at 13.661 billion bushels (bb) -- a decline of 118 million bushels (mb), but 59 mb higher than pre-report estimates.

While many analysts predicted sharper changes for soybean yield and production, it turns out USDA left both unchanged from October, at 46.9 bpa and 3.550 bb, respectively; the average estimate was 46.6 bpa and 3.513 bb, respectively.

Harvested acres were left unchanged at 75.6 million. Again, it is likely that we'll see some decline in those acres in the January report.