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MAY 17, 2019 • VOLUME 22 • ISSUE 10

Farm Bureau Press A PEEK INSIDE

STAY IN THE KNOW Calling all High School Juniors & Seniors! ArFB’s Ag Youth Leadership Seminar is a chance to dive into issues affecting agriculture and rural Arkansas, and be introduced to the policy development process. This experience will give an in-depth look into agricultural degrees and careers and an up-close look at the Arkansas agriculture industry. Find more information online,, or email (amanda.williams@arfb. com). Deadline to apply is May 24. The National Ag in the Classroom conference will be held June 18-21 at the Little Rock Marriott & Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. Educators from around the country will learn how to use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more. To register, visit

Farm Bureau Names Wortham Outstanding Ag Teacher, page 2.

Women’s Committee Donation | Amy Hartshorn (left) and Lonni Davis (right) of the Ashley County Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee present a $400 check to Mary Williams of the Helping Hands Food Pantry in Hamburg today as part of ArFB’s Farmers Feeding Families program to help feed people in need.

2019 Arkansas Century Farm Applications due May 31, page 3.


ArFB NAMES WORTHAM OUT Celia Wortham, a kindergarten teacher at Dwight Elementary in Russellville, is Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 2019 Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher. Wortham received the award during a recent announcement at the school.

Ag Day | More than 300 K-6 students at Cotter Public Schools are learning about farming at Farm Bureau Ag Day. Cotter FFA students and ArFB education coordinator Jason Kaufman were on hand for assistance and demonstrations. 2

Farm Bureau established the award in 2006 to recognize teachers who have exemplary programs that integrate agricultural concepts into their teaching. Wortham worked agricultural concepts into all of her year-long curriculum, which included taking her students to the school’s garden to learn about how plants are grown and cared for, and setting up a small “container garden” for her class to grow unusual vegetables like lemon cucumber, black corn and purple carrots. In addition, she taught lessons on Christmas trees and received a grant to begin a reading program at her school that will feature books on animals. She says that she is “still learning what Arkansas agriculture looks like,” but she believes attending the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock


“I was raised on a farm,” said Wortham, who came to Arkansas from Louisiana in 2017. “My childhood was spent in the dirt, in the woods, or riding a tractor. I wanted memories like these for my students.”

2019 ARKANSAS CENTURY FARM APPLICATIONS The Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) is now accepting applications for the 2019 Arkansas Century Farm program. This program identifies Arkansas families who have owned and farmed the same land for at least 100 years. Online and printable applications are available at There is no cost to apply. Arkansas is home to more than 43,500 farms, of which 97 percent are family owned and operated. Since the program began in 2012, 418 farms have been certified. Lists of previously inducted Arkansas Century Farm families can be found online. To qualify, Arkansas farms must meet the following criteria:

TSTANDING AG TEACHER this June will help her in her efforts to introduce her students to the importance of farming and ranching. “You have to get creative to teach agriculture to kindergarteners and that’s what Celia has done,” said Arkansas Farm Bureau Senior Education Coordinator Matt Jackson. “She’s found a variety of ways to highlight the importance and role of agriculture in everyday life, from hands-on methods to reading.”

• The same family must have owned the farm for 100 years by Dec. 31, 2019. The line of ownership from the original settler or buyer may be through children, grandchildren, siblings, and nephews or nieces, including through marriage and adoption. • The farm must be at least ten acres of the original land acquisition and make a financial contribution to the overall farm income. For more information, contact Mary Elizabeth Lea at 501219-6363 or Applications must be postmarked on or before May 31 to be eligible for designation as a 2019 inductee.

Wortham is a graduate of the University of Louisiana – Monroe, where she earned a bachelor of arts in Spanish, a master of arts in elementary education and master of education degree in educational leadership. She previously taught first and second grade in Louisiana, where she was honored as Tangipahoa Parish Schools Teacher of the Year in 2018. She was recently awarded a $5,000 grant for a One School, One Book reading program at Dwight Elementary. With the Outstanding Teacher honor, she receives an expense-paid trip to represent Arkansas at the National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock. A PUBLICATION OF THE ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU FEDERATION


MARKET NEWS as of May 15, 2019 Contact Brandy Carroll 501-228-1268

Rice The Arkansas rice crop is significantly behind schedule due to excessive moisture. Farmers in the state have seeded 53% of prospective plantings, versus a 5-year average of 90%. The final planting date for crop insurance is May 25, and the late planting period ends June 9. The May WASDE report showed further declines in the projected ‘18/’19 average on-farm price, with the estimate reduced 10 cents to $12. Carryout is estimated to increase to 53.6 million cwt, from 29.4 the previous year. For ‘19/’20 marketing year, total domestic use is projected at 241 million cwt, up almost 6% from the previous year, and exports are expected to be up to 101 million bushels. All rice ending stocks are forecast to increase 10% to 58.8 million cwt, the largest since ‘85/’86. The average on farm price is currently projected at $11.20. Given the slow planting progress, however, that is all subject to revision as the year progresses. Rice futures are clearly reacting to the slow planting progress and have seen significant strength in recent days, although July is having trouble with resistance around $11.10. A close above that level could signal a retest of the March high of $11.37. Corn U.S. corn plantings are very much behind schedule, coming in at 30% versus a 5-year average of 66%. The May WASDE showed a projected crop of 15 billion bushels, the second largest on record behind ‘16/’17. Many private estimates think 4

this is too high given the very slow planting progress. Corn exports are expected to decline 25 million bushels, with ending stocks forecast to increase by 390 million bushels to 2.485 billion bushels, resulting in an average farm price of $3.30. December futures have charted a huge key reversal after setting a new contract low on May 14. The market gapped higher on the open on May 15 and continues to climb higher. This looks to confirm a bottom after the market trended lower for the past six weeks. Soybeans The soybean crop in Arkansas is now 21% planted, versus a 5-year average of 53%. Nationwide, the crop is only 9% planted, versus a 5-year average of 29%. The May WASDE report projected the ‘19/’20 crop at 4.15 billion bushels, down 394 million from last year’s record-setting crop. Beginning stocks are up sharply, though, so total supply is estimated at 5.165 billion bushels, up 3% from ‘18/’19. U.S. ending stocks were pegged at 970 million bushels, down 25 million from the ‘18/’19 estimate, thanks to an increase in demand. November futures gapped lower on May 14 and set a new contract low before closing at the top of the day’s trading range. Sharp gains on May 15 suggest the market is trying to confirm a bottom. Cotton Cotton plantings, as with most other row crops, are running behind. In Arkansas, farmers have planted 25% of expected acreage, compared with a 5-year average of 60%. Nationwide the gap is smaller, with 26% of the crop planted versus a 5-year average of 32%. In the May WASDE, USDA is projecting 2019 production at 22 million bales, up 20% from a year ago, despite less planted acreage. The increase comes for improved yields and a significant reduction in abandonments, as moisture conditions in the Southwest are


much improved. Domestic use is estimated to be unchanged from the current marketing year at 3.1 million bales, and exports are expected to increase 15% to 17 million. Ending stocks are estimated at 6.4 million bales, or 32% of use. The marketing year average price is forecast at 65 cents/pound, 5 cents lower than the projected ‘18/’19 average price. Futures price action has been extremely bearish over the past month, with December taking approximately 12 cents off the market, shattering clearly-defined support above 72 cents in the process. The market is clearly oversold and due a correction, but there is currently no indication the market has confirmed a bottom. The lack of a resolution in the trade war between the U.S. and China is looming over the market. Arkansas Cattle Inventory In the May WASDE report, the milk production for 2020 was estimated to rise from 2019, and exports on both fat- and skim-solids bases are expected to grow in 2020. U.S. products are expected to become more competitive due to slower growth in competitor supplies. The Class III price is forecast to increase as stronger cheese prices offset the weaker expected whey price. The Class IV price is expected to increase due to higher NDM and butter prices. The 2020 all milk price is forecast at $18.18 per cwt. The 2019 cattle price forecast was lowered from the previous month on recent price weakness, and the hog price was raised each quarter on stronger prices to date and expected support from global pork demand. Broiler, turkey and egg price forecasts were all reduced from the previous report on weaker demand expectations for the rest of the year.

EDITOR Ashley Wallace

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Farm Bureau Press for May 17  

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Farm Bureau Press for May 17  

Read the latest edition of the Farm Bureau Press.

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