Current Cattle Market Daily Headlines for March 17, 2021

by | Mar 17, 2021 | 0 comments

After 20 years of advocacy, black farmers finally get debt relief

  • The Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act included in President Biden’s pandemic stimulus bill, directed at Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and other agricultural producers, will forgive 120% of the value of loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or from private lenders and is guaranteed by the USDA.
  • Advocacy groups claim that this debt relief will begin to rectify decades of broken promises and discrimination from the USDA that caused Black farmers to lose approximately 90 percent of their land between 1910 and current day.
  • Those behind the bill say that its main objective is to address failures in two landmark civil rights settlements, Pigford I and II, between the USDA and Black farmers.
  • A significant amount of controversy has surrounded this bill with Republicans accusing Democrats of trying to sneak a reparations policy into an emergency bill instead of going through the proper legislative process.
    • Republicans unsuccessfully sought to amend the legislation and took issues with the 120 percent payment amount and the fact that there is no requirement that farmers show proof of discrimination.
  • According to Representative Austin Scott, a Republican from Georgia who sits on the committee, this bill is “ripe for a reverse discrimination lawsuit.”
    • There is no proof of discrimination. You, by virtue of the color of your skin or your ethnicity, receive 120 percent of your outstanding loan balance, said Scott.
  • Those in favor of the bill countered that the way the bill is set up was the only way to ensure farmers are compensated for not just their debt but also the taxes associated with debt forgiveness.
    • If the bill were written to explicitly cover farmers’ tax obligations, it risked getting bogged down in congressional tax writing committees.
  • The bill has $4 billion earmarked for the program because the Congressional Budget Office estimates that’s how much it will cost to pay off USDA loans to minority farmers, plus 20 percent.
  • According to The Acres of Ancestry Initiative/Black Agrarian Fund, there are currently over 17,000 Black legacy farmers who are delinquent on their loans to USDA ranging from five to thirty years.
  • A timeline of government assistance based on race in agriculture according to USDA:
    • 1990 Farm Bill- $10 million per year for outreach and assistance to socially disadvantaged.
    • 2002 Farm Bill- $25 million per year.
    • 2008 Farm Bill: $15 million allocated in 2009, then $20 million per year for 2010-2012.
      • This Farm Bill gave socially disadvantaged farmers priority for loans and grants. It also established the Minority Farmer Advisory Committee and the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers Group.
    • 2014 Farm Bill: $20 million per year.
      • This Farm Bill established the Socially Disadvantaged Policy Research Center.
    • 2018 Farm Bill: $50 million per year.
    • 2021 Farm Bill: $4 billion towards paying off 120 percent of the outstanding debt of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.


Brazilian beef processors focus on exports; domestic demand, supply low

  • Brazil is expected to experience another year of record beef exports in 2021, even though the first two months of this year have seen a 6 percent drop in shipments.
  • Abrafrigo, a Brazilian beef industry association, expects a 5 percent increase in the country’s total beef exports in 2021.
    • In 2020, Brazil recorded a record high of 2.02 million metric export shipments.
  • Cattle prices are high in Brazil because of reduced availability as producers work to rebuild their herds. Strong demand for beef in markets like China has also increased cattle prices, which has negatively impacted small and mid-sized beef processors with little or no access to international markets.
    • Decreased domestic demand for beef has also greatly impacted smaller beef processors.
      • Some processors have resorted to furloughing employees because of the tight cattle supply, which has led to record prices.
    • Cattle prices have increased by 53 percent over the 12-month-period ending in February. At the same time, the wholesale price for beef carcasses in the domestic market has increased by 42 percent.
    • Brazil’s three largest beef processors – JBS, Marfrig and Minerva Foods – generate the majority of their revenues from outside Brazil and have been taking advantage of the devaluation of the Brazilian currency to boost margins with international sales.


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From the Holcomb Tyson fire to COVID-19;
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