Crop Progress Report Questioned and Mexico's USMCA Influence
**When USDA released their Crop Progress report last Monday, which said 92% of the country's corn had been planted, farmers and traders began to question the numbers. How did USDA calculate that number? Were prevent plant acres included?
The National Ag Statistic Service's Lance Honig tells agweb.com, the planting progress percentage is "based on what farmers intend to do as of that week so it's kind of a moving target.
**Mexico's June 19 approval of the USMCA brings the updated version of NAFTA one important step closer to ratification.
While Congress may not vote on the trade agreement in the next few weeks, Produce Marketing Association vice president, Richard Owen tells thepacker.com, lawmakers may act by late summer thanks to this motivation from Mexico to act.
Now that President Trump's imports tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum have been lifted, and the threat of addition Trump tariffs avoided, Owen says the major obstacles have been removed.
**Results from the USDA's Census of Agriculture for 2017 shows our famers continue to get older
Nationally, the average age of farmers is 57.5, up 1.2% since 2012.
The census also notes, one in four producers are considered beginning farmers with 10 or fewer years of experience and an average age of 43.
An encouraging sign is the number of female operators is up dramatically, by nearly 27%, since the 2012 census.