February 9, 2024

Newsletter for February 9, 2024

This Issue:

  • Nevada Department of Agriculture Seeking Your Updated Information
  • Would You Be Interested In Sharing Your Feedback On A Possible 2025 Piece Of Water Legislation?
  • While We’re Pondering Water Related Policy Ideas – What Does Curtailment Mean To You?
  • Cattle Inventory Report Shares Significant Details
  • More News From USDA Reports – Net Farm Income Forecast Not Good
  • Super Bowl Sunday And American Agriculture
Nevada Farm Bureau Website

Nevada Department of Agriculture Seeking Your Updated Information

As a person who has a livestock scale, you might have already received this request from the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA), but in the event that you didn’t – they are looking to hear from you. The 2023 livestock scale inspections brought to light the deficiencies that the NDA faces in providing timely information and updates concerning livestock scale inspection schedules. The Department would like to improve communication with you and your industry.


Currently it is difficult for the NDA to provide prompt and up-to-date information via mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service. The NDA is streamlining communication with livestock scale owners by updating contact information for efficient notification of inspection delays and rescheduling due to weather or mechanical issues.

Please fill out the online form that is provided here to ensure they have up-to-date contact information, including an email address.

Would You Be Interested In Sharing Your Feedback On A Possible 2025 Piece Of Water Legislation?

Over the course of the past several months, Nevada Farm Bureau has been involved in a working group of water stakeholders. This group has been discussing possible legislative changes for Nevada water law in an effort to build common ground for advancing identified solutions that would go before legislators in the 2025 Legislative session.


In our most recent meeting, held at the Nevada Farm Bureau office, the group reviewed a draft bill which would best be described as an omnibus concept covering several areas, but heavily weighted to formulating a voluntary water right buy-back and retirement proposal. Such a legislative proposal was considered in the 2023 Nevada Legislature but got hung up in the politics of the session and was buried in the Senate Finance Committee when the session ended.


In the near-term, the different members of the stakeholder group are being asked to offer feedback and suggestions regarding the draft. We are asking whether we have Farm Bureau members who would be interested in reviewing the draft bill and offering their feedback/input on the proposal. 


We have also combed through the draft and prepared an analysis of Nevada Farm Bureau’s current policy positions on the sections of the proposal. If you are interested in obtaining the draft bill (with a complete understanding that the proposal is a draft and not a firm or final proposition) and the overview that we’ve prepared, please email doug@nvfb.org and request a copy of this information to be sent to you by email. After your review, we would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions on what needs to be either kept or amended to fit the best possible offering to go forward from a Farm Bureau perspective. It is also understood that there might need to be adjustments to current Farm Bureau policy positions in order to best represent our organization’s direction in going forward.

While We’re Pondering Water Related Policy Ideas – What Does Curtailment Mean To You?

In discussions that have followed the recently released decision by the Nevada Supreme Court on the authority of the State Engineer to manage water conjunctively and across current groundwater basins, the consideration of possible actions to resolve water right conflicts prompts the possibility of curtailment of water rights that are interfering with more senior water right owners. Nevada Farm Bureau has policy which speaks firmly on the prior appropriations doctrine and protection of senior water right owners but is completely mute on what curtailment means.


Should we have policy on this subject? Should there be defined meanings of whether curtailment of water rights would be a permanent or temporary action? How would prior appropriations and the protection of senior water rights fit within the situations of links that occur between water rights at a specific point of conflict and basin-wide application of curtailment actions? 


We hope that raising this topic might stimulate conversations and discussions within your communities and within county Farm Bureau policy deliberations. We also welcome you sharing your views by emailing doug@nvfb.org.

Cattle Inventory Report Shares Significant Details

The January 2024 Cattle Inventory Report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) drew some major attention, which American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) economist Bernt Nelson covered in his recent Market Intel piece. The numbers have some rather historically stark reference points.


“All cattle and calves in the United States on Jan. 1, 2024, were 87.2 million head, 2 percent lower than this time in 2023.” Nelson wrote, continuing “This is the lowest Jan. 1 inventory since USDA’s 82.08 million estimate in 1951.”


“The calf crop is estimated at 33.6 million head, down 2 percent from last year and the smallest calf crop since 33.1 million in 1948.”


Nelson noted that because of the number of cattle on feed, there’s no anticipated immediate shortage of beef, but longer term, consumers might see some higher prices at the meat counter later in 2024 and into 2025.


“The latest cattle numbers are a stark reminder of the challenges facing America’s farmers and ranchers,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Severe weather, high inflation and geopolitical uncertainty are taking a toll on farmers across the country, and families will see the effects in their grocery bills.”


“Fortunately, America has one of the most robust food supplies in the world, thanks in part to strong agricultural policies outlined in the farm bill. We encourage lawmakers to pass a new farm bill to ensure farmers can survive the tough times and continue to stock the pantries of America’s families.”

More News From USDA Reports – Net Farm Income Forecast Not Good

We wrestled with the order to take in presenting the article above on how there are good prospects for cattle markets and this news from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which indicates that they are forecasting a huge decline in net farm income in 2024. In an earlier conversation with American Farm Bureau Federation economist, Danny Munch who did the analysis on the USDA report we learned that even with very good prices for cattle, the overall low numbers of the herd are still going to bring totals of revenue for cattle sales lower than last year.


Having offered that explanation on where this fits in with the overall scheme of things, USDA has just come out with their first calendar year projection for net farm income for 2024 and it shows that if the projections come to pass -- there is going to be a major decline in net farm income. Munch has provided this Market Intel report highlighting the details of what enters into the calculations to arrive at the projections. As always, the Market Intel piece dramatically covers the graphs of where things have been and where we are now.


Munch has also cautioned a realistic view of how this projection, coming out of the chute as the first look, could change as the year progresses, but that doesn’t mean it will be necessarily getting better as the year unfolds. It could improve and it could get worse. 

A very large portion of the overall decline are the projections for increased cost of production totals.

Super Bowl Sunday And American Agriculture

It doesn’t matter whether you are a San Francisco 49er fan or are hoping that the Kansas City Chiefs repeat as Super Bowl Champs for 2024, Super Bowl Sunday is about as close to a national holiday that we have in our country. As the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) communications team reports, our country’s 2 million farm and ranch families are positioned to make this year’s big game another big deal…


Pro football’s championship Sunday ranks among the top days of the year for food consumption in the United States. As you watch your favorite team and eat your favorite snacks, here are some facts about how that food makes it to your home.

  •  Almost 1.5 billion chicken wings are consumed during the big game, according to the National Chicken Council more than 164,000 farms raise chickens and eggs.
  • More than 8 million pounds of corn tortilla chips will be eaten during the game. The United States is the world’s largest corn producer, at more than 15 billion bushels a year.
  • Pizza ranks in the top three of all gameday snacks. Where does the crust come from? Farmers plant almost 50 million acres·     of wheat every year, which is also used in breads, cookies, pretzels and cakes.
  • America’s families purchase more than 25 million pounds of cheese for the big game, according to estimates by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. Dairy cows produce more than 226 billion pounds of milk every year.
  • Veggie trays are the lowest calorie snack among the favorites, with tomatoes often featured. The average person in America consumes 31.4 pounds of tomatoes per year. It’s the second-most consumed vegetable, behind potatoes.

Farmers are meeting the food needs of America’s families while continually improving the land and water for future generations. They have voluntarily enrolled 140 million acres in conservation programs. That’s more than the size of California and New York combined.


“Farmers are proud to grow the food America’s families rely on for Championship Sunday, and every other day of the year,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “We all benefit from one of the most affordable and abundant food supplies in the world. It’s made possible by hardworking farm families and supported by strong agricultural policies in the farm bill. As we all enjoy this year’s big game, we encourage lawmakers to get a new farm bill past the goal line and bring a win home to every family in America.”

Have a great week!