Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! 
Wishing you a joyous Holiday season and a New Year filled with peace and happiness!
2nd Round of MFP Payments 
Secretary of Agriculture Sunny Perdue has announced that the President approved the second round of payments on the Market Facilitation Program  (MFP) that is designed to lessen the effect felt by tariffs from China. President Trump tweeted out saying “Today I am making good on my promise to defend our farmers’ and ranchers from unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations. I have authorized Secretary Perdue to implement the 2nd round of Market Facilitation Payments.  Our economy is stronger than ever-we stand with our farmers!”

The combined rate for both payments on soybeans has been set at $1.65 per bushel for 100% of the harvested crop. $9.567 billion is expected in direct payments to producers, and $7.5 billion expected for soybeans. Producers must complete an application by January 15, 2019 but have until May 1, 2019 to certify their 2018 production.

Continue here for the full statement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and for the details of the program. 
2018 Farm Bill Officially Passed
After months of delay and conference between the House and Senate Agricultural Committee, Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 with a sweeping vote. The Senate passed the bill first with a vote of 87-13. The following day the House came through and passed the bill with a vote of 369-47. 

Yesterday, the President signed the bill during a signing ceremony and stated " With the passage of the farm bill we are delivering to the farmers and ranchers, who are the heart and soul of America, all sorts of things that they never even thought possible. We are ensuring that American agriculture will always feed our families, nourish our communities, power commerce and inspire our nation. And I’m opening up massive new markets in order to do things with other countries.”

Continue here to read more about the day and the biggest changes in the bill. 
Clean Water Act
Statement from Rep. Mike Conaway, Chairman of House Agriculture Committee and Zippy Duval, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation regarding the proposed Clean Water Act. 
In 2015 the Obama administration created a “waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule that was so broad and vague that almost any spot where rainwater flows or pools might be tagged as a federally protected body of water. With the stroke of a pen, farmers and ranchers across the heartland suddenly did not know if state or federal law applied to their lands and what their compliance obligations would be. Like many of our stakeholders and constituents, we immediately saw the enormous consequences of this egregious regulatory overreach.

The Clean Water Act is a flagship statute—and like many laws, it works best when its requirements are clear. This law carries penalties north of $50,000 for any activity that puts any “pollutant”—including dirt—into any regulated water. It certainly seems fair to let the people who make a living on the land know where those regulated waters are, especially when civil and criminal penalties come into play. What’s more, by telling people where the federally regulated waters are, we give them the information they need to comply with the law.

That’s why we’re pleased that the new Clean Water Rule proposed last week by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers will have a new hallmark: clean water and clear rules.

Based on what we see in the proposal, the new rule will do a better job of explaining which waters are regulated. It is broad enough to be very protective. It draws a clear enough line to provide fair notice. And it focuses mostly on things that look like water—not regulating land. No law or regulation is ever perfect, but we applaud the EPA and the Corps of Engineers for their diligence in putting forth a reasonable, common-sense proposal to protect our nation’s waters.

The new Clean Water Rule empowers landowners with the clarity they need to comply with the Clean Water Act. Now, farmers, ranchers, and other small business owners will be able to look at their land and know—without a team of scientists and attorneys—which parts of their land are regulated by the Clean Water Act.

For many rural Americans, land and water are the most valuable assets. Their farms, ranches, and communities are typically dependent on surface water sources, like streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs, not only for their operations, but also to care for their own families. They are deeply aware of the value of clean water as a resource; their livelihood and lives depend on being able to preserve and protect it.

Farmers and ranchers are committed to constantly improving their environmental stewardship. They embrace both traditional and new conservation practices, such as planting cover crops to soak up nutrients and protect the water and soil, because they care about clean water and all our natural resources. But under previous proposals, even proven, beneficial conservation practices on farms would require expensive federal permits wrapped in layers of red tape.

Taking care of natural resources is a big deal across farm country. Agricultural producers care and strive every day to leave the land and water in better shape for the next generation. The Clean Water Rule will further empower them to do just that.

Localities, states, farmers, ranchers—all Americans—can make their views on this rule known. The public should take the opportunity to submit comments on this important proposal which honors the law, protects clean water and provides clear rules.
ARMS Phase III Soybean Specific Survey
Phase III of the 2018 Agricultural Resource Management Study (ARMS) is being mailed out on December 26th. This survey is conducted every year with at least two different questionnaire versions.  A core version for all farms and a commodity-specific version, which this year is soybeans in NC.  The survey is conducted in cooperation with Economic Research Service (USDA/ERS).  The survey data collection focuses on farm finances. The results provide information for the financial analyses of farm businesses, farm households and cost associated with producing agricultural commodities. For the soybean specific questionnaire version, information will be broken out for soybean farms specifically. The survey helps determine the overall health of farming operations. For respondents that have not replied via mail or online by February 11th you will be contacted by a NASS enumerator to be personally interviewed.

Additional information can be found at:
30th Annual Commodities Conference
January 9th -11th, 2018
Sheraton Imperial Hotel
Durham, North Carolina

The 2019 NC Commodities Conference will be the joint meeting of the Corn, Cotton, Small Grains, and Soybean Associations. The conference will include vendor trade shows, keynote speakers Dr. David Khol and Edgar Woods, commodity extension specialist presentations, annual yield awards & much more!  Registration and information can be found at
NCSPA 52nd Annual Meeting
January 10th, 2019
The 52nd Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association will be held during the Annual Commodity Conference on January 10th, 2019. The meeting will begin at 3:00 pm in the Imperial Ballroom and the meeting will consist of board nominations as well as the newest updates from the association. All soybean growers are welcome at this meeting. 

NCSPA Staff & Contractors
Ashley Thomas, Member Relations Manager
Beth Holleman, Accounts Manager
Karen Wing, Communications Contractor
Katherine Drake Stowe, Research Coordinator, Interim CEO
Laura Rogers, Outreach Education Coordinator
Copyright © 2018 North Carolina Soybean Producers Association, All rights reserved.

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