READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 4th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Nutrition Coalition Urges Delay, Review of Dietary Guidelines

The Nutrition Coalition alleges there is a serious threat to the integrity and trustworthiness of the nation’s federal nutrition policy. The coalition Wednesday released allegations made by one or more members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, under the direction of the Department of Agriculture. The coalition expressed concerns about the committee’s process and in particular, its review of the scientific studies underpinning what will be the next version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, due out at the end of this year. The guidelines are issued only once every five years. The allegations range from deleting scientific reviews without public notice to failing to adopt reforms mandated by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The coalition claims USDA needs more time to develop the guidelines and consider more scientific evidence and reviews. Nutrition Coalition Executive Director Nina Teicholz (Ty-shulls) says, “The American people deserve trustworthy nutrition policy based on a comprehensive review of the most rigorous science.”

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Lawmakers Call on Secretary Perdue to Provide Answers for Wisconsin’s Dairyland

Federal Lawmakers from Wisconsin seek answers from Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for dairy farmers. In a letter this week, four legislators from Wisconsin asked how contracts are awarded through the Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program. In May, USDA announced it was awarding $1.2 billion in contracts out of the $3 billion program, which is meant to support farmers struggling with food supply chain disruptions by purchasing agricultural products to distribute to those in need. However, the lawmakers say USDA has released few details regarding the awardees and the process used to determine which companies receive contracts. Wisconsin, one of the nation’s top dairy-producing states and home to well-established dairy producers, processors, and distributors, has received less than one percent of the contracts made for dairy products through the program. Representative Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat, says, “Our dairy farmers are the heart of our rural communities, and they deserve additional clarity and more support from USDA.”

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Iowa Leaders Call On USDA to Provide CFAP Funds for Egg Producers

Iowa leaders want the Department of Agriculture to include egg producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, known as CFAP. Both Senators from Iowa, Republicans Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, Along with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig, sent the request in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. With nearly 70 percent of Iowa’s layer flocks producing for the liquid egg market, the COVID-19 market disruption has proved to be devastating to Iowa’s egg producers. Egg producers lost markets due to the closing of restaurants, schools and other egg buying businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the liquid egg market saw a 68 percent price decline. Senator Ernst says, “These hardworking folks need relief and assistance, and that’s what we’re fighting for and pushing USDA to provide.” Iowa is home to more than 58 million egg-laying hens and about one in six eggs consumed in the United States each year.

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Solid Rebound Expected for Sugarbeet Industry

Sugarbeet growers and cooperatives in the U.S. are expected to have a stronger financial year ahead, according to a new report by CoBank. The report says growers should see improved production and high prices for the 2020-2021 crop. Many growers and processors suffered through significant financial strains due to extreme weather, market uncertainty and severe crop production losses that plagued the 2019-2020 marketing year. The U.S. sugarbeet harvest last fall marked the fifth biggest year-over-year decline on record, dropping 14 percent to 28.6 million short tons. Total acreage planted this spring is expected to increase over last year and drive production higher. USDA is currently predicting the 2020-21 sugarbeet crop harvest to increase 18 percent, at 33.7 million short tons. With demand remaining strong and refined sugar supplies tightening, the price of Wholesale Refined Beet Sugar has surged to 44 cents per pound, up from 35 cents per pound last fall and the highest since 2012. Raw sugar prices, though, have held steady at around 25 to 27 cents per pound for over the past two years.

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New Tool Helps Great lakes Area Farmers Prevent Runoff

American Farmland Trust and its partners have developed a new model to reduce nutrient and soil sediment runoff on leased farmland in the Great Lakes region. By engaging landowners, their operators and farm retailers, the partnership is expanding the use of conservation practices to improve soil health and reduce runoff in the Great Lakes Basin. The “Landowners and Farmers Partnering for Clean Water in the Great Lakes” model is built around three strategies, engaging women landowners through “learning circles,” organizing workshops for farm operators who lease their land, and gathering knowledge from agricultural retailers and crop consultants. The group says farmers who lease the land they farm do not have as many incentives to use conservation practices as do farmers who own the land they farm. In the Great Lakes region, up to 49 percent of the farmland is leased. A significant share of leased farmland is owned by women, a traditionally underserved sector in agriculture, and a sector that is expected to increase. The toolkits are available on American Farmland Trust’s website.

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Case IH Donates Tractors to Three Trade Schools

Case IH recently donated tractors to three technical schools to give students hands-on learning with new equipment. The tractors were donated to Parkland Community College in Champaign, Illinois, North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, North Dakota, and Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, South Dakota. Each received one donated tractor. The tractors will be used as training aids for diesel technology programs to benefit students’ education. Each school that received a donated tractor is partnered with a local Case IH dealer and has a program to train students to repair agriculture equipment. The tractor models that were donated, a Puma 170, Optum 270 and Optum 300, have a retail value of more than $500,000 in total. Darrel Woolery, agriculture department supervisor at Lake Area Technical Institute, said the Optum 300 tractor they received will be used to teach across multiple programs, and it will serve as a learning tool both in the classroom and in the field.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.