READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 16th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Dicamba Makers Seek to Intervene in Court Decision

Makers of dicamba filed motions to intervene in a court case following a decision to vacate the registration for three dicamba herbicides. BASF and Corteva announced their motions to intervene late last week. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the registrations on June 3, 2020, for dicamba herbicides from BASF, Bayer and Corteva. Bayer intervened in the case last year. A dicamba herbicide from Syngenta was not included in the ruling. BASF’s Paul Rea, says the decision, made during the middle of the growing season, “gives no regard to the significant investments farmers have made in their businesses and leaves them without viable options for the growing season.” Corteva was not a party to the lawsuit and says that until June 3, the case appeared to involve only the Bayer XtendiMax registration. Corteva is seeking to intervene to “preserve our rights and to support the rights of customers to use the impacted dicamba weed control technology.”

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Iowa Leaders Seek Support for Turkey Producers

Iowa officials seek support for the state’s turkey producers. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both Iowa Republicans, along with state leaders, made the request in a letter to the Department of Agriculture this week. The leaders request USDA provide turkey producers support through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The letter says plant closures and reduced flocks remain a growing threat to turkey growers, and the food supply chain. Independent turkey growers “stand to lose disproportionately compared to other corporate-owned growers.” according to the letter. The officials say there are numerous cooperative and independent growers left out of the CFAP aid package. In the letter, the officials ask that, “economists at USDA work to devise a methodology and formula that allows this niche sector of the nation’s poultry industry to have the same opportunities provided to others.” The United States is the world’s largest turkey producer and largest exporter of turkey products.

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NCBA, Others, Oppose Great American Outdoors Act

Livestock groups say the Great American Outdoors Act, “is an irresponsible way to fix a very real problem.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the American Sheep Industry, along with the Public Lands Council and others voiced their opposition to the legislation in a letter to Senate leadership. The letter urges Congress to retain its role in safeguarding public lands by opposing the bill. The groups say the Great American Outdoors Act, as written, creates more than $14 billion in new, mandatory spending and gives federal agencies free rein to spend $360 million per year solely to acquire new private land without any oversight from Congress. The letter, signed by 48 livestock groups, says the bill adds the mounting disrepair of current land under federal control to the rampant acquisitions without accounting for management of future land acquisitions. The bill has bipartisan support, and President Donald Trump has indicated he would sign the legislation if passed.

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AEM Releases May 2020 Ag Equipment Sales Numbers

Overall unit sales of agricultural tractors and combines in May 2020 rose in the United States. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers says smaller machine sales growth is overpowering declines in the bigger segments and combines. U.S. total farm tractor sales rose 15.1 percent in May compared to 2019, while U.S. May combine sales fell 2.9 percent. Heavy-duty tractor sales declined, but total year to date sales of all farm tractors now show positive at four percent growth for 2020, while combines remain down 9.5 percent in the same period. AEM’s Curt Blades says the growth, largely from sub-100 horsepower tractors, “appears to be an unusual side-effect of COVID-19-related quarantines.” Blades says large home property owners and hobby farmers are spending more time at home, and with their equipment, and desiring an upgrade. Blades says the declines in row-crop tractors and harvesters “is clearly a reflection of uncertainty in the overall ag economy at this time.”

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U.S. Soy Shoes Donated to Frontline Workers

U.S. Soy is helping bring comfort to health care professionals who are working tirelessly on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Okabashi (Ok-uh-bah-she), an American company that counts on U.S. soy for all its sandals, pledged to donate up to 10,000 pairs of soy-based sandals to health care workers for every order placed through its website or Zappos. Customers can purchase a pair of soy sandals for themselves and write a note of encouragement to a health care worker who will receive a pair with the personal message. United Soybean Board Director Belinda Burrier says, “It’s neat to see the soybeans I grow not only being used in a unique way that supports demand for our product, but also to support frontline workers during this crisis.” The United Soybean Board regularly collaborates with companies such as Goodyear on research to learn how to incorporate soy into new technology. Today, more than 1,000 different soy-based products are available, including everything from turf grass to machinery lubricants to asphalt.

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Gas and Diesel Prices Up, Oil Down

Gas prices were up again last week, representing the seventh straight week of increases. The national average price of gas increased 4.7 cents per gallon to $2.09, while the national average price of diesel rose 1.4 cents to $2.42 a gallon. Patrick De Haan of Gas Buddy expects “the upward trend to continue across most of the country ahead of July 4, with prices perhaps rising another 10-20 cents by then.” Prices are increasing on improved demand from drivers. However, he says, a possible second wave of coronavirus lockdowns could hamper demand if it was to occur. Over the last week, the price of oil has struggled under the weight of Saudi Arabia’s comments that it would not extend production cuts beyond July. De Haan says a delicate balancing act is underway by crude oil producers who don’t want oil prices to surge too quickly to avoid eager U.S. producers from getting back online too quickly.

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.