READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 22nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

CFAP2 Signup Period Underway

The signup period for CFAP2, the additional Coronavirus Food Assistance Program relief, is underway. The signup period opened Monday and extends through December 11. Producers interested in signing up can do so at Farm Service Agency county offices. A Market Intel analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation details the CFAP2 provisions, which provides nearly $14 billion in relief to farmers and ranchers suffering losses or increased cost after April 15, stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $14 billion in CFAP2 support, USDA’s cost-benefit analysis estimates corn producers will receive $3.5 billion, or 25 percent of the total CFAP2 resources. Following corn, beef cattle producers are expected to receive $2.8 billion, or 20 percent of CFAP2 funding. Dairy farmers are expected to receive $2 billion, or 14 percent of the available support. Hog producers are estimated to receive $1.7 billion or 12 percent of CFAP2. Soybean producers are estimated to receive $1.4 billion, or ten percent of the funds. Wheat, flat-rate crops, eggs and other commodities are expected to receive $2.5 billion, or 18 percent.

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Peterson Weighs in on Second CFAP Program from USDA

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota overall approves the second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, but says more sectors need help. Peterson responded to the Department of Agriculture’s CFAP2 announcement stating, “There are some good things in this second CFAP plan,” but adds, “I still want to see help for the ethanol industry that has been hurt by the drop in fuel demand.” Peterson also wants the program to include textile mills that are helping to create COVID-19 medical supplies and more support for pork and poultry producers that had to depopulate due to plant closures and support for contract growers who have faced a loss of income. Of note, Peterson welcomed actions in the CFAP2, including simplifying the application process for specialty crop growers and making sure livestock producers, like turkey growers have what they need. Peterson also applauded expansion of the program to all classes of wheat, a request by industry groups.

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USDA Extends WIC COVID-19 Flexibilities

The Department of Agriculture Monday announced the extension of more than a dozen nutrition program flexibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension ensures participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, continue receiving the food and health support during the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA is providing the extension of the waivers throughout the national public health emergency. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has made maximum use of existing program flexibilities and the waiver authority provided by Congress to make it as easy as possible for children and families to participate in WIC, and all of the department’s nutrition assistance programs, during the COVID-19 health emergency. The WIC waivers being extended allow for participants to be approved for WIC without being physically present in a local office, remote issuance of benefits to any participant, flexibility in food package requirements, including dairy, grains, vegetables, and infant foods; and additional options for pick-up of food packages.

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USDA Seeks Comments on Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index Insurance Program

The Department of Agriculture seeks public comments on recommended improvements to the Pasture, Rangeland, Forage Rainfall Index Crop Insurance Program by November 5, 2020.  USDA’s Risk Management Agency contracted for an independent evaluation of the program to determine its effectiveness as a risk management tool for livestock producers. RMA Administrator Martin Barbre says, “We want to be sure that the recommendations RMA implements are good for the industry and good for livestock producers.” In addition to the PRF program, the recommendations could be applied to other Rainfall Index programs such as beekeeping and Annual Forage. RMA will review all comments and determine what recommendations should be implemented for the 2022 crop year. The independent evaluation includes several recommendations, including adjusting the County Base Value productivity range, better targeting of indemnities, and focusing on viable forage production areas. Other recommendations include focusing on coverage on risk-reducing intervals and taking an alternative approach to reducing frequent shallow losses.

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USDA Partners with Midwest Community Colleges to Teach Agricultural Conservation

The Department of Agriculture is partnering with nine Midwest community colleges to support hands-on student learning about conservation and to foster conservation-minded farmers and ranchers. On Monday, Community College Alliance for Agriculture Advancement representatives and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service signed a memorandum of understanding. Through the memo, they agree to enhance and accelerate training and adoption of technologies and best practices for improved agricultural productivity and natural resources stewardship. The agreement aims to reach not only agriculture students but also the broader community, through events such as field days. NRCS and the member institutions are developing local plans to address regional and statewide challenges and to support student internships and other training opportunities. All member institutions have college farms where they can implement conservation practices to educate and inform students and producers. Community colleges in the program include institutions in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Ohio. More information about the partnership is available at nrcs.usda.gov.

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Walmart Sets Goal of Becoming Regenerative Company

Walmart just announced the company is doubling down on addressing the growing climate crisis by targeting zero emissions across the company’s global operations by 2040. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are also committing to help protect, manage, or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030 to help combat the cascading loss of nature threatening the planet. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon says, “The commitments we’re making today not only aim to decarbonize Walmart’s global operations, they also put us on the path to becoming a regenerative company.” Walmart seeks to harvest enough wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources to power its facilities with 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. The company also seeks electrifying and zeroing out emissions from all of its vehicles, including long-haul trucks, by 2040. Additionally, Walmart plans to transition to low-impact refrigerants for cooling and electrified equipment for heating in its stores, clubs, and data and distribution centers by 2040.

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.