READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 20th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Farm Groups Support Bonnie Nomination for FPAC

Farm groups welcome President Joe Biden’s nomination of Robert Bonnie to oversee The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Production and Conservation mission area as undersecretary. FPAC is significant to agriculture and includes the Farm Service Agency, which manages commodity programs and the Conservation Reserve Program, the Risk Management Agency, which administers crop insurance, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which manages conservation programs other than CRP. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says, “We appreciate his outreach and engagement with Farm Bureau during his tenure with the Biden administration, and we are hopeful he will remain fully engaged with farmers and ranchers in his new role.” American Soybean Association President Kevin Scott says, “We have appreciated his public service in support of agriculture, and we respect Bonnie’s accessibility and responsiveness to us as farmers.” Finally, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says Bonnie is “one of the nation’s foremost authorities and leaders on working lands approaches to conservation and incentive-based climate and conservation practices.”

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DMI Announces Earth Day Strategy

Dairy farmers’ longstanding commitment to the environment and their stories of stewardship are taking center stage for Earth Day communications strategies. Following Earth Day on April 22 and continuing into May, Dairy Management Inc. will showcase tangible examples of real environmental progress being made on farms and throughout the dairy supply chain. DMI will use its channels, including USDairy.com and its social media properties, to publish sustainability-related content, such as videos, articles and infographics highlighting farmer stories. Other strategies include cultural influencers publishing dairy sustainability content via their social channels and the recent release of a video from media partner Vox examining what happens to nutrition and the environment if the U.S. dairy cow herd was removed. Finally, the checkoff has led efforts to build awareness with audiences about dairy’s vital role in sustainable, equitable and secure food systems over the past six months, sparked by the announcement of the 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals and Net Zero Initiative.

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Sysco, Cargill, NFWF Announce Sustainable Cattle Grazing Program

Sysco and Cargill, two of the world’s largest food companies, just announced a major partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The partnership will help ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado tackle climate change and improve grasslands and wildlife habitat. Through a public-private partnership, $5 million in funding from Sysco and Cargill will accelerate the implementation of sustainable grazing practices over the next five years across one million acres of an area responsible for approximately 30 percent of the beef produced in the United States. The Southern Plains Grassland Program has the potential to sequester up to 360,000 metric tons of carbon per year, or the equivalent of removing 78,000 passenger vehicles from the road in one year. Through NFWF, and in coordination with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service “Working Lands for Wildlife” framework, conservation experts will work with interested ranchers to plan and implement voluntary grassland management practices with consideration to the unique needs of their land.

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Bayer Announces Carbon Credits Program Enhancements

Bayer recently announced enhancements to the Bayer Carbon Program, providing new opportunities for U.S. growers to participate for the 2021-22 program season. Launched last summer, Bayer says the program takes a farmer-centric approach by offering growers simplicity, certainty and flexibility. By paying U.S. farmers for implementing climate-smart farming methods such as strip- or no-till and cover crops, which help sequester carbon in the soil, farmers receive guaranteed payments and are rewarded for how they produce, not just what they produce. Changes include a significant geographic expansion, nearly doubling the number of states where growers are eligible to participate. For the first time, growers who have previously adopted some climate-smart farming practices also may be able to enroll those acres in the program. Enhancements for the 2021-2022 program season include eligibility for growers who have adopted strip- or no-till or cover crops on fields on or after January 1, 2012. For a complete list of eligible geographies, to learn more or enroll in the program, visit bayercarbon.com.

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JBS to Purchase Plant-based Food Company

The world’s largest protein company and second-largest food producer has entered into an agreement to purchase Vivera, Europe’s third-largest plant-based food company. JBS SA announced the agreement Monday, worth $410 million. Vivera develops and produces a broad range of plant-based meat replacement products for major retailers in over 25 countries across Europe, with market share in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. The deal includes three manufacturing facilities and a research and development center located in the Netherlands. The acquisition of Vivera strengthens and boosts JBS’ global plant-based food platform, according to the company. Strong growth is expected in the plant-based protein category throughout global markets. The deal will add a brand to JBS’ portfolio that is well- established in consumer preference, strengthening the company’s focus on value-added products. To nurture its entrepreneurial spirit, JBS plans to manage Vivera as a standalone business unit with its current leadership team to remain in place.

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Fuel Prices Remain Unusually Stable

In an unusual feat for spring, the national average price of gasoline and diesel is unchanged from a week ago. The national average price of gas stands at $2.85 per gallon, 2.2 cents lower than a month ago, and $1.07 higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel is also unchanged from a week ago and stands at $3.07 per gallon. Meanwhile, nationally, gasoline demand fell 0.57 percent. Gas Buddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “Gasoline demand has given up ground for the second straight week, likely due to some areas seeing a rise in coronavirus cases, and as spring break plans conclude.” De Haan notes that the next trend in gas prices isn’t evident just yet, and we may see additional slight sideways moves in the weeks ahead, until either demand starts to increase notably again, or we see the opposite. Crude oil prices perked up last week on solid improvements in jobless claims, retail sales and consumer sentiment.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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.