READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 10th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EPA Announces Intent to Revise Definition of WOTUS

The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency plans to repeal and rewrite the definition of water of the United States, or WOTUS. The EPA announced Wednesday it will repeal the Trump-era Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which replaced the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. rule. EPA Administrator Michael Regan states, “the EPA and Department of the Army have determined that this rule is leading to significant environmental degradation.” A review of the rule requested by President Joe Biden claims stakeholders are seeing destructive impacts to critical water bodies. The Department of Justice Wednesday filled a motion requesting remand of the rule without vacating it. The EPA, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, say they will rework the rule to protect water resources and communities consistent with the Clean Water Act. The agencies say the new rule will reflect input from landowners, agriculture, and state and local governments, along with environmental groups.

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Ag Coalition Calls for More Ag Research Funding

A coalition of agriculture groups and universities calls on Congress and the Biden administration to increase funding for agricultural research. The groups say an increase of $40 billion is needed for agricultural research. In separate letters to President Joe Biden and House and Senate leadership, the groups say, “We strongly support a robust investment of at least $40 billion, for agricultural climate research, agricultural innovation, and agricultural research infrastructure in any comprehensive infrastructure package moving forward.” The coalition says that research makes the food and agriculture sectors a powerhouse of the U.S. economy by providing solutions to short- and long-term challenges. A recent study found U.S. public food and agriculture R&D spending from 1910 to 2007 returned, on average, $17 in benefits for every $1 invested. The federal share of overall R&D spending as a percentage of GDP is now at its lowest point since the 1950s, and food and agriculture lags behind most other federal R&D areas.

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U.S. Dairy Industry’s Economic Impact Totals $753 Billion

The U.S. dairy industry continues to play a strong role in the U.S., supporting 3.3 million total jobs and $41.6 billion in direct wages. The International Dairy Foods Association released the findings in an economic impact report this week. IDFA’s 2021 Economic Impact Study, which measures the combined impact of the dairy products industry, showed the U.S. dairy industry’s economic impact totaled $752.9 billion. IDFA President and CEO Michael Dykes says, “American dairy companies contribute significantly to the U.S. economy, and their impact continues to grow year after year.” The newly released figures indicate the U.S. dairy industry now contributes 3.5 percent of U.S. GDP, and $67.1 billion in federal, State and local taxes. For the first time, the total value of exports was included in the study, revealing the U.S. dairy industry is responsible for a total of $6.5 billion in exported goods and reinforces the importance of fair international trade agreements for the industry.

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World Pork Expo Showcases Top Pork Priorities

World Pork Expo this week brings a highlight of pork industry priorities. National Pork Producers Council President Jen Sorenson says, “After a two-year absence, we’re thrilled for the return of Work Pork Expo, showcasing the latest developments in the U.S. pork industry.” The event last year was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic and the year prior over African swine fever concerns. NPPC is using the event to focus on the organization’s priorities in 2021. Those include the federal district court ruling striking down faster harvest facility line speeds. Additionally, NPPC is challenging California’s Proposition 12. Set to go into effect next year, it will impose arbitrary animal housing standards that reach far outside the State’s borders, while driving up costs for pork producers and consumers. Other near-term priorities for pork producers include expanding export markets, addressing agriculture labor reform, and advocating for measures to ensure foreign agriculture diseases remain outside the country.

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Meat Institute: California Prop 12 Not Beneficial to Consumers

The North American Meat Institute says California’s Proposition 12 provides no benefit to consumers and increases breeding sow mortality according to the State’s own proposed rule. The California Department of Food and Agriculture released the proposed rule, originally due in September 2019, late last month. The Meat Institute has filed a reply brief recently to its petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the Meat Institute, states, “Our petition to challenge the law has the support of more than 20 states.” The question is whether the U.S. Constitution permits California to extend its power beyond its territorial borders by banning the sale of pork and veal products sold into California unless out-of-state farmers restructure their facilities to meet animal-confinement standards dictated by California. The Meat Institute says allowing the law to stand “insulates in-state farmers from out-of-state competition, while imposing crushing burdens on out-of-state farmers.”

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Growth Energy Applauds Nevada’s Move to E15

Nevada’s Governor over the weekend signed a law requiring the Nevada Board of Agriculture to approve E15 as part of any fuel regulation adopted by July 1, 2021. Growth Energy responded to the news Wednesday, as CEO Emily Skor says, “We’re looking forward to working with retailers across the state to add E15 to their fuel offerings, so Nevadans have greater access to a liquid fuel that reduces their carbon emissions.” A study by Air Improvement Resource, Inc. showed that switching from E10 gasoline to E15 across Nevada could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 148,000 metric tons annually – the equivalent of removing more than 32,000 vehicles from Nevada roads. Once the regulation is finalized, Nevada would be the 47th State to approve E15 for consumers. E15, marketed to consumers as Unleaded 88, is offered at over 2,440 retail sites in 30 states and 230 terminals. Consumers have driven over 21 billion miles on E15 to date.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Tucker 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.