READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 17th

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USDA Seeks Public Input on Racial Justice and Equity

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday published a Federal Register Notice requesting public input on efforts to advance racial justice and equity across the Department. The action follows an executive order, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, signed on President Joe Biden’s first day in office. Dr. Dewayne Goldmon, Senior Advisor for Racial Equity, states, “We are steadfast towards ending discrimination in all its forms wherever it exists.” The information gained through the notice and public listening sessions will aid in identifying barriers that people of color, underserved communities, and others may face regarding USDA programs. USDA will use this information to identify opportunities to address systemic inequities. The notice will be available for public input until July 15, 2021, and is available online through the Federal Register. In addition, USDA will provide the information gathered to the impending Racial Equity Commission it seeks to launch later this year.

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Argentina Close to Deal to Reopen Beef Exports

Argentina appears on track towards reaching an agreement to reopen beef exports. The potential deal comes days ahead of the expiration date on the government’s month-long suspension, according to Reuters. Argentina paused beef exports to combat domestic inflation, which is estimated overall at about 50 percent this year. Since enacting the export ban, Argentine beef packers began negotiating with the government to lift the restrictions, fearing they could be extended. An Argentine government official tells Reuters, “We are seeking an agreement that would allow the meat export market to reopen while expanding production enough to guarantee domestic supplies as well.” Argentina exported roughly 28 percent of the 956,000 metric tons of beef produced in the first four months of 2021. Argentina is the second-largest supplier of beef to China, behind Brazil. Beef prices are surging around the world as China is importing more beef, and higher grain prices are pushing feed costs higher.

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USDA: Don’t Forget to File Acreage Reports

Farmers who have not yet completed their crop acreage reports after planting should make an appointment with their local Farm Service Agency office before the deadline. July 15 is a major deadline for most crops, but acreage reporting deadlines vary by county and crop. FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux (DOO-sheh-no) says, “Once planting is complete, call your local FSA county office to make an appointment.” An acreage report documents a crop grown on a farm or ranch and its intended uses. Filing an accurate and timely acreage report for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage and prevented planted acreage, can prevent the loss of benefits. Producers can contact their FSA county office for acreage reporting deadlines that are specific to their county. If the crop is not planted by the acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported within 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

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USDA Releases Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook

The Department of Agriculture’s Economic Resource Service Wednesday released the latest Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook.  While a cyberattack disrupted cattle slaughter for two days in June, the Memorial Day week finished above 2020 levels, though well below 2019. USDA did raise cow slaughter in the second and third quarters of 2021, but fed cattle slaughter decreased in the second quarter. Meanwhile, strong demand supported hog prices and processor margins through May 2021. USDA raised lean hog prices to reflect assumptions of continuing strong processor demand. Total 2021 exports are forecast at almost 7.6 billion pounds, about four percent above last year. The milk production forecasts for 2021 and 2022 increased on higher expected milk cow numbers. Exports were relatively strong in April as cheese exports reached a record high, and butter exports were higher than in any month since June 2014. Finally, the 2021 broiler export forecast increased on recent data and improved production expectations.

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South Dakota Seeks Emergency Waiver for CRP Haying and Grazing

U.S. lawmakers from South Dakota call on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to provide an emergency waiver for CRP haying and grazing. The entire South Dakota Congressional delegation sent a letter to Vilsack this week asking him “to release as many additional CRP acres as possible.” The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that more than 95 percent of South Dakota is experiencing drought conditions. CRP acres often help alleviate the hay and grazing shortage for livestock producers during a drought. The drought conditions are worsening and will quickly result in very short hay supplies and a lack of pastureland across the state. South Dakota has already suffered grazing losses not only to drought but also to fires this year.  Emergency release of CRP for haying and grazing in the past has provided valuable feed in local areas in times of urgent need, many times keeping livestock operators from being forced to untimely liquidate their herds.

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Report Finds Broccoli as the Favorite Vegetable in U.S.

In a recent survey, broccoli secured the number one spot, yet again, as America’s favorite vegetable, followed by carrots and corn. Green Giant’s annual Favorite Veggie Survey polled more than 5,000 Americans. Although broccoli remains America’s favorite, the popularity of corn substantially increased over the past year. The survey found 100 percent of consumers surveyed who picked broccoli as their favorite vegetable noted taste as a top factor in making their selection. However, from 2019 to 2021, the number of states selecting carrot as the favorite vegetable has increased 500 percent. Those selecting broccoli has decreased 23 percent. Compared to survey data from 2020, seven times more states selected corn as a favorite in 2021. And while broccoli is America’s favorite vegetable, according to the general population survey, corn is the runaway favorite vegetable among Americans ages 55-72. Tomato and cucumber were noticeable favorites in 2020 that didn’t make the favorites list in 2021.

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.