READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, June 30th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

July 4th Cookout Cost Stable Compared to Year Ago

U.S. consumers will pay just a few cents less for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods compared to last year, including cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream. The American Farm Bureau Federation reveals the average cost of a summer cookout for ten people remains affordable at $59.50, or less than $6 per person. The cost for the cookout is down 16 cents, less than one percent, from last year, but eight percent higher compared to 2019. The largest year-to-year price increase was for strawberries. Survey results showed two pints of strawberries at $5.30, up 22 percent from last year, due to strong demand and the effects of several weather events, including severe rain, hail and high winds that caused significant setbacks to the harvest early in 2021. AFBF’s summer cookout menu consists of cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, pork & beans, strawberries, potato chips and fresh-squeezed lemonade with ice cream and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

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NPPC Urges Administration to Appeal Line Speed Court Ruling Before Deadline

 A federal district court ruling striking down faster harvest facility inspection speeds takes effect today (Wednesday, June 30). The Biden administration has until the end of August to file an appeal, as requested by the National Pork Producers Council. NPPC says the ruling will quickly lead to increased pork industry concentration and packer market power, and seeks waivers for the impacted plants until a longer-term solution, acceptable to all industry stakeholders, is achieved. Iowa State University Research shows the ruling eliminates 2.5 percent of pork packing plant capacity nationwide and will result in $80 million in reduced income for small U.S. hog farmers this year alone. NPPC President Jen Sorenson states, “NPPC continues to urge the administration to appeal before the ruling inflicts irreversible damage to small hog farmers and seismic changes to our entire sector.” Last week, more than 70 lawmakers sent letters asking Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Acting Solicitor General Prelogar to appeal the court decision.

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Over 1,000 Counties Approved for Emergency Haying and Grazing on CRP Acres

More than 1,000 counties are eligible for emergency Conservation Reserve Program haying and grazing. An American Farm Bureau Federation Market Intel analysis shows the most recently published list of counties with permitted haying and grazing on CRP land includes 1,021 counties, or 32 percent of counties. Primarily located in the West, 860 of those counties have been designated in 2021. In June alone, emergency haying and grazing on CRP acres was authorized in 196 counties. Between June 17 and June 24, 39 counties were added to the designation list, an increase of four percent in one week. Every week, USDA updates the map of counties eligible for emergency haying and/or grazing based on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Counties are approved for emergency haying and grazing when they are designated as level “D2 Drought – Severe” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The latest report shows 35 percent of the U.S. in D2 or worse drought, with 61 percent of the continental U.S. in some form of drought.

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Strong Demand and Competitive Bidding Pushes Land Prices Higher

Interest in purchasing agricultural land has grown since a coronavirus pandemic-induced slowdown blanketed the land market last spring. Farmers are feeling more financially secure as strong commodity prices arrived on top of large government payments in 2020. This is propelling farmers to bid more aggressively for additional land than has been the case during the past six years, according to Farmers National Company. Individual investors, both first-time, and experienced buyers, are stepping into the land market as they search for a safe, long-term real estate investment in a low interest rate environment. The increase in ag land prices is happening in most areas of the Grain Belt and with most types of land. Higher land values will bring more sellers into the market as estates, trusts, recent inheritors, and family groups evaluate whether to sell the farm or ranch and capture the higher prices. An additional consideration is the uncertainty surrounding future tax policies, which may trigger a sale sooner rather than later for some.

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AVMA supports legislation to strengthen dog importation requirements 

The American Veterinary Medical Association Tuesday reaffirmed its support for the Healthy Dog Importation Act. The legislation is designed to reduce the spread of diseases that could be dangerous to human and animal health. The bill provides the Department of Agriculture with additional resources to monitor and safeguard the health of dogs brought into the United States. The goal is to ensure imported dogs are in good health and not a risk to spread disease. Representatives Kurt Schrader, an Oregon Democrat, and Dusty Johnson, a South Dakota Republican, Co-chairs of the Veterinary Medicine Caucus, reintroduced the legislation. The bill would require every imported dog to have a certificate of veterinary inspection from a licensed veterinarian confirming the dog is healthy and has received all vaccinations and passed all tests required by the USDA. More than one million dogs are imported into the U.S. each year, but less than one percent of these dogs are inspected for diseases.

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Next COVID Casualty Could be Coffee

COVID-19 shockwaves could create a round of trouble for the coffee industry, according to Purdue University. Starting in the 2011-12 growing season, a powdery orange fungus called coffee leaf rust spread throughout Latin America and Central America, damaging crops on 70 percent of farms and causing more than $3.2 billion in damage. Coffee crop management programs helped growers mitigate the fungus. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic caused reduced management, and closed borders, limiting or eliminating movement of migrant workers essential for coffee harvests in Latin America and Central America. Without crops being harvested, profits fall further, and the feedback loop intensifies. Without efforts to eradicate coffee leaf rust, global coffee supplies could dwindle, making a cup of coffee more costly. Researchers suggest a number of measures that could help with rust issues, including sourcing coffee from more areas, including those not as severely impacted by the fungus and diversifying farms and livelihoods of coffee farmers.

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.