READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, July 43th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA to Provide Pandemic Assistance to Livestock Producers for Animal Losses

Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance from the Department of Agriculture. The assistance, announced Tuesday, covers the losses and costs of depopulation and disposal of animals. The Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 authorized payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1, 2020, through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access due to the pandemic. Payments will be based on 80 percent of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys, but pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the assistance. Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency from July 20 through September 17, 2021.

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RMA Authorizes Emergency Procedures to Help Drought-Impacted Producers

The Department of Agriculture Tuesday authorized emergency procedures to help farmers impacted by extreme drought conditions. USDA’s Risk Management Agency is working with crop insurance companies to streamline and accelerate the adjustment of losses and issuance of indemnity payments to crop insurance policyholders in impacted areas. These new crop insurance flexibilities are part of USDA’s broader response to help producers impacted by drought in the West, Northern Great Plains, Caribbean and other areas. Emergency procedures allow insurance companies to accept delayed notices of loss in certain situations, streamline paperwork, and reduce the number of required representative samples when damage is consistent. The flexibilities reduce burdens on both insurance companies and farmers. Producers should contact their crop insurance agent as soon as they notice damage. Producers impacted by drought may also qualify for other USDA programs, including disaster assistance and conservation programs. Visit farmers.gov to access USDA’s Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool.

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UN Report: Pandemic Year Marked by Spike in World Hunger

A new report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization shows a dramatic worsening of world hunger in 2020. While the pandemic’s impact has yet to be fully mapped, the multi-agency report estimates that around a tenth of the global population – up to 811 million people – were undernourished last year. The number suggests it will take a tremendous effort for the world to honor its pledge to end hunger by 2030. This year’s report is the first global assessment of its kind in the pandemic era. The report warns of a “critical juncture,” even as it pins fresh hopes on increased diplomatic momentum. In 2020 hunger increased, outpacing population growth, as some 9.9 percent of all people are estimated to have been undernourished last year, up from 8.4 percent in 2019. The report says transforming food systems is essential to achieve food security, improve nutrition and put healthy diets within reach of all.

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Groups Press for Higher Octane Fuel Standard

A coalition of farm and renewable fuel organizations urge the Biden administration to propose a higher octane fuel standard. In a letter to President Joe Biden this week, the coalition also requested the Environmental Protection Agency open a comment period on the role high octane low carbon fuels can play in advancing the administration’s climate objectives. The effort complements a similar letter from the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, expressing support for high octane low carbon fuels. The letters come as the EPA updates its greenhouse gas emissions standards for passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks. The fuels improve vehicle and fuel efficiency, which in turn can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, conserve oil, and strengthen energy security. National Farmers Union President Rob Larew states, “That alone should be plenty of justification for the EPA to introduce a higher octane fuel standard.” The coalition includes National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau Federation and multiple state commodity organizations.

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AEM Releases June 2021 Equipment Sales Numbers

Smaller tractors led declines in U.S. and Canada farm tractor sales while overall tractor inventories are down more than 40 percent year-over-year. Monthly data released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers finds U.S. total farm tractor sales fell 12.7 percent in June compared to 2020, the second overall negative result in a year. Meanwhile, U.S. Combine sales increased 4.1 percent for the month.  Small tractor sales led the decline, down 18.4 percent, while midsized tractor sales declined 3.1 percent. All other segments saw increased sales over the prior month. Year to date, U.S. farm tractor sales remain up 16.7 percent and combines up 11 percent. For Canada, June monthly tractor and combine sales were a mixed bag. Available inventories may explain some of the changes in sales, as U.S. total farm tractor inventory is 41.3 percent below levels in June 2020 while Canadian inventory is down 33.2 percent over that same time.

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American Farmland Trust Shares Updated Soil Health Economic Calculator

American Farmland trust Tuesday announced an update to its Retrospective Soil Health Economic Calculator Tool. The update provides farmers a means of evaluating the return on investment of soil health conservation practices with 2020 price and crop data. The previous version of the tool used 2019 information. The updated pricing allows farmers to obtain a more accurate picture of the costs and benefits of their investments in soil health. The calculator is part of a comprehensive set of resources from AFT on the Soil Health Case Study Methods and Took Kit webpage. The calculator tool allows the evaluation of soil health practices adopted by row crop farmers for more than four years and within the last 15 years. The tool presents the net economic benefits in a partial budget analysis table and includes an estimate of the ROI in the soil health practices. AFT also released a customized almond version to estimate the economic effects of almond-specific soil health practices.

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.