READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 15th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Iowa Rep. Axne Introduces Year-Round Fuel Choice Act

House legislation introduced Wednesday seeks to ensure the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to allow the sale of E15 and higher blends of ethanol year-round. The Year-Round Fuel Choice Act, introduced by Iowa Republican Representative Cindy Axne, follows a recent D.C. Circuit Court decision that struck down an EPA rule that allowed year-round sale of E15. Axne states, “I’m proud to work with my colleagues in the House Biofuels Caucus to quickly introduce this necessary legislation.” Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, and the National Corn Growers Association support the legislation, as well as lawmakers from many corn-producing states. On July 2, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an EPA rule that allowed retailers to sell E15 blends year-round through issuing a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver. The ruling determined the EPA did not have the authority for such action, but said nothing about the quality, safety, or benefits of E15.

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NCBA Calls Senator Booker’s Bill Misguided

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association calls a bill introduced by Senator Cory Booker misguided. The Farm System Reform Act, reintroduced Wednesday by the New Jersey Democrat, would place a moratorium on concentrated animal feeding operations, known as CAFOs. Specifically, the legislation would place an immediate moratorium on new and expanding large CAFOs, and phase out by 2040 the largest CAFOs as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill would also restore mandatory country-of-origin labeling requirements for beef and pork and expand to dairy products. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane states the legislation “is the kind of broad, jumbled mess you get when you’re more focused on Twitter and talking points than the sound legislating rural Americans need.” Specific to feeedyards, Lane adds, “As our food supply chain is taxed by a growing number of mouths to feed at home and abroad, this efficient production system will be more vital than ever.”

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Gillibrand Planning Dairy Subcommittee Hearing on Pricing

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this week says she is moving forward with a dairy pricing hearing. The New York Democrat announced permission was granted for a hearing in the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee she chairs on Dairy, Livestock, Poultry, Local Food Systems, Food Safety and Security. Although a Senate calendar date is not yet confirmed, the hearing is supposed to occur after the August recess. Previously, Gillibrand told reporters she is working on milk pricing legislation and wants to have hearings to allow input from farmers, milk handlers and academia.  Front and center is the Class I fluid milk pricing change made in the 2018 Farm Bill from the ‘higher of’ Class III or IV manufacturing prices to an averaging method. That changed the base price for Class I by a net loss of over $783 million across the 26 months of implementation, contributing to class price misalignments that disrupted Federal Milk Marketing Orders.

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Food Prices Higher in Latest Consumer Price Index

The June Consumer Price Index Summary released this week increased .9 percent, the largest monthly change since June of 2008. The food index increased 0.8 percent in June. The food away from home index rose 0.7 percent, and the food at home index increased 0.8 percent. As in May, the food at home increase was mostly due to the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which increased 2.5 percent over the month. All six major grocery store food group indexes increased, but the index for fruits and vegetables was the only one to rise more than 0.8 percent, increasing 3.2 percent. The beef index rose 4.5 percent in June, its largest one-month increase since June 2020. In contrast to these increases, the index for cereals and bakery products was the only one of the six major grocery store category indexes to decline in June, falling 0.3 percent over the month after increasing 0.5 percent in May.

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EU Announces Climate Plan

The European Commission Wednesday adopted a package of ambitious climate proposals. The proposal makes the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies “fit” for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Achieving the emission reductions in the next decade is “crucial to Europe becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050” and making the European Green Deal a reality, according to the commission. The Regulation on Land Use, Forestry and Agriculture sets an overall EU target for carbon removals by natural sinks, equivalent to 310 million tons of CO2 emissions by 2030. And the Renewable Energy Directive will set an increased target to produce 40 percent of EU energy from renewable sources by 2030. Finally, the proposal includes a carbon price on imports of select products to ensure climate action in Europe does not lead to ‘carbon leakage.’ The carbon price is a concern, however, for EU trading partners.

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Illinois Wheat Yield Set a New Record

Many wheat growers believed this year’s crop had a lot of potential prior to harvest. However, the most recent Illinois yield estimate released Monday by USDA’s National Ag Statistics Office in Springfield, Illinois, still caught some off guard. This year’s average in Illinois – 80 bushels per acre – blew past the 2017 record by four bushels. The new state record yield also topped last year’s average by a whopping 12 bushels per acre. Heavy rains and strong winds threatened wheat stands in parts of the state in recent weeks and caused some issues. But many farmers were able to get the crop out in time to avoid major losses. Overall, USDA pegged winter wheat production at 52 million bushels in Illinois, up 47 percent from last year, and 1.36 billion bushels nationwide, up four percent from the June estimate,  with a national average yield of 53.6 bushels per acre, up 2.7 bushels from 2020.

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.