READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, July 27th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

House to Consider Appropriation Bills

In a flurry of activity ahead of the August recess, the House of Representatives will consider appropriation bills this week, including the agriculture spending bill. The process began Monday with the House Rules Committee. The 2022 agriculture spending bill provides discretionary funding of $26.5 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion, or 12 percent above 2021. In total, the bill includes $196.7 billion for both discretionary programs funded on an annual basis and mandatory programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bill is part of a package of seven total spending bills being considered this week in the House, including labor, energy, financial services, interior, military and transportation. The House Agriculture Committee also scheduled a hearing Tuesday on the 2020 WHIP+ Reauthorization Act, expanding the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus to 2020. Meanwhile, the Senate looks to finalize its infrastructure package this week, ahead of the August recess, as well.

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Thompson Seeks House Hearing on Senate Climate Bill

The top Republican on the House Ag Committee calls for a hearing on the Senate Growing Climate Solutions Act. In a letter to Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, Glen GT Thompson of Pennsylvania says, “I write to express concerns with this legislation and request further review by the House Committee on Agriculture.” Thompson has maintained concerns of government involvement in carbon credit markets. The legislation authorizes the Department of Agriculture to establish a voluntary Greenhouse Gas Technical Assistance Provider and Third-Party Verifier Certification Program to reduce entry barriers into voluntary environmental credit markets. Thompson counters, “I think this legislation is a solution in search of a problem,” adding, “The language is imprecise and disjointed, leaving questions related to how to interpret certain requirements and policy goals.” Sent last week, the letter requests a significant review of the bill, along with consideration of other proposals in Congress that have similar goals.

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Bronaugh to Leading U.S. Delegation at UN Food Systems Pre-Summit

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh (Bruh-NAW) is leading the U.S. delegation at the United Nations Food Systems Pre-Summit in Rome this week. Leading up to the UN Food Systems Summit in New York in September, Bronaugh and U.S. officials are working with other countries and food systems stakeholders in Rome to build coalitions and consensus around shared objectives, including food security and nutrition, climate change, and equity and inclusion. The Summit was convened by the UN Secretary-General with “the aim of placing the planet on the path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,”– proposals that are intended to establish a framework for global peace and prosperity. The fundamentals of the discussion include duly representing farmers, making science-based policies and recognizing agriculture as part of the solution to the main problems facing humanity. While in Rome, Bronaugh will also meet with Italian government officials and UN officials, including the Food and Agriculture Organization leadership.

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Demand for American Lamb Continues to Rise

Consumer demand for lamb increased considerably during 2020. While all meat sales grew as more meals were consumed at home, lamb sales grew at a larger percentage than total meat sales overall, according to the American Lamb Board latest U.S. Retail Sales Report. The 2021 first-quarter report assesses the American lamb market by comparing four-week, 12-week, and 52-week intervals to one year prior. Last year saw a 24.7 percent increase in lamb dollar sales from 2019 and a 17.7 percent increase in pounds sold from 2019. Sales of racks exploded in the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Compared to 2019, rack sales increased 52.8 percent in terms of pounds sold. Sales of ground lamb also saw considerable growth, a 23.7 percent increase in volume sales. Meanwhile, sales of lamb in the first quarter of 2021 outperformed the same 12 weeks a year ago by a sizable margin as dollar sales increased 19.8 percent and volume sales increased 11.8 percent.

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Oil and Gas Prices Decline Over COVID Concerns

Gas and diesel prices fell again in the last week, following a drop in the value of oil. GasBuddy reports the national average gas price dropped 2.9 cents to $3.14 a gallon, while diesel fell .7 cents to $3.26 per gallon. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan states, “With oil prices struggling under the weight of a rise in new Covid cases thanks to the Delta variant and OPEC’s increase in oil production, average gas prices in most states finally drifted lower.” However, U.S. gasoline demand surged to a new 2021 high last week, and De Haan warns of a bumpy end to summer regarding fuel prices. Implied gasoline demand rose 12,000 barrels per day to 9.3 million, just slightly under normal levels for this time of year. The national average for gas now stands 4.7 cents higher than a month ago and 97.2 cents higher than a year ago. Meanwhile, oil demand typically declines heading into fall.

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Students Gather to Ensure the Future of Agriculture

This week, 44 FFA members gather in Indianapolis to discuss how agriculture will play a pivotal role in their future. It’s all part of the New Century Farmer conference – an opportunity for FFA members who plan to remain in production agriculture to work on their secession plans for success. During the week, participants will visit with producers around the state, learn from industry leaders, see innovative agricultural technology and network with others who also plan to stay in production agriculture. National FFA educational specialist for Programs and Events, Kate Wehby, says, “This program helps us continue to grow the next generation of leaders.” The conference was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants selected to participate in 2020 were invited to attend the 2021 event. New Century Farmer is sponsored by Case IH, Corteva Agriscience, Farm Credit, Nutrien Ag Solutions, and Meredith Agrimedia. Learn more about the program online at ffa.org.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian 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.