NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

Farm Groups Release Feeding the Economy Report

U.S. food and agriculture groups Tuesday released the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report. The report’s findings show that seven percent of the nation’s economy and 29 percent of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. Amidst the global supply chain and inflation crises, these sectors also exported $182.91 billion worth of goods, helping the U.S. maintain its position as a leading player in global agriculture. In 2021 these sectors contributed a total of $3 trillion to the U.S. economy. The report shows the total food and industry economic impact at $7.43 trillion. John Bode, President & CEO of the Corn Refiners Association, says the report “highlights how food and agriculture overcame pandemic disruptions to continue to serve as a bedrock of the U.S. economy.” Other groups involved in the effort include the American Farm Bureau Federation, The Food Industry Association, and the National Restaurant Association.

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Farm share of U.S. food dollar rose one cent in 2020

The farm share of the food dollar increased one cent in 2020, according to new data from USDA’s Economic Research Service. On average, U.S. farmers received 16.0 cents for farm commodity sales from each consumer dollar spent on domestically produced food in 2020, up from a revised 15 cents in 2019. Known as the farm share, the one-cent rise is the largest increase in nearly a decade. On the other hand, the marketing share goes to food-supply-chain industries that move domestically produced food from farms to points of purchase, including costs related to packaging, transporting, processing, and selling to consumers at grocery stores and eating-out places. In the first year of the Coronavirus pandemic, households redirected a substantial amount of their eating-out dollars, or food-away-from-home spending, toward food-at-home markets such as grocery stores. Generally, farmers receive a smaller share from eating-out dollars because a larger portion is spent on preparing and serving meals at restaurants, cafeterias, and other food-service establishments.

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Ecosystem Services Market Consortium Announces Partnership with SustainCERT

Ecosystem Services Market Consortium and SustainCERT announced a new partnership this week. The effort seeks to accelerate the deployment of a digital solution for corporate reporting on the carbon intensity of agriculture commodities. ESMC says the result will unlock scalability and credibility for climate action in agriculture supply chains, such as carbon markets. ESMC and SustainCERT have partnered to accelerate the deployment of SustainCERT’s Scope 3 software and digital verification capabilities for agriculture. ESMC will help pilot test and improve the solution, allowing for better alignment with user needs and civil society quality requirements, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Ecosystem Services Market Consortium is a non-profit collective action program dedicated to scaling quantified and verified sustainable ecosystem services from agriculture. It is a public-private partnership of the agricultural supply chain and value chain – including agricultural producer groups and co-ops, major corporate food and beverage companies, agribusiness, conservation NGO’s, ag-tech companies, land grant universities, and others.

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Deere Expands Access to Self-Repair Resources

John Deere announced this week it will enhance the capabilities of existing diagnostic tools and expand their availability. In 2023, the company will roll out an enhanced customer solution that includes a mobile device interface, and the ability to download secure software updates directly to embedded controllers on select John Deere equipment with 4G connections. Luke Gakstatter of Deere says, “We recognize our customers’ desire for more autonomy in managing their equipment.” In addition, John Deere announced that coming this May it will expand its offerings by giving customers and independent repair shops in the U.S. the ability to purchase Customer Service ADVISOR directly through JohnDeereStore.com. However, the United States Public Interest Research Group, which has criticized equipment manufacturers for restricting customer access to resources to repair their machines, called for more. A U.S. PIRG Spokesperson says, “Farmers don’t have time to wait for another half-step, only to learn several years down the line that they are still not allowed to perform critical repairs on their equipment.”

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Cover Crops Goal to Benefit Pig Farm Sustainability

A new partnership between USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and Farmers for Soil Health was awarded a $1 million grant to advance adoption of soil conservation practices on farms. FSH is a farmer-led, farmer-funded initiative that will help producers plant cover crops on 30 million acres of soybeans and corn by 2030 to improve overall soil health. FSH is a joint effort of National Pork Board, National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board. Pork producers can measure their cover crop adoption by using On-Farm Sustainability Reports, which are available at no additional cost to them to help document and improve on-farm sustainability efforts. Steve Rommereim, past president of NPB, says, “Nearly one-half of pork’s environmental footprint comes from the corn and soybeans that are fed to pigs.” Rommereim adds sustainable pork production begins with sustainably grown feed. NPB says the initiative will support the environmental stewardship on row-crop acres, ultimately helping pork producers meet their sustainability goals.

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Benefits of Early Calving Are Increasing Due to Late Winter Warming

A study from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service finds on rangelands of the Western U.S., calving in late winter instead of spring maximizes calf growth. The study finds that late winter calving instead of spring supplies high-quality forage when it’s most needed. There is high value in utilizing rangelands to lower the cost of beef production. Selecting the right calving time, when calves are born, is one factor ranchers can adjust to affect the efficiency of beef production. However, with climate conditions shifting, the costs and benefits of calving at different times are changing. The research team observed that calves born early March, late winter, averaged about 13 percent heavier at 180 days of age than those born early May, spring. This is because calves born in March are older and larger and can therefore better utilize the high-quality forage that is available in summer, whereas May calves reach 180 days of age in early November, long after forage quality has typically declined.

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By Tucker 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.