NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

Rabo AgriFinance: High Prices Don’t Mean Big Profits

High prices for U.S. corn, soybeans and wheat are not expected to be a short-term shock, according to a new RaboResearch report, “The Grain Drain After Ukraine.” While the sudden shutdown of trade in the Black Sea region has sent corn and wheat prices to their highest in a decade, the ten-year outlook for all major crops has shifted up to a new price level. The report cites transformative geopolitical changes, continued increases in demand and limited acreage availability as the shift’s drivers. RaboResearch expects the U.S. to increase its exports to help fill the demand gap. For the 2022/23 crop marketing year, RaboResearch estimates the average on-farm price, which takes local basis into account, to be $5.77 for corn and $10.50 for wheat when their export sales increase by 200 million bushels. Higher prices, however, do not spell bigger profits. Costs for farm inputs such as seed, fertilizer and land will likely also rise, squeezing farmers’ margins over the next decade.

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USDA Publishes Origin of Livestock Final Rule for Organic Dairy

The Department of Agriculture Tuesday published the Origin of Livestock final rule for organic dairy. USDA says the change to the USDA organic regulations will promote a fairer and more competitive market for all organic dairy producers. The rule ensures that certified USDA organic dairy products are produced to the same consistent standard. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “The Origin of Livestock final rule provides clear and uniform standards about how and when livestock may be transitioned to organic dairy production, and how transitioned animals are managed within the organic dairy system.” USDA’s National Organic Program will oversee the new rule, which in general allows a dairy livestock operation transitioning to organic, or starting a new organic farm, to transition non-organic animals one time. The rule prohibits organic dairies from sourcing any transitioned animals. Once a dairy is certified organic, animals must be managed as organic from the last third of gestation. Small businesses may request variances for specific scenarios.

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Grassley, Colleagues Unveil Updated Cattle Market Reform Bill

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley this week introduced an updated version of the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act. First introduced in November, Senators Deb Fischer, a Nebraska Republican, Jon Tester, and Montana Democrat, and Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, joined Grassley to introduce the update. The updated legislation allows for more regions, five to seven, encompassing the entire continental U.S. and then establishes minimum levels of fed cattle purchases made through approved pricing mechanisms. The update retains the cash trade mandates included in the previous version of the bill. U.S. Cattlemen’s Association President Brooke Miller says, “USCA stands with county, state, and national producer associations across the U.S. in supporting mandatory cash trade minimums.” National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says the legislation “would shed light on the market and bring about greater fairness.” The updated bill also Increases penalties for violations by packers, and requires that livestock mandatory reporting data be made consistently available.

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Organic Trade Association Announces New CEO & Executive Director

The Organic Trade Association Tuesday announced the selection of its next CEO and Executive Director, Tom Chapman. The announcement was made during OTA’s 2022 Organic Week, which Chapman attended. Chapman’s hiring concludes a year-long planned succession process that began in 2021. Chapman will formally assume the position at the association on April 18. Outgoing OTA Executive Director and CEO Laura Batcha says, “I couldn’t imagine a better, more experienced person for this role than Tom.” Chapman is a proactive leader with a deep background in organic that spans the value chain. Over his many years in the industry, Chapman has helped to advance certification and compliance, successfully managed global supply chains and managed multi-million-dollar contracts, and worked closely with diverse brands, growers, and other organic stakeholders. Most recently, Chapman served as Senior Director, Supply Chain at Kinder’s Sauce and Seasoning. Before that, he worked with OTA members Clif Bar and Quality Assurance International.

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Robb Fraley Joins Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions Board of Directors

Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions, Inc. Tuesday announced the appointment of Dr. Robb Fraley to its board of directors. Harpe is a pre-commercial stage agricultural technology company focused on providing natural and sustainable herbicide solutions. Fraley, who, for nearly 40 years, served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Monsanto Company, will help guide Harpe Bioherbicide Solutions as it further develops and strengthens its intellectual property portfolio. In addition to joining the board, Fraley has personally invested in the company. Fraley is widely recognized as a key contributor to the worldwide science and agriculture communities – most notably, for developing the first genetically modified crops as a solution for farmers battling pests and weeds that threatened yields and food production. Through wide spectrum control of broadleaf and grass seeds or weeds, the platform of Harpe products will deliver new opportunities for organic agriculture through a series of all-natural herbicide formulations for pre, post and desiccation use patterns.

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Ag Groups Release Guide on Virtual Engagement for Women

An updated guide offers tips and tools for effective engagement for online education, including hybrid settings for farm and ranch women. American Farmland Trust and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education announced “Reaching Women in Agriculture: A Guide to Virtual Engagement,” Tuesday. The guide was originally developed through a partnership with AFT and the University of Vermont Extension and has recently been updated, enhanced and published by SARE earlier in 2022. The goal is to create a safe space for women to learn from each other and gain confidence, rather than excluding men. The guidance in Reaching Women is born out of AFT’s Women for the Land initiative and the Learning Circle model. Reaching Women incorporates the characteristics of high-quality programs for women in agriculture and the emerging best practices for adapting farmer education and networking events to virtual platforms. Find and print a free copy of the guide online at sare.org.

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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.