NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

United States Hog Inventory Down 2%

As of March 1, there were 72.2 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms, down two percent from March 2021 and down three percent from December 2021, according to the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released the report Wednesday. The report found that of the 72.2 million hogs and pigs, 66.1 million were market hogs, while 6.1 million were kept for breeding. Between December 2021 and February 2022, 31.7 million pigs were weaned on U.S. farms, down one percent from the same period one year earlier. For the quarter, U.S. hog and pig producers weaned an average of 10.95 pigs per litter. U.S. hog producers intend to have 2.99 million sows farrow between March and May 2022, and 3.03 million sows farrow between June and August 2022. Iowa hog producers accounted for the largest inventory among the states at 23.0 million head, and Minnesota had the second-largest inventory at 8.60 million head.

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Lawmakers: New Legislation to Hold China Accountable, Level Playing Field

Farm state lawmakers Wednesday introduced the China Trade Cheating Restitution Act. Senate Democrat Jon Tester joined Republican Bill Cassidy, Chuck Grassley and John Thune to introduce the bill they say would level the playing field for U.S. farmers. The bill would ensure that the agricultural sectors most affected by China’s evasion on anti-dumping duties receive an estimated $38.5 million in accrued delinquency interest on duties wrongfully withheld by Customs and Border Patrol from 2000-2014. For nearly two decades, Chinese producers have exported honey, fresh garlic, crawfish, and mushrooms to the U.S. at a price below the cost of production to purposefully increase their market share– a practice called “dumping.” The United States placed anti-dumping duties on Chinese producers in 2001 to protect domestic producers and condemn China’s unfair actions. The bill would require CBP to distribute an estimated $38.5 million in accrued delinquency interest on the anti-dumping duties that CBP collected and wrongfully withheld.

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EPA Expands Use of Enlist Products

The Environmental Protection Agency this week approved the use of Enlist One and Enlist Duo in 134 additional counties. Enlist One and Enlist Duo is approved in all counties of Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, and six counties in Texas. A coalition of farm and commodity groups welcomed the EPA action. American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle says, “We appreciate EPA hearing our concerns and working to quickly restore access in many counties where science and data support doing so.” In January, EPA issued new seven-year registrations for over-the-top use of herbicides Enlist and Enlist Duo on herbicide-tolerant corn, cotton, and soybeans. While the new registrations were welcome and worked for many growers across the country, producers in 217 counties were impacted by county-level bans. Grower groups have urged EPA to review additional data that may allow for lifting county-level bans and view the announcement this week as a significant step toward that outcome.

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Soy Checkoff Releases 2021 Sustainability Overview Report

The soy checkoff released its inaugural U.S. Soy Sustainability Overview which outlines key environmental achievements made by soybean farmers. Developed by the soy checkoff, the report details the modern practices and advanced technologies deployed by farmers in recent years to conserve land, water, energy and other natural resources. The report shows that Between 1980 and 2020, conservation efforts by U.S. soybean farmers have improved land use efficiency by 48 percent per bushel, irrigation water use efficiency by 60 percent per bushel, and energy use efficiency by 46 percent per bushel. Growers also improvised greenhouse gas emissions efficiency by 43 percent per bushel, soil conservation by 34 percent per acre and soy production by 130 percent, using roughly the same amount of land. USB CEO Polly Ruhland says, “Our soybean farmers are committed to sharing the progress we have made and how we’re looking ahead to contribute in solving some of society’s biggest challenges, such as food security and sustainable energy.”

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Large Dairy Operations Grow Faster than Small Operations

New data from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows the U.S. dairy sector has experienced a gradual shift in milk production toward larger dairy operations. The research indicates that the shift in production from small dairy herd-size farms to large dairy herd-size farms mirrors total factor productivity growth across the dairy sector. Total factor productivity, or TFP, is a broad measure of agricultural productivity that compares the total output to the total land, labor, capital, and material inputs used in farm production. Between 2000 and 2016, the largest dairy operations, those with more than 1,000 milk cows, experienced a TFP growth rate of 2.993 percent per year. Meanwhile, TFP growth for the smallest operations, those with fewer than 100 milk cows, increased at an annual rate of 0.639 percent. TFP growth across all operations was primarily driven by technological progress—growth associated with innovations in systems, processes, and techniques that convert inputs into milk output—and environmental effects that positively impacted feed availability.

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USA Rice Members Deliver to Ukraine

Last week, several USA Rice members worked together to deliver a shipment of U.S.-grown rice to help feed the people of Ukraine. The effort came together as the industry saw the urgent need facing Ukrainian people, who are experiencing unprecedented food insecurity as a result of the Russian invasion that began on February 24. Taking advantage of rice already on the European continent, three USA Rice members – Sun Valley Rice, Farmers’ Rice Cooperative, and Kennedy Rice Mill –gifted 20 metric tons of U.S. Calrose rice. That rice is now on its way to help feed the Ukrainian people. In a joint statement, the three company leaders say, “We could not in good conscience watch as innocent people were being killed, starved, and driven from their homes.” The U.S. rice companies had rice in position, but destined for other customers. The statement continues, “though it was destined for other customers, we agreed it was urgently needed in Ukraine.”

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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.

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