NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for May 3, 2022

Russia Accused of Stealing Tons of Grain from Ukraine

Russia stands accused of stealing several hundred thousand tons of grain from the parts of Ukraine it currently controls. Business Insider says Ukraine’s deputy agriculture minister made the accusation over the weekend. Another 1.5 million tons of grain are in territory Russia controls and are available to be stolen too. The Ukraine Foreign Ministry made the claim last week on Twitter, saying, “We demand that Russia stop illicit grain stealing, unblock Ukrainian ports, and allow ships to pass.” The humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion is only growing worse. The United Nations says over 1.7 billion people are at risk of poverty and famine due to disruption in Ukraine’s food production system. Ukraine’s ag minister says they’ve personally heard from many silo owners in the occupied territory about Russian forces stealing grain. The Kremlin denied the accusations that its forces are stealing grain, saying it was unaware of the source of that information.

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First Farm Bill Hearing Takes Place in Michigan

The Senate Ag Committee traveled to Michigan State University late last week to hold its first field hearing on the new farm bill. The Hagstrom Report says one thing Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman (BOZE-man) stressed is the importance of bipartisanship in developing the next farm bill. “We heard from farmers and others impacted by the farm bill about how we can strengthen this important legislation, grow the economy, and meet serious new challenges facing the country,” says Stabenow. Boozman, the ranking Republican, says, “There’s no substitute for getting out of Washington and hearing directly from those impacted by our decisions. I look forward to convening our next hearing in my home state of Arkansas.” Both say the tradition of starting field hearings in the home states of the chair and ranking member sets the tone for putting stakeholders first as they begin discussions on the upcoming farm bill.

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FAPRI Updates 2022 Ag Market Snapshot

Events of the last three months have had large impacts on agricultural markets. The war in Ukraine, drought in South America, and other developments have resulted in sharp commodity price increases. The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri says that resulted in higher farm receipts and costs and higher food prices. The April snapshot says those factors are all higher than what got reported during the 2022 baseline outlook in January. Projected harvest prices are much higher, with corn prices over $6 a bushel, wheat over $8 a bushel, and soybeans above $14 a bushel. Livestock sector prices will get boosted by lower 2022 production than previously expected and strong demand. Avian Influenza will reduce the number of laying hens and egg production. Higher production expenses than previously projected now show a $55 billion increase in production costs. The projected net farm income is almost the same as in 2021.

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Smithfield Foods Voted Most Trusted Pork Company

Smithfield Foods is the pork brand Americans trust the most. That’s according to a recent consumer survey conducted for Newsweek Magazine. Smithfield was honored for trust, which consumers measure through product pricing, quality, and transparency, and as a winner of the 2022 BrandSpark Most Trusted Award. “Smithfield Foods prides itself on providing consumers with wholesome, safe, and affordable food,” says Tim Zimmer, executive vice president of marketing for Smithfield Foods. “Being recognized as the most trusted pork brand is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our more than 60,000 team members worldwide to provide ‘Good Food. Responsibly®.’” Newsweek works with BrandSpark International, a leading market research and consulting firm, to give out the awards. More than 14,700 American shoppers determined the award winners through their top-of-mind unaided responses for categories in which they’re shopping. The results are ranked based on the greatest volume of mentions as the most trusted brand in each category.

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Growers Invited to Take Part in the National Corn Yield Contest

Corn farmers who’d like to join a few thousand other farmers from across the country in a friendly competition are invited to enter the National Corn Yield Contest. The National Corn Growers Association says it’s a tradition that dates back more than 50 years and is a chance to grow knowledge and skills and have fun while doing it. “The farmers who enter the contest build a brighter farm future for America’s farm families,” says Lowell Neitzel, chair of the NCGA’s Member and Consumer Action Team. “Together, entrants generate a pool of collective knowledge and spark innovation.” He also says it’s a way to contribute to the advances of American farming. Farmers who enter by June 30 save with a special early-entry rate of $75. The contest remains open for entries through August 17. All forms are due by November 30, and the contest winners get announced on December 14.

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Ag Innovation Challenge Deadline Extended

The American Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Credit are looking for entrepreneurs to apply online for the 2023 American Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. This national business competition, now in its ninth year, showcases U.S. startup companies developing innovative solutions to challenges faced by America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Farm Bureau is offering $165,000 in startup funds throughout the competition. The deadline is extended until May 13. The ten semifinalist teams get announced on September 13. Each semifinalist team gets $10,000 and a chance to compete to advance to the final round. The final four teams compete to win the Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge Award, worth a total of $50,000, the Ag Innovation Challenge Runner-up Award for a total of $20,000, and all of the ten semifinalists compete for the People’s Choice Award. Examples of past challenge winners as well as eligibility guidelines and the competition timeline are at fb.org/challenge.

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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.