NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for May 6, 2022

USDA Updates Livestock Insurance Options

The USDA has updated three key crop insurance options for livestock producers to offer better protection and flexibility. The options are Dairy Revenue Protection, Livestock Gross Margin, and Livestock Risk Protection. The Risk Management Agency revised the insurance options to reach more producers and better meet the needs of America’s swine, dairy, and cattle operations. The updates recently got published for the 2023 crop year, which begins on July 1, 2022. “Great and sound customer service is the most important thing we can provide our nation’s producers, making sure the products we offer give them the most useful tools for covering their risks,” says RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger. “Agriculture is not a static industry, and these updates reflect the importance we place on always knowing the evolving needs of producers and offering the most people the best risk-management tools we can.” For more information on livestock insurance policies, go to rma.usda.gov.

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NCGA Call-to-Action on Fair Fertilizer Markets

The National Corn Growers Association responded to the recent USDA public comment period on its report titled “Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns” by launching a call-to-action. The call got made to aid corn growers in raising a collective voice on this important and timely issue. “We need a unified message if we’re going to effectively reach Washington decision-makers on this important issue,” says NCGA Vice President of Public Policy, Brook Appleton. “That’s why it’s critical that corn growers take this opportunity to submit comments to USDA, including detailed information on how rising input costs are impacting their operation.” The call-to-action encourages corn growers to comment specifically on fertilizer accessibility, price volatility, and market competition. The public comment period will close on May 16. “This is an opportunity to grab a seat at the table during an important discussion,” Appleton adds. For more information on how to submit comments, go to ncga.com.

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Union Expects CNH Strike to Last Up to Six Months

On May 2, approximately 1,200 CNH Industrial workers represented by UAW walked out of manufacturing plants in Iowa and Wisconsin. During a recent interview with Ag Equipment Intelligence, the local president of the UAW says members should expect to be out of work for three-to-six months. “I think what’s going to get CNH back to the table is when they start losing money,” says Local 807 President Nick Guernsey. “They’ll probably start feeling that at four weeks.” The strike began after the sides failed to reach an agreement on a new labor contract. Guernsey says, “The company had replacement workers in town a week before the contract expired, so this was a premeditated strategy.” He says there were several issues at play when negotiations hit an impasse last weekend, including CNHI union jobs paying less than the non-union factory jobs. “At the end of the day, nobody wins in a strike,” he adds.

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Drought Conditions Persist in the Missouri River Basin

April’s dry conditions resulted in well-below average runoff in the upper Missouri River Basin. Monthly runoff in April totaled 1.5 million acre-feet which is 51 percent of the average. The updated 2022 upper Basin runoff forecast is now 17.8 million acre-feet which is 69 percent of the average. If that number gets reached, it will rank as the 23rd-lowest calendar year runoff volume. “Despite recent snow and rainfall events, 84 percent of the upper Basin continues to experience abnormally dry conditions,” says John Remus, chief of the Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Current drought conditions, dry soils, and below-normal mountain snowpack resulted in the below-average 2022 calendar year runoff forecast.” The NOAA Climate Prediction Center indicates increased chances for cooler and wetter-than-normal conditions for most of the Basin during May, potentially providing much-needed moisture to the area. However, June, July, and August forecasts indicate warmer and drier-than-normal conditions.

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Full Schedule of Educational Seminars at Work Pork Expo

Pork industry professionals will get the latest in production and management education through many topical seminars during this year’s World Pork Expo, presented by the National Pork Producers Council. The World Pork Expo takes place June 8-10 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. This year’s lineup of Business Seminars and Pork Academy sessions gives producers a great opportunity to learn about critical topics like sustainability, data, industry collaborations, nutrition, and more. “These seminars provide opportunities for pork professionals to stay on top of the latest challenges, topics, trends, and innovations in our industry,” says NPPC President Terry Wolters. “The World Pork Expo is an excellent place to learn how to improve operations and outcomes with the newest strategies.” Attendees can participate in business seminars, Pork Academy sessions, and several networking opportunities. There is still time to register and join thousands of pork industry professionals at the event. More information is at worldpork.org.

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USDA Providing Assistance to Cotton and Wool Clothing Manufacturers

USDA says it will commit $50 million to assist eligible apparel makers of wool suits, sport coats, pants, or Pima (PEE-mah) cotton dress shirts. The new Cotton and Wool Apparel Program is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative and the department’s efforts to help the food, agriculture, and forestry sectors get back on track. “The transition toward remote work at the start of COVID-19 led to a dramatic decrease in consumer demand for dress clothing, which has continued to affect the entire supply chain of cotton and wool,” says Farm Service Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “While many manufacturers switched to making personal protective equipment, the industry is still struggling to recover from a persistent and significant decline in sales.” In the announcement, FSA also says the relief will help keep these manufacturers in business, which will ultimately support American workers and the domestic cotton growers and wool producers who rely on this industry.

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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.