NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for May 16, 2022

Inflation will Burden U.S. Economy for Several Years

Overall consumer prices during April were 8.3 percent higher than last year, and America’s families can expect inflation to continue pressuring their wallets for the next few years. That conclusion is from American Farm Bureau’s economists who analyzed the inflation numbers in their latest Market Intel report. They expect inflation to stay above five or six percent for the foreseeable future. The report says too much money was created by the Federal Reserve Bank, mostly in 2020, and it’s inevitably turning into inflation. “Thankfully, the Fed has begun steps to address this, but it will likely take a few years to approach their long-term target of two percent per year,” the report says. It also says the Fed injected $6.4 trillion into the economy between March 2020 and the end of 2021, a 42 percent increase in the money supply in 22 months, which is too much money to be absorbed by economic growth.

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Ag Credit Conditions Stay Strong While Outlook Softens

Farmland values continue to increase at a rapid pace through the end of 2021. Alongside sustained strength in farm income and credit conditions, the Kansas City Fed says the value of all types of farmland was over 20 percent higher than last year. The recent strength in agricultural real estate markets has been supported by strong demand, historically-low interest rates, and vastly-improved conditions in the farm economy. Lenders say the outlook is mostly-favorable for agriculture in the Tenth District, but rising input costs are a risk to the sector. The possibility of weaker ag income and higher interest rates in the economy remain risks for farmland markets. Even with the uncertainty around input costs, lenders expect favorable conditions in the economy to support farm finances and lead to more gains in farmland values during 2022. Despite risks, the Fed says ag appears to be well-positioned in the year ahead.

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NAMI: House Report Distorts Meatpacker Efforts to Fight COVID

The North American Meat Institute says the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis’ recent report distorts the truth about the meat and poultry industry’s efforts to protect workers from COVID. The report says meatpackers worked with the Trump administration to make sure they could stay open during the pandemic. Julie Anna Potts is president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, the national trade association for the meat and poultry packers and processors. “The Meat Institute and its member companies voluntarily provided hundreds of thousands of pages to the Committee,” she says. “The report ignores the rigorous and comprehensive measures companies enacted to protect employees and support their critical infrastructure workers.” She also says the meat industry spent billions of dollars to reverse COVID-19’s trajectory. “The committee uses 20-20 hindsight and cherry-picks data to support a narrative that doesn’t tell the whole story of the early days of a national emergency,” Potts adds.

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Purdue Report Shows Gaps in Urban-Rural Food Satisfaction

A Purdue University report says people living in urban and rural areas share many of the same concerns about food prices and availability, including the impact of recent bird flu outbreaks. However, the monthly Consumer Food Insights Report says differences remain in food insecurity and diet satisfaction. Some of the key results from this month’s survey report showed that 60 percent of consumers are concerned about the impact of bird flu on food prices. Food spending is nine percent higher than in January, but food demand remains price insensitive. Fourteen percent of all households and 23 percent of rural households are facing food insecurity. Seventy-one percent of people in urban areas and 61 percent of rural residents are facing food insecurity. Jayson Lusk, Agricultural Economics Professor at Purdue, says, “Rural Americans struggle more often than urban Americans to buy the food they want. Current economic conditions appear to have further disadvantaged rural Americans.”

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Zoetis Supports Families of America’s Military

Representatives from Zoetis presented the company’s first donation to Folds of Honor to help support their work honoring America’s military heroes. Based in Oklahoma, Folds of Honor provides academic scholarships to the families of men and women who have fallen or been disabled while serving in the U.S. armed forces. Jared Shriver, senior vice president of U.S. Cattle and Pork at Zoetis, presented a donation totaling $122,000 to Folds of Honor on May 11. “Zoetis is grateful for the opportunity to help fund scholarship programs for the families of the heroes that help protect our rights and freedoms as Americans,” Shriver says. Folds of Honor was founded in 2007 by Lt. Colonel Dan Rooney, a fighter pilot who served three combat tours in Iraq. Folds of Honor has awarded nearly 35,000 scholarships in all 50 states. “The support from Zoetis helps us continue to provide opportunities,” says Ben Leslie, VP at Folds of Honor.

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Export Sales Hit Marketing-Year Lows

USDA says sales of corn, beans, and wheat to overseas buyers plunged to marketing-year low points during the week ending on May 5. Agency data says corn sales during the week dropped to 192,700 metric tons, down 75 percent from the previous week and 80 percent from the prior four-week average. It’s also the lowest total since the marketing year began on September 1, 2021. Japan was the top corn buyer at 132,600 metric tons. Soybean sales during the week hit 143,700 metric tons, 80 percent lower than the previous week and 74 percent year-over-year. Indonesia was the top buyer with 66,200 metric tons. Wheat sales dipped to 14,100 metric tons, the lowest since the grain marketing year began on June 1 of last year. That total was 88 percent lower than the previous week and 79 percent from the average. Colombia was the top buyer with 40,000 metric tons.

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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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