NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for May 26, 2022

U.S. Dairy Supports U.S. Pursuit of Full Canadian USMCA Compliance

The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council Wednesday applauded the Biden administration for its initiation of a second U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement dispute panel. The dispute panel focuses on Canada’s ongoing refusal to meet its USMCA dairy trade obligations. The first USMCA dispute panel launched by the U.S. government determined in January that Canada violated the agreement’s dairy tariff-rate quota provisions. On May 16, Canada published its final revised USMCA dairy TRQ approach, which failed to fix its USMCA-violating practices. To address the additional problems Canada’s revised approach has raised and to defend the integrity of the agreement, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has brought an additional case. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says, “Canada continues to flout these trade commitments and plays games rather than meet its signed treaty commitments.” The dairy groups say Canada’s updated TRQ system continues to block key stakeholders in the Canadian food and agriculture sector from accessing the TRQs.

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UK’s Kendamil in Talks to Export Infant Formula to U.S.

Kendamil is in advanced discussions with the Food and Drug Administration to become the first international manufacturer to export significant quantities of infant formula to the United States. Kendamil is a brand of Kendal Nutricare, and is the only British-made infant formula. Kendamil offers organic and conventional cow formulas, along with goat formula, which would be a first in the U.S., where, unlike in Europe, no goat milk is today certified for sale to infants under one year old. Kendamil has been in discussions with the FDA for several weeks since news first broke of the formula shortages and the measures announced from the Biden Administration to bring international brands into the United States. Ross McMahon, CEO of Kendal Nutricare commented, “We have received the call for assistance from the FDA and Kendamil stands ready to act.” Kendal Nutricare expects to meet the needs of at least 150,000 U.S. households during the import period.

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Soybean Farmers Share 2023 Farm Bill Priorities

The American Soybean Association Wednesday shared the organization’s 2023 Farm Bill priorities. ASA President Brad Doyle, who grows soybeans in Arkansas, says, “Getting to this point has involved a thoughtful information-gathering process that began back in September 2021.” Priorities for ASA include improving the Title I farm safety net for soybeans, continuing the voluntary, incentive-based, flexible approach to conservation programs, investing into promotion of U.S. commodities globally, building biobased and biofuels opportunities, and ensuring broadband coverage is accessible throughout rural America. As the House and Senate Agriculture Committees lay the foundation for the 2023 Farm Bill, ASA hopes its initial priorities list will provide insight and assure soy growers’ interests are considered as the farm bill process continues with hearings this year and legislative development next year. Doyle adds, “We wanted to assure as many farmer voices and soy states as possible were involved to make this a comprehensive list tailored to their needs.”

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Study Examines Competitiveness of U.S. Inland Waterways

The National Waterways Foundation released a study this week focused on the current state of the U.S. inland waterways system. The study found that the ability for the United States to maintain a position of strength depends on a regular assessment of infrastructure needs and multimodal development strategies. Two factors, in particular, the aging infrastructure and competition from other countries’ inland waterway networks, pose a risk to the economic and national security advantage of the United States. Increased investment levels from the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act offer an opportunity to greatly enhance the reliability and usefulness of the U.S. inland waterways system. Clearing the backlog of U.S. projects is needed to bring some facilities into more modern practice. Waterways Foundation Chairman Matt Woodruff adds, “We must be alert to the investments being made in the waterways of other nations that can erode our advantage and, where necessary, invest to increase the efficiency of our system to stay ahead.”

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More Farmers Adding Fall Cover Crops to Fields

Cover crops are an increasingly popular management practice farmers use to provide seasonal living cover between their primary commodity cash crops. Farmers often plant cover crops in the fall to provide winter cover for soil that otherwise would be bare. Over the past decade, USDA’s Economic Research Service says fall cover crop adoption has grown in the United States. On fields growing corn for grain, 0.6 percent of the acreage used a fall cover crop before the 2010 crop. By 2016, 5.5 percent of corn-for-grain acreage had a fall cover, and by 2021, 7.9 percent of corn-for-grain acreage followed a fall cover crop. This represents a 44-percent increase in fall cover crop adoption on corn-for-grain fields between 2016 and 2021. The growth in adoption of cover crops on cotton fields is similar, with a 46-percent increase between 2015 and 2019. The average growth in cover crop adoption was similar for each target crop, as evident in the average year-over-year changes.

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Co-ops Can Lead the Way for On-Farm Private Broadband

As American agriculture grapples with scarce labor and increasing costs, one solution could lie in precision agriculture applications that can maximize output while reducing costs. Crop and livestock producers can supercharge operational efficiency with advanced precision technologies such as data analytics, connected equipment, robotics and automation. The lack of affordable, reliable broadband access in rural America, however, has hindered widespread adoption of precision ag technologies. That may be changing with the increasing availability of private wireless networks. CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange reports agricultural cooperatives are in an ideal position to work with communication companies to deliver carrier-grade, high-speed private wireless networks to their farmer members at costs that were unthinkable just a few years ago. CoBanks Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg says, “Offering these network solutions could be a new, reliable revenue source for U.S. farm supply cooperatives.” On the farm, private networks can help facilitate the collection, transmission, storage and computation of large amounts of data in real-time.

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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.