NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for June 3, 2022

Wheat Growers: Consult USDA on Glyphosate Case Review

The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to decide whether to review a case that threatens federal preemption in the regulation of crop protection technologies. The National Association of Wheat Growers is again asking the Biden administration to consult with the USDA on the policy changes and the far-reaching agriculture implications of the case. In May, the U.S. Solicitor General issued a brief urging the Court to deny review of a case involving glyphosate labeling, arguing that federal regulations don’t preclude states from making additional labeling requirements, even if those state requirements run counter to federal findings. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack confirmed USDA wasn’t consulted on the brief. “We believe it would be useful if the administration consults with USDA on the ramifications of a patchwork approach to crop protection products,” says NAWG President Nicole Berg. Farmers would face decreased access to much-needed tools to produce food, fiber, and fuel safely and sustainably.

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Census of Agriculture Sign-Up Deadline Approaching

Ag producers have until June 30 to sign up to receive the 2022 Census of Agriculture. The National Agricultural Statistics Service will mail ag census survey codes for responding securely online to every known U.S. producer in November. Hard copy questions will be mailed in December. The ag census has been conducted for more than 180 years and remains the only source of comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. It includes operations of all sizes and in all locations. “The Census of Agriculture is a collective voice that tells the story and value of American agriculture,” says Barbara Rater, NASS Census and Survey Division Director. “The data influences actions and informs policy and program decisions that directly impact producers, their operations, and everyone they touch, which is all of us.” That’s why NASS wants every producer to participate in the census. For more information, producers can go nass.usda.gov/AgCensus.

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Groups Respond to USDA Plan for Transforming Food System

American Farmland Trust responded positively to USDA’s plan for transforming the U.S. food system.
“American Farmland Trust has been a strong advocate for increased business technical assistance to farm and food businesses and organized an effort last year with the Agricultural Viability Alliance to encourage USDA to do more in this space,” says AFT President and CEO John Piotti (Pee-OT-tee). “We are pleased that USDA heeded the call from 50 members of Congress and over 110 organizations asking for this kind of assistance.” National Farmers Union President Rob Larew was in attendance when Ag Secretary Vilsack announced the plan, and Larew says it’s a great step towards a more secure food supply chain and a fair agricultural economy. “Today’s announcement about how the USDA will work to transform the food system is a great step towards those ends,” Larew says. “NFU will work together with USDA to help move this transformative process ahead.”

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Philippine Government Temporarily Lowers Import Tariff on Corn

The Philippines recently announced a decision to lower restrictive corn import tariffs on corn from outside Southeast Asian countries from 35 percent to five percent. The U.S. Grains Council says that’s potentially good news for U.S. corn exporters. “The U.S. and Philippines agricultural industries have enjoyed a strong relationship for a very long time,” says USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “The Council is standing by and ready to help their government and industry fill in any raw material supply shortage the country is facing.” The Philippines’ feed industry relies heavily on feed wheat imports due to its history of high import tariffs on corn from outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The recent global wheat supply chain disruptions have had a disproportionately negative impact on Philippine input prices. “U.S. farmers have an abundant and sustainable corn crop ready to deploy when needed,” LeGrand adds. “We’ll be there to help in every way possible.”

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National Sorghum Producers join RIPE Non-Profit Coalition

Rural Investment to Protect our Environment, also known as RIPE, is a producer-led nonprofit coalition advancing a bipartisan climate policy plan that works for producers and the public. RIPE is proud to announce that the National Sorghum Producers have joined its steering committee. “For the RIPE100 policy proposal to become a reality, it needs the support of as many producers as possible,” says RIPE VP of Engagement and Government Relations Martin Barbre. “With National Sorghum Producers on board, we continue to diversify perspectives and bring new viewpoints to the conversation on how to best build a producer-led climate policy that will benefit farmers, ranchers, and the public.” Through payments of $100 per acre or animal unit, the RIPE100 plan would reward producers for the total public value of their conservation practices, including no-till, cover crops, nutrient management, and more. “We are excited to collaborate with RIPE,” says NSP Vice Chair Craig Meeker.  

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Administration Likely to Raise Ethanol Blending Volumes for 2021

Two sources close to the discussions told Reuters that the Biden administration is likely to raise ethanol blending mandates for 2021 above the figure it proposed last December. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed that refiners blend 13.32 billion gallons of ethanol into the fuel pool. The December proposal angered Farm Belt lawmakers and biofuel producers, who said the number was too low. The mandates are getting set for 2020-2022 retroactively because of disruptions from COVID-19. The sources also say that the administration isn’t looking at dramatic changes for 2020 or 2022. White House officials met to discuss the mandates and the political implications of the decision. The move could impact fuel and food prices in the middle of a 40-year peak in inflation rates. The rule is a long-time bone of contention between the oil and corn lobbies in Washington, D.C. Refiners claim the mandate requirements are costly and threaten their businesses.

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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.