NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for June 14, 2022

AFBF and NPPC Tell Supreme Court Proposition 12 is Unconstitutional

The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12. The state law seeks to ban the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s arbitrary production standards, even if the pork was raised on farms outside of California. AFBF and NPPC argue Proposition 12 violates the constitution’s Commerce Clause, which restricts states from regulating commerce outside their borders. The brief states Proposition 12 “will require massive and costly changes across the entire $26-billion-a-year industry. And it inescapably projects California’s policy choices into every other State, a number of which expressly permit their farmers to house sows in ways inconsistent with Proposition 12.” NPPC and AFBF assert Proposition 12 unconstitutionally regulates commerce outside of California, governs activity outside of California’s borders and beyond its police powers, and imposes substantial burdens on out-of-state farmers and their customers.

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Consumers Spend More on Food Away From Home in 2021

Consumers in the United States returned to pre-pandemic trends, purchasing more food away from home than food purchases intended for consumption at home. USDA’s Economic Research Service released the data Monday, which shows food away from home spending increased 21.1 percent in 2021 from the previous year. Food at home spending also increased, up four percent in 2021. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, real total food expenditures fell 6.6 percent from 2019. U.S. consumers’ food-spending patterns changed as efforts were made to limit the spread of COVID-19, which included stay-at-home orders. Food away from home spending decreased by 15.8 percent in 2020, while food at home spending increased by 3.9 percent. In 2021, real total food expenditures increased 12.2 percent from 2020. USDA describes food at home as food intended for off-premise consumption from retailers, and food away from home as food consumed at outlets such as restaurants or cafeterias.

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Clean Fuels Applauds Chevron on Completion Acquiring Renewable Energy Group

Clean Fuels Alliance America CEO Donnell Rehagen welcomed news Monday that Chevron finalized its acquisition of Renewable Energy Group, a longtime Clean Fuels Alliance America member. As the acquisition is finalized, Chad Stone of Renewable Energy Group will continue to lead the Clean Fuels Governing Board as chair. Rehagen says, “This is a meaningful acquisition for our industry and for Clean Fuels for many reasons.” The company was one of the first to build a biodiesel plant in the United States. With 11 biorefineries in the U.S. and Europe and more than half a billion gallons of production of biodiesel and renewable diesel, Renewable Energy Group is also one of Clean Fuels’ largest members in terms of fuel production. California-based Chevron has steadily grown its clean fuels business, actively marketing its Renewable Diesel Blend at the pump in California. Renewable Energy Group will remain headquartered in Ames, Iowa, and will focus on growing Chevron’s portfolio of lower-carbon fuels.

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U.S. Ag Tractor, Combine Sales Fall Below Five-Year Average in May 2022

U.S. tractor and combine monthly unit sales in May 2022 fell below the five-year average for the first time since March 2020, while Canadian sales remained above the line. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers released the monthly data last week, which shows U.S. total farm tractor sales fell 14.5 percent for the month of May compared to 2021, and U.S. combine sales for the month declined 12.7 percent to 315 units sold. Total farm tractor sales and combine sales are both down 14.2 percent year-to-date. In Canada, unit sales fell 11.3 percent, and combine sales fell 28.4 percent. Year-to-date farm tractor unit sales are down 8.6 percent in Canada, while harvesters are down 28.1 percent. AEM’s Curt Blades says, “Supply chain remains the primary issue in the ag equipment market right now.” Blades points out another thing to keep in mind, especially when comparing numbers year-over-year, is 2021 sales were significantly above historic trends.

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FFA Members Prepare for Careers in Plant Systems Pathways

This summer, 45 FFA members from across the country will arrive in St. Louis, Missouri, to explore careers in the plant industry. It’s all part of the Next Gen Conference offered by the National FFA Organization. The conference, which began in 2020, focuses on pathways from animal systems to biotechnology systems members might be interested in. The inaugural conference was held in February 2020 and put on hold for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the event, members will access new ideas, trends and opportunities that will connect them directly with industry leaders during the conference. The conference is designed specifically to give FFA members hands-on, industry-relevant experience. Members will also explore diverse plant operations around St. Louis and learn how to plan for their future careers. An FFA spokesperson says, “This year’s conference will help us cultivate future leaders in the plant systems pathway through a week of experiential learning, relevant education and networking.”

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Gas Prices Surge Take National Average Above $5/Gallon

The nation’s average gas price climbed for the eighth straight week, jumping 15.7 cents from a week ago to $5.01 per gallon. The national average is up 57.1 cents from a month ago and $1.94 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price increased 13.8 cents in the last week and stands at $5.77 per gallon. Last week saw the national average reaching the $5 per gallon mark, with the most common gas price at $4.99 per gallon, up 50 cents from last week. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “For now, the upward momentum may slow down, but we are still just one potential jolt to supply away from heading even higher.” De Haan adds, “Should the rise in price finally start to slow demand’s rise, we could see some breathing room, but for now, it seems like Americans are proving resilient to record highs.”

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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.