NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for June 15, 2022

Farm Groups Welcome Passage of Ocean Shipping Reform Act

The House of Representatives Monday sent the Ocean Shipping Reform Act to President Biden for signature. Agriculture groups responded positively, heralding the legislation that improves the oversight of ocean shipping. The bill will address many maritime disruptions obstructing the import and export of U.S. products at American ports over the past several years. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says, “I was pleased to team up with President Biden to urge passage and look forward to him quickly signing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.” U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom welcomed the passage, saying, “This legislation takes important steps forward in improving the shipping services available to U.S. exporters.” American Feed Industry Association CEO Constance Cullman adds, “passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act signals a course correction that will enable our industry to continue providing these essential goods to the global marketplace in a timely, cost-efficient way.”

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USDA Extends Comment Period on Fertilizer Supply Chain Issues

The Department of Agriculture Tuesday extended the comment deadline regarding its “Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns” Federal Register notice. Published in the Federal Register in March, the previous deadlines for comments were May 16, and June 15, 2022. USDA extended the comment deadline another month to July 15, 2022. Andy Green, USDA’s Senior Advisor for Fair and Competitive Markets, says the new deadline allows “commenters to provide additional feedback regarding the role of capacity expansion and related strategies to directly enhance competition in the fertilizer market.” Through the effort, USDA is seeking information on what obstacles exist to financing and developing new fertilizer capacity, expanding fertilizer manufacturing, and what other threats the fertilizer sector faces. In March, USDA announced plans for a $250 million investment in grants to support additional fertilizer production for farmers to address rising costs and spur competition. Fertilizer prices have more than doubled since last year.

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Rep. Sharice Davids Assigned to House Ag Committee

The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee recommended Representative Sharice Davids to join the House Agriculture Committee this week. The Kansas Democrat says, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve Kansans on the Agriculture Committee, especially as we gear up to consider the next Farm Bill.” Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts says, “I know Representative Davids will be a strong voice on the committee for her constituents and Kansas agriculture” for the remainder of the current session of Congress. House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott says, “I am pleased to welcome her voice to our Committee.” Davids continues to serve as Vice-Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and on the Small Business Committee, chairing the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access. The recommendation now goes to the full Democratic Caucus for approval. If approved, Davids will join Kansas Republican Representative Tracey Mann on the Committee.

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Federal Government Primary Funder of US Ag Research

The Federal Government provides 64 percent of public agricultural research and development funding in the United States. USDA’s Economic Research Service released new data on ag research Tuesday. The data shows state governments and non-governmental sources, including funds generated by universities, account for the other 36 percent of funds for public agricultural R&D. Federal funds are delivered via external grants to universities and other cooperating institutions, and through appropriations to USDA agencies. Most of the federal funding for agricultural research performed by non-Federal institutions is managed by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. NIFA allocates the funds through grants to land grant and minority-serving institutions and through competitive grants open to all universities. Of the $1.6 billion in agricultural research by USDA research agencies, about $165 million was allocated to cooperative research agreements with universities. The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies are also important funders of agricultural research and development.

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USDA Strengthens Partnerships with 1890s Universities

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Dr. Paul Jones, Chair of the 1890s Presidents Council, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to reaffirm and strengthen their ongoing relationship. The 1890s Presidents Council is an organization comprised of presidents and chancellors of historically Black colleges and universities. The MOU also establishes a new 1890 Task Force that will inject energy into USDA’s efforts to collaborate with 1890s institutions in the food, agriculture and forestry sectors. The MOU signing followed discussions between USDA leadership and the 1890s Presidents Council as part of continued engagement and discussions with higher education associations to enhance USDA partnerships and investments with Minority-Serving Institutions. Secretary Vilsack states, “This signing reinforces USDA’s commitment to our partners at the 1890s institutions.” The 1890 Land-Grant institutions were established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890. USDA has a long history of investing in and supporting the nation’s 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, which have been leaders in scientific innovation.

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ASTA Releases Cover Crop, Conservation Resource

The American Seed Trade Association released an updated tool for farmers and landowners this week. ASTA updated a guide that helps farmers easily locate and contact professional seed suppliers for quality environmental, conservation, and cover crop seed. The interactive Conservation, Environmental, and Cover Crop Seed Resource Guide allows buyers to find lists of specific seed types by geographic location to support production and sustainability goals. ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne says, “Professionally produced and processed seed is designed to help farmers achieve success through managing the use of the right seed, at the right place, at the right time.” Professionally produced seeds are selected, harvested, cleaned, analyzed, processed, packaged for performance, and tested for purity and germination. Those steps, LaVigne says, “helps ensure you get the best quality seed to meet your production and sustainability goals.” You can find the resource on the ASTA website, betterseed.org.

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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.