National Ag News for June 16th, 2022

Other Food Sectors Welcome Ocean Shipping Reform Act

Agriculture groups responded positively to the passing of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, along with industry representatives from the food and restaurant sectors. President Joe Biden was slated to sign the legislation into law Thursday (this) afternoon. The legislation should help address long-standing and systemic port disruptions impacting costs throughout the supply chain. Sean Kennedy of the National Restaurant Association says, “After months of advocating with our supply chain partners for these changes, we hope modernization of the Ocean Shipping Act will help reduce shipping costs and improve supply chain challenges.” Tom Madrecki with the Consumer Brands Association adds, “Decisive policy action is critical to combatting supply chain challenges as the consumer packaged goods industry continues to grapple with unprecedented production and shipping costs.” The association contends that the pandemic and subsequent disruptions highlighted the fragility of the complex supply chain system, the need to modernize decades-old ocean regulations, and unfair practices that hurt American manufacturers, farmers and consumers.

Farmers Union Urges Congressional Support Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act

In a letter to Congress Wednesday, National Farmers Union expressed support for the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act and urged Members to support the bill. The legislation, NFU says, will provide fairness to farmers, lower prices for consumers, and fight back against decades of consolidation in agriculture. House lawmakers are considering the legislative package Thursday (today). National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says, “Farmers Union members are in strong support of bolstering USDA’s ability to investigate consolidation in the livestock industry.” The legislation would create a special investigator’s office at the Department of Agriculture to explore the issue. However, that issue has House Republicans and Democrats divided on the legislation. National Farmers Union also supports the provisions to expand processing capacity that will offer ranchers more opportunities to get their products to their communities. Another provision of the bill would make year-round E-15 sales permanent, also supported by NFU.

APHIS Announces New Resources Aimed at Preventing ASF Spread

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wednesday announced new efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of African swine fever in the United States. Through a campaign called Protect Our Pigs, APHIS will support pork producers, veterinarians, and pig owners with information and resources to help safeguard the swine population and the pork industry. APHIS is deploying a variety of outreach efforts to support these critical stakeholders. The new Protect Our Pigs page on the APHIS website will house materials such as downloadable fact sheets and posters, instructional videos, shareable social media graphics, a new interactive biosecurity guide, and offer the latest disease updates. Dr. Jack Shere, Associate Administrator at APHIS, says, “USDA is working every day to stop this disease from breaching our borders and the Protect Our Pigs campaign is just one of many ways we are doing that.” African swine fever is estimated to cost the U.S. $50 billion over ten years, if detected.

Vilsack Traveling to New Hampshire Friday

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit New Hampshire Friday to tout work by the Biden Administration to transform the nation’s food system. Vilsack will join Senator Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire Democrat, at Brookdale Fruit Farm, a local family-owned and operated farm. The farm is one of the state’s largest retail, pick-your-own, and wholesale growers of fruits and vegetables. USDA says the event will underscore its commitment to increase competition, bolster access to healthy, affordable food, ensure growers and workers receive a greater share of the food dollar, and advance equity as well as climate resilience and mitigation. In addition, Vilsack will make an announcement to help reduce costs for farmers and support local economies by providing funding to cut regulatory costs and increase market opportunities for farmers. That action, USDA says, will help build fair and transparent food systems rooted in local and regional production and create jobs.

Bronaugh to Lead United Kingdom Trade Mission

Representatives from 37 U.S. agribusinesses and farm organizations will join Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh for an agribusiness trade mission to London, June 22-24. Participants will engage directly with foreign buyers, receive in-depth market briefs from the Foreign Agricultural Service and industry trade experts, and participate in site visits. Bronaugh says, “I’m very excited to lead a delegation to the United Kingdom, one of our top trading partners,” adding, “The United Kingdom presents strong marketing opportunities for many U.S. consumer-oriented products.” U.S. agricultural exports to the United Kingdom totaled $1.9 billion in 2021. In addition to representatives from the following companies and organizations, Bronaugh will be joined by officials from the Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin departments of agriculture. The USDA-sponsored trade mission to the U.K. is one of four international trade missions Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced in March.

Argentina Not Likely to Increase Wheat Exports

It appears Argentina won’t be able to capitalize on the interruption of wheat supplies from the Black Sea, according to AgriCensus, a London-based Price Reporting Agency. The agency says weather, inflation and political uncertainty all combine to be detrimental to wheat exports for the nation. Argentine farmers face dry conditions with the second consecutive La Nina and worries of a third consecutive event. Initial estimates have the 2022/23 crop size at 20.5 million metric tons, down from the previous crop year’s record high of 22.4 million metric tons, with further cuts possible. Argentine farmers are reportedly cutting wheat acres in favor of barley, which is cheaper to grow. Input costs are another factor, as one analyst tells the agency, “This year there are going to be less hectares planted with wheat and less use in fertilizers this season.” And the Argentine government has imposed a series of protective measures to tackle ever-rising domestic inflation levels in the country.


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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