NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for June 17, 2022

Mixed Reaction to House Passage of Special Investigator Bill

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association expressed strong disappointment after the House of Representatives passed the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act. Their disappointment is because the bill incorporates the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act. NCBA VP of Government Affairs Ethan Lane says Congress is focused on political posturing through the Special Investigator Bill. NCBA says the investigator position will duplicate the work already being done by other federal agencies. House Ag Chair David Scott says the bill will ensure fair competition in the meat and poultry sectors, increase options at the pump, and provide support to America’s ag sector and food supply chain. The bill will permanently lift barriers to year-round sales of E15, something Growth Energy says would enable more access to a lower-cost, lower-emission option for hardworking families. “We’ve recently seen E15 deliver savings approaching 60 cents per gallon in some parts of the country,” says CEO Emily Skor.

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House GOP Bill Targets Biden Ag Policies

House Ag Committee Ranking Member Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania introduced a bill this week that Fox News says would “strike back” at several of the administration’s agricultural policies. It would also strike down a recently-proposed rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission that could potentially harm small farms. Thompson is introducing the bill with more than 20 cosponsors during a time when America is dealing with significant inflation, especially in food prices. The bill has several provisions that Thompson says would help in many ways, including rescinding the SEC Scope Three reporting rule. The rule requires public companies to report information like it’s carbon emissions but also from sources up and down their supply chains. Thompson’s bill also includes several provisions relating to fertilizer, including reinstating the National Environmental Policy Act of 2020, which would streamline mineral extraction for fertilizer production. The bill also reinstates the Trump-era Waters of the U.S. rule.

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Eggs Costing $12 Per Dozen is “Unrealistic”

There’s no question a highly-contagious bird flu outbreak is reducing the size of the U.S. chicken flock and driving up the cost of eggs nationwide. Some social media claims say USDA predicts eggs will be $12 per dozen by this fall. Jennifer Smits, director of communications for the USDA’s Economic Research Service, says that USDA isn’t predicting eggs will be $12 per dozen later this year. Smith points out in USA Today that while the ERS does predict and follow agriculture and food trends, they don’t forecast specific retail egg prices. As of June 10, Federal Reserve economic data says the average price of a dozen Grade A large eggs in the U.S. was $2.86, and prices are predicted to dip to $1.70 per dozen in the fourth quarter of 2022. The inconsistent supply of eggs is driving up the cost this year, while overall food prices are 9.4 percent higher than 2021.

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Arkansas Signs Major Pact with Israel

Israel, which has recently become a world leader in agricultural technology, signed a major economic pact with Arkansas. The two will share their research and technology, especially for agriculture, and that will broaden a trade relationship that’s already worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Trade between them last year reached more than $100 million dollars. Both sides have also benefited from agricultural and scientific research grants worth more than $400,000 since their partnership started in 2017. The Washington Free Beacon says a 2019 review of one agricultural grant between the two sides shows an economic partnership during the past four decades that’s added billions to the U.S. economy. Though much of Israel is desert and lacks water, the country has learned to grow some of the highest-yielding agricultural products, including tomatoes and cow’s milk. Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, adding approximately $16 billion to the state’s economy every year.

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Brazil Expecting Large Second-Corn Crop Despite Weather Concerns

Brazil’s second corn crop, called the safrina crop, is predicted to produce 3.4 billion bushels during the 2021-2022 crop season. Farmdoc from the University of Illinois says that’s 45 percent higher than the 2.4 billion harvested last year when drought hit Brazil. A harvest of 3.4 billion bushels this year would set a record. Data from Conab says the country may produce a historic crop even though April and May were drier than normal. The overall harvest of the second-corn crop is less than 10 percent complete. This year’s second-corn harvest began in Mato Grosso (MAH-toe GRAHS-so), the largest corn producer in Brazil, which accounts for almost half of the country’s production. Approximately 16 percent of the corn harvest in Mato Grosso is complete as of June 10, and yields are expected to be around 97.5 bushels an acre. Parana, the second-largest corn producer, currently has 80 percent of its fields in good condition.

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FSA Accepting Nominations for County Committees

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency is now accepting nominations for local county committee members. County committee members make important decisions about how federal farm programs get administered on a local level. All of the nomination forms for the 2022 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by August 1. “it’s a priority for USDA to integrate equity into its decision-making and policymaking,” says FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “That starts with our local county committees.” He also says they’re looking for enthusiastic, diverse leaders willing to serve other agricultural producers. Ag producers who participate or cooperate in a USDA program and reside in the Local Administrative Area that’s up for election can be nominated for candidacy. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operations to FSA, even if they haven’t applied for or received program benefits. Nationwide, 7,000 people serve on various county committees.

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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.