NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for June 28, 2022

Consumers Paying more for Independence Day Cookout

U.S. consumers will pay $69.68 for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods, based on a new American Farm Bureau Federation marketbasket survey. The average cost of a summer cookout for ten people breaks down to less than $7 per person. The overall cost for the cookout is up 17 percent or about $10 from last year, due to ongoing supply chain disruptions, inflation and the war in Ukraine. Survey results showed the retail price for two pounds of ground beef at $11.12, up 36 percent from last year, the largest year-to-year price increase in the survey. Several other foods in the survey, including chicken breasts, pork chops, potato salad, fresh-squeezed lemonade, pork and beans, hamburger buns and cookies, also increased in price. One bright spot for consumers is the average retail price for strawberries, which declined by 86 cents compared to a year ago. Sliced cheese and potato chips also dropped in price, 48 cents and 22 cents, respectively.

***********************************************************************************
Farm Bureau Names New Executive Vice President

The American Farm Bureau Federation announced Joby Young as the organization’s next Executive Vice President late last week. Young will take the role in mid-July following the retirement of Dale Moore. Joby will serve in a chief of staff role at AFBF. It’s a familiar role for Young, who previously served in the same capacity at USDA and in Congress. AFBF President Zippy Duvall says, “The Farm Bureau family will be well-served by his strong leadership skills.” Young says he looks forward to starting in the new role, adding, “I’m honored to join the talented team at the American Farm Bureau Federation.” Young is currently a partner at Horizons Global Solutions LLC, a consulting firm where he advises clients in the food and agriculture sectors. Young previously served as Chief of Staff in various USDA offices and mission areas, before becoming the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary.

***********************************************************************************
U.S., Taiwan, Hold First Trade Meeting

Trade officials from the U.S. and Taiwan met Monday for the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi says, “This initiative will unlock market opportunities, promote innovation and create inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses.” The trade officials reaffirmed their shared interest in developing and deepening trade and promoting innovation. They also discussed the development of an ambitious roadmap for negotiations to reach agreements with high-standard commitments and economically meaningful outcomes. The commitments will cover several trade areas, including trade facilitation, regulatory practices, agriculture, anti-corruption, small- and medium-sized enterprises, digital trade, labor, environment, standards, state-owned enterprises, and non-market policies and practices. The trade officials also held roundtable conversations with several groups of U.S. and Taiwan stakeholders. Members of Congress and labor and business leaders also shared their views on ways the United States and Taiwan can jointly advance trade policies.

***********************************************************************************
Guide Outlines Steps to Take When Pesticide Drift Occurs

The University of Illinois Extension has a pesticide drift guide available for farmers. The new guide helps producers and gardeners know what to do if pesticide drift is suspected. Damage can occur when pesticide drifts from its intended location onto adjacent fields and landscapes. Drift happens when pesticide spray particles and vapors escape from the intended target area. University of Illinois Extension weed science specialist Michelle Wiesbrook says, “The most common type of pesticide misuse is pesticide drift, and when it occurs, emotions can run high while seeking answers.” There are two ways pesticides can be carried downwind to non-target areas: vapor drift and particle drift. Both types of drift should be considered when making an application, and steps should be taken to minimize their occurrence. The new free guide provides more information on drift and serves as a navigation tool for those faced with potential drift injury challenges. Read the guide at go.illinois.edu/drift.

***********************************************************************************
BASF Donates $50,000 to Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund Program

BASF Agricultural Solutions North America will donate $50,000 to The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund’s Seed A Legacy pollinator habitat program. The donation is part of BASF’s annual Living Acres #MonarchChallenge initiative. The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund will use BASF’s donation to expand its Seed A Legacy pollinator habitat program with the goal of restoring high-quality pollinator habitat with free or reduced-cost seed to landowners across 12 Midwest states. Since its inception in 2015, the Monarch Challenge has resulted in the planting of 110,000 milkweed seedlings and the creation of more than 67,000 pollinator habitats. The fund works with landowners, conservationists, scientists, and other partners to build healthy and sustainable pollinator habitat with maximum benefits. Through the Seed A Legacy Habitat Program, each project receives free or heavily discounted pollinator seed mixes and the guidance to prepare, establish, and maintain the project for a minimum of five years.

***********************************************************************************
Fuel Prices Decline for Second Straight Week

The national average gas price declined for the second straight week, down 8.8 cents to $4.48 a gallon Monday. The national average is up 28.3 cents from a month ago and $1.79 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price declined 2.7 cents in the last week, to $5.79 per gallon. Gas Buddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “gas prices have continued to fall for the second straight week as the price of oil has faltered, ushering in the drop we’re seeing.” De Haan says prices could fall again this week, even ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend. However, any sudden jolts to supply could quickly cause a turnaround, and the risk remains that when the peak of hurricane season arrives, prices could spike again. According to GasBuddy, U.S. retail gasoline demand rose last week, up 1.6 percent compared to the prior week. U.S. crude inventories remain 14 percent below the five-year average.

***********************************************************************************

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.