NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for June 29, 2022

Survey Reveals Americans Want Clearer Product Labeling of Plant-Based ‘Chicken’

The National Chicken Council  Tuesday announced findings from a recent national survey of Americans regarding consumer attitudes about chicken and plant-based ‘chicken’ alternatives. Survey participants included individuals who consume meat and animal products, along with flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans. The results indicate the majority of Americans want clearer product labeling and separate shopping sections for plant-based products. NCC Senior Vice President of Communications, Tom Super, says, “This study shows there is overwhelming support for clearer packaging and separate store placement for imitation ‘chicken,’ and that the term ‘chicken’ should be reserved only for food products made from the actual animals.” One in five Americans reported that they accidentally purchased the plant-based product, believing it to be real chicken. Survey results also indicate that consumers, including those who eat plant-based ‘chicken,’ prefer authentic chicken for taste, affordability and cooking versatility. And, four in five Americans want plant-based options to clearly be labeled.

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Supreme Court Rejects R-CALF Lawsuit

The Supreme Court this week denied R-CALF’s lawsuit against 13 state beef councils and the Beef Checkoff. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the ruling effectively ends “yet another R-CALF attack on the Beef Checkoff and prevents the activist attorneys at Public Justice, from further diverting Checkoff and beef industry resources.” NCBA intervened in the lawsuit in its early days to help defend state beef councils from R-CALF, “who falsely attacked state beef councils.” NCBA says multiple court decisions rejected these allegations and reaffirmed the work and direction of the Beef Checkoff and those who guide it. NCBA CEO Colin Woodall says, “The Supreme Court’s rejection of R-CALF’s petition confirms the Beef Checkoff, and its overseers, are adhering to the letter and spirit of the laws that protect and guide producer investments in the program.” In the lawsuit, R-Calf claimed state beef checkoff organizations are private corporations and use half of the beef checkoff collection to fund private speech.

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Wheat Industry Comments on Conclusion of FDA Study of Drought Tolerant Wheat

The Food and Drug Administration recently concluded it has no further questions regarding the safety of drought-tolerant HB4 wheat developed by Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp. In response, U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers issued a joint statement this week. The groups say the finding by the FDA is not an approval for this or any other transgenic wheat to be planted for commercial sale in the United States. To date, the HB4 wheat has been approved for commercial production within a closed system in Argentina only. The trait has been approved for human consumption by regulators in Brazil in the form of flour, and in Australia, New Zealand and now in the United States. Bioceres recently announced it will seek approval to plant HB4 wheat in Australia, but it has not announced plans to commercialize it in the United States. The statement says, “The U.S. wheat industry recognizes the benefits and value that can be created through the prudent application of modern biotechnology.”

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Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative Unveils Milk Pricing Reform Priorities

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, stressed flexibility and fairness in announcing its priorities for reforming the federal milk pricing system this week. Edge CEO Tim Trotter says, “Edge is intently focused on strengthening the relationship between farmers and processors in a way that increases transparency, fairness and competition.” Differences across the Federal Milk Marketing Orders require added flexibility to meet their respective needs, and current markets driving milk outside the FMMO system point to a need for a standard set of “contracting principles” to build a more fair and equitable pricing system, according to trotter. Edge has researched, listened to members and engaged with industry leaders and other stakeholders from across the country for more than a year, including coordinating a multistate task force. Under the flexibility priority, Edge’s proposal accounts for differences in product mixes across the country. The cooperative says more regional flexibility would benefit all dairy farmers.

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Recycling Used Beer Yeast for Environmental Protection

Brewer’s yeast used to make beer is typically discarded once it’s no longer needed. Sometimes, though, the leftover yeast is mixed into livestock feed as a source of protein and vitamins. Now, there may be even more reason to continue this practice, according to findings by a team of scientists with the Agricultural Research Service. Laboratory results suggest that using leftover brewer’s yeast as a feed additive may benefit the environment by helping cows belch less methane into the air as a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Although spent brewer’s yeast is sometimes used as a livestock feed additive, further cow feeding trials are necessary to fully assess its potential to reduce methane and ammonia on a farm scale, according to the researchers. Those results should give a better idea of the yeast’s potential role as part of a larger, integrated approach to making animal agriculture more environmentally sustainable.

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Goodyear Announces New Sustainable Soy-Based Tires

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company recently announced that two lines of its commercial tires are now made with a renewable soybean oil compound. The Goodyear Metro Miler G152 and G652 tires for transit buses, along with the popular Endurance WHA waste haul tire, are now made with soybean oil, which replaces a portion of the petroleum-based materials used in their production. Both the Metro Miler tires and the Endurance WHA waste haul tire continue to deliver high-performance benefits. The new soy-biobased tires build on the soy checkoff’s research investment and longstanding partnership with the global tire company. United Soybean Board Chair Ralph Lott says, “These big tires are another exciting way to deliver sustainable soy to more lives, every day.” Goodyear has a long-term goal to fully replace petroleum-derived oils in its products by 2040. This commitment, according to USB, drives additional demand for U.S. soy products, grown sustainably by U.S. soybean farmers.

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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.