NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for June 30, 2022

AFT: Smarter Land Use Planning is Urgently Needed

Smart growth and investment in America’s downtowns and main streets must occur now to secure the land that grows our food, according to American Farmland Trust. The organization Wednesday released its new report, Farms Under Threat 2040: Choosing an Abundant Future and the accompanying web mapping tool. AFT research shows Americans are paving over agricultural land at a rapid pace. From 2001-16, the nation lost or compromised 2,000 acres of farmland and ranchland every day. The report shows the U.S. is on track to convert 18 million acres of farmland and ranchland from 2016-40—an area the size of South Carolina. And it could get worse. If rural sprawl accelerates, America could squander one million acres of agricultural land every year and over 24 million by 2040. But if Americans choose a better path—embrace smart growth and minimize sprawl—they can save up to 13.5 million acres of the nation’s farmland. Find the full report at farmland.org.

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House Lawmakers Introduce American Port Access Privileges Act

Two California Democrats Wednesday introduced the American Port Access Privileges Act in the House of Representatives. John Garamendi and Jim Costa say the bill follows up on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. Representative Costa says, “We need to remove bottlenecks and mitigate congestion at our ports to carry out American exports.” The legislation would ensure fair trade for U.S. businesses and keep hard-won foreign markets accessible to agricultural exporters by codifying the current preferences for military, Jones Act, and other U.S.-flagged vessels in place at many major American ports. Additionally, the legislation would establish a secondary berthing preference for ocean-going commercial vessels servicing multiple ports in the United States, and ensure that the new preferential berthing would never interfere with U.S. Coast Guard orders for commercial vessels, port safety or collective bargaining agreements for port workers. The legislation is endorsed by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, National Milk Producers Federation, and the California Farm Bureau Federation.

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Vilsack Announces Bioproduct Pilot Program

The Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a new pilot program to support the development of biobased products. Specifically, USDA is looking for products that have lower carbon footprints and increase the use of renewable agricultural materials, creating new revenue streams for farmers. The $10 million investment is part of the larger Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the program while visiting Iowa. Vilsack says, “This pilot program is a critical part of USDA’s commitment to enhancing the circular economy and providing additional revenue streams for farmers.” The program will help farmers take field residues and waste products and turn them into value-added products that create wealth and drive economic development in rural areas. Under this program, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture can award up to $10 million divided among the highest-rated applications that include eligible universities and private-sector partners. Program information can be found on the NIFA website.

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House Ag Member Davis Loses Primary Election

A familiar face on the House Agriculture Committee lost in a primary election this week. Illinois Republican Representative Rodney Davis lost his reelection bid to Trump-backed Representative Mary Miller. Davis had represented Illinois’ 13th Congressional District since 2013, and Miller had represented the 15th Congressional District since 2021. The districts were merged during a redistricting effort following the 2020 Census results and includes 35 central Illinois counties. The 52-year-old Davis served five terms representing the 13th District. Miller will face Democrat Paul Lange in the November general election. Former President Donald Trump held a campaign rally with Miller last weekend in Quincy, Illinois. In a statement, Davis says, “I’m proud of the work our team has done for our constituents since 2013,” adding, “We have delivered countless conservative policy solutions from historic tax cuts, student loan relief, farm programs, and investing in our transportation system.” Davis was endorsed by the Illinois Farm Bureau.

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USDA Announces New Features for Market News App

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced additional commodities and features are available on the free USDA Market News App. The App provides producers and others along the supply chain with instant access to market information about conventional and organic products. Version 2.0 includes access to three additional commodity areas – Cotton and Tobacco, Dairy and Specialty Crops, as well as the ability to filter searches to see reports by Commodity Area and Market Type, the ability to add reports to Favorites and Subscriptions by Commodity Area and Market Type, an improved way to manage subscriptions and a calendar feature that provides access to previously released reports. USDA launched the first version of its free Market News app in February 2022, with access to about 800 livestock, poultry, and grain market reports. The USDA Market News app is available in both iOS and Android versions and may be downloaded through the Apple and Google Play stores.

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USDA: Cost of a Home-grilled Cheeseburger up 21 Cents From 2021

Home-grilled cheeseburgers, a summer cookout staple, will cost consumers more this Independence Day weekend. USDA’s Economic Research Service says the ingredients for a home-prepared 1/4-pound cheeseburger totaled $2.07 per burger, with ground beef making up the largest cost at $1.20. This represents an increase of 11.3 percent compared to the $1.86 it cost to produce the same cheeseburger in 2021. Ground beef prices increased 16.9 percent and accounted for 17 cents of the increase between 2021 and 2022. Cheddar cheese and bread costs each rose about one cent per burger from 2021 to 2022. Iceberg lettuce prices rose the most, by 23.3 percent, but the relatively small proportion it contributes to the total cost of a burger means it added just two cents to the total. The American Farm Bureau Federation earlier this week also released its summer marketbasket survey, showing the cost of a July 4th cookout is 17 percent higher than a year ago.

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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.