NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for July 7, 2022

UN Report: Global Hunger Increasing

A new report released Tuesday from the United Nations shows the number of people affected by hunger globally rose to nearly 830 million in 2021, providing fresh evidence that the world is moving in reverse. The UN report says the world is moving in the opposite direction from the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms, by 2030. The report represents an increase of about 46 million since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world’s economy into a downward spiral, and 150 million more since 2019. As many as 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021, 46 million people more from a year earlier and 150 million more from 2019. After remaining relatively unchanged since 2015, the proportion of people affected by hunger jumped in 2020 and continued to rise in 2021, to 9.8 percent of the world population, according to the report.

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Americans Increasingly Blame Supply Chain for Inflation

Consumers are shifting the blame for inflation from the pandemic to supply chain issues, according to a recent poll by the Consumer Brands Association. The poll also showed that most Americans say inflation is hitting their household budgets and that tackling supply chain problems will positively affect inflation. The poll of 1,000 adults in mid-June found 72 percent of respondents said that increased grocery prices were having a very significant or somewhat significant impact on their household budgets. Only 22 percent said it was having a not very significant impact, and just six percent said it was having no impact. The frustration with higher prices has led to a notable shift in American attitudes about what is to blame for grocery inflation. The increase in supply chain costs and constraints as a source of blame for inflation coincides with an uptick in the interest of tackling supply chain problems as a means to ease inflation.

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Increased June Runoff Not Enough for Missouri River Basin Drought

Despite improved runoff in June, water conservation measures will continue for the second half of the navigation flow support season, based on the July 1 Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System storage. June runoff in the Missouri River basin above Sioux City, Iowa, was 5.2 million-acre-feet, 94 percent of average. The updated 2022 runoff forecast is 20-million-acre feet, 78 percent of average and 1.7-million-acre-feet higher than last month’s forecast. June runoff into Garrison was 110 percent of average. John Remus of the Army Corps of Engineers says, “Heavy rain in mid-June on the upper Yellowstone River, coincided with mountain snowmelt increasing inflows into Garrison reservoir.” However, due to the ongoing drought and the amount of water stored in the reservoir system, water conservation measures will likely continue through the remainder of 2022 and into 2023. Officials say releases from Gavins Point will likely be at a minimum rate of 12,000 cubic feet per second.

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Rice Industry Welcomes Consultations Regarding India Trade Distortion

The United States and other World Trade Organization Members are initiating consultations with India on their trade-distorting rice subsidies. Current WTO rules allow governments to subsidize up to ten percent of the value of commodity production. However, the Indian government continues to subsidize more than half of the value of production for several commodities, including rice and wheat. India’s lack of rule-following has reshaped global agricultural production and trade channels, according to Representative Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican. Crawford says, “This announcement is a long overdue step in the right direction in combatting bad actors like India and its rice subsidies to give our nation’s agriculture producers a level playing field.” USA Rice Chair Bobby Hanks says, “India makes up nearly half of global rice trade and much of its exported rice benefits from the government-established floor price, and then exported at low prices, distorting trade.” Australia, Canada, Japan, Paraguay, Thailand and Uruguay joined the U.S. in the effort.

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Farm Credit Mid-America and Farm Credit Midsouth to Merge

Two U.S. Farm Credit organizations recently announced the intent to merge. The Farm Credit Mid-American and Farm Credit Midsouth merger would create Farm Credit Mid-America. Dane Coomer, Farm Credit Midsouth board chairman, says, “We are excited about the possibility of this merger because the two associations share notable similarities and unique strengths.” Andrew Wilson, Farm Credit Mid-America board chairman, echoed his comments. Farm Credit Midsouth is located in the Mississippi River Delta just west of Memphis and headquartered in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Dan Wagner, current president and CEO of Farm Credit Mid-America, will continue to serve in that role with Louisville, Kentucky as the headquarters. Farm Credit Midsouth’s CEO, James McJunkins, previously announced his plan to retire at the end of February 2023. Combining the associations would yield approximately $36 billion in owned and managed assets, with nearly 1,650 team members serving more than 137,000 customers in 391 counties across six states.

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Farmers Received Smaller Share of Price for Fresh Tomatoes in 2021

The farm share of the retail price of fresh, field-grown tomatoes—the ratio of what farmers received to what consumers paid—fell from 43 percent in 2020 to 36 percent in 2021. While the national, monthly average price of such tomatoes at grocery stores fell 11 cents to $1.85 per pound in 2021, the monthly average price received by farmers simultaneously fell 16 cents to $0.56 per pound. As part of calculating the farm share, USDA’s Economic Research Service assumes that farmers supply a little less than 1.2 pounds of fresh tomatoes for each pound sold at retail, as 15 percent of the fresh tomatoes shipped to grocery stores is lost through spoilage or is otherwise damaged. Farm prices for tomatoes were lower in 2021 as U.S. domestic production of all types of fresh-market tomatoes rose 1.3 percent. This came despite a four percent decline in overall fresh vegetable production caused partly by extreme heat in growing regions.

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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.