NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for July 8, 2022

USDA Highlights Importance of Innovation at G20 Meeting

The U.S. Department of Agriculture underscored the importance of agricultural research and development at the G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists this week. Research and development is critical in tackling the challenges of global food security and climate change, according to USDA, which called on G20 members to support the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate. USDA’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, led the U.S. delegation to the meeting, where agricultural science leaders from around the world convened to discuss global challenges facing agriculture and to align both national and global research and development priorities. Jacobs-Young says, “Ambitious investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation will help create a surge of solutions.” Jacobs-Young also highlighted the United States’ leadership role in the global Coalition for Sustainable Productivity Growth, as well as the United States continued focus on innovative technologies and approaches to reduce food loss and waste in the agricultural supply chain.

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Drought Conditions Found in Much of the U.S.

The latest Drought Monitor shows much of the U.S. is dealing with dry conditions. All but 16 percent of the West region is in some form of drought, with 28 percent considered D3-D4, the worst drought classifications. Another 16 percent of the South region is drought-free, with 23 percent in D3-D4. Meanwhile, 67 percent of the High Plains region faces drought conditions, along with 50 percent of the Midwest region. Finally, 63 percent of the Southeast region is in drought, along with 36 percent of the Northeast region. Short-term drought continued to rapidly expand across the Ohio, Tennessee, and Middle Mississippi Valleys along with parts of the Corn Belt in the last week. Thunderstorms brought locally heavy rainfall and drought relief to parts of the central to northern Great Plains. However, temperatures averaged above normal throughout the Great Plains. A tropical disturbance in the western Gulf of Mexico and a trough of low pressure resulted in heavy rainfall and improving drought conditions to southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.

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US, Canada, Announce Dispute Settlement on Trade in Solar Products

The United States and Canada Thursday announced a memorandum of understanding to settle a dispute on trade of solar products under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The MOU promotes greater North American solar supply integration and reaffirms both countries’ commitment to prohibit imports of solar products produced in whole or in part with forced or compulsory labor, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. The MOU also contains a mechanism to ensure that solar product imports from Canada do not undermine the existing U.S. safeguard measure on imports of solar products. Ambassador Katherine Tai says, “Reaching this settlement with Canada will promote greater deployment of solar energy in the United States using products from one of our closest allies.” The U.S. imposed the solar safeguard measure during the Trump Administration. This year, a USMCA panel issued its report, finding that the prior Administration’s decision to include imports from Canada in the solar safeguard measure was inconsistent with certain USMCA rules.

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USDA: Adult Obesity Increased During Pandemic

USDA’s Economic Research Service reports behavior changes during the pandemic exacerbated an already existing adult obesity epidemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in 2020, studies using limited online surveys found evidence of weight gain among U.S. adults. However, because the pandemic surveys did not represent the overall U.S. adult population, findings derived from them did not fully show how much obesity rates changed for adults during the pandemic. The study found that, compared with a pre-pandemic baseline period, adult obesity prevalence was three percent higher over the period from March 13, 2020, to March 18, 2021, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings also showed statistically significant changes in each of the four obesity-related behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in exercise rose 4.4 percent, and people slept 1.5 percent longer. Meanwhile, the number of days in the period of a month in which alcohol was consumed was 2.7 percent higher, and cigarette smoking dropped by four percent.

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Farm Bureau Foundation Awards Nearly $9,500 in Ag Literacy Grants

The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture awarded $9,400 in grants to recognize agricultural literacy programs of ten state and county Farm Bureaus. The grants are funded through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program, which acknowledges communities that are engaging with students on the fundamental role of agriculture in the everyday lives of all Americans. Daniel Meloy, Foundation Executive Director, says, “Agricultural literacy programs like the ones selected for grants are inspiring students to understand where their food comes from.” State and county Farm Bureaus may apply for $1,000 grants in support of education programs for grades K-12 in order to initiate new ag literacy programs or expand existing programs. Organizations and schools can work with local Farm Bureaus to apply for the grants, which are available on a competitive basis. Grants are awarded twice a year, in the spring and fall. The list of grant winners is available at agfoundation.org.

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Last Call for Lamb Summit Registration

With the American Lamb Summit just a month away, and only a few seats remaining, anyone wanting to attend should register in the next few days. The Lamb Summit begins Monday, August 8, in East Lansing, Michigan. Sessions focus on industry challenges and opportunities, competitor analysis, eating quality of lamb, including a taste panel, carcass quality evaluation and yield cutting demos, and accelerated lambing. August 9 sessions will feature hands-on learning about meat and muscle biology, genetics and meat quality, ultrasounding to determine meat quality, feed composition’s influence on carcass composition, industry environmental sustainability, plus insights into the non-traditional and direct-to-consumer markets. The 2022 American Lamb Summit, sponsored by Premier 1 Supplies and the American Lamb Board, strives to inspire the next level of change and collaboration among all segments of the US Lamb industry to improve competitiveness, product quality and productivity through increased use of the most efficient, progressive management tools. Complete information is available at LambSummit.com.

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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.