National Ag News for July 14, 2022

Consumer Price Index Increases

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 1.3 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 1.0 percent in May. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 9.1 percent before seasonal adjustment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the increase was broad-based, with the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food being the largest contributors. The all-items index increased 9.1 percent for the 12 months ending June, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1981. The food index increased 1.0 percent in June, following a 1.2-percent increase in May. The index for food at home also rose 1.0 percent in June, the sixth consecutive increase of at least 1.0 percent in that index. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose in June. The index for other food at home rose 1.8 percent, with sharp increases in the indexes for butter and for sugar and sweets.

USDA Invests $14M to Support Agricultural Workforce Training for Underserved Communities

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced more than $14 billion in agricultural workforce training for underserved communities. USDA says the funding will increase the resilience of the U.S. meat and poultry processing sector. The investment is part of the American Rescue Plan to strengthen the nation’s food supply chain by promoting fair and competitive agricultural markets. Funding is available through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Request for Applications process to eligible universities. Eligible applicants include qualified Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land-grant Universities, 1994 Land-grant Tribal Colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian institutions, and participants in the Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas. Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics, who also serves as USDA’s chief scientist, says, “These investments provide critical support to our higher education partners to increase rural prosperity and economic sustainability of food systems in underserved agricultural communities.”

FAS Administrator Whitley to Lead Philippines Trade Mission

Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley will lead a delegation of representatives from 29 U.S. agribusinesses and farm organizations to Manila, Philippines, July 18-21. The delegation is part of a Department of Agriculture-sponsored trade mission. The Philippines is the eighth-largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, averaging $3.1 billion annually during the last five years. Whitley says, “The Philippines is an excellent market for U.S. farm and food products, and we look forward to introducing a diverse group of companies and organizations to new export opportunities there.” Participants will engage directly with potential buyers, receive in-depth market briefs from FAS and industry trade experts, and participate in site visits. Whitley will be joined by Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen, Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman, South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Secretary Hunter Roberts and Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr, among others.

DeLauro, Durbin Introduce Food Safety Administration Act

Two Democrats Wednesday Introduced the Food Safety Administration Act to establish the Food Safety Administration. The administration would be a single food safety agency responsible for keeping the food safe for market. Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced the legislation with Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. The Food Safety Administration Act would establish the Food Safety Administration under the Department of Health and Human Services by incorporating the existing food programs within the Food and Drug Administration into a separate agency: the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the Office of Regulatory Affairs. Representative DeLauro says, “Look no further than the recent infant formula crisis to understand the need to create a single food safety agency, led by a food policy expert, to ensure the safety of products that go to market.” The legislation is endorsed by the Center for Food Safety, Consumer Reports, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth and others.

Clean Fuels Highlights Job Creation and Economic Benefits in Letter to President Biden

Clean Fuels Alliance America wrote to President Joe Biden Wednesday and other administration officials to highlight the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry’s contribution to job growth. The letter asks the administration to support tax policy that encourages continued investments, capacity expansion, and additional job creation. The letter states, “The clean fuels industry increased production during 2021, making an essential contribution to the nation’s fuel supply,” adding, “Our industry plans to continue increasing production this year.” The recent United States Energy and Employment Report 2022 shows that the clean fuels industry added jobs in 2021 at a rate of 6.7 percent and anticipates continued job growth of 5.8 percent in manufacturing during 2022. Additionally, a recent study from the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Service showing that U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel production generated a four percent decrease in the price of diesel fuel in 2021 – a saving of $0.22 a gallon at current fuel prices.

U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Import Value Outpaces Volume Growth

In fiscal year 2021, the value of U.S. fruit and vegetable imports rose to a record level. That record is projected to rise another nine percent in FY 2022, October–September, to $42.6 billion, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. Import volumes are also expected to grow three percent in 2022 to 29.4 million metric tons. This would further extend the trend seen from 2000 to 2021, during which the volume of U.S. fruit and vegetable imports increased 124 percent while the inflation-adjusted value of those imports increased 208 percent. The shift indicates that, on a per volume basis, imported fruits and vegetable products are priced higher than they were 20 years ago as growth in the value of these imports has exceeded growth in volume. Steadily increasing unit prices for imported fresh fruits and vegetables, up from $753 per metric ton in 2000 to $1,192 in 2021, have contributed significantly to the observed trend.


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.

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