NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for July 15, 2022

U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership Launches

U.S. trade Representative Katherine Tai Thursday announced the launch of the United States-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership. Tai met virtually with representatives from Kenya, and they identified initial issues where the United States and Kenya will develop an ambitious roadmap for enhanced cooperation. The United States and Kenya will consider measures to facilitate agricultural trade and enhance transparency and understanding of the application of science- and risk-based Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures. The two sides share an interest in fostering sustainable agricultural practices, as well as creating an enabling environment for innovative agricultural technologies that would help achieve food security goals, increase farm productivity, and improve farmer livelihoods, while addressing climate change concerns. Meanwhile, USTR and the European Union held the fifth meeting of the Joint Committee established under the U.S.-EU Agreement on Prudential Measures Regarding Insurance and Reinsurance. Both sides acknowledged progress made toward full implementation of the Agreement.

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House Ag Chair Announces Bill to Support Small Cattle Farmers

House Agriculture Chairman David Scott announced the intention to introduce a bill to help small family farmers and ranchers and address the national crisis in our nation’s beef supply chain. Scott says, “What has been missing from the conversation is help for the very beginning of our food supply chain, which is our nation’s small family farmers and ranchers.” The bill creates a new program that strengthens the federal safety net and makes insurance products work better for small cattle farmers and ranchers, both in terms of coverage and accessibility. The second pillar establishes a grant program at USDA to help small farmers and ranchers and producer-owned cooperatives to undertake innovative business initiatives. By developing more direct-to-consumer and direct-to-institution markets, the legislation will give small farmers and ranchers more control over where they sell their cattle or meat products and provide them with opportunities to add value to their products and increase their profitability, according to Scott.

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Republican Lawmakers Demand Biden Relax Import Duties on Fertilizer

Republican lawmakers demand the Biden administration waive import duties on fertilizer from Morocco and Trinidad and Tobago. The Biden administration has placed duties on fertilizer imports of phosphate fertilizer products from Morocco and is working on new duties on urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer from Trinidad and Tobago. Led by Senator Roger Marshall and Representative Tracey Mann of Kansas, a group of Republicans made the demand in a letter to President Biden. The letter states, “The bottom line is that fertilizer is critical to national security and national defense.” In June, President Biden, using his emergency authority, issued a proclamation titled “Declaration of Emergency and Authorization for Temporary Extensions of Time and Duty-Free Importation of Solar Cells and Modules from Southeast Asia.” The decision waived countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties for solar panels. President Biden’s emergency justifications for this proclamation are also applicable to fertilizer, according to the letter, which directly impacts food prices more than any emergency concerning solar panels.

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Ag Lawmakers Call on EPA to Cease Politicization of Crop Protection Tools

The top Republicans on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees call on the Environmental Protection Agency to “cease politicization of crop protection tools. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania and Senator John Boozman of Arkansas penned a letter to the EPA this week “about the concerning trend of disregarding scientifically-sound, risk-based regulatory processes, and unilaterally denying access to a range of crop protection tools.” Russia’s war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves through the global food system resulting in increased energy prices, fertilizer cost spikes and shortages, and worsening food shortages in developing countries. As the world faces an emerging food crisis due to this conflict, the lawmakers say, “our policies should be focused on supporting American production instead of creating further burden and ambiguity for our farmers and ranchers.” The letter follows a previous effort last year calling on the EPA to rescind its decision to revoke all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos and ensure future actions related to crop protection tools are consistent with the science-based, regulatory process.

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AEF Announces Agriculture Interoperability Network Project Team

The Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation Thursday announced the formation of a project team to develop the new Agriculture Interoperability Network. The team will be creating guidelines for data formats to simplify data sharing for end users, growers and operators. The project team is made up of approximately 60 participants from various AEF member companies from different corners of the globe. AEF members will be able to use the network to make sure their data flows through this whole network. AEF Vice Chairman Andrew Olliver says, “The ability to manage the farm more effectively revolves around the ease of getting all of the data into the best location for reporting and analysis, and to derive insights for future operations.” The network will be a concerted and non-discriminatory governed network that streamlines peer–to-peer interfaces between platforms. Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation is scheduled to introduce the network in November 2023.

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Grassley Receives President’s Award from National Corn Growers Association

The National Corn Growers Association awarded Senator Chuck Grassley the organization’ President Award for his leadership and commitment to advocating for corn growers and agriculture. The President’s Award is the most prestigious recognition by NCGA and was presented to Grassley during NCGA’s Corn Congress events in Washington, D.C. The Iowa Republican says, “I am honored and humbled to receive this lifetime achievement award.” Grassley, one of only two farmers in the Senate, is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. NCGA President Chris Edgington of Iowa adds, “we would not have secured the policy successes we have over the years were it not for the contributions of the senior senator from Iowa.”  Grassley serves on several committees, including the Senate Agricultural Committee. A lifelong Iowan, Grassley was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980. NCGA’s President’s Award is given annually to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn growers and agriculture.

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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.