NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for July 25, 2022

Deal Signed to Export Grain from Ukraine

Officials from Russia and Ukraine signed a deal Friday to reopen grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Reuters says the deal should help ease the global food crisis. Officials from the United Nations expect the agreement will be fully operational in a few weeks and restore shipments to pre-war levels of five million tons per month. The deal will allow Ukraine to export the 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in the Black Sea ports due to Russia’s invasion. “A deal allowing grain to leave the Black Sea ports is nothing short of lifesaving for people across the world who are struggling to feed their families,” says Red Cross Director-General Robert Mardini. He also notes that prices for food staples have risen 187 percent in Sudan, 86 percent in Syria, 60 percent in Yemen, and 54 percent in Ethiopia over the past six months.

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NCGA Call-To-Action to Protect Atrazine

The National Corn Growers Association launched a call-to-action asking advocates to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in response to the agency’s announcement that they are revising the registration for atrazine. The EPA says it’s amending the registration of this well-studied herbicide that allows farmers to do more with less. The new level of concern for atrazine will vastly reduce the herbicide’s effectiveness and hinder farmers’ ability to utilize a critical tool. “Corn growers know the value of atrazine, and it’s time again to tell the EPA how valuable this product is to our operations,” says NCGA President Chris Edgington. “In 2016, we came together to submit more than 10,000 comments to the agency, and we need that same momentum again.” NCGA points out that since it first came onto the market, atrazine has allowed farmers to increase their conservation tillage practices. Conservation tillage is a key to carbon-smart farming practices.

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Advocates Claim Deere Right-to-Repair May Violate Clean Air Act

Consumer advocates claim that John Deere may be violating the Clean Air Act by limiting repairs on the emission control systems of its machines. Such repairs are only authorized to certified John Deere dealers. Politico says the Clean Air Act requires companies to provide the necessary information, including software, to repair emission control systems in vehicles. Companies are required to confirm they’re providing the information in certification filings with the Environmental Protection Agency every year. The advocates claim that by denying the necessary parts and information for independent repair, the tractor manufacturer is violating the law. However, the company has said they restrict access to the emissions control systems because farmers could delete the software, which Deere says would also be a violation of the Clean Air Act. Deere says when emissions systems break down, farmers might view deletion as an easier option. Deere is named in 17 class-action lawsuits over repairs.

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USDA Helps Schools and Childcare Providers Deal with Rising Food Costs

The USDA announced an increase in funding to help schools continue to serve healthy meals this coming school year and provided financial relief for schools and childcare providers. The reimbursement schools will get for each meal served will increase by 68 cents per free or reduced-price lunch and 32 cents per free or reduced-price breakfast. The increase supports school and childcare providers dealing with rising food costs. “The boost in reimbursements will help provide financial relief for schools so they can continue serving high-quality meals to students amid higher food costs and continuing supply chain challenges,” says Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services. “USDA is fully committed to using every resource in its toolbelt to ensure kids get the healthy meals they need to grow, learn, and thrive.” The USDA will provide an additional $2 billion for schools to purchase domestic food for their meal programs.

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Iowa Lifts HPAI Influenza Quarantine Restrictions

The Iowa Department of Agriculture released the last commercial Iowa poultry farm from highly pathogenic avian influenza quarantine restrictions. Those restrictions prohibited moving poultry or poultry products on or off the affected premises and were lifted after the farm cleared all of the testing protocols and quarantine requirements. “This important milestone allows impacted farmers to turn the page from responding to the outbreak to repopulating flocks and returning to turkey and poultry production,” says Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig. “Moving forward, we’ll work with our partners to assess this year’s response to ensure that we’re even more prepared for any potential disease challenges in the future.” Gretta Irwin, executive director of the Iowa Turkey Association, says lifting the last commercial site quarantined in Iowa is great news. “In 2022, we had nine HPAI turkey cases instead of the 71 in 2015, which shows how far we’ve come in battling the disease,” she says.

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June Egg Production Drops Three Percent, Milk Up Slightly

The USDA says America’s egg production totaled 8.67 billion during June, a three percent drop from last year. Production included 7:39 billion table eggs and 1.28 billion hatching eggs. Of the hatching eggs, 1.19 billion were broilers and 89.4 million were egg-type. The average number of egg layers totaled 366 million in June, down four percent from last year. June egg production per 100 layers was 2,367 eggs, two percent higher than June 2021. Milk production in the 24 major dairy states during June totaled 18.1 billion pounds, up .3 percent from June 2021. Production per cow in the 24 states averaged 2,031 pounds in June, 20 pounds above the same time last year. The number of milk cows on farms was 8.93 million head, 65,000 less than June 2021, but 4,000 head more than in May 2022. Milk Production between April and June hit 57.9 billion pounds, down .5 percent from 2021.

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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.