NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for July 26, 2022

Growth Energy, EPA Reach Agreement on 2023 Biofuel RVOs

Growth Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement on the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2023. Last week, the two groups submitted a consent decree agreement to the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The agreement requires EPA to propose the 2023 renewable volume fuel requirements no later than November 16, 2022, and then finalize the requirements no later than June 14, 2023. “The agreement is an important milestone in setting the pace for growth as we usher in a new era of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “The agreement avoids the uncertainty of continued litigation and ensures the certainty of the 2023 RFS requirements.” The EPA is required to coordinate with the Energy Department and the USDA to set renewable fuel volume requirements through rulemaking, taking into consideration six statutory factors, including environmental, economic, and energy security. The court is expected to approve the agreement.

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U.S. Cattle Inventory Down Two Percent

The Cattle Report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says U.S. farms contained 98.8 million head of cattle and calves as of July 1. Of the 98.8 million head of inventory, all cows and heifers that have calved total 39.8 million. There were 30.4 million beef cows in the U.S. as of July 1, two percent lower than 2021. The number of U.S. milk cows dropped to 94.5 million. The U.S. calf crop was estimated at 34.6 million head, one percent lower than in 2021. The number of U.S. Cattle on Feed is slightly higher than last year. The cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.3 million on July 1. That inventory level was slightly higher than July 1, 2021. The inventory included 6.9 million steers and steer calves, down one percent from last year.

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U.S. Gasoline Prices Continue to Fall

The average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. dropped 32 cents during the past two weeks to an average of $4.54 a gallon. Fuel industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says that the continued decline is coming at the same time crude oil costs continue to fall. Lundberg says, “Further drops at U.S. pumps are likely as the cuts in the wholesale gasoline price continues down to street level.” While the average price at the pump is down 55 cents during the past six weeks, it’s still $1.32 higher than the price a year ago at this time. The Associated Press says the highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas was in Los Angeles at $5.65 a gallon. The lowest average price at the pump was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at $3.90 a gallon. Diesel prices dropped 22 cents in two weeks to $5.55 a gallon.

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FFA Leaders Gathering at the New Century Farmer Conference

Forty-five FFA members from around the country are gathering in Iowa to talk about how agriculture will play a pivotal role in their future during the New Century Farmer conference. The conference is a chance for FFA members intending to remain in production agriculture to work on future plans for success. “This program is important because it helps us continue growing the next generation of leaders who will not only change the world but continue to provide food, fiber, and resources for future generations,” said Allie Ellis, associate director of the National FFA Alumni & Supporters. “We’re excited to offer this opportunity to learn and grow together while expanding their networking pool.” During the week, participants will visit with producers around the state, learn from industry leaders, see innovative agricultural technology, and network with others who also plan to stay in production agriculture. Students from 22 states will make the trip to Iowa.

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USDA Investing in On-Farm Conservation Trials

The USDA says it will invest $25 million this year in the Conservation Innovation Grants On-Farm Innovation Trials Program. Through CIG, partners work to address the nation’s water quality, water quantity, air quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations. The on-farm component of the program supports widespread adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with agricultural producers. This year’s funding priorities are climate-smart agricultural solutions, irrigation water management, nutrient management, and soil health. “Through science and innovation, we can develop solutions to tackle the climate crisis, conserve water, protect soil, and create opportunities for our producers,” says Terry Cosby, Natural Resources Conservation Chief. Applications for On-Farm Trials are being accepted through September 20, 2022. Private entities whose primary business is related to agriculture, nongovernmental organizations with experience working with agricultural producers, and non-federal government agencies are eligible to apply. More information is available at grants.gov.

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Dairy Checkoff Hires Sustainability Leader

Dairy Management, Inc. hired Lori Captain as the executive vice president of global sustainability strategy, science, and industry affairs. Captain comes to DMI after serving more than 20 years working at Corteva Agriscience and its predecessor DuPont, most recently as chief of staff, external affairs, and counsel to the CEO. She’s also worked at Syngenta and has significant experience in sustainability, corporate communications, media relations, policy, and engagement strategies. She’ll apply that experience with DMI to help advance U.S. dairy’s vision, guiding environmental science while building support for the 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals. “Lori Captain will be a global industry ambassador representing our sustainability strategy and progress,” says Barbara O’Brien, president and CEO of DMI. “The dairy industry has been a sustainability leader for decades,” says Captain. “I’m honored and excited to join DMI and help farmers improve their sustainability footprint in a way that’s economically viable and helps builds their business.”

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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.