NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for August 01, 2022

Ag Chair Introduces Livestock Legislation

House Ag Committee Chair David Scott introduced the Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act to help small farmers and ranchers in the cattle industry. “As I’ve said before, it’s a crisis in this nation that we’ve lost an average of 17,000 cattle ranchers per year,” Scott says. “The drivers of the loss are complex, and I applaud the efforts my colleagues have taken to try and improve the cattle industry.” He also says other efforts don’t have enough emphasis on direct help for America’s small farmers and ranchers. A key backbone of the bill helps smaller operators with financial assistance by strengthening the safety net. It includes offering an increased premium subsidy for small ranchers insuring a cattle herd of 100 head or less. It offers incentives for insurance agents to better market Livestock Risk Protection policies to smaller producers. The bill also creates opportunities to increase competition and new marketing opportunities.

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Inflation Reduction Act Should Help Rural America

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the administration’s Inflation Reduction Act will have a meaningful impact on America’s rural and agriculture communities. “Agriculture is at the forefront of our fight against climate change,” he says. “From climate-smart agriculture to supporting healthy forests and conservation, to tax credits, to biofuels, infrastructure and beyond, this agreement gives USDA significant additional resources.” House Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says the act contains almost $40 billion to tackle the climate crisis, lower costs, and create good-paying jobs by investing in agriculture, forestry, and rural communities. Over $20 billion is set aside for the tools farmers and ranchers need to help address the climate. Those funds will help incentivize sustainable practices like optimizing fertilizer use and expanding cover crops. $14 billion will help lower costs for families and support good-paying clean energy jobs in rural communities. “It’s critical that Congress act quickly on this legislation,” Vilsack says.

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New Lamb Market Monthly Report Will Help Producers

The American Lamb Board announced the introduction of a new monthly lamb market summary to provide the industry with increased data and analysis. The board engaged the American Sheep Industry Association to prepare the monthly Lamb Market Summary. The report will include sheep and lamb slaughter, lamb imports, sheep and lamb prices, and a market forecast. An economic overview of the consumer market will also be included, which influences the food choices in the U.S. The July summary points out that “consumer prices continued to rise in June, with the Consumer Price Index posting a higher than expected 9.1 percent year-over-year increase. High fuel prices will likely push food costs higher. Consumers appear to be managing food price inflation for now, but expectations continue for more inflation, and an impending economic slowdown will challenge consumer demand. The Lamb Market Weekly Summary, USDA Market Reports, and year-in-review reports can be found at lambresourcecenter.com.

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Wheat Quality Tour Estimates 49.1 Bushel Yield

The Wheat Quality Council’s Tour through fields in North Dakota and Minnesota came up with a yield estimate of 49.1 bushels per acre. The durum estimate after the tour was 39 bushels an acre. Those figures were the highest levels since 2008. The yield estimate for spring wheat is higher than the USDA forecast of 47 bushels an acre that came out on July 12. For durum wheat, the tour result is a bit smaller than the USDA estimate of 40.3 bushels. Almost 50 people took part in the wheat tour, with many coming from the wheat, milling, and baking industries and USDA officials. Last Thursday, scouts stopped at several fields along the North Dakota-Minnesota border and sampled on both sides. The spring wheat weighted average that day, including the Minnesota fields, was 53.1 bushels. Participants assessed a total of 267 spring wheat and 35 durum fields, mostly in North Dakota.

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Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Water Resources Development Act

Last Thursday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Water Resources Development Act by a vote of 93-1. The legislation contains a provision pushed for by the American Soybean Association. That provision would permanently adjust the cost-share ratio for Inland Waterways Trust Fund projects from the current 65 percent general revenues-35 percent IWTF funds to 75 percent general revenue-25 percent IWTF. Cost share allocation changes for inland waterways projects often reduce overall project costs and allow projects to be completed faster. That allows communities and industries to realize the economic benefits of a project more quickly. In June, the House passed its version of WRDA by a vote of 384-37. That bill didn’t include the same adjustment to cost-share allocations for IWTF projects. The two chambers will now begin conference negotiations to reconcile the difference between the two bills. The ASA says it will continue to advocate for the Senate version containing the adjustment.

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Keeping Farm Dog Safe From Heat Stress

Dogs aren’t proficient at sweating like humans are, and that makes them much more prone to overheating. Tony Hawkins, Valley Vet Supply Technical Services Veterinarian, says overweight, older, or out-of-shape dogs, or dogs with underlying health conditions, may be at greater risk than healthier dogs. Dogs suffering from heat stress may demonstrate excessive panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea. At that point, it’s critical that the animal gets veterinary care. Tips to keep dogs safe include never leaving dogs in parked cars that are turned off. In just 25 minutes, a car on a 73-degree day can reach 100 degrees inside. Also, plan those farm activities dogs can tag along for, such as checking fences, during the cooler times of the day. Hawkins says dogs aren’t good at stopping themselves when they get hot and just run themselves until they get overheated. Also, clip those dogs with long hair coats.

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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.