NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for August 30, 2022

White House Announces Hunger Conference for September

The White House Monday announced the date for its Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The Conference is set for September 28, 2022, in Washington, DC. As the President announced in May, this will be the first Conference of this kind in more than 50 years. Millions of Americans are afflicted with food insecurity and diet-related diseases—including heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes—which are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. Lack of access to healthy and affordable foods is one of many factors impacting hunger and diet-related diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges further. The Conference will bring government leaders, academics and activists together to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases in the U.S. by 2030. The White House will also announce a national strategy at the Conference that identifies actions the government will take to drive transformative change and address the intersections between food, hunger, nutrition, and health.

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USDA Announces Details for Upcoming Census of Agriculture 

America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to be represented in the nation’s only comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state, county and territory. The Department of Agriculture will mail the 2022 Census of Agriculture to millions of agriculture producers across the 50 states and Puerto Rico this fall. The 2022 Census of Agriculture will be mailed in phases, starting with an invitation to respond online in November, followed by paper questionnaires in December. Farm operations of all sizes, urban and rural, which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022 are included in the ag census. Collected in service to American agriculture since 1840 and now conducted every five years by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Census of Agriculture tells the story and shows the value of U.S. agriculture. Changes to the 2022 questionnaire include new questions about the use of precision agriculture, hemp production, hair sheep, and updates to internet access questions.

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Interest Expense Ratio for Agriculture Stays Even with 20-year Average

USDA’s Economic Research Service reports the interest expense ratio of farms was 0.04 in 2020, remaining in line with the long-term trend and initial forecasts, despite the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced demand for agricultural commodities. The interest expense ratio is calculated by dividing interest expenses by the sum of the value of production and Government payments for a given year. Interest expenses are the costs incurred by farm operations when debt is used to finance farm activities. A USDA forecast in February 2020 predicted interest expenses for 2020 at $18.0 billion, with a predicted interest expense ratio of 0.04. By February 2022, interest expenses for 2020 were estimated to be slightly higher than predicted at $19.4 billion. The February 2022 estimates also showed that while the value of production was lower than initially forecast, government payments were higher. The interest expense ratio was highest at 0.06 in 2000 and trended downward to a low of 0.03 multiple times from 2000 to 2020.

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Corteva Announces 2022 Climate Positive Leaders Program

Corteva Agriscience Monday announced that applications are available for its 2022 Climate Positive Leaders Program. The program recognizes farmers and ranchers who implement, scale and share climate-positive practices. The program will give the selected global and regional leaders tools and opportunities to broadly share their experiences and help accelerate the adoption of climate positive practices. Farmers and ranchers in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States are eligible to participate. Farmers can be nominated by local or regional grower groups, nonprofit organizations, universities, field or sales representatives, or other technology partners. The Global Leader recipients will receive a lifetime membership to Global Farmer Network, training and in-person participation in a Global Farmer Roundtable. Corteva will accept nominations for the program through November 30, 2022. You can find more information at Corteva.com.

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EPA Issues Fuel Waiver for Four States Impacted by Bp Refinery Shutdown

The Environmental Protection Agency over the weekend issued an emergency fuel waiver to help alleviate fuel shortages in four states impacted by a refinery shutdown. A BP oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana, shut down because of a fire at the facility. EPA waived the federal regulations and federally enforceable State Implementation Plan requirements for fuel volatility on gasoline sold in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The waiver will continue through September 15, 2022. The Clean Air Act allows EPA Administrator Michael Regan, in consultation with the Department of Energy, to waive certain fuel requirements to address shortages. Administrator Regan determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist and has granted a temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate gasoline supply is available in the affected areas. EPA and DOE are continuing to actively monitor the fuel supply situation resulting from the Bp refinery shutdown and considering additional measures to alleviate the impact.

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Fuel Prices Decline Again, Gas Down $1.20 From Peak

U.S. fuel prices continued their decline for the 11th straight week, with gasoline down five cents a gallon to a national average of $3.81. GasBuddy reports the national average is down 39.8 cents from a month ago but 69.1 cents higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has increased 7.3 cents in the last week and stands at $5.04 per gallon. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “Gas prices are now $1.20 per gallon lower than mid-June with Americans spending $450 million less on gasoline every day as a result.” However, some issues could change the course of fuel prices moving forward, including the shutdown of BP’s refinery in the Midwest. De Haan says, “While that refinery may get back online sooner rather than later, it’s not impossible that down the road the situation could impact prices in the region.” The rest of the country, however, will see prices moderate.

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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.

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