National Ag News for September 1, 2022

Vilsack Announces $21.9 Million to Strengthen Meat and Poultry Supply Chains

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Wednesday announced an additional $21.9 million for grant projects through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program. The funding awards 111 projects, bringing the program’s total funding to $54.6 million. The funding will help strengthen and develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors throughout the United States. Facility improvements and expansions funded through the program will help processors obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. Achieving a Federal Grant of Inspection or operating under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment program allows meat and poultry processors to ship products across state lines, develop new markets, increase capacity, and better meet consumer and producer demand along the supply chain. USDA also encourages grant recipients to request assistance through the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program. The technical assistance program, launched in March of this year, connects participants to a nationwide network of resources and expertise.

USDA Updates Crop Insurance Plans to Broaden Access 

The Department of Agriculture is improving two of its most comprehensive risk management safety net programs. USDA announced the improvements Wednesday for the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, and Micro Farm, making them more accessible to farmers. The improvements include doubling the maximum insurable revenue under Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, now $17 million, more than tripling the size of farm operations eligible for Micro Farm, now $350,000 and reducing paperwork requirements. The improvements are in direct response to feedback from stakeholders as USDA’s Risk Management Agency recognizes the role these insurance options play for many producers, including specialty crop, organic and direct market producers. The Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program protects all eligible commodities on a farm under one insurance policy. The Micro Farm program provides a risk management safety net for all eligible commodities on a farm under one insurance policy, but on a smaller scale. The updates to both programs take effect in crop year 2023. 

States and Territories to Issue $12.5 Billion in USDA’s Summer Child Food Benefits

The Department of Agriculture partnered with 32 states and territories to provide summer food buying benefits to families with children. The states and territories will provide an estimated $12.5 billion in temporary nutrition benefits to approximately 32 million children. USDA Food and Nutrition Service administrator Cindy Long says, “Our hope is that all states will adopt the program, ensuring that all children have access to the healthy food they need and deserve.” Children are eligible for this temporary nutrition benefit, known as Summer P-EBT, if they are eligible for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, or if they are under age six and live in a household receiving SNAP benefits. The benefits are loaded onto a debit-type card that can be used to purchase food. Families of eligible children typically receive $391 per child for the summer, with higher rates for families in Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories.

Economic Research Service: Textile Manufacturing Shifts Out of China

China’s position as the top global cotton importer is weakening as cotton shipments flow into flourishing textile industries in competing countries. USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that soon after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the nation’s textile manufacturers became the world’s leading importers of cotton. Following years of rising production costs, volatility from government intervention in the market, and government caps on the volume of imports, China’s cotton imports dropped from their peak of 24.5 million bales in 2011 to 4.4 million bales in 2015, before rebounding to 9.5 million bales in 2021. Meanwhile, competing countries, including Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey, expanded their textile industries and boosted cotton imports over the same period. These countries’ combined imports now exceed China’s volume of cotton imports. This increasing geographic diversification of global cotton demand has helped U.S. cotton exports to remain relatively robust despite volatility in China’s imports over the past decade.

USDA Announces No Actions Under Feedstock Flexibility Program

The Commodity Credit Corporation does not expect to purchase and sell sugar under the Feedstock Flexibility Program for crop year 2021, which runs from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022. The CCC is required by law to quarterly announce estimates of sugar to be purchased and sold under the Feedstock Flexibility Program based on crop and consumption forecasts. Federal law allows sugar processors to obtain loans from the Department of Agriculture with maturities of up to nine months when the sugarcane or sugar beet harvests begin. On loan maturity, the sugar processor may repay the loan in full or forfeit the sugar to USDA to satisfy the loan. Under the Feedstock Flexibility Program, if USDA is faced with the likelihood of loan forfeitures, it is required to purchase surplus sugar and sell it to bioenergy producers to reduce the surplus in the food use market and support sugar prices.

Peoples Company Launches Energy Management Division

Peoples Company Wednesday announced the launch of its energy management division to help clients maximize and diversify revenue streams. The Peoples Company energy management division manages oil, natural gas, and renewable energy assets for its clients. The division offers Geographic Information System mapping, real-time client data portals, modernized revenue processing, and customized reporting. Experienced energy management professionals also help clients navigate complex issues like division orders, authorizations for expenditure, and joint interest billings to ensure their interests are protected. Peoples Company President Steve Bruere says, “Energy management is a highly specialized offering because each asset is unique and requires individualized service.” As Peoples Company continues its expansion across the country, Bruere noted that this new service offers clients a single firm to manage assets ranging from farmland to energy rights. Peoples Company’s energy management division will be based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company is self-descried as a full-service land transaction and management business licensed in all major agricultural regions.


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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