National Ag News for October 12, 2022

Ag Groups Argue Against Prop 12 in Supreme Court

Agriculture groups argued against California’s Proposition 12 to the Supreme Court Tuesday. The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council challenged the ability of one state to set agricultural production standards for the entire country. California’s Proposition 12 law bans the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s arbitrary production standards, even if the hogs were raised outside of California. AFBF President Zippy Duvall says, “Proposition 12’s misguided approach will ultimately cost every family through higher food prices.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association also supports AFBF and NPPC. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane says, “While this case is not focused on cattle producers, the precedent set by the court will determine all producers’ ability to engage in interstate commerce.” Earlier this year, NCBA filed an amicus brief before the court arguing that California’s mandates on livestock production methods violated the dormant commerce clause of the Constitution.

Biden Administration Invests $80 Million to Improve Nutrition in School Meals

The Biden Administration Tuesday provided $50 million in grants for schools to invest in new food service equipment that will allow them to continue serving nutritious meals. The funding adds to the $30 million equipment grants the administration gave schools earlier this year. The announcement comes during National School Lunch Week, as designated by President Joe Biden. The added support for school meals and child nutrition builds on the momentum from last month’s White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, where the administration unveiled a national strategy to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease by 2030. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “Ensuring access to nutritious school meals is one of the best investments we can make in our fight to end child hunger and improve health.” USDA provides grant funds to states, which use a competitive application process to award them to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program.

Global Food Insecurity Increased Nearly 10 Percent in 2022

New research from USDA’s Economic Research Service announced Tuesday shows global food insecurity increased by nearly ten percent in fiscal year 2022. USDA’s International Food Security Assessment model estimates how food prices and incomes affect food demand and access in 77 low- and middle-income countries. Food security is then evaluated by estimating the population unable to access sufficient calories to sustain a healthy, active lifestyle. Of the people in countries included in the 2022 assessment, almost 119 million more people are estimated to be food insecure compared to 2021. The upward trend in international prices for wheat, coarse grains, and vegetable oils during the 2021/22 marketing year has been further exacerbated by Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, which reduced exports of the commodities from the Black Sea region. Domestic prices of major grains in 2022 are projected to rise in 70 of the 77 countries included in the assessment, with the North Africa region being the most affected.

RIPE Urges Equitable Payments Above Costs for Conservation in Farm Bill Platform

Rural Investment to Protect our Environment, or RIPE, announced its 2023 Farm Bill platform Tuesday. Shaped by farmers and ranchers across the country who lead RIPE, the platform urges organizations to include a resolution, based on RIPE100 principles, in their farm bill platform. The resolution states, “A portion of new funds appropriated by Congress for climate-smart agriculture should be invested in a new conservation program offering a simple enrollment process that enables producers — including early adopters — to earn equitable payments above implementation costs, economic losses during transition to new practices and future climate policy costs.” The recommendation comes as Congress considers how to best encourage climate-smart agriculture through the farm bill, including how to allocate $18 billion in new funds from the Inflation Reduction Act. RIPE is a producer-led organization advancing RIPE100 — a conservation program that would pay producers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship, offering equitable payments above costs associated with practice implementation.

University Of Illinois to Develop Corn for Diverse Organic Systems

Decades of corn breeding efforts emphasizing yield have contributed to modern hybrids with shallower and less complex root systems than their predecessors. Because the breeding and selection of most modern hybrids has taken place in environments with high nutrient concentrations, optimal weed control, and soil moisture conditions, hybrids perform best under high input systems. With help from a new four-year, $1.5 million grant from USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois plans to study overlooked attributes of corn roots. The new grant investigates maize roots for organic/regenerative systems and explores ways to manipulate the agroecosystem to optimize carbon storage, resource use efficiency, and productivity. The researchers will work with farmers to learn how they use information about crop and soil conditions to balance management goals. In addition to optimizing yield, the team will work to develop corn roots that respond to changing soil conditions that are driven by management, like rotation length and diversity.

USDA Invests $14M to Strengthen Hispanic-serving Higher Education Programs

In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced an investment of $14 million to Hispanic-serving higher education institutions. The funding supports Hispanic student learning experiences in the agricultural and human science sectors. The investment will help attract, retain and graduate outstanding students from underrepresented communities. USDA Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh says Hispanic-serving higher education institutions “are our trusted partners in preparing the next generation of agriculture leaders that more fully represent the many diverse populations and voices in America.” The funding is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Hispanic-serving Institutions Education Grants Program. The grant program aligns the education institutes’ efforts to support the academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups. As part of the program, USDA awarded funding to New Mexico State University – Las Cruces, Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff, and University of Puerto Rico – Carolina, among other Hispanic-serving higher education institutions.


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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