NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for November 17, 2022

Farm Bureau Survey Shows Thanksgiving Dinner Cost up 20 Percent

Thanksgiving is an important holiday for spending time with family and friends. Farm Bureau’s 37th annual Thanksgiving Dinner survey provides a look at the cost of this year’s classic feast for 10. This year’s price tag is $64.05, up more than ten dollars from last year’s average of $53.31. It still works out to under $6.50 per person. The centerpiece is the turkey, which costs more than last year at $28.96 for a 16-pound bird. It’s 21 percent higher than last year. Other ingredients in the meal include stuffing mix, dinner rolls, milk, sweet potatoes, a veggie tray, pie crusts, and several others. The only traditional ingredient that’s cheaper than last year is a bag of fresh cranberries at $2.57, 14 percent cheaper than last year. American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Roger Cryan said factors driving the prices higher include general inflation, supply chain challenges, and the war in Ukraine.

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USDA Announces Additional Emergency Relief for Producers

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says his agency is planning for additional emergency relief and pandemic assistance. USDA will soon roll out phase two of the Emergency Relief Program as well as the new Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program. Those programs will help offset crop and revenue losses for producers. USDA is announcing the forthcoming assistance early enough to give producers time to gather documents and train the agency’s staff. “We have diligently worked to help agricultural producers bounce back from devastating natural disasters and COVID-19 through a number of programs,” Vilsack says. “These new programs are focused on filling gaps in assistance where some producers have fallen through the cracks.” ERP phase two will assist eligible producers who suffered  crop losses due to wildfires, hurricanes, flood, derechos, and others. PARP will help eligible commodity producer who lost revenue in 2020 compared to previous years due to COVID-19. For more info, go to usda.gov.

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Food Prices Likely to Drop Next Year

Cargill’s CEO says he expects food prices to decline in 2023. Yahoo says that’s despite tight global crop stockpiles, especially in oilseeds. David MacLennan, Cargill CEO, says the solution to the food versus fuel debate is to boost global crop commodity production. “We don’t think it’s going to be an either-or dynamic,” he says. “It can be food and fuel.” MacLennan also says regenerative agricultural practices, greater yields, and more use of technology can increase output so it can meet the demand from both food and fuel sectors. World food prices hit a record in March after Russia invaded Ukraine and prevented exports from one of the world’s top grain producers. Prices did drop after the United Nations helped reach a grain deal that allowed ships filled with Ukrainian grain to pass unimpeded through the Black Sea. “Food shouldn’t be a weapon,” MacLellan adds. “The world depends on an interconnected food system.”

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NMPF Wants Expedited Approval of Climate-Friendly Additives

The National Milk Producers Federation wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to speed up the approval of climate-smart feed additives. The group wants the FDA to modernize its regulations allowing for faster approval of animal feed additives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The milk producers submitted comments to the agency highlighting the need for urgent action to enhance dairy’s role as a climate solution. “Innovative and voluntary solutions are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including methane,” says Dr. Jamie Jonker, NMPF Chief Science Officer. “Feed composition changes can directly or indirectly reduce enteric emissions resulting from livestock.” While animal feed additives help on the path to net-zero emissions, the pace of their approval lags behind competitors like the European Union due to current FDA processes. “One of the greatest opportunities that exists for dairy farmers is their ability to provide real solutions to many challenges like GHG emissions,” Jonker says.

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Grab That Turkey for Thanksgiving

As Americans prepare for Thanksgiving, it’s probably not surprising that the number of available turkeys is lower than last year. Only 49.6 million pounds of turkeys remained in cold storage as of Monday, which a USDA report says is down 18 percent week-to-week. At the end of August, when supplies are usually at their peak, they totaled more than 114 million pounds. An updated USDA report says while turkey production was expected to drop by seven percent, the amount of meat in storage rose one percent from the same point last year. The last month new chicks can mature enough for Thanksgiving is August, and placements rose two percent higher than the five-year-average as producers attempted to make up for lost output because of avian influenza earlier this year. Since the end of August, inventories have steadily declined. Stocks in September dropped to just over 105 million pounds, nine percent above 2021.

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Helping Veterans Find New Careers

John Deere announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Reserve to help service members and their families access career opportunities while transferring to civilian life. The agreement allows Deere to provide active-duty soldiers transitioning to the Army Reserves with meaningful education and skills that will make them top candidates for future employment. Deere says it’s honored to give back to the nation’s veterans by helping them take the skills they learned and develop them in a new career path. The agreement builds upon the Defense Department’s Skill Bridge Program, which places active-duty military members in civilian jobs for the final six months of service. Reserve members typically face unemployment rates two or three times the national average. The internship allows vets to get on the ground training and industry education that can help make them better candidates for open jobs. Active-duty, National Guard, or Reserve vets and spouses can go to deere.com.

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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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