NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for December 13, 2022

FACA Congratulates Additional Recipients of Climate-Smart Pilot Project Funding

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance Monday congratulated the second group of organizations selected to receive funding through USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the additional funding of $325 million for 71 projects under the second funding pool of the effort. USDA received more than 1,000 proposals between two funding pools requesting more than $20 billion in funds. The announcement brings the total investment from both funding pools to more than $3.1 billion for 141 tentatively selected projects. The projects will provide meaningful opportunities for small and underserved producers to participate in innovative climate programs, according to FACA. One of FACA’s key tenets is ensuring federal climate programs offer equitable opportunities for all farmers, ranchers and forest owners. FACA supports a voluntary, incentive-based approach to advance the deployment of climate-smart practices on working lands. FACA consists of organizations representing farmers, agribusinesses, manufacturers, the food and innovation sector, state governments, sportsmen, and environmental advocates.

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USDA Accepting Applications for Panama Agribusiness Trade Mission

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service is accepting applications from U.S. exporters for a regional trade mission to Panama from March 19-23, 2023. FAS Administrator Daniel Whitley says, “This is a perfect time to increase U.S. agricultural and food exports to Central America.” USDA staff and regional experts will provide in-depth market briefings while in the country. The agency will also arrange targeted business meetings with potential customers from Panama, a bilateral Free Trade Agreement partner, and buyers from countries in the multilateral Central America and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. The region offers strong capabilities in logistics, distribution, processing, cold chain, and more. Strong opportunities exist for exporters across many industries, including poultry, pork, dairy, beer and wine, snack foods and health foods. This will be the first USDA Agribusiness Trade Mission in 2023. The deadline to apply for the CAFTA-DR trade mission is Friday, December 30. Complete information is available at fas.usda.gov/.

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FTC: Tractor Supply Company Must Sell Some Orscheln Stores

The Federal Trade Commission recently finalized a consent order settling Tractor Supply Company’s acquisition of rival chain Orscheln (ORR-shlin) Farm and Home LLC. Following a public comment period, the FTC determined the acquisition would have harmed competition among farm stores in the Midwest and South. The consent order imposes a number of requirements, including that Tractor Supply divest some Orscheln stores, as well as Orscheln’s corporate offices and Missouri distribution center, to Bomgaars )BOM-gars), an Iowa-based farm store chain, and other stores to Buchheit (buck-eyet), another chain with farm stores in Missouri and Illinois. Tractor Supply Company announced it closed the Orscheln Farm and Home acquisition in October in a deal valued at $320 million. The consent agreement also requires that for a period of three years, the companies buying the divested farm stores must obtain prior approval from the FTC before selling any of the Orscheln stores they acquired.

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Alltech ONE Conference Embarks on a World Tour in 2023 

Alltech is transforming its annual Alltech ONE Conference in 2023 into a series of international events. The events will invite collaboration on the greatest challenges facing the agri-food industry. Instead of welcoming the world to Alltech’s home in Lexington, Kentucky, as it has for the past 38 years, the Alltech ONE World Tour will bring the ideas and inspiration of the ONE Conference to communities throughout the world. Stops are planned in Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, the Middle East, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the United States and Vietnam. Additional stops are expected to be announced in 2023. Alltech President and CEO Dr. Mark Lyons says, “As our customers and partners continue to face many challenges and uncertainties, we determined that 2023 would be dedicated to meeting them in their market.” Alltech will welcome the international conference back to Kentucky in 2024, and the company will release more details about the 2023 tour in the coming weeks.

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Portland to Replace Petroleum Diesel Sales with Biodiesel

Portland, Oregon’s city council recently voted to phase out petroleum diesel sales and replace the product with biofuels. The policy focuses on diesel fuel, phasing in requirements for cleaner, renewable fuels, with the goal of achieving 99 percent renewable blend of all diesel fuel sales in Portland by 2030. The rulemaking process and the interim rule allows flexibility to adjust the policy based on real market conditions. While renewable fuel producers are confident that supply will be available in Oregon by 2026, the rollout timeline was extended to 2030 in response to concerns from local industry about supply and cost. City leaders say the efforts reduce dependence on nonrenewable fossil fuels by increasing the required percentage of renewable fuels blended with petroleum diesel. The standard only applies to retailers of diesel fuel located within the city of Portland. Replacing petroleum diesel at the pump is one of the 43 priority actions listed in the Portland Climate Emergency Workplan.

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Weekly Fuel Prices: Diesel Declines Outpace Gas

The nation’s average gas price declined for the fifth consecutive week, down 14.4 cents from a week ago to $3.21 per gallon. The national average is down 56.5 cents from a month ago and 11.0 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fell 14.9 cents in the last week and stands at $4.91 per gallon. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “We remain on schedule to see the national average gas price fall below $3 by Christmas, with diesel set to fall 50 cents to $1 per gallon over the next six weeks or so.” The keystone XL Pipeline shutdown, De Haan adds, is not expected to impact fuel prices, for now. Under the weight of economic concerns, a possible surge in COVID cases as China works towards re-opening, and a changed psyche that OPEC+ is over-producing, oil prices fell last week to their lowest in nearly a year.

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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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