NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for December 22, 2022

Sustainable Ag Coalition Supports Omnibus, Looks Into Ag Provisions

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition says it supports the 2023 omnibus appropriations bill. It’s also looked into several agricultural provisions included in the bill. The coalition says the bill includes $242 billion for discretionary programs funded annually and mandatory programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. NSAC is pleased to see higher investments in a couple of key programs, including a $5 million increase for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, and a more than $40 million increase for Conservation Technical Assistance. The coalition is also pleased to see expanded support for the Farm to School Grant Program, which will see a $2 million boost in its allocation, now at $14 million. NSAC Interim Policy Director Mike Lavender says, “The bill includes several key funding increases, though by and large maintains level funding for many programs.” They’re hopeful the bill gets to the president’s desk for signature as soon as possible.

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U.S. Dairy Applauds USTR Actions Against Canada’s Dairy Practices

The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council applaud U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s actions under USMCA regarding Canada’s dairy market. Tai is filing a new request for dispute settlement consultations with Canada in order to expand the scope of the second USMCA dairy dispute to include additional elements necessary to ensure Canada complies with its trade agreement obligations. “We thank USTR and USDA for their diligence in working to ensure that American dairy producers have the market access promised under USMCA,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Canada continues to flagrantly flout its obligations, so the U.S. government needs to be ready with retaliatory measures.” Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC, says it’s deeply unfortunate that Canada refuses to honor the full terms of the agreement. “USMCA is a fair deal that was thoroughly negotiated and agreed to by the Canadian government,” she says.

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Wheat Industry Rail Shippers Welcome STB Rulings on Rate Disputes

The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has put more streamlined processes in place for rail rate disputes that may benefit agricultural shippers. The STB established a voluntary arbitration program and a new procedure for rate challenges, known as the Final Offer Rate Review. Wheat farmers and the grain trade rely heavily on rail to transport wheat to export terminals, but rates for hauling wheat are often higher than for other crops. The U.S. Wheat Associates’ Working Transportation Group is pleased that the STB recognizes rail shippers need new and innovative ways to engage railroads on rate concerns. “These rulings are a welcome sign that rail customers like wheat farmers are being heard,” says Charlie Vogel, working group chair. “The voluntary arbitration program and the FORR process will help give smaller shippers a greater ability to challenge rail rates.” STB Chair Martin Oberman says they wanted to make smaller rail disputes reasonable and less time-consuming.

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U.S. Egg Production Down Five Percent in November

American egg production totaled 8.87 billion in November, down five percent from the same time last year. Production included 7.62 billion table eggs and 1.25 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.16 billion were broiler-type and 92.1 million were egg-type. The average number of layers in November totaled 375 million, down four percent from last year. November egg production per 100 layers was 2,369 eggs, slightly lower than last November. Total layers in the U.S. on December 1 totaled 374 million, five percent lower than last year. The layers consisted of 308 million layers producing table or market-type eggs, 62 million layers were broiler-type hatching eggs, and 3.74 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Egg-type chicks hatched during November reached 46.5 million, up two percent from the previous November. Broiler-type chicks hatched during November totaled 810 million, one percent higher than in November 2021. Leading breeders placed 7.68 million broiler-type pullet chicks in November.

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National Ag Day Essay Contest Looking for Entries

Ahead of National Ag Day on March 21, 2023, the Agriculture Council of America is hosting an essay contest. The theme for the year is Growing a Climate for Tomorrow: How American Agriculture Does it Every Day. The essay contest is divided into two categories, either a written essay or a video essay. Both are national competitions and both winners get $1,000. The contest is open to students currently in grades 9 through 12. They must be a U.S. citizen and attend school in the U.S. The National Ag Day Program encourages every American to understand how food and fiber products are produced. It also teaches people to appreciate the role that agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable food products. The deadline for submitting entries in the essay contest is February 15, 2023. Go to agday.org for more information on contest rules, entry forms, or National Ag Day 2023.

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USDA Says Dairy Exports Hit Record Levels

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service released its biannual report on America’s dairy exports. The report found that U.S. dairy exports are setting records this year in terms of value. The report covers January through October and says this increase was driven by strong prices for dairy products. Overall values are up 25 percent. Whey exports led the way with a 37 percent increase since last year. USDA says the increase in export value didn’t necessarily coincide with an increase in export volume. In fact, nonfat dry milk export volume dropped eight percent while the value went up by 27 percent. Ice cream and dry whole milk and cream saw a decrease in export volume by one and two percent, respectively. On average, volumes rose by five percent. Butter and milk fat were the only categories where volume growth outpaced growth in value. Volume increased 43 percent while the value rose 30 percent.

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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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