National Ag News for January 9, 2023

Food Prices Drop in December but 2022 till Significantly Higher than 2021

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s Food Price Index dropped during December, but 2022 food prices were 18 percent higher than in 2021. The December index averaged 132.4 points, 2.6 points below November, the ninth-straight monthly decline. The December drop was driven by a steep decline in the international vegetable oil price and declining cereal and meat prices. However, that was counterbalanced by rising prices in sugar and dairy. For 2022, the index averaged 143.7 points, 18 points or 14.3 percent higher than the 2021 index. The Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 144 points in December, down more than 10 points from November and its lowest level since February 2021. The Cereal Price Index averaged 147.3 points during December, down 2.9 points from November but was almost seven points higher than December 2021. The December dairy index was up 1.5 points, and the sugar index was 2.8 points higher.

Vilsack in Puerto Rico and Will Address AFBF Convention

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Puerto Rico on January 9 and 10 and speak at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Convention. He’ll also engage in a series of events involving the USDA’s commitment to fostering economic development, supporting disaster recovery, increasing the island’s resilience against future storms, supporting disaster recovery, and creating new market opportunities for the country’s producers. At various events throughout the trip, Vilsack will be joined by Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce, as well as various elected officials. He’ll also hold discussions with local officials, producers, and stakeholders about USDA efforts to support the country’s rural communities, climate-smart agriculture, disaster assistance, and other issues important to Puerto Rico’s population. He’ll also meet with Puerto Rico’s Governor to talk about USDA and the Puerto Rican government’s efforts to collaborate on supporting the island’s producers and rural communities.

Report Shows Global Biofuel Demand to Increase Over 20 Percent by 2027

The International Energy Agency released its Renewables 2022 Analysis Report in December, and it shows a growing global demand for biofuels. Renewables 2022 includes extensive analysis of the renewable energy sector, including developments and trends for transportation. “In this most recent IEA report, total global biofuel demand is estimated to increase more than 20 percent between 2020 and 2027,” says Isabelle Ausdal, manager of global ethanol policy and economics with the U.S. Grains Council. “World ethanol consumption is projected to rise in an accelerated case scenario.” She also says this reinforces the U.S. industry’s recognition of ethanol’s importance as a tool for countries to accelerate their greenhouse gas emissions reductions and underscores the importance of scaling up technologies like carbon capture, utilization, and storage to reach net zero carbon intensity. The report details increasingly ambitious energy targets in the European Union, growth in ethanol consumption in Brazil, and biofuel blending in India.

World’s First Honeybee Vaccine Gets Approved

Pollinators are a big part of success in world agriculture. The USDA granted a conditional license for a vaccine to protect the country’s honeybees from foulbrood disease. Earth Dot Com says the bacterial infection weakens and kills honeybee colonies and has no treatment. The vaccine was developed by Dalan Animal Health and brings hope for a weapon against a disease that regularly ravages colonies that are highly important to food pollination. In parts of the U.S., the foulbrood disease has been found in over a quarter of honeybee hives. Beekeepers typically destroy and burn infected colonies and administer antibiotics to stop the further spread of the disease. The vaccine works by incorporating some of the bacteria into the royal jelly fed to the queen by worker bees. After ingesting the jelly, the queen will gain some of the vaccine in her ovaries and developing bee larvae will have immunity to foulbrood.

USDA Reports Shows Increasing Use of Cover Crops

Cover crops are an increasingly popular management practice among many U.S. farmers. The goal is to provide seasonal living cover between their primary commodity cash crops. Farmers plant those cover crops in the fall to provide winter cover for soil that otherwise would be bare. The USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey says over the past ten years, fall cover crop adoption has continued to grow. On fields growing corn for grain, 0.6 percent of the acreage used a fall cover crop before the 2010 crop. By 2016, 5.5 percent of the corn-for-grain acreage had a preceding fall cover, and by 2021, 7.9 percent of corn-for-grain acreage followed a fall cover crop. This represents a 44 percent increase in fall cover crop adoption on corn-for-grain fields between 2016 and 2021. The growth in the adoption of cover crops on cotton fields is similar, with a 46 percent increase between 2015 and 2019.

*********************************************************************************** Ethanol Production Hits Lowest Level Since 2020

The Energy Information Administration says ethanol output dropped to the lowest level in more than two years, while inventories were down slightly during the last week of 2022. Production dropped to an average of 844,000 barrels per day. That’s down from 963,000 barrels a day, on average, during the previous week and the lowest level since the week ending on June 12, 2022. Losses were broad-based across all regions but one in the U.S. The Midwest, which produces the most ethanol in the country, saw its output plunge to an average of 794,000 barrels a day from 906,000 a week earlier. That’s the lowest since the seven days ending on May 29, 2020. Production on the East and West Coasts each dropped an average of 3,000 barrels a day from the prior week. The only increase in ethanol production came in the Gulf Coast region. Inventories were down slightly at 24.44 million barrels.


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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