NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for January 23, 2023

Farm Group Wants Investigation Into Egg Prices

A U.S. farm group is asking the Federal Trade Commission to look into the high prices of eggs and possible price gouging. Farm Action is a farmer-led advocacy organization that sent a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan to share their concerns over “apparent price gouging.” They point out that Americans are paying more than ever for an important household staple. The USDA says a recent record outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza is the reason for the high prices. The group says the nation’s top antitrust regulator must look into the record-high profits of the nation’s top egg company. Cal-Maine Foods controls 20 percent of the retail egg market and reported a quarterly sales increase of 110 percent. Gross profits are 600 percent higher than the same time last year. The company says avian flu is driving up prices. However, Cal-Maine had no positive flu tests on any of its farms.

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CoBank: Dairy Industry Eager for FMMO Reform

America’s dairy producers and processors are closely watching discussions about the next farm bill and looking for reforms to Federal Milk Marketing Orders. CoBank says the industry feels that current FMMOs don’t reflect today’s market environment, and the consequences could be drastic. Make allowances are an important part of the orders that haven’t been updated since 2008 and were based on data from as far back as 2006. Make allowances estimate dairy processors’ costs of converting milk into dairy products. Many of those production costs, including labor and energy, have risen dramatically since make allowances were updated 15 years ago. While the current make allowances have stayed the same since 2008, prices for industrial power rose 64 percent, and labor costs in dairy manufacturing climbed 48 percent. While industrial natural gas prices have fallen 11 percent, they’ve been highly volatile during that time. Failing to update them could hinder future dairy industry growth.

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Fertilizer Institute Names 2023 4R Advocates

The Fertilizer Institute selected three farmers and their fertilizer retailers as 4R advocates. They’re being recognized for their commitment to implementing fertilizer management practices that incorporate the principles of 4R Nutrient Stewardship and have demonstrated economic and environmental benefits. Now in its 12th year, the 4R Advocate Program demonstrates the in-field successes of implementing 4R practices based on the right source, rate, time, and placement of fertilizer. “While 4R Nutrient Stewardship is a priority for the fertilizer industry, it’s also a tangible solution for thousands of farmers across America who are seeking fertilizer application practices that have a real-world impact on their bottom lines and their land,” says TFI president and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. The 2023 class of advocates represent 13,770 acres across three states and grow corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and other crops. In 2021, the fertilizer industry committed to putting 70 million acres of cropland under 4R management by 2030.  

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Clean Fuels Conference Begins Monday

Clean Fuels Alliance America will kick off the Clean Fuels Conference on Monday, January 23 (today) at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. The event runs through Thursday and will likely draw more than 725 registered participants, including agricultural interests, clean fuel producers, marketers, end users, and more. It’s the 20th annual industry conference formerly known as the National Biodiesel Conference and Expo. This is the first-ever Clean Fuels Conference. “Companies know consumers want to feel better about their purchases,” says Clean Fuels CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Low-carbon transportation fuels in planes, trains, ships, and trucks will have to be the focus of their efforts.” The theme of this year’s conference is “United As One.” It’s designed to highlight the industry’s commitment to bringing together stakeholders to build a sustainable transportation future. The clean fuels industry set a goal of producing six billion gallons a year of sustainable fuels by 2030.

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Lamb Board Releases New Strategic Plan

The American Lamb Board released its fiscal year 2022 Annual Report to inform Mandatory Lamb Checkoff stakeholders of its work to mitigate outside forces and challenges and take advantage of opportunities ahead. “Even though many challenges were out of our control, it’s critical that we keep driving forward as hard as we can to promote American lamb and the U.S. sheep industry,” says ALB chair Peter Camino. ALB has also identified three primary goals as it turns to FY 2023. The first is to continue to grow consumer demand for American lamb. The second is to prioritize research and education efforts to improve product quality and consistency, increase productivity, and grow the year-round supply of lamb. The board also wants to expand the awareness, understanding, engagement, and involvement of stakeholders in the American Lamb Checkoff. “As the American lamb industry looks to the future, there are several areas of opportunity,” Camino says.

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2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Announced

The USDA and the Department of Health and Humans Services announced the appointment of 20 nationally recognized scientists to serve on the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The Committee will review the current body of science on key nutrition topics and develop a scientific report that includes its independent assessment of the evidence and recommendations for USDA and HHS as they develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The dietary guidelines serve as the foundation for national nutrition programs, standards, and education. In addition, they provide health professionals with guidance and resources to assist the public in choosing an overall healthy diet that works for them. “Diet-related diseases are on the rise across all age groups, and we must rise to the challenge by providing nutrition guidance that people from all walks of life can tailor to meet their needs,” says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This will help Americans achieve better nutritional habits.  

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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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