National Ag News for February 28, 2022

NACD Releases 2023 Farm Bill Recommendations

The National Association of Conservation Districts released policy recommendations for the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill. The NACD’s Farm Bill Task Force has convened more than a dozen times to come up with recommendations that were recently approved by the NACD Board of Directors. Their most important priority is for Congress to keep conservation investments provided by the Inflation Reduction Act in the farm bill conservation programs. This request is critical to addressing the high unmet demand for NRCS conservation programs, which only serve about one in every three eligible producers. To support locally-led conservation efforts, the recommendations also push back against one-size-fits-all policies, the addition of national carve-outs within programs, and limitations on conservation practices. “We will continue to work with a wide range of stakeholders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to develop an inclusive farm bill that provides strong support for conservation,” says NACD President Kim LaFleur.

FCC Commissioner Speaks Out on the Importance of AM Radio in EVs

Nathan Simington, a Commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission, spoke out on the continued importance of AM radio to public safety. He says the issue of continuing to include AM radios in electric vehicles deserves urgent attention. “As electric vehicle adoption increases, we must not leave behind those in rural areas who depend on radio for their news and alerts,” Simington says. He points out that growing up in rural Saskatchewan was like living in a connectivity desert. “Back then, like now, radio was essential for staying connected,” he says. “While some things have changed, not enough has changed to eliminate the need for radio, and the situation is similar in the United States.” He also believes the FCC has a duty to make clear how valuable AM radio is to its listeners. “Further, we should be good stewards of the AM radio band,” he says. “That includes safeguarding AM radio reception.”  

Veterinarians Help Reignite Push to Strengthen Dog Import Standards

The American Veterinary Association-supported Healthy Dog Importation Act would help to prevent the introduction and spread of diseases impacting both animal and human health. The legislation has been reintroduced in both chambers of Congress and would improve importation standards to make sure dogs are in good health when brought into the U.S. “Strengthening our animal health infrastructure by improving the country’s dog import standards is essential to maintaining public health,” says Dr. Lori Teller, AVMA President. “There are over a million dogs imported into the country each year, and we must make sure they’re healthy and not a risk for spreading dangerous diseases.” Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), one of the bill’s sponsors in the Senate, says, “Mitigating the spread of foreign diseases in dogs helps keep domestic and wild animals safe. It will also prevent illnesses and disease outbreaks in people.” Smith also says she’ll continue pushing this bipartisan bill forward.

USDA Report Says Farmers Adopting Precision Ag at Different Rates

Farmers are adopting precision technologies at different rates. A USDA report says the largest farms are adopting auto-steer guidance technology at significantly higher rates. After sorting farms into five equally-sized groups, the agency found that among farmers who were growing corn in 2016, 73 percent of farms in the largest category adopted guidance at the highest rates. The rates were similar for the largest farms growing other commodities in later years: 82 percent of the largest winter wheat farms in 2017, 68 percent of the largest soybean farms in 2018, and 67 percent of the largest cotton farms in 2019. Adoption rates were smaller among the smallest farms in the country: 10 percent of the smallest corn farms in 2016, 11 percent of the smallest soybean farms in 2018, and seven percent of the smallest winter wheat farms in 2017. However, fifty percent of the smallest cotton farms have adopted the technology.

USDA Looking to Expand Conservation Assistance

The USDA is seeking applications for projects that will improve its outreach to underserved producers and underserved communities. The agency is looking to expand opportunities to participate in conservation programs and services and opportunities for students to pursue careers in agriculture, natural resources, and related sciences. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering up to $70 million in cooperative agreements with entities for two-year projects that encourage participation in NRCS programs, especially in underserved communities and among urban and small-scale producers. “USDA is committed to removing barriers for underserved producers to all USDA services,” says NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. “The projects funded through this opportunity will better ensure these producers receive the benefits our conservation programs deliver.” The projects should promote the benefits of the NRCS programs through education or demonstrations, develop community conservation partnerships that engage underserved producers, and meet other requirements too. For more information, go to

Corn Export Sales Drop Week-to-Week

The USDA says corn export sales for the week ending on February 16 dropped while wheat and bean sales rose. Corn sales that week hit 823,200 metric tons, 20 percent lower than the previous week and 30 percent under the previous four-week average. Japan was the biggest buyer at 312,000 metric tons, followed by Mexico and Taiwan. The total would have been higher, but China and Italy both canceled shipments. Exports for the week rose three percent to 687,400 tons. Wheat sales came in at 338,800 metric tons, 62 percent higher than the previous week and 39 percent above the four-week average. Exports hit 338,000 metric tons, a 32 percent drop. Soybean sales rose 20 percent over the prior week at almost 545,000 metric tons, 18 percent below the four-week average. China was the top buyer at 176,200 metric tons. Exports for the week dropped six percent to 1.74 million metric tons.


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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