National Ag News for March 6, 2023

Food Prices Drop for 11th Straight Month

Global food costs moved lower again for the 11th consecutive month. The Financial Post says while consumers are still spending more for food, prices are at their lowest level in the last 17 months. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s Food Price Index dropped 0.6 percent in February, the longest string of lower food prices in 30 years. The index averaged 129.8 points last month, dropping from 130.6 in January. Last month’s drop was driven primarily by cooking oils and dairy. The overall index is down 19 percent from a record set last year when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted grain exports around the world. The FAO says sugar prices rose last month, while meat and grains were almost identical to the previous month. The Vegetable Oil Price Index dropped almost five points to 135.9 in February, while the dairy index was down 3.6 points, or 2.7 percent, to 131.3.

Dairy Coalition Applauds Court Decision on “Gruyere”

The National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and other industry stakeholders prevailed in their battle to protect generic names in the U.S. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld prior court decisions finding the term “gruyere” (groo-YAYR) is a generic term for a type of cheese. The decision should end attempts by Swiss and French groups to take away a common food name through a U.S. certification mark registration. The court said when people enter stores and ask for gruyere, they mean a type of cheese, not a cheese produced in the Gruyere regions of Switzerland and France. The Fourth Circuit found the evidence of that to be so one-sided that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and opposers must prevail as a matter of law. The decision reinforces that generic terms like “gruyere” refer to types of food, regardless of where it’s produced.

Ag Safety Awareness Week: “Lead the Way in Agriculture”

The Agricultural Safety Awareness Week Program is this week, March 6-10. U.S. Agricultural Safety and Health Centers will join Farm Bureaus across the country to promote ag safety this week with the theme of “Lead the Way in Agriculture.” Each day has a different focus, beginning on Monday with Mental Health. Preventative Health Care, Safety Culture, Situational Awareness, and Temperature-Related Safety will be the focus Tuesday-Friday, respectively. “Keeping everyone safe on America’s farms and ranches is so important,” says American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “We encourage farmers and ranchers to take the time to make safety a priority during this week and throughout the year.” The Agricultural Safety and Awareness Program is part of the Farm Bureau Health and Safety Network of professionals who share an interest in decreasing safety and health risks. Visit the Center’s YouTube channel for new content and fresh ideas about how to stay safe year-round.

Vilsack to Keynote Commodity Classic

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack will be the keynote speaker during the General Session at the 2023 Commodity Classic this Tuesday through Saturday in Orlando, Florida. The General Session is this Friday, March 10. The General Session will also include the leaders of the five associations that present the Commodity Classic, including the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Education is a big focus at Commodity Classic. The event offers Learning Centers, What’s New, and other educational sessions, along with additional opportunities for education and events at the Commodity Classic Main Stage. The Classic also features a large three-day trade show, entertainment, and the opportunity to network with thousands of America’s farmers and agriculture industry professionals. Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is the largest farmer-owned, farmer-run trade show event. For more information or to register, go to

2022 was the Third-Costliest Disaster Year in History

2022 will go into the books as the third-costliest year for weather disasters in U.S. history. The estimated total economic losses reached $165 billion. New analysis by American Farm Bureau economists shows extreme weather caused more than $21 billion in crop losses. The impact on American farms and ranches demonstrates the importance of farm bill programs to help rural communities recover from weather-related disasters. The AFBF Market Intel Report says more than $11 billion in losses were covered by existing Risk Management Agency programs as of February 2022. Over $10 billion in losses were not insured through RMA, existed outside of policy coverage levels, or didn’t qualify under an existing risk management program. “It’s not hard to see why programs like crop insurance and disaster coverage are vital to the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers and the  overall stability of our country, as a whole,” says AFB President Zippy Duvall.  

Soybean Export Sales Hit Marketing-Year Low

The USDA says export sales of corn and wheat both dropped while soybean sales declined to a marketing-year low during the week ending on February 24. Corn sales to overseas buyers totaled 598,000 metric tons, down 27 percent from the previous week and 48 percent from the prior four-week average. Mexico was the top corn buyer at 207,400 metric tons. Exports for the week dropped three percent to 666,400 tons. Wheat sales were 16 percent lower than the prior week at 284,000 metric tons, 39 percent higher than the same week last year. Japan was the top buyer at almost 71,000 tons. Exports were up 81 percent to 610,000 metric tons. Soybean sales dropped 14 percent week-to-week and 25 percent from the four-week average to 360,700 tons, the lowest since the marketing year began last September. China purchased 218,400 metric tons. Weekly soybean exports dropped 45 percent to 881,000 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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