National Ag News for March 9, 2023

Milk-Pricing Proposal Moves Ahead

The National Milk Producers Federation’s Board of Directors unanimously endorsed a proposal to modernize the Federal Milk Marketing Order system at its March meeting. The Federation says the move caps more than two years of discussion and more than 130 meetings on different aspects of the proposal. The plan to reinvigorate the FMMO system that guides milk pricing reflects an industry that’s evolved significantly since the last comprehensive revamp in 2000. “We’re moving forward on a comprehensive FMMO proposal the entire industry can get behind,” says Randy Mooney, chair of the NMPF’s Board of Directors. The proposal includes several changes to the FMMO System, including returning to the “higher-of” Class 1 mover. The federation also proposes discontinuing the use of barrel cheese in the protein component price formula. They also want a new process to ensure make-allowances are reviewed more frequently by requiring USDA to conduct plant-cost studies every two years.

March WASDE Lower Corn Export Demand

The USDA World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates for 2022-2023 U.S. corn calls for lower exports and larger ending stocks. Exports are reduced by 75 million bushels to reflect the poor pace of sales and shipments this year despite relatively competitive U.S. prices. With no other changes from February, ending stocks rose by 75 million bushels. The season-average corn price dropped a dime to $6.60 a bushel. Soybean supply and use changes for 2022-2023 include higher exports, lower crush, and reduced ending stocks compared with February. Exports are up by 25 million to 2.02 billion bushels based on higher-than-expected shipments through February. As higher exports more than offset lower crush, ending stocks dropped 15 million bushels to 210 million, which would be the lowest in seven years. The season-average soybean price is unchanged at $14.30. The 2022-2023 U.S. wheat supply and demand outlook is unchanged from February. The season-average price is $9.

USDA Celebrates First National Biobased Products Day

USDA celebrated the first National Biobased Products Day on Wednesday to highlight the accomplishments of people and organizations working to improve sustainability. “By setting aside March 8 as National Biobased Products Day, we honor the 20 years of progress the BioPreferred Program has achieved,” says USDA Rural Development Undersecretary Xochitl (so-CHEEL) Torres Small. Congress created the U.S. BioPreferred Program in the 2002 Farm Bill. The program is the federal government’s official advocate and market accelerator for biobased products. USDA congratulated the four winners of the BioPreferred Program’s “Excellence in Procurement Award” in 2022 for their respective agencies” environmental impact by using biobased products and championing farmers in rural America. Winners include the Department of Energy’s Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, Christina Graves of the Forest Service, Brian McCabe of the National Park Service, and Brooke Siegel with the FBI. To learn more about the BioPreferred Program, go to

Stockmanship and Stewardship Event Registration is Open

Registration is now open for the six Stockmanship and Stewardship regional events that take place in five states this spring and summer, with an additional virtual event in November. During each event, producers can become Beef Quality Assurance certified, network with fellow cattlemen and women, participate in hands-on demonstrations led by animal handling experts, and learn cutting-edge operation techniques. A previous Stockmanship and Stewardship attendee shared, “While I have had experience in most of the topics covered, it was great to hear the speakers talk and give a good overview of industry practices. It was a great event and one that I encourage others to attend.” The event features low-stress handling demonstrations, BQA educational sessions, facility design sessions, and industry updates. The program is sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Merck Animal Health, and the Beef Checkoff-funded National Beef Quality Assurance program. For more information or to register, go to

Producers Respond to New H-2A Wage Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a final rule to amend H-2A temporary labor certification regulations to better protect agricultural workers. It’s also designed to update the H-2A application and temporary labor certification process. Not everyone in agriculture is happy with the rule. Western Growers Association President and CEO Dave Puglia (POO-glee-ah) says America’s farmers are already stretched to the limit by rising costs and shrinking margins. “With economic blinders on, the administration will now mandate that farmers pay higher wages to H-2A workers and domestic workers in corresponding employment,” he says. “Increasing wages by regulatory order will force farmers to cut back on U.S. plantings and increase their farm operations in Mexico and other countries where the wages are a fraction of the H-2A wage.” He also says while no one wants that to happen, these are entirely foreseeable consequences of “economically myopic” decisions like this. For more information, go to

Midwest Attorneys General to Sue EPA Over Delayed E15 Rule

The Attorneys General from Nebraska and Iowa have notified Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan of their intent to file suit over year-round E15. The filing comes after the agency delayed rulemaking on year-round E15 sales in eight Midwestern states. The EPA took over 300 days to issue a proposed rule despite a Clean Air Act requirement to act within 90 days. Iowa attorney general Brenna Bird says EPA needs to follow the law and make E15 gasoline available year-round. “With record-high gas prices, consumers deserve relief when paying at the pump,” Bird says. “The EPA’s failure to respond on time not only deprives hard-working people of a cheaper, cleaner option, it’s also a violation of the Clean Air Act.” The EPA approved the rule for year-round E15 sales in those states but delayed implementation until 2024. The attorneys also called on the agency to issue an emergency waiver for 2023.


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.