National Ag News for April 27, 2023

NCGA Outlines Farm Bill Priorities

Corn growers are optimistic that Congress can make key farm bill programs more effective and responsive to the needs of farmers, according to the National Corn Growers Association. NCGA President Tom Haag, a Minnesota farmer, testified to the House Agriculture General Farm Commodities, Risk Management, and Credit Subcommittee. The committee hearing focused on stakeholder priorities for the crop insurance and commodity titles. Haag says, “Corn growers consistently rank crop insurance as the most important program and title of the farm bill. NCGA broadly supports increasing the affordability of crop insurance.” Haag also offered recommendations for the commodity title, saying NCGA supports increasing the maximum rate in the Agriculture Risk Coverage County program to provide increased assistance to growers who experience significant revenue losses. Haag says NCGA recommends increasing the coverage level for ARC County to make the program more responsive to revenue losses. NCGA supports the improvement of the Price Loss Coverage program, investment to expand international markets and trade promotion.

NCBA Reiterates Importance of Food Safety, Opposes PRIME Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Wednesday once again announced opposition to the Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption, or PRIME Act. Representatives Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, and Chellie Pingree, a Maine Democrat, introduced the bill. The legislation would allow beef processed in a non-U.S. Department of Agriculture inspected facility to be distributed interstate, posing a threat to food safety and consumer trust in beef. NCBA President Todd Wilkinson says, “While the PRIME Act is well-intentioned, allowing uninspected beef to enter the retail market is dangerous to consumers.” NCBA supports federal and state meat inspection efforts and has previously supported legislation like the DIRECT Act. That legislation would allow state-inspected beef to be sold interstate in limited quantities, direct-to-consumer, and through e-commerce. Unlike the PRIME Act, these measures would create the necessary paper trail to trace and contain any potential food safety concerns.

AEM Calls on Congress to Bolster American Competitiveness

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers is mobilizing thousands of industry supporters through its I Make American grassroots campaign. The supporters call on lawmakers to address national priorities, including modernizing the permitting process necessary to build critical infrastructure and boost domestic energy production. Other priorities include ensuring that infrastructure funding moves expeditiously from Washington to urgently needed project sites, and passing a farm bill to guarantee a safe and abundant food supply for all Americans. AEM’s Kip Eideberg says, “Lawmakers must act to ensure that the 2.3 million men and women of our industry can out-innovate and outcompete the rest of the world. The campaign includes 88,000 letters to Capitol Hill. AEM’s I Make America campaign engaged CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023’s 139,000 attendees to raise awareness for the policies that will strengthen the industry and ensure that equipment manufacturers can continue to make the equipment that builds, powers, and feeds the world.

USDA: Meat and Dairy Production Lead Food Sector Sales

New data from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows meat processing and dairy product manufacturing are the largest components of food sector sales. Food and beverage manufacturing plants transform raw food commodities into products for intermediate or final consumption by using labor, machinery, energy, and scientific knowledge. These plants accounted for nearly $267 billion or 16.8 percent of sales, shipment values, and revenue from all U.S. manufacturing plants in 2021, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census’ Annual Survey of Manufactures. Meat processing is the largest industry group in food and beverage manufacturing, with 26.2 percent of sales in 2021. Meat processing includes livestock and poultry slaughter, processing, and rendering. Dairy product manufacturing, which ranges from fluid milk to frozen desserts, accounted for the second-most sales at 12.8 percent in 2021. Other important industry groups by sales include other foods, beverages, and grain and oilseeds. Other foods include snack foods, coffee and tea, flavorings, and dressings.

NFU: Colorado Right to Repair Law a Win for Farmers Across the Country

The National Farmers Union calls the signing of Colorado’s Right to Repair law a win for all farmers and ranchers. Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Consumer Right to Repair Agricultural Equipment Act this week. NFU President Rob Larew says, “seeing a bill like this cross the finish line is a testament to the persistence of our members and the need for this issue to be addressed nationally.” Major farm equipment manufacturers have refused to make the software tools necessary to repair modern tractors, combines, and other farm equipment available to farmers and independent mechanics. This leaves farmers no choice but to take their broken equipment to licensed dealerships, which has led to repair delays and inflated repair costs. Right to Repair is a key issue in NFU’s Fairness for Farmers campaign, which aims to build fairer and more competitive agricultural markets, and to address the monopoly crisis in agriculture.

USDA’s CLEAR30 Enrollment Open

Farmers and landowners with certain expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts can receive additional rental incentives and extend that land’s role in conservation for another 30 years. The Department of Agriculture has opened the signup period for its Clean Lakes, Estuaries, And Rivers enrollment, known as CLEAR30, now through July 31, 2023. CLEAR30 is a part of the CLEAR initiative, which prioritizes water quality practices as a part of Continuous CRP enrollment, and is one of several CRP enrollment opportunities. CLEAR30 allows producers and landowners enrolling certain water quality practices to enroll in 30-year contracts, extending the lifespan and strengthening the benefits of important water quality practices on their land. Like other CRP enrollments, CLEAR30 is a voluntary, incentive-based conservation opportunity offered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency. To sign up for CLEAR30, landowners and producers should contact their local USDA Service Center by July 31, 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.

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