National Ag News for May 30, 2023

More Reaction to Supreme Court’s WOTUS Decision

U.S. agriculture groups continue reacting positively to the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in the Sackett vs. EPA case that rejected the Biden Administration’s WOTUS definition. “Cattle producers can breathe a sigh of relief,” says National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Todd Wilkinson. “This decision refocuses the Clean Water Act on protecting our water through regulatory clarity.” The Fertilizer Institute also welcomed the decision. “The decision to strike down the ‘significant nexus’ test is a win for agriculture,” says TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “This is a great first step to needed clarity for the fertilizer industry’s long-term planning and capital investments that will allow us to keep providing critical crop nutrients.” The National Pork Producers Council called the decision a “tremendous victory” for pork producers. “This ruling is a clear punctuation point after decades of attempts to expand the federal government’s control of private land,” says NPPC Vice President Duane Stateler.  

Report Released Showing Crop Insurance Impact by State

Crop insurance is the cornerstone of America’s farm safety net and supports the rural economy and America’s national food security. National Crop Insurance Services has assembled several fact sheets highlighting the importance of agriculture and demonstrating how crop insurance keeps America growing. For example, crop insurance protects more than 490 million acres of U.S. farmland. It covers 136 crops and 604 varieties with 36 different insurance plans. Crop insurance does require farmers to invest in their own protection and share the risk. Last year, farmers paid $6.8 billion to buy more than 1.2 million crop insurance policies. The public-private partnership between the federal government and private crop insurers ensures that aid is delivered quickly, usually within 30 days of a claim being finalized. As if that’s not enough, the number of Americans who benefit from a bountiful supply of domestically-produced food totals 336 million. The state-by-state breakdown is available at

BLM Holds Information Session on New Rule

The Bureau of Land Management hosted the first in a series of three informational sessions on a new agency proposal to broaden its conservation efforts. The draft Conservation and Landscape Health Rule would overhaul a variety of existing land management procedures at BLM. The changes would give it clearer authority to prioritize the health and resilience of ecosystems across almost 250 million acres of federally-owned land. Agency officials and supporters of the rule say it would place conservation and outdoor recreation on level ground with industrial uses like ranching and oil and gas drilling that BLM has facilitated for many years. Opponents and their Republican allies say it will likely curb those uses as much of the rule revolves around “conservation leases.” It’s a new mechanism that would protect certain areas from development for up to ten years. And those leases would be proposed by environmental non-profits or other applicants.

H-2A Visa Use Increased Dramatically During the Last Decade

According to numbers from the U.S. Labor Department, more than 378,000 workers were authorized for H-2A visas for temporary agriculture positions. The number was less than a third of that as recently as 2012. Farmer Mac says that trend is going to continue for some time. “In the short run, I expect that growth to continue as long as pressure remains on labor markets,” says Jackson Takach, the chief economist with Farmer Mac. Back in 2012, the Labor Department said just 103,000 workers entered the U.S. through the H-2A program. H-2A workers are most heavily utilized in states like California and Florida because fruits and vegetables require more manual labor. However, those workers are also vital for agriculture in the Midwest and Great Plains. Iowa tops the list of states with the most H-2A workers in the Central U.S. Iowa was followed by Minnesota and North Dakota on the list.

Legislation on Easing Supply Chain Challenges Advances in the House

Several industry trade groups say a number of trucking bills passed by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are a step in the right direction. Food Navigator says the bills should help to further repair and reinforce America’s fragile food supply chains threatened by a severe shortage of drivers. Almost three-fourths of all goods in America’s economy, including all foods sold in grocery stores, get moved by the trucking industry. The bipartisan legislation would reduce the “empty miles” that trucks have to travel by allowing them to increase the weight they carry with an additional axle. A bill from Dusty Johnson (R-SD) would establish a voluntary ten-year pilot program allowing states to increase the weight of six-axle vehicles on federal interstates up to 91,000 pounds. Supporters say increasing the amount of weight trucks can carry would lower greenhouse gas emissions, ease supply chain backlogs, and reduce the number of “empty miles.”  

Weekly Soybean Sales Rise, Corn and Wheat Drop

The USDA says soybean export sales rose during the week ending on May 19, while cancelations of corn and wheat orders from overseas customers resulted in net reductions. Soybean sales rose to 115,000 metric tons during the week, up from the prior week but down 26 percent from the previous five-year average. Germany was the top customer at almost 58,000 metric tons, while Japan bought 53,500 tons. Cancelations of corn orders resulted in a net drop of 75,200 metric tons during the week. However, that’s still better than the net reduction of 339,000 during the prior week. Mexico was the top corn buyer at 216,000 metric tons. But China canceled shipments of almost 332,000 metric tons. Wheat cancelations resulted in net reductions of 45,100 metric tons, the lowest level since the marketing year began. China bought 68,000 tons of wheat while Nigeria took in almost 16,000. Japan canceled shipments totaling 63,000 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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