National Ag News for September 14, 2023

Consumer Price Index: Food Prices Rise Again

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 0.6 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.2 percent in July. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 3.7 percent before seasonal adjustment. The index for gasoline was the largest contributor to the monthly all-items increase, accounting for over half of the increase. The food index increased 0.2 percent in August, as it did in July. The index for food at home increased 0.2 percent over the month, while the index for food away from home rose 0.3 percent in August. The six major grocery store food group indexes were split over the month, with three increases and three decreases. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 0.8 percent in August as the index for pork increased 2.2 percent. The index for other food at home increased 0.2 percent over the month, and the index for cereals and bakery products rose 0.5 percent.

Voters Want Congressional Support for Low-Carbon Ethanol

A new survey from Morning Consult found continued strong voter support for policies promoting the use of lower-cost, lower-carbon American-made ethanol. Registered voters also indicated robust support for specific legislation allowing the year-round sale of E15 and policy promoting the production of more flex-fuel vehicles capable of using the lower-cost E85 fuel blend. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper says, “This nationwide poll of more than 2,000 voters shows strong support for important legislative proposals that are currently pending in the House and Senate.” Among the results, 62 percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of ethanol, while only 17 percent had an unfavorable opinion. Further, 67 percent also support the United States increasing the availability of the E15 blend, and only 14 percent opposed the expansion of E15. Of those surveyed, 63 percent support the Flex Fuel Fairness Act, 61 percent support the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, and 61 percent support the Next Generation Fuels Act.

Clean Fuels Releases Used Cooking Oil Outlook for Biodiesel

Clean Fuels Alliance America Wednesday released a new report assessing potential global supplies of used cooking oil. Specifically, the report looks at used cooking oil to meet the growing demand for biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel through 2030. In 2022, global used cooling oil trade reached 3.7 billion gallons. With anticipated demand and added value from biodiesel and renewable diesel production, the supply could grow to between five billion and ten billion gallons by 2030. With additional global used cooking oil collection, the potential supply could increase by an additional four billion to seven billion gallons. The report indicates that the United States has the most well-developed used cooking oil collection system, due to long-standing practices for its use and disposal. In 2022, the U.S. supply reached 850 million gallons. Increasing biodiesel and renewable diesel production incentivizes domestic use of that supply – curbing recent export trends. Global used cooking oil trade reached 1.3 billion gallons in 2022.

AEM: Overall Tractor Sales Lower

Heavy-duty row crop tractor unit sales continued to increase in the U.S., while overall farm tractor unit sales in the U.S. and Canada declined in August. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers reports 100-plus horsepower, two-wheel-drive tractors, and four-wheel-drive tractors, were the only segments to grow year over year. Both those segments, along with self-propelled combines, remain positive for the year. The biggest overall growth among tractors happened in four-wheel-drive units, growing more than 20 percent in August. AEM’s Curt Blades says, “North American row-crop farmers continue to add and adopt new technology to their equipment fleets to help reduce costs and improve yields.” Overall unit sales of U.S. tractors are down 4.6 percent compared to sales in August 2022, while combine sales declined slightly by 2.4 percent. Canadian tractor sales improved their pace versus the previous month, falling just over six percent, with combines declining more than 17 percent.

APHIS Finalizes Changes to Import Regulations for Horses

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wednesday announced the finalized amendments to its import regulations for horses. The amendments will better align regulations with international standards and allow more flexibility for permitted imports while continuing to mitigate the risk of bringing equine diseases into the United States. The regulations also provide APHIS with more regulatory authority to enforce standards for transporting horses. The changes include increasing the amount of time allowed for horses to be in a contagious equine metritis-affected region without testing upon their return to the United States from 60 to 90 days. The amendments also update ports designated for the importation of horses, adding requirements for health certifications and requiring that horses transiting Central America or the West Indies comply with the same regulations that apply to horses directly imported from these regions, given the greater risk of equine diseases of concern from these areas. The final rule goes into effect on October 16, 2023.

Few US Adults Rate Their Diet Good or Excellent

New data from USDA’s Economic Research Service show Americans don’t have high ratings for their diets. In the period covering January 2017 to March 2020, just under three in ten adults, or 29 percent, reported the healthfulness of their diets was very good or excellent.” That is 3.5 percentage points lower than the corresponding share reported in 2005–06. The data can be found in the latest publicly available wave of the Flexible Consumer Behavior Survey, which collects information on U.S. consumers’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about nutrition and food choices. For context, 41 percent of adults surveyed in the 1989–1991 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals rated the healthfulness of their diets as “very good” or excellent, suggesting a continuing downward trend in the health quality individuals ascribe to their diets. FCBS is a module of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and its data reflect national trends about changing dietary behaviors of U.S. consumers.


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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