NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

National Ag News for September 18, 2023

Wheat Growers Complete Second Farm Bill Fly-In

The National Association of Wheat Growers completed the second part of its 2023 summer Farm Bill Fly-Ins. The first round of visits to Capitol Hill took place in July. During the visit, wheat growers from across the country reinforced the association’s core priorities and underscored the need for Congress to work together to ensure farmers can continue providing safe and affordable food for everyone. Last week, growers from 14 states met with their delegations, staff from each Ag Committee, and Congressional leadership to continue educating lawmakers and advocating for an effective farm safety net. The group’s priorities include working to strengthen Title 1 and crop insurance to better protect farmers. They want support for financial and technical assistance through voluntary conservation cost-share programs for producers in all climates and regions. They’re also encouraging additional investment in agricultural trade promotions and U.S. commodities as part of the farm bill’s trade title.  

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Ethanol Industry Supports GREET Model for Scientific Emissions Accuracy

American ethanol organizations like the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, and the Renewable Fuels Association sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on sustainable aviation fuel. When it comes to global actions to decarbonize the aviation transportation sector using Sustainable Aviation Fuel, the industry wants to encourage the use of updated carbon-intensity scoring in the GREET model. They don’t want scoring used in the CORSIA model for corn-based ethanol SAF. The letter says, “We strongly support adopting the DOE’s GREET Model as the standard for carbon intensity scoring of conventional aviation fuels and SAF. The latest GREET model relies on the most current information and highest-resolution data regarding the energy use, carbon emissions, and potential land use impacts associated with the corn ethanol-based SAF process.” The letter also says GREET allows the Treasury to unlock the full potential of agriculture to meet the growing global aviation industry SAF demand.

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House Bill Targets California’s Electric Vehicle Mandate

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill prohibiting California’s attempt to eliminate all gas-powered vehicles. The bill passed the House 222-190. It would keep states from limiting the sale of gas-powered cars and revoke any federal approvals allowing states to do so issued since the beginning of 2022. The vote was along party lines, but eight Democrats did vote with Republicans in favor of the legislation. The legislation doesn’t specifically mention California in its language. States can implement tighter clean car rules stricter than those from the federal government under the Clean Air Act. But those states have to get permission from the Environmental Protection Agency first. The Hill says the EPA reinstated a waiver allowing a California rule aimed at limiting vehicle pollution to take effect. Since then, the state intends to completely phase out the new sales of gas-powered cars. The bill isn’t expected to become law.

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U.S. HRW Exports Hit Record Low Levels

U.S. Hard Red Winter Wheat exports are forecast down 10 million bushels this month to 155 million bushels, the lowest since records began in 1973-1974. HRW supplies have seen a long-term downturn in U.S. acreage as corn and soybeans gained acres in many locations. International wheat competition has also surged, resulting in exports of this class being less competitive on the global market. U.S. HRW supplies have recently been affected by significant drought in consecutive years, which has dented crop prospects and contributed to exports of this class being uncompetitive with other suppliers like Russia and the European Union. Historically, HRW was the leading class of American exports, but this year it’s forecast to be the third-largest class of U.S. exports, surpassed by both Hard Red Spring and White Wheat. Production of HRS and White is down year-over-year with lower yields, but drought hasn’t hit those classes as hard as HRW.

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Iowa Announces Grant Opportunity for New Livestock Vaccines

Iowa Secretary of Ag Mike Naig (NAYG) announced the new Livestock Protection Innovation Grant Program. The program will provide grant funding to assist Iowa-based companies in the development of safe and effective vaccines that may help protect livestock from foreign animal diseases. “Protecting Iowa’s nation-leading livestock industry from devastating foreign animal diseases is enormously important to the farm families and local communities that benefit from its 13-billion-dollar impact,” Naig says. “Vaccine development is one of the many steps we are taking to help safeguard our farm animals because it’s important to have tools available to effectively respond to disease and protect our food supply.” The Iowa Legislature, with support from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, appropriated $250,000 for livestock vaccine development within Iowa during the last legislative session. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is working in collaboration with many stakeholders and officials to swiftly respond to any threat.  

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Purdue Survey Shows Consumer Attitudes on Higher Pork Prices

A new Purdue University survey indicates that consumers appear to be more willing to live with higher pork prices if they are the result of meeting animal welfare standards like California’s Prop 12. In the nationwide survey, consumers said they would scale back their purchases if pork prices went higher. But fewer of them would cut back on buying pork if Prop 12 was the reason for the increase. A small segment of survey respondents said they would buy even more pork in that case. “We saw responses that suggest animal welfare is more important to consumers than previously thought,” says Elijah Bryant, a research analyst at Purdue. “Even though the hypothetical price increase is the same size, fewer consumers would decrease their spending on pork knowing the price increase was caused by animal welfare regulations.” The Purdue survey results will get tested on January 1 when Prop 12 is fully implemented.

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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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