National Ag News for November 9, 2023

Bayer Considers Company Breakup

Bayer confirmed in an investor call on Wednesday the company is considering splitting business units following poor financial results. “We are redesigning Bayer to focus only on what’s essential for our mission – and getting rid of everything else,” according to Bayer CEO Bill Anderson. Anderson, who has been at the company’s helm since June, says by the end of next year, Bayer will remove multiple layers of management and coordination. The company ruled out splitting into three divisions, but other options remain. Anderson adds, “In terms of structural options, beyond maintaining three divisions, a separation of either Consumer Health or Crop Science remains under evaluation.” Sales in the agricultural business were level year on year at 4.3 billion euros. Higher volumes in all regions were mostly offset by lower prices for glyphosate-based. Corn Seed and Traits sales rose by 21.2, while Fungicides were up 16.2 percent. The Soybean Seed and Traits business likewise posted double-digit percentage growth of 15.6 percent. By contrast, sales at Herbicides were down by 17.3 percent.

USTR Tai Traveling to Indiana

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will Travel to Indianapolis, Indiana as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in Rural America tour. Tai will visit Indiana this Friday to highlight how the administration’s economic policies have lowered trade barriers abroad for American agricultural products and increased access for farmers and producers in global markets. Ambassador Tai will tour Starkey Farms, a seventh-generation family farm committed to local and regional farming conservation during her trip. Starkey Farms features more than 2,500 acres near Brownsburg, Indiana. Starkey Farms Partnership is also a retail partner for AgroLiquid. The Investing in Rural America tour kicked off last when President Joe Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Dutch Creek Farms in Northfield, Minnesota. During the visit, President Biden announced more than $5 billion in investments from his Investing in America agenda to advance rural prosperity, economic development, competition, and sustainability.

TFI Supports Amendment to Block Proposed Rule on Air Quality Standards

The Fertilizer Institute Wednesday reiterated its opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to tighten national ambient air quality standards for fine particulate matter. The organization also voiced support for legislation to prohibit the EPA altering the standard at this time. TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch says, “Only two years ago the EPA confirmed that the current standard is protective of public health and the environment,” adding, “They have not provided any reasoning as to what has changed in the past two years aside from the fact that these emissions continue to decline.” According to the government’s own data, fine particulate matter emissions have declined by over 40 percent over the past twenty years, and they continue to go down. Additionally, the current rule balances environmental protection with robust commercial and industrial activity. TFI joined more than 70 other industry groups in a letter articulating the economic impact the rule they say would have, as well as the faulty reasoning behind the change.

Court Confirms Permanent Injunction on California’s Prop 65

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Appeals Court recently affirmed a district court permanent injunction prohibiting California’s Proposition 65 warning requirement related to glyphosate. Proposition 65 is a right‑to-know law that is intended to enable Californians to make informed choices about exposures to chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive effects. The proposition did not ban the use of glyphosate in the state. California attempted to apply Proposition 65 to glyphosate in 2017 following the 2015 ruling by the International Agency for Research on Cancer that glyphosate is an animal carcinogen and a probable human carcinogen. The National Association of Wheat Growers welcomed the court’s response of a permanent injunction. NAWG President Brent Cheyne says, “California’s Proposition 65 requirement threatened the use of glyphosate by requiring false and misleading labels on products that may contain glyphosate.” NAWG was joined by 11 other agriculture organizations in the case, including CropLife America and the National Corn Growers Association.

Study Finds Perception Gaps Between Farmers and Consumers

Nutrien this week released Bridging the Agricultural Perception Divide, a research study on the perception gaps between farmers and consumers in North America on issues such as sustainability, technology, and land usage. The report also indicates there is some common ground and opportunities for bridge-building. The findings revealed that the largest perception gaps between farmers and consumers are related to environmental stewardship and industry advancement. For example, farmers were significantly more likely to agree with statements related to the responsible use of crop inputs, chemical use, environmental progress, farming careers, and soil quality. However, topics related to Societal Support for Farmers reveal much closer agreement. The study also finds that younger consumers have the lowest interest and trust in agriculture. When farmers were asked about the top issues affecting the agriculture industry today, their responses included the rising cost of growing food, followed by a desire for consumers to have more knowledge about the industry, and concerns around misinformation about where food comes from.

New York Announces Flexibilities Amid Milk Carton Shortage

In a memo to food service managers at public schools, the state of New York announced flexibilities amid a milk carton shortage recently. Due to the unexpected nationwide shortage of paper milk cartons, many School Food Authorities are not able to obtain milk in half pints for their school meals programs. Although schools are expected to meet the fluid milk requirements to the greatest extent possible, supply chain disruptions, including disruptions that limit milk variety or affect serving size, are considered a temporary emergency condition. The New York State Education Department announced schools are allowed to pour milk from larger containers into individual cups, offer one type of milk instead of a variety, offer an alternate form of fluid milk such as low-fat or fat-free lactose-free, or as a last resort, not offer fluid milk altogether. However, juice cannot be offered as a replacement, and schools must still adhere to National School Lunch Program guidelines.


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.