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| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 30, 2022 |


Vilsack Talks Biotech Corn in Mexico Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel (man-WELL) López Obrador earlier this week. The leaders discussed a looming decree by the Mexican president that would ban imports of biotech corn into the country. In a statement following the meeting, Vilsack commented, "We must find a way forward soon and I emphasized in no uncertain terms that – absent an acceptable resolution of the issue – the U.S. Government would be forced to consider all options.” The options available include taking formal steps to enforce legal rights under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett replied, “Today’s meeting shows that the Biden administration is listening to NCGA and American corn grower leaders and that Secretary Vilsack is willing to go to the mat for America’s farmers.” The Mexican President has promised to enact a decree that would end imports of corn grown using biotech and certain herbicides by 2024. *********************************************************************************** Industry Welcomes Biden Call to Congress on Potential Rail Strike Agriculture groups welcome President Biden's call on Congress to avert a potential rail worker strike. Corey Rosenbusch of The Fertilizer Institute praised the action by Biden, adding, “Congress must act now to ensure that fertilizers and other critical materials and goods that U.S. consumers rely on every day get to where they are needed.” The Fertilizer Institute has been heavily engaged in efforts to avert a nationwide rail network shutdown and will continue to do so until the matter is resolved. The call from Biden followed a meeting with cabinet members on the issue. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack adds, “in this case – where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt American agriculture and millions of other working people and families –Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.” Vilsack joined President Biden in calling on Congress to quickly pass legislation adopting the Tentative Agreement between railroad workers and operators. *********************************************************************************** Removal of Trade Barriers Could Increase China’s Ag Imports China imported more than $205 billion of agricultural products in 2021, including more than $37 billion from the United States. However, USDA Economic Research Service points out that trade barriers deterred China's imports from reaching even higher levels. China's import barriers create what are called "price wedges," in which domestic prices for agricultural commodities, including beef, corn, pork, and wheat, are higher than the world price. ERS recently found that removing price wedges would lead to increased agricultural imports for the four commodities over the next five to ten years. For corn and wheat, removing price wedges was estimated to increase China’s imports by 91 and 249 percent, respectively. Both of these commodities are subject to a tariff-rate quota which could constrain additional imports. Overall, the benefits of removing these trade barriers would be widespread, increasing sales for producers in the United States and other exporting countries and yielding lower food prices for China’s consumers. *********************************************************************************** Ag Organizations Call for McKalip and Taylor Nominations Votes Agriculture groups through Farmers for Free Trade call on the Senate to confirm two key agricultural trade officials in the Biden administration. The coalition sent a letter to Senate leaders Tuesday calling for the confirmation of Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, and Alexis Taylor as USDA Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade. The coalition urged the Senate to confirm the duo during the current lame-duck session. "Time is of the essence to confirm these nominees." the letter points out, adding, "American agriculture needs experienced leaders representing us in international negotiations." The letter also highlights the important role that exports and U.S. agriculture play on the entire economy, as 20 percent of American farm revenue comes from exports, and America's farmers, ranchers, food processors, and manufacturers rely on complex and highly integrated supply chains that stretch across international borders. The food and agriculture products we export support over 1,000,000 U.S. jobs. *********************************************************************************** Food System Investment Needed to Equip Farmers for Climate Change A new report from the Farm Journal Foundation finds that increased U.S. investments in agricultural development and innovation are needed to make global food systems more resilient. While climate change impacts agriculture worldwide, its effects are "substantially more severe" in warm regions, including Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The report says that as much as 80 percent of the world's poor people, who predominantly work in agriculture, live in areas increasingly affected by climate change. The new report follows the United Nations' COP27 conference earlier this month, where leaders discussed the impact of climate change on the global food system and solutions to make agriculture more resilient. The report says investing in agricultural sustainability in developing countries is in the U.S. national interest, as it would prevent future food crises, reduce the need for emergency food aid, support stability in developing countries, and potentially reduce mass migration and civil unrest. *********************************************************************************** Noble Research Institute Releases Ranch Safety Guide Agriculture is the seventh-most-hazardous industry in the United States, but ranch operators can take steps to make their working facilities and equipment safer for their staff and families. Recently Noble Research Institute and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef created and published a new guide to help improve ranch safety. The guide titled Ranch Employee Safety: Working Cattle and Related Facilities and Equipment, takes ranchers through four stages of improved safety. The guide proposes stages of safety on the ranch, including identifying hazards and preventing worker injuries and illnesses. The third stage is preparation of ranch employees, followed by the final stage, monitoring the hazards and risks and the safety policies and procedures implemented. Additionally, the guide provides 30 pages of resources and tools ready to use on any operation. Ranch Employee Safety: Working Cattle and Related Facilities and Equipment is available for download at no cost www.noble.org.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 30, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets Wednesday the ADP Employment report along with Real GDP numbers will be issued by the government. We will also be watching for any news of China regarding COVID, any new export sales and news on the potential railroad strike. Weather A cold front continues to sweep through the eastern portions of the country on Wednesday with bands of moderate rainfall. Some storms across the far southeast could be stronger today as well. Breezy winds are following behind the system and could make for some blowing snow in the areas that received it Tuesday. Also behind the front are a burst of some colder temperatures. They will not last long however, as warmth returns Thursday and Friday.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 29, 2022 |


Farm Share of U.S. Food Dollar Reached Historic Low in 2021 U.S. farm establishments received 14.5 cents per dollar spent on domestically produced food in 2021—a decrease of 1.0 cent from a revised 15.5 cents in 2020. The figure is the lowest recorded farm share value in nearly three decades, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. The remaining portion of the food dollar—known as the marketing share—covers the costs of getting domestically produced food from farms to points of purchase, including costs related to packaging, transporting, processing, and selling to consumers. One contributor to the 2021 decline in farm share was a shift to food-away-from-home spending. Farm establishments typically receive a smaller share of food-away-from-home spending because of the large amount of value added by outlets such as restaurants. As a result, the farm share generally decreases when food-away-from-home spending increases faster year-over-year than food-at-home spending. Food-away-from-home spending increased markedly in 2021 after a sharp decrease early in the COVID-19 pandemic. *********************************************************************************** USDA Kicks off Spain Trade Mission Delegation The Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service Associate Administrator Clay Hamilton arrived Monday in Madrid to launch a USDA agribusiness trade mission to Spain. More than 70 participants, representing various sectors of U.S. food and agriculture, including businesses, trade associations, and state government, join this trade mission to explore export opportunities for U.S. agricultural products to Spain. Hamilton says, “Spanish consumers and food processors are increasingly interested in sustainably produced goods, which gives U.S. producers a marketing edge over other export suppliers.” Hamilton notes that USDA sees the demand for consumer-ready products steadily increasing, presenting an opportunity for U.S. exports. Trade mission participants will have an opportunity to connect with potential customers and learn the mechanics of exporting to Spain. In addition, importers from the neighboring Portugal have also been invited to participate, allowing the U.S. exporters to learn about opportunities in that country as well. *********************************************************************************** USDA Breaks Ground on New Soil Research Buildings in Auburn, Alabama The Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service broke ground Monday on a new research facility housing the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory. The facility at Auburn University's College of Agriculture will include two new buildings at Auburn University's Research Park. Dr. Simon Liu, ARS acting administrator, says, "With these new buildings and the continuing cooperation with our research partners at Auburn University, we believe that the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory will continue to have a substantial positive impact on agriculture all over the world." The National Soil Dynamics Laboratory and Auburn University scientists are considered national leaders in developing economical and environmentally sound crop management systems for production agriculture in the Southeast. The partners are leading the way in the new national focus on soil and water quality to maintain the productivity of our nation's farms, according to Dr. Allen Torbert, supervisory research soil scientist and research leader for the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory. *********************************************************************************** New Board Members Announced for FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board The National FFA Foundation announced its new chair for the Sponsors’ Board during the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis this fall. David Hollinrake, global head of strategy and portfolio management for Syngenta, was named chair for the upcoming year. Hollinrake grew up on a farm in Illinois and has been involved with agriculture his entire life. Mary Snapp, vice president of strategic initiatives for Microsoft, was named chair-elect. Hollinrake says, "I am honored to play a role in helping create the next generation of leaders. The National FFA Sponsors' Board comprises top corporate executives who wish to support agricultural education and the National FFA Organization. During their service, sponsors' board members are integral to advising National FFA on opportunities to improve programs and secure funding for the continued development of the next generation of leaders who will change the world. Seven other new board members were announced. The members will serve on the board for three years. *********************************************************************************** Case IH, Farm Journal to Host Christmas Comeback in Kentucky Case IH and Farm Journal will celebrate a "Christmas Comeback" for residents of Mayfield, Kentucky. The event comes as the one-year anniversary of a tornado that damaged the town and rural areas on December 10, 2021. Case IH and Farm Journal want the people of Mayfield to know that they haven't been forgotten. Residents and others impacted by the storm are invited to a "Christmas Comeback" celebration with friends, family and the ag community. The community will enjoy singing Christmas carols with American Idol finalist Alex Miller and other holiday activities. Traci Rodemeyer of Case IH says, "With great partners, generous volunteers and lots of teamwork, our goal is to bring light and smiles this holiday season." The "Christmas Comeback" is a holiday celebration, but also a celebration of the resilience and commitment of the people of Mayfield who continue to rebuild their community. The event is set for Friday, December 2, 2022, at H&R AgriPower in Mayfield from 5:00-7:30 p.m. *********************************************************************************** Gas and Diesel Prices Fall Over Thanksgiving For the third straight week, the nation’s average gas price declined, falling 12.4 cents from a week ago to $3.52 per gallon. The national average is down 22.7 cents from a month ago and 14.1 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel fell 7.9 cents in the last week and stands at $5.20 per gallon. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “All the metrics look very positive for motorists as this week is likely to continue seeing falling gasoline prices, with many areas falling to the lowest level since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.” The national average could fall under $3 per gallon by Christmas, according to De Haan. The bears have run rampant through oil markets, with prices continuing to come under heavy selling pressure as China sees protests for its zero-Covid policies, shutdowns of major cities, and U.S. demand facing seasonal pressure. U.S. retail gasoline demand fell last five percent as motorists pre-filled up and celebrated Thanksgiving.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 29, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets An index of U.S. consumer confidence for November is the only significant report on Tuesday's docket, due out at 9 a.m. CDT. Traders will continue to monitor the latest weather forecasts, check for a possible export sales announcement at 8 a.m. and watch for any other market-impacting news, including rumors about Sunday's OPEC meeting. December grain futures reach first notice day on Wednesday. Weather A cold front moving across the middle of the country early Tuesday is forming a low-pressure center along it, increasing the intensity of the system as it moves east throughout the day. Snow is forming behind the front and could be moderate to locally heavy from Nebraska up into Wisconsin. Severe storms will occur across the Delta and Southeast later today, with potential for long-duration tornadoes, widespread damaging winds, and large hail. A burst of colder air is flowing in behind the front as well.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday November 28, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will look over the latest weather forecasts and news from Ukraine. Monday morning's weekly report of export inspections is expected to show another week of active soybean movement at 10 a.m. CDT, followed by the final Crop Progress report of the year at 3 p.m. Weather A briefly quiet weather day is expected Monday. A cold front is moving through the Northern Plains, but precipitation with the front is mostly located in the Canadian Prairies. The front will get more active tonight as snow develops in a band across southeast Wyoming, northeast Colorado, and Nebraska where moderate accumulations are expected. The rest of the country is rather dry and mild.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday November 25, 2022 |


Farmer Share of Thanksgiving Food Dollar Stays Low in 2022 National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says the farmers’ share of the Thanksgiving food dollar continues to stay low. “Corporate profits and consumer food costs continue to go up and up, but the farmers’ share of the food dollar is still low,” Larew says. “Thanksgiving is a time of family and community, but thanks to price gouging by corporate monopolies in the food system, the holiday meal is getting increasingly difficult to afford.” The NFU says the retail price of turkey averages $1.99 a pound, and the farmers’ share is six cents per pound. Two pounds of boneless ham retails for $12.98, with the farmers’ share at one dollar. Even though consumers are paying more for food this year, almost none of that increase is getting passed on to America’s family farmers and ranchers. Mega-consolidation in the food sector has made supply chains uncompetitive and resulted in farmers being underpaid. *********************************************************************************** Groups Express Support for Year-Round E15 A broad coalition of energy and agriculture organizations wrote a letter to Congress asking them to adopt legislation that would resolve inconsistent fuel volatility regulations. Specifically, the groups expressed support for legislation that would result in equal regulatory treatment for all gasoline blends containing ten percent ethanol or more, including gasoline with a 15 percent blend of ethanol. Such legislation would permanently remove the regulatory barrier that has historically made it extremely difficult for retailers to offer E15 in the summer. “Our groups have come together for the first time in history to support legislation that will permanently resolve the issue,” the letter says. “By ensuring uniformity across the nation’s fuel supply chain, that will provide more flexibility and result in more consistent outcomes than a state-by-state regulatory landscape.” Without the fix, the groups see gasoline marketplace uncertainty and political disputes over E15 that will continue to resurface every summer. *********************************************************************************** Farm Loan Interest Rates Rise Sharply Farm loan interest rates increased sharply during the third quarter. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says despite the high borrowing costs, farm real estate values continued higher. However, the rate of increase slowed in the quarter. Following consistently higher increases earlier in 2022, the value of farmland in most Districts grew at a slightly slower pace during the third quarter. Farm income and credit conditions also remained strong, but the improvement was more limited. With higher production expenses, broad inflation, and higher financing cost, growth in household spending by farm borrowers began to outpace capital spending more noticeably. Strong farm finances continued to support a generally positive outlook for agricultural credit conditions through the rest of this year. However, some pressures have continued to intensify. Despite more measured improvements in recent quarters, farm finances remained solid following especially-strong incomes across the sector during the past two years. *********************************************************************************** Japanese Government Approves Amended Beef Safeguard Mechanism The Upper House of Japan’s government, called the Diet, approved the Protocol Amending the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement regarding the beef safeguard mechanism. The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office says that completes the Diet’s process of finalizing the agreement. The new three-trigger safeguard mechanism will allow U.S. exporters to meet Japan’s growing demand for high-quality beef and reduce the probability that Japan will impose higher tariffs in the future. “The protocol will ensure our farmers and ranchers continue to have access to one of the world’s most dynamic markets,” says USTR Katherine Tai. “We are excited that Japanese consumers can enjoy high-quality U.S. beef that’s a staple of our agricultural industry.” In 2021, the U.S. was the top beef exporting country in the world, with global sales of beef products valued at more than $10 billion. U.S. beef exports to Japan totaled almost $2.4 billion in 2021, making Japan the second-largest export market. *********************************************************************************** USDA Wants Nomination for the Advisory Committee on Ag Statistics The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is seeking nominations for the Advisory Committee on Agricultural Statistics. Members of this committee advise the Ag Secretary on the scope, timing, and content of periodic agricultural censuses, surveys of agriculture, and other related industries. The committee also makes recommendations on the content of agriculture reports and represents the views and data needs of suppliers and users of ag statistics. “The Advisory Committee has long played an important role within our agency,” says NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “The valuable insights and recommendations from the committee have helped shape NASS programs and ensure we continue to meet the needs of data and statistics.” The committee, appointed by the Ag Secretary, consists of 22 members representing multiple disciplines and interests, including ag producers, national farm organizations, ag economists, and many others. Nominations are due by December 7, and for more details, go to the NASS Advisory Committee website. *********************************************************************************** First Census of Agriculture to Collect Information on Hemp Farming For the first time, the USDA will collect data on farmers growing hemp and using precision technology in the 2022 Census of Agriculture. The agency began regulating hemp production in 2021, and this will be the first census to publish data on those producers, who grow the crop for fabric, food products, and CBD. The agency says it will also identify farmers who use “precision agriculture” data-collection technology that guides planting decisions. About 70 percent of the nation’s 2.2 million farms responded to the 2017 census. Response rates in recent years have trended downward. Farmers are required by law to fill out the survey, but NASS has no enforcement mechanism. Donald Buysse, (BYSE-see) chief of the census planning branch with NASS, says, “The incentive is the idea you’re providing data as a useful tool for your community.” USDA will collect responses until February 6 and publish the data in February 2024.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday November 25, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets Trading in U.S. grain and livestock futures resumes at 8:30 a.m. CDT Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The session will close early at 12:05 p.m. for most contracts and at 12:15 p.m. for Minneapolis wheat. After USDA's weekly export sales report at 7:30 a.m. CDT, no other significant reports are on the docket, but traders will keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts and outside news, especially from Ukraine. Weather An upper-level system that has become cutoff over Texas will produce widespread and building showers and thunderstorms on Friday while showers move out of eastern areas. Some heavier snow will be possible in eastern New Mexico and west Texas as well. The rest of the country will be seasonally mild.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 23, 2022 |


USDA Invites Producers to Respond Online to the 2022 Census of Agriculture The USDA mailed survey codes to all known U.S. ag producers with the invitation to respond online to the 2022 Census of Agriculture at agcounts.usda.gov. The ag census is the nation’s only comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state, county, and territory. By completing the survey, producers across the nation can tell their stories and help generate impactful policies to better serve them and future ag producers. Farmers of all sizes, urban and rural, that produced and sold $1,000 or more of products, or normally would have in 2022, are included in the Census. The Census will get mailed in phases, with paper questionnaires following in December. Producers only have to respond once, either online or by mail. Responses are due on February 6, 2023. “The Census of Agriculture is a powerful voice for American agriculture,” says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The information is an important influence on future ag policy.” *********************************************************************************** Comment Period Extended on Packers and Stockyards Act Rulemaking The USDA says it’s extending the comment period on the proposed rule titled “Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act” by 45 days. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association welcomed the extension while urging USDA to proceed in a deliberate manner. “While we appreciate the additional time to submit thorough comments, overall, USDA should slow down on this rulemaking effort,” says NCBA senior director of government affairs Tanner Beymer. “It’s a significant undertaking rooted in decades of history, and stockholders must get the chance to thoroughly evaluate the effects of this rule and those the Department says are coming soon.” NCBA and other industry partners requested an extension of the comment period last month in a letter to USDA. The proposed Packers and Stockyards Act rule spans 180 pages, poses 44 specific questions, and covers 14 years of regulatory history, so the initial 60-day period was too short. *********************************************************************************** Railroad Conductors Union Rejects Settlement Proposal The union representing railroad conductors rejected a White House-brokered deal and a strike could start as soon as December 9. The latest rejection comes from the union representing 28,000 conductors, brakemen, and yardmen. NPR says the total number of unions rejecting the agreement is four with a combined membership of close to 60,000 workers. Eight other unions ratified the deal but could get pulled back into the dispute. NPR says that’s because if one union decides to strike, all of the unions will honor the picket lines. The National Grain and Feed Association, the Soy Transportation Coalition, the National Milk Producers Federation, and many other agricultural groups are asking Congress to step in and prevent a shutdown, which would be catastrophic for the U.S. economy. The USDA says railroads carry 29 percent of the nation’s soybeans, 33 percent of the corn, and 60 percent of U.S. wheat to export terminals.  *********************************************************************************** Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Releases Farm Bill Priorities The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s 2023 Farm Bill campaign will advance programs and priorities that build resilience and equity across the American agricultural sector. Other platform goals include restoring competition, investing in science, and renewing the environment for current and future generations of Americans. One of the group’s biggest goals is strengthening resilient local and regional food systems. “A lack of technical assistance continues to make it difficult for many farmers and producers to update their businesses to take advantage of market opportunities,” the group says. “Federal farm and food programs must support all producers who want to take advantage of the opportunities.” The coalition also wants to fix a “flawed farm safety net and restore fair competition to the ag sector.” The group says, “Right now, the farm safety net serves as an open-ended entitlement subsidy that encourages high land prices, soil-depleting farming practices and systems, farm consolidation, and declining opportunities.” *********************************************************************************** NSP Applauds Expanded RMA Coverage for Grain Sorghum National Sorghum Producers applauds the USDA’s Risk Management Agency’s enhancing coverage for irrigated grain sorghum producers. The new coverage will be effective November 30 for the upcoming year. “This expanded coverage for irrigated sorghum producers is the culmination of ten years’ work between NSP, Congress, and RMA,” says NSP CEO Tim Lust. “We thank them for continuing to work with us to improve coverage options for sorghum producers.” He also says the improved rates and yields for sorghum producers will offer a greater level of aid and new opportunities for the 2023 growing season. RMA developed improved crop insurance options for irrigated grain sorghum producers in select counties in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. “The existing rates for irrigated corn will be used for irrigated grain sorghum and 80 percent of the irrigated corn yield will be used to determine the guarantee,” says RMA, “with no change to the grain sorghum price.” *********************************************************************************** USDA’s Trade Mission to Spain Seeks to Boost Opportunities More than 30 agribusinesses and farm organizations will visit Madrid, Spain, from November 29 through December 2 during an upcoming USDA trade mission. Delegation members will engage directly with potential buyers from Spain and Portugal and receive in-depth market briefs from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and industry trade experts and participate in site visits. Spain is the third-largest EU destination for U.S. agricultural products and Portugal is number 11. “One of the key goals of this USDA trade mission is to highlight both our commonalities and what truly sets U.S. foods and ingredients apart from our competitors in the region,” says FAS Associate Administrator Clay Hamilton. “America’s farmers, ranchers, and producers have a compelling story to tell about the quality and sustainability of their agricultural production, and we are confident that story will resonate with buyers, result in many sales, and provide a boost to the agriculture industry back home.”

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 23, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets The day before Thanksgiving has many reports, including U.S. jobless claims, October durable goods orders and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor at 7:30 a.m. CDT, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index and U.S. new home sales at 9 a.m., the U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory report at 9:30 a.m. and minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest open market committee meeting at 1 p.m. U.S. grain and livestock futures close at their regular times Wednesday and open at 8:30 a.m. CDT on Friday for a short trading session. Weather A storm system moving through the Rockies on Wednesday will start to develop showers and thunderstorms out ahead of it Wednesday night across the southeastern Plains. Other areas of the country will be dry with mild temperatures for this time of year, a good day for holiday travel.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 22, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets There are no significant reports on Tuesday's docket and trading volume may be light this week of Thanksgiving -- sometimes encouraging mischievous behavior. As usual, traders will monitor weather forecasts and watch for a possible export sale announcement at 8 a.m. CDT. Weather A quiet weather day is expected for most areas of the country Tuesday. A system will be moving into the Pacific Northwest with scattered showers, however. This system will dive into the Southern Plains by Thursday where showers will be more likely to develop for Thanksgiving. Temperatures are moderating for most areas, with more normal-like readings for this time of year.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday November 21, 2022 |


Electric Vehicles Won’t Have AM Radios People shopping for electric vehicles will see that most don’t have AM radio, and it’s a move not sitting well with rural farm broadcasters. Nathan Simington is a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission who spoke to broadcasters at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s annual convention. He brought a unique perspective to the topic after growing up on a farm in Canada. “AM radio is an indispensable source of information for more than three million farmers in the U.S.,” Simington says. “To those who say AM is a dead technology, 75 percent of farmers listen to the radio five days per week.” For those who don’t know, AM radio is also the “essential spine” of the Emergency Alert System. “More importantly, farm broadcasters, especially those on AM, are a trusted source of information,” Simington adds. “Forget about oil and gas. These days, trust is the most important commodity out there.” *********************************************************************************** Milk Producers Ask for Support of Domestic Formula Production The National Milk Producers Federation sent a letter to lawmakers asking for support of domestic infant formula production as the shortfalls that emptied store shelves of formula have eased. Given the improving situation, tariff waivers that could discourage the production of a safe, secure domestic infant formula supply should be allowed to expire at the end of this year as scheduled. The milk producers sent their letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. “Given the temporary shortfall that gripped American families in need of formula earlier this year has abated, we urge Congress to ensure that the unique, unilateral tariff benefits granted to our trading partners under the Formula Act and the Bulk Infant Formula to Retail Shelves Act end as scheduled at the close of the year,” the letter says. “We request opposition to efforts to extend the benefits.” *********************************************************************************** NCBA, PLC Oppose ESA Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council announced their opposition to listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a final rule. “Over and over, the science has proven that healthy, diverse rangelands, the exact kind of landscape maintained by livestock grazing, are where the lesser prairie chicken thrives,” says PLC Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover. “Cattle ranchers’ efforts to conserve these acres are absolutely critical to the survival of the species.” She also says they’re deeply disappointed by the Fish and Wildlife decision to impose redundant and punitive restrictions on the very same people they have to thank for the lesser prairie chicken’s continued existence on the range. The Service is also establishing a rule allowing them to appoint third parties, including environmental activist groups, as the grazing authorities in the range of the lesser prairie chicken. *********************************************************************************** Beef Advocacy Program Wants New Applicants The Beef Checkoff-funded Trailblazers program is asking for applications for its next class of beef advocates. Trailblazers, developed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, takes advocacy to the next level by giving participants the tools and training they need to promote beef to new audiences while correcting misconceptions. “Trailblazers develops the next generation of beef advocates through a highly-engaging and interactive program,” says Chandler Mulvaney, director of grassroots advocacy and spokesperson development for NCBA. The program is looking for new spokespeople to participate in a year-long, hands-on program to train, equip, and empower beef advocates. Selected candidates learn to become expert communicators, excel in media interviews, and understand how to build confidence in beef-related practices when talking to consumers. Applications are due by December 30, and selected participants will get notified in mid-January. Applicants must be 21 and provide two references with their application. For information, go to NCBA.org. *********************************************************************************** Testimony on SEC’s Proposed Climate Rule Montana Senator Jon Tester pushed the leader of the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid taking action on its proposed Climate Rule that could potentially hurt American farmers. He’s concerned that action would lead to burdensome reporting requirements for family farmers and ranchers who are part of the supply chain for a publicly-traded company as part of the agency’s proposed climate disclosure rule. “I appreciate our discussion and your response that the SEC doesn’t intend for public companies to have an obligation to ask producers for information to estimate these emissions,” he says. “However, the agency must not take any action that may lead, intentionally or not, to burdensome reporting requirements for production agriculture.” Montana producers applauded the senator’s continued action. “We support the senator’s efforts to help the SEC understand our concerns with what could potentially be a far overreaching rule,” says Cyndi Johnson, president of the Montana Farm Bureau. *********************************************************************************** Proposed WIC Change Would Decrease Access to Dairy Products The National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association say the USDA’s proposed changes to the Women, Infants, and Children’s Nutrition Program will limit dairy access. “Unfortunately, the changes would decrease access to dairy products and the unique nutrient profile they provide, especially considering the current Dietary Guidelines say almost 90 percent of the U.S. population doesn’t consume enough dairy to meet recommendations,” the groups say in a statement. “Nutrition science clearly shows that nutritious dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese are especially important in the diets of women, infants, and children.” They also say dairy is a source of 13 nutrients, including three of the four that are a public health concern as noted by the dietary guidelines. The groups look forward to working with USDA to modernize the WIC food package for eligible families to increase access to nutrient-dense milk, yogurt, and cheese.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday November 21, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will check the latest weather forecasts and survey the news, especially any updates from the war in Ukraine. USDA's weekly export inspections is set for 10 a.m. CDT, followed by Crop Progress at 3 p.m. This will be an abbreviated week of trading with Thanksgiving on Thursday, followed by a shorter session Friday. Weather After a brutally cold week for most of the country, temperatures early this week are moderating and becoming more seasonable for most areas. Some light precipitation may be found near the Gulf Coast but most areas are going to stay dry early this week.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday November 18, 2022 |


Rural Mainstreet Economy Shrinks for Six Straight Months The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index fell below growth-neutral for the sixth-consecutive month. On a scale of one to 100, 50 represents growth neutral. The Economic Confidence Index plummeted to its lowest level since 2020. Almost 31 percent of bank CEOs in the survey area recommend that the Fed cease raising interest rates. Despite the weaker rural outlook, only 14 percent of the CEOs say their bank had increased financial commitments on farm loans. Farmland demand remains strong as the Farmland Price index climbed above 50 for the 26th month in a row. Almost 61 percent of bank CEOs expect these high farmland prices to plateau, while 22 percent say those land prices will likely decline during the period. “The rural Mainstreet economy is now experiencing a downturn in economic activity,” says Dr. Ernie Goss. “Last month, almost one in four bankers said the economy was already in a recession.” *********************************************************************************** Increased Ethanol Blend Rates Lower Fuel Costs for Drivers A new Energy Information Administration report clearly shows higher ethanol blends helped moderate fuel prices after the Ukraine invasion. The report also says the ethanol blend rates hit a record summer average of 10.5 percent. “Fuel ethanol’s price discount to gasoline was one factor that led to the higher summer blend rate in 2022,” the report says. “Although ethanol prices were higher in 2022, they were still low relative to gas prices that were at the highest level since 2014. “The new analysis shows that American drivers gravitated toward lower-cost E15 and E85 this summer as war in Ukraine drove fuel prices to record highs,” says Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The report also shows that President Biden made the right call by issuing emergency waivers to allow the continued sales of E15 through the summer.” RFA also says the report shows the importance of year-round access to E15. *********************************************************************************** Black Sea Grain Export Deal Extended, Russia Wants More The Black Sea Grain Export Deal, due to expire on Saturday, has been extended for another 120 days. Reuters says Moscow wants its own demands in the deal to get more fully addressed. The agreement protects a sea transit corridor and was intended to help alleviate a global food shortage. Ukraine, a major producer of grains and oilseeds, has three ports in Ukraine currently shipping grain. UN’s Secretary General says they welcome the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea grain initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of grain exports, foodstuffs, and fertilizers from Ukraine. Russian exports of ammonia via a pipeline to the Black Sea haven’t been agreed to as part of the renewal. However, Russia is continuing its efforts to resume those exports unimpeded by Western sanctions. The 120-day extension wasn’t the one-year deal the United Nations and Ukraine wanted. Russia says the duration seems “justified.” *********************************************************************************** USDA Proposes Science-Driven Updates to WIC USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service announced proposed changes to the foods prescribed to participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC (wick). These science-based revisions incorporate recommendations from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. “USDA is committed to advancing maternal and child health through WIC, helping mothers, babies, and young kids thrive,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “These proposed changes will strengthen WIC, which is already an incredible program, by ensuring it provides foods that reflect the latest nutrition science to support healthy eating and bright futures.” The changes will increase the current level of assistance while providing WIC state agencies with more flexibility to tailor or accommodate personal and cultural food preferences and special dietary needs and increase variety and choice for WIC participants, making the program more appealing for current and potential participants. *********************************************************************************** Sheep Industry Building a Sustainability Task Force The American Lamb Board is working with the American sheep industry to create a new task force of industry stakeholders and research and extension specialists to develop a sheep sustainability report. The report will represent the sheep industry’s commitment to sustainability and the industry’s existing practices and goals for continuous improvement in animal care, environmental stewardship, social impacts, and industry productivity. The task force was developed, in part, because of a Michigan State University environmental footprint study. MSU gathered production data and calculated GHG emissions of five different sheep production systems: intensive production, intensive grazing, extensive grazing, range, and feedlots. The study identified the major production factors contributing to GHG emissions in U.S. sheep production, which will help develop mitigation strategies and best practices for each production system to reduce emissions. ALB says its environmental story was added to marketing programs in the past several months, and they’re gearing up for more. *********************************************************************************** Ethanol Production Hits Lowest Level in a Month The Energy Information Administration says ethanol output dropped to its lowest level in more than a month, and inventories dropped during the week ending on November 11. The newest EIA report says the production fell to an average of 1.011 million barrels a day. That’s down from 1.051 million barrels during the prior week and the lowest level since October. In the Midwest, the largest-producing region in the U.S., production dropped to 954,000 barrels a day from 992,000 barrels the week before. That’s also the lowest level for the Midwest in over a month. Gulf Coast production declined to an average of 23,000 barrels a day, a 1,000-barrel-a-day drop from the prior week. Rocky Mountain output fell to 13,000 barrels a day, the lowest output since September 23. The East Coast saw the only production increase at 13,000 barrels a day. Inventories through November 11 fell to 21.298 million barrels.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday November 18, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets Friday features two economic reports -- existing home sales and leading economic indicators. We will also be watching for any new grain or soybean sales, South American weather, and any news out of Ukraine. Weather A reinforcing shot of cold air continues to flow into the U.S. on Friday. It is causing some light snow in places, but with little accumulation outside of the Great Lakes, where lake-effect snows are intense. Sub-freezing temperatures have made it to almost all areas of the country outside of some spots in the Southwest, southern Texas, and the Florida Peninsula with sub-zero readings in the Northern Plains.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday November 17, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report will be out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims, October housing starts and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The U.S. Energy Department's weekly report of natural gas storage is set for 9:30 a.m. Traders continue to wait for Russia's decision on the Ukraine grain deal and keep watch over the latest forecasts. Weather Another push of cold air across the northern half of the country is bringing the potential for widespread light snows on Thursday. Breezy winds are coming as well, with gusts up to 45 mph in the Northern Plains that could lead to reduced visibility and blowing snow. Lake-effect snows on the eastern side of the Great Lakes continue to be heavier.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday November 17, 2022 |


Farm Bureau Survey Shows Thanksgiving Dinner Cost up 20 Percent Thanksgiving is an important holiday for spending time with family and friends. Farm Bureau’s 37th annual Thanksgiving Dinner survey provides a look at the cost of this year’s classic feast for 10. This year’s price tag is $64.05, up more than ten dollars from last year’s average of $53.31. It still works out to under $6.50 per person. The centerpiece is the turkey, which costs more than last year at $28.96 for a 16-pound bird. It’s 21 percent higher than last year. Other ingredients in the meal include stuffing mix, dinner rolls, milk, sweet potatoes, a veggie tray, pie crusts, and several others. The only traditional ingredient that’s cheaper than last year is a bag of fresh cranberries at $2.57, 14 percent cheaper than last year. American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Roger Cryan said factors driving the prices higher include general inflation, supply chain challenges, and the war in Ukraine. *********************************************************************************** USDA Announces Additional Emergency Relief for Producers Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says his agency is planning for additional emergency relief and pandemic assistance. USDA will soon roll out phase two of the Emergency Relief Program as well as the new Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program. Those programs will help offset crop and revenue losses for producers. USDA is announcing the forthcoming assistance early enough to give producers time to gather documents and train the agency’s staff. “We have diligently worked to help agricultural producers bounce back from devastating natural disasters and COVID-19 through a number of programs,” Vilsack says. “These new programs are focused on filling gaps in assistance where some producers have fallen through the cracks.” ERP phase two will assist eligible producers who suffered crop losses due to wildfires, hurricanes, flood, derechos, and others. PARP will help eligible commodity producer who lost revenue in 2020 compared to previous years due to COVID-19. For more info, go to usda.gov. *********************************************************************************** Food Prices Likely to Drop Next Year Cargill’s CEO says he expects food prices to decline in 2023. Yahoo says that’s despite tight global crop stockpiles, especially in oilseeds. David MacLennan, Cargill CEO, says the solution to the food versus fuel debate is to boost global crop commodity production. “We don’t think it’s going to be an either-or dynamic,” he says. “It can be food and fuel.” MacLennan also says regenerative agricultural practices, greater yields, and more use of technology can increase output so it can meet the demand from both food and fuel sectors. World food prices hit a record in March after Russia invaded Ukraine and prevented exports from one of the world’s top grain producers. Prices did drop after the United Nations helped reach a grain deal that allowed ships filled with Ukrainian grain to pass unimpeded through the Black Sea. “Food shouldn’t be a weapon,” MacLellan adds. “The world depends on an interconnected food system.” *********************************************************************************** NMPF Wants Expedited Approval of Climate-Friendly Additives The National Milk Producers Federation wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to speed up the approval of climate-smart feed additives. The group wants the FDA to modernize its regulations allowing for faster approval of animal feed additives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The milk producers submitted comments to the agency highlighting the need for urgent action to enhance dairy’s role as a climate solution. “Innovative and voluntary solutions are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including methane,” says Dr. Jamie Jonker, NMPF Chief Science Officer. “Feed composition changes can directly or indirectly reduce enteric emissions resulting from livestock.” While animal feed additives help on the path to net-zero emissions, the pace of their approval lags behind competitors like the European Union due to current FDA processes. “One of the greatest opportunities that exists for dairy farmers is their ability to provide real solutions to many challenges like GHG emissions,” Jonker says. *********************************************************************************** Grab That Turkey for Thanksgiving As Americans prepare for Thanksgiving, it’s probably not surprising that the number of available turkeys is lower than last year. Only 49.6 million pounds of turkeys remained in cold storage as of Monday, which a USDA report says is down 18 percent week-to-week. At the end of August, when supplies are usually at their peak, they totaled more than 114 million pounds. An updated USDA report says while turkey production was expected to drop by seven percent, the amount of meat in storage rose one percent from the same point last year. The last month new chicks can mature enough for Thanksgiving is August, and placements rose two percent higher than the five-year-average as producers attempted to make up for lost output because of avian influenza earlier this year. Since the end of August, inventories have steadily declined. Stocks in September dropped to just over 105 million pounds, nine percent above 2021. *********************************************************************************** Helping Veterans Find New Careers John Deere announced an agreement with the U.S. Army Reserve to help service members and their families access career opportunities while transferring to civilian life. The agreement allows Deere to provide active-duty soldiers transitioning to the Army Reserves with meaningful education and skills that will make them top candidates for future employment. Deere says it’s honored to give back to the nation’s veterans by helping them take the skills they learned and develop them in a new career path. The agreement builds upon the Defense Department’s Skill Bridge Program, which places active-duty military members in civilian jobs for the final six months of service. Reserve members typically face unemployment rates two or three times the national average. The internship allows vets to get on the ground training and industry education that can help make them better candidates for open jobs. Active-duty, National Guard, or Reserve vets and spouses can go to deere.com.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 16, 2022 |


USDA Provides Almost $24 Million for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers USDA Chief Scientist Chavonda Jacobs-Young says the agency will invest nearly $24 million across 45 organizations and institutions that teach and train beginning farmers and ranchers. “Investing in the professional development of our nation’s newest farmers and ranchers will help our food and agriculture sectors to flourish from the ground up,” she says. The investments will support a wide range of activities across a number of important topics for new farmers and ranchers, including managing capital, acquiring and managing land, and learning effective business and farming practices. The investment is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. “We recognize that beginning farmers and ranchers have unique needs for education, training, and technical assistance,” says NIFA Acting Director Dr. Dionne Toombs. “This investment will benefit a new generation of beginning farmers and ranchers across the spectrum of American agriculture. For more information, go to usda.gov. *********************************************************************************** Farm Groups Ask USTR for “Fresh Start” With WTO USA Rice released a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai from ag groups asking her for a “fresh start” at the World Trade Organization. “We believe negotiations are at a crossroads, and the current environment is conducive to a fresh start,” the groups say in a letter. “The groups are asking for a forum at the WTO that would facilitate discussion of the traditional core issues as well as emerging trade-related issues like trade liberalization and innovation-friendly regulatory approaches.” They also say if the current WTO structure doesn’t allow for “blank-slate” negotiations, the groups want her to develop alternatives to address these issues. “Finally, a critical element of agricultural trade liberalization will be an effective enforcement mechanism,” they say. “Indefinitely extending the block on appellate body appointments or agreeing to reforms that weaken dispute settlement will be detrimental to America’s agricultural producers and possible discussions surrounding agricultural trade issues.” *********************************************************************************** Farm Workers to Lobby for Immigration Bill Over 60 farm worker groups from across America are traveling to Washington this week to urge the Senate to pass the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The United Farmworkers, the UFW Foundation, and other groups will make the trip to Washington, D.C. to lobby for the bill, which is a compromise between farm and labor leaders and supported by most farm groups. The Fence Post Dot Com says the House passed the bill, but Senate supporters haven’t convinced enough Republicans to support the bill to get the 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster. Lobbyists for the bill worry that passing it in the next Congress would be close to impossible if Republicans wind up controlling the House. Farm workers from major agricultural states like Arizona, California, Washington, Georgia, and others will be lobbying elected officials. “Providing America’s agricultural workforce with legal status and stability is crucial,” says UFW President Teresa Romero. *********************************************************************************** Group Wants Seven Billion Gallon Biofuel Law Clean Fuels America Alliance wants the Environmental Protection Agency to increase the advanced biofuels’ share of the fuel market by one billion gallons a year to reflect the rising interest in renewable diesel production. The recommendations would raise the federal mandate for second-generation biofuels by over 7.6 billion gallons in 2024, which amounts to a 36 percent increase from this year. “We’re seeing the production of renewable diesel coming online,” says Donnell Rehagen, Clean Fuels America CEO. “We believe the EPA has to increase the biomass-based diesel volume by 500 million gallons and the advance biofuels by one billion gallons for each of the next two years.” In an agreement with the biofuel industry, the EPA has a deadline on November 30 to announce the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2023 and possibly for additional years. Plants with up to three billion gallons of capacity will come online in the next three years. *********************************************************************************** Russia Expected to Extend the Black Sea Grain Deal Russia will likely extend the United Nations-brokered deal allowing exports of grain and other farm products from Ukraine. Four people tell Bloomberg that the deal expires on November 19 and that Russia will likely allow the deal to renew. Just ahead of the expiration, United Nations’ leadership and Russian officials met on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Reuters says the two sides had a lengthy discussion and talked through all the aspects related to facilitating Russian exports of food and fertilizers, as well as the Black Sea Initiative. The accord helped stave off a global food crisis by allowing food and fertilizer exports from several of Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Russia wants unhindered access to world markets for its own food and fertilizer exports in return for agreeing to continue the Black Sea export deal. Moscow says it could quit the deal if progress isn’t made on its concerns. *********************************************************************************** Another Record Land Sale in Iowa Iowa set another record for farmland sales. Seventy-three acres of high-quality farmland in Sioux County, Iowa, sold for $30,000 per acre at auction on November 11. That’s a total sale worth $2.195 million. That’s just part of a new $30,000-per-acre club in Iowa. A local farmer was the buyer, and the runner-up was also a farmer. A statement from Iowa Appraisal says the company can’t explain these recent price records. The price itself got negotiated in just minutes. “There’s no really good explanation for sudden jumps in these record prices,” the company says. The farm had 72.49 tillable acres with a balance in roads and ditches. Its corn acreage base is 28.19 acres with a yield of 172 bushels an acre, and a soybean base of 38.19 acres with a yield of 56 bushels an acre. A recent auction saw 116 acres of southeast Nebraska farmland sell for $27,400 per acre.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 16, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. retail sales for October is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, followed by the Fed's report on October industrial production at 8:15 a.m. The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory report is set for 9:30 a.m. and includes ethanol production. Traders will continue to closely watch news events from Ukraine, as well as the latest weather forecasts. Weather A system is moving through the Northeast with a batch of heavy snow. A trough over the middle of the country continues to produce light snow across the Midwest. And another push of cold air coming down from Canada is leading to light snows for the Northern Plains. Some of those snows could be heavier closer to the Rockies tonight and come with some breezy winds as well. Meanwhile, below normal temperatures have largely enveloped the entire U.S.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 15, 2022 |


Ag Groups Call for Congress to Reaffirm Federal Pesticide Preemption More than 300 agriculture, environment, academic, and infrastructure stakeholder groups are calling on Congress to reaffirm federal pesticide preemption on labeling and packaging. Failing to do so, the groups warn, could hold disastrous consequences for our food security, the environment, public health, vital infrastructure, and other uses where pesticides provide important societal benefits. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is clear that states “shall not impose or continue in effect any requirements for labeling or packaging in addition to or different from those required” by the federal government. However, in recent years, states have sought to impose health claim label requirements that directly contradict federal findings. In a letter to Congress, the groups call on Congress to reaffirm that states may not impose additional labeling or packaging requirements that conflict with federal findings. American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle says, “Farmers and other pesticide users need predictable access to these tools to protect their crops and maintain important conservation practices. *********************************************************************************** Senate Ag Leaders Call for Greater Cryptocurrency Regulation Leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee last week called for more federal oversight of cryptocurrency exchanges. The comments come as cryptocurrency exchange FTX collapsed last week, and a collapse of cryptocurrency prices. The Senate Agriculture Committee has jurisdiction over the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Chair Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, says, “Consumers continue to be harmed by the lack of transparency and accountability in this market. Ranking Republican from Arkansas, John Boozman, says, “The events that have transpired reinforce the clear need for greater federal oversight of the digital asset industry.” Boozman adds, “While our legislative work continues, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission already has the ability to regulate and prosecute fraud, manipulation and abuse. I strongly encourage them to actively exercise those authorities when necessary.” The Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022, sponsored by Stabenow, would amend the Commodity Exchange Act to provide the Commodity Futures Trading Commission jurisdiction to oversee the spot digital commodity market *********************************************************************************** NCGA Launches Search for Next CEO The National Corn Growers Association Board of Directors has hired Hedlin Ag Enterprises of Ankeny, Iowa, to assist with the search for a new CEO. Current NCGA CEO Jon Doggett has worked for NCGA for more than 20 years as our Vice President of Public Policy, Executive Vice President and, since 2018, as CEO. Doggett made his intentions known to the board earlier this year, and his last day with the organization will be December 31, 2022." NCGA President Tom Haag says, “We have been very thoughtful and put a lot of time and effort into this process.” The initial part of the search involves identifying and vetting potential candidates for the position, which will occur through the end of this year and into the beginning of 2023. Candidate interviews for the CEO position will be held in February with the intention of introducing the new CEO during Commodity Classic in March. *********************************************************************************** Iowa Department of Ag Cancels Live Bird Exhibitions The Iowa Department of Agriculture and last week announced an order canceling all live bird exhibitions at fairs and other gatherings of birds. The order comes as Iowa and the rest of the nation face a continued threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza. The order also prohibits live birds from being sold or transferred at livestock auction markets, swap meets, and exotic sales. The order is in place for a minimum of 30 days, and until 30 days have passed without confirmation of a new infection of HPAI in domestic poultry in the state. A similar order was announced March 23 and was lifted June 3. HPAI is a highly contagious viral disease affecting bird populations. HPAI can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick, but is often fatal to domestic bird populations, including chickens and turkeys. The virus can spread through droppings or the nasal discharge of an infected bird, which can contaminate dust and soil. *********************************************************************************** Disability Status Can Affect Food Security Among U.S. Households In 2021, households that included an adult with disabilities reported higher food insecurity rates than households with no adults with disabilities. USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that in 2021, for U.S. households that included an adult out of the labor force because of a disability, 28 percent were food insecure. Among U.S. households with an adult age 18-64 who reported a disability but was not out of the labor force because of it, 24 percent were food insecure. In contrast, seven percent of households with adults without disabilities were food insecure in 2021. Households that include at least one adult 65 and over who reported a disability had food insecurity prevalence rates similar to households with adults without disabilities, at nine percent. In 2021, the prevalence rate of very low food security for households that included adults not in the labor force because of a disability was more than five times that of households that included adults without disabilities. *********************************************************************************** Weekly Gas Prices Lower, Diesel Rises Again After just a week, average gas prices have returned to their decline, with the national average falling 2.6 cents from a week ago to $3.76 per gallon. The national average is down 14.3 cents from a month ago but stands 36.3 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel increased 2.3 cents in the last week and stands at $5.34 per gallon. Diesel supplies remain short, prompting the inverse in price between gas and diesel. GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan says, “With oil prices remaining volatile, the outlook is murky, but I’m hopeful in the lead up to Thanksgiving we’ll see prices declining in more states.” The decline has been partly driven by Great Lakes states, where prices fell by 15-25 cents per gallon due to an improvement in the refining situation, and also oil prices. GasBuddy reports U.S. retail gasoline demand fell last week by 0.4 percent.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 15, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department's producer price index for October will be out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday and is apt to resemble the smaller increases already seen in last Thursday's consumer price index. The National Oilseeds Processors Association will report on members' soybean crush in October later Tuesday morning. Traders will keep watch over the latest weather forecasts and any news pertaining to Ukraine this week. Weather A system moving through on Tuesday is bringing widespread precipitation to the eastern half of the country. Across northern areas it is snow, mostly in the light to moderate category. For the Southeast, it's rain and could be moderate in spots. Cold air continues to pour in behind this system, making it feel like winter and causing wheat to go dormant.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday November 14, 2022 |


Interest and Drought Pressuring Still Strong Farm Economy Interest rates on farm loans increased sharply in the third quarter, and the acceleration in farm real estate values continued to ease. The Kansas City Fed says farm income and credit conditions remained solid, but the pace of improvement softened. The financial impact of the drought also intensified, particularly in the southern and western portions of the district. Despite the recent headwinds, farm finances remained strong and continued to support sound agricultural loan performance. The outlook for the agricultural economy generally remains positive despite a recent pull back in prices for some key farm commodities. Crop market volatility, higher expenses, and drought could hinder income opportunities for some producers, but prices for key crops and livestock remain at multi-year highs, and profit opportunities remain favorable across the farm sector. The recent substantial improvement in farm finances and a surge in agricultural real estate values have also bolstered farmer balance sheets. *********************************************************************************** Combine Sales Rise While Tractor Sales Drop in October Combine harvester sales showed double-digit gains during October in North America. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers says all tractor sales fell in the U.S. and Canada. The latest AEM report says total U.S. ag equipment unit sales stayed above the five-year average for the third time since April. Total farm tractor sales fell 11 percent in October when compared to last year. The biggest drop took place in the sub-40 horsepower category, which fell almost 24 percent. Self-propelled combine sales grew 77 percent to 1,678 units sold. All ag tractor segments above 40 horsepower grew as well, led by a 25 percent rise in 100-plus HP units. Total farm tractor sales are down 14 percent year-to-date, a slight improvement over the prior month. U.S. combine sales are up 16 percent year-to-date. The only segments in Canada that showed growth were four-wheel-drive tractors up 19 percent and combine harvesters up 33 percent. *********************************************************************************** CAB Awards $70,000 in Scholarship Funds Certified Angus Beef awarded an annual record of $70,000 in scholarships to 20 students pursuing careers at the ranch, in meat science, in a research lab, or supporting agricultural business and marketing. The Colvin Scholarship Fund recognizes students for the commitment and energy they bring to agriculture, their education, and their community involvement. Young leaders with bright ideas for making the best beef even better earned five production agriculture, ten undergraduate, and five graduate scholarships. Danielle Matter, CAB director of brand experience and education, says, “All of this year’s recipients shine a bright light on the future of the beef business, and we are excited to see how the awards positively influence these students.” The students recognized through the scholarships are carrying on the legacy of the brand’s co-founder and former executive director Louis “Mick” Colvin. Since 2022, the fund has supported a total of 121 recipients through $418,500 in scholarships. *********************************************************************************** NCBA Applauds Focus on Protecting Food and Ag Sector The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association hailed the signing of the National Security Memorandum to Strengthen the Security and Resilience of U.S. Food and Agriculture. The memorandum helps the federal government to identify the threats facing our food supply and improve national readiness and response. “Our agricultural sector faces a variety of threats that could inhibit cattle producers’ ability to bring beef from pasture to plate,” says NCBA CEO Colin Woodall. “We appreciate the focus on developing threat mitigation strategies.” He also says if everyone works together, “We can protect our industry while ensuring that all Americans have access to wholesome foods like beef.” The memorandum instructs top government officials on identifying threats and coordinating with all levels of government on a response. The NCBA is especially pleased that the Biden Administration is making security and resiliency decisions based on sound data. “These are the kinds of data-driven decisions we support,” says Woodall. *********************************************************************************** Report Show Increasing Acreage and Sustainability for U.S. Cotton Production The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol released a report showing increasing improvement in the sustainability of American cotton production. The report shows significant improvements in important sustainability metrics. Cotton Trust Protocol members have recorded a 13 percent increase in land use efficiency and a 14 percent increase in water use efficiency. There’s also a 25 percent reduction in energy use, a 21 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a 78 percent reduction in soil loss. Seventy percent of growers in the protocol had a positive Soil Conservation Index. Membership in the Cotton Trust Protocol has grown both domestically and internationally. Enrolled acres of U.S. cotton production have doubled to 1.1 million acres since the program’s pilot year. All 17 of the major U.S. cotton-producing states are now represented. Dr. Gary Adams, Cotton Trust President, says the results speak for themselves in the impressive progress made by growers on key sustainability metrics.” *********************************************************************************** Year-Round Ethanol Sales Idea Wins Oil Group Support A Republican senator from Nebraska plans to submit legislation to expand national sales of E15 with the support of a major oil industry trade group. Successful Farming says Deb Fischer believes there is a way to move ahead with year-round E15 sales that have previously been opposed by some oil and environmental groups. The American Petroleum Institute, one of the oil industry’s top trade groups, began discussions earlier this year with the Renewable Fuels Association on a nationwide expansion of E15. The API began cooperating with biofuel trade groups after governors from major corn-producing states requested the Environmental Protection Agency lift restrictions on E15 sales in their states. The governors’ proposal raised oil industry concerns about fuel supplies. “A state-by-state approach would create a boutique fuel market in the Midwest and may negatively impact the reliability of gasoline supply to the region,” says Will Hupman, API Vice President of Downstream Policy.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday November 14, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will be checking over the latest weather forecasts and any market-related news, especially as Russia is expected to either accept or quit the Ukrainian grain deal by November 19. USDA's weekly report of export inspections is due out at 10 a.m. CDT Monday, followed by Crop Progress at 3 p.m. Weather Widespread cold has gripped most of the nation, making it feel like winter. A small system developing in Texas will spread scattered showers through the southern half of the Plains states but quickly move eastward through the Southeast with rain going into Tuesday. The northern half of the precipitation will be snow and could be moderate in some spots through the Plains and into the Midwest. The reinforcing cold coming behind the system will likely continue the process of turning wheat dormant in a lot of areas.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday November 11, 2022 |


Union Pushes Back Date for Potential Railroad Worker Strike A key railroad workers’ union says it won’t go on strike after November 19. The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way – Employees Division says it will hold off on any type of action until early December. Freight Waves Dot Com says that will give railroads more time to come up with their best offer without the pressure of an imminent walkout. The status quo period will be in place along with three other unions that have yet to approve their labor agreements. This period, known as a “cooling-off period,” means unions or railroads can’t engage in any work stoppages according to federal law. The union says it’s the last chance for railroads to do the right thing by voluntarily agreeing to provide paid sick leave to all employees. “Congress should not intervene and rescue the railroads if they continue to refuse to provide workers with paid sick leave,” the union says in a statement. *********************************************************************************** Export Exchange Leads to $225 Million in Sales The Export Exchange Conference recently hosted by the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, and the Renewable Fuels Association is already paying off. According to surveys of grain buyers who attended the event, they bought $225 million worth of grain and ethanol co-products. In addition to that total, another $128 million in potential sales is under negotiations. That equates to almost 515,000 metric tons of grains and co-products traded at the conference or immediately before or after. “Trade is absolutely critical to U.S. farmers right now, and these sales show that buyers attending the Export Exchange took the buying opportunities very seriously,” says USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, says, “Exports of U.S. grains and DDGS create jobs at home while helping international companies satisfy their demand for quality products.” Geoff Cooper, RFA President and CEO, says buyers bought enough DDGS to fill three Panamax vessels. *********************************************************************************** USMEF Conference Examines Exports, Constraints, and Headwinds The U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Strategic Planning Conference in Oklahoma City attracted farmers, ranchers, processors, and exporters from across the country. While U.S. red meat exports will likely set a record in value, there are several obstacles ahead for the industry, including a sluggish global economy, weaker currencies, and the lingering effects of COVID. Production challenges are also mounting, especially with severe drought. Keynote speaker Randy Blach (Block) of CattleFax says despite the challenges, the U.S. red meat industry is still remarkably efficient and sustainable. He says American producers are well-positioned for success, even in this challenging environment. “We produce more beef than Brazil with one-third the number of cattle,” Blach says. “It’s our high-quality, grain-fed beef.” USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom updated members on current export results and the outlook for the months ahead. He also highlighted the importance of market diversification that’s helped exports maintain their record pace. *********************************************************************************** Mexican Lawmakers Pushing to Ban Almost 200 Pesticide Chemicals A group of lawmakers in Mexico is attempting to ban almost 200 chemicals used in pesticides, and the country’s farmers are alarmed at the prospect. While supporters of the idea want pesticides banned because it’s harmful to human health, farmers say that could devastate Mexico’s ability to produce food. Head Topics Dot Com says there’s a growing push in Mexico against using pesticides and growing genetically modified corn. However, some in the Mexican government say this proposal goes too far too quickly. The country is already getting rid of glyphosate, and the country intends to ban genetically modified corn in 2024. The Senate will soon take up the plan to phase out 183 different chemicals contained in commonly-used pesticides by 2024. The proposed bill pushes alternatives like bio-inputs and extract products to replace pesticides. If the bill is approved, it moves to a Senate vote and then the lower house. *********************************************************************************** USDA Investing $50 Million in Healthier School Meals USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service launched a new initiative for healthier school meals through a $50 million grant opportunity. It will support collaboration with the food industry to develop nutritious and appetizing school meals for students. “We’re investing in innovative solutions and challenging the industry to partner with us to ensure every student has access to healthy school meals,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “For children to reach their full academic potential, they must build healthy eating habits, and USDA recognizes the importance of private sector partnership in making this happen.” The request for grant applications is now open and marks the second phase of USDA’s $100 million Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative. The initiative is designed to improve the quality of school meals by strengthening access to nutritious food products. Up to four non-governmental organizations will be selected by the Food and Nutrition Service to manage funds for the School Food System Transformation Challenge. *********************************************************************************** Weekly Ethanol Output Hits Four-Month High The Energy Information Administration says ethanol production hit its highest level in four months while inventories declined during the week ending on November 4. The weekly output rose to an average of 1.051 million barrels per day. That’s up from 1.04 million barrels during the previous week and the highest level since June 24. The Midwest, which produces the most ethanol of any region in the country saw production rise to 992,000 barrels per day on average. That’s up from 981,000 the prior week and the highest production level since June 17. The Midwest gains were the entirety of the additions as production in most regions stayed the same from the previous week. East Coast production remained at 12,000 barrels a day for the third-straight week, and Rocky Mountain production was steady at 15,000 barrels a day for the fourth-straight week. Ethanol inventories that week dropped to 22.192 million barrels.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday November 11, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets Friday is Veterans Day, a special day to honor those that have served. Futures markets will trade as usual and the University of Michigan's index of consumer sentiment for November is due out at 9 a.m. CDT. Traders will watch the latest weather forecasts and be attentive to any news that comes from Friday's meeting of Russian and U.N. officials pertaining to the Ukrainian grain deal. Weather The remnants to Nicole are spreading rain across the Appalachians and East Coast for Friday. Some of those showers are falling west of the mountain range, which will add a minor boost to the inland river systems. A sharp cold front continues to trek eastward through the country with very cold, arctic air settling in behind it that will last through next week. As the front passes, temperatures will fall dramatically.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday November 10, 2022 |


USDA Releases November WASDE USDA released the November World Agriculture Supply and Demand report Wednesday. This month's 2022/23 U.S. corn outlook is for higher production, larger feed and residual use, and greater ending stocks. Corn production is forecast at 13.930 billion bushels, up 35 million from last month, on a 0.4-bushel increase in yield to 172.3 bushels per acre. The season-average corn price received by producers was unchanged at $6.80 per bushel. The soybean outlook for 2022/23 increased production, crush, and ending stocks. Soybean production is forecast at 4.35 billion bushels, up 33 million on higher yields. Higher yields in Iowa and Missouri account for most of the change in production. The season-average soybean price for 2022/23 is forecast at $14.00 per bushel, unchanged from last month. And the outlook for 2022/23 wheat this month shows stable supplies, increased domestic use, unchanged exports, and slightly lower ending stocks. The projected 2022/23 season-average farm price was unchanged at $9.20 per bushel. *********************************************************************************** No Change in House/Senate Ag Leadership Leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees will likely be the same in the next Congress. Who controls the majority in the House, along with the Senate, will have a significant say in the 2023 Farm Bill process. Ranking Republican Glenn GT Thompson was reelected Tuesday and seems poised to chair the committee, if Republicans can hold on to take the majority in the House. Meanwhile, Georgia voters reelected Democrat David Scott, the current House Agriculture Committee chairman, who seems likely to remain the top Democrat on the committee. Meanwhile, the Senate Agriculture Committee will likely see the same leadership return. Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, was not up for re-election, and Arkansas voters reelected Republican John Boozman. The so-called red wave did not appear on election day and seems to give way to thin majorities for both the House and Senate. Final election results for all races may take a few more days. *********************************************************************************** Maryland and Missouri Approve Marijuana Legalization Voters in Maryland and Missouri approved ballot measures Tuesday to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use. Similar measures were defeated in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Maryland Question 4 was referred to the ballot by the Legislature, while Missouri Amendment 3 was placed on the ballot via citizen initiative. Both measures make possession of limited amounts of cannabis legal for adults 21 and older and authorize the regulated production and sale of cannabis for adult use. Adult-use legalization laws have now been adopted in 21 states, D.C., and two U.S. territories, while an additional 16 states and two territories have legalized cannabis for medical use. VS Strategies is a national policy and public affairs firm based in Denver specializing in cannabis and drug policy. A VS Strategies spokesperson says, “Support for ending marijuana prohibition in the states is spreading much like it did at the end of alcohol prohibition.” *********************************************************************************** 2022 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections Open This Week The Department of Agriculture began mailing ballots for the Farm Service Agency county and urban county committee elections this week. Elections are occurring in certain Local Administrative Areas for these committee members who make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally.  FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux (DOO-sheh-know), says, "Voting in these elections is your opportunity to help ensure our county committees reflect the diversity of our agriculture." Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operation but may not have applied or received FSA program benefits. Producers who are not of legal voting age but supervise and conduct farming operations for an entire farm are eligible to vote in these elections. Producers and landowners must return ballots to their local FSA county office or have their ballots  postmarked by December 5, 2022, in order for those ballots to be counted.    *********************************************************************************** SNAP Participation Varied Across States from 2019 to 2021 In fiscal year 2021, USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program served an average of 41.5 million people monthly. USDA’s Economic Research Service Wednesday reported the 2021 figure is an increase of about 5.8 million per month compared with fiscal year 2019. SNAP participation increased nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic to around 12.5 percent of the total U.S. population in 2021 from about 10.9 percent in 2019. In addition, SNAP participation data in February 2019 were artificially low because of the Federal Government shutdown at the time, impacting the average participation rate. SNAP participation also varied across states because of differences in program administration and economic conditions. Over this two-year period, 41 states saw an increase in SNAP participation, which ranged from a 0.1-percent increase in Mississippi to a 6.6-percent increase in the District of Columbia. In D.C., the percentage of participants increased to 20.9 percent in FY 2021 from 14.3 percent in FY 2019. *********************************************************************************** Farmers Encouraged to Keep the Stubble During No-Till November The Natural Resources Conservation Service encourages farmers to keep the tillage equipment in the machine shed during No-Till November. In a Wisconsin campaign first launched in 2017, the NRCS project is a conservation twist on the national cancer awareness No Shave November campaign that encourages people not to shave during the entire month. The NRCS campaign encourages farmers to "keep the stubble" on their harvested crop fields. The campaign has reached more than two million people nationally through Twitter and local media since 2017. Wisconsin NRCS Acting State Conservationist Jamie Keith, says, "No-till farming is a cornerstone soil health conservation practice, which also promotes water quality while saving farmers time and money.” One of the first soil health principles is “do not disturb.” Keith of Wisconsin adds, “This campaign is a fun way to remind farmers about the important relationship between tillage and soil health.”

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday November 10, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as the Labor Department's reports on consumer prices for October and weekly jobless claims, as well as the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Energy Department's weekly report on natural gas storage is set for 9:30 a.m., followed by the Treasury Department's report on the federal budget in October at 1 p.m. Weather A strong storm system moving through the middle of the country on Thursday is bringing heavy snow and potential blizzard conditions to the Northern Plains. The cold front will sweep eastward and very cold air is filling in behind the system. While precipitation is heavy across the north, it is far less intense everywhere else and drought conditions continue to grow for southwestern Plains wheat. Tropical Storm Nicole is making landfall in central Florida early this morning and spreading heavy rain into the Southeast throughout the day.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 9, 2022 |


Results From Ag Lender Survey Released The top concern facing agricultural lenders going into 2023 is interest rate volatility, according to the 2022 Agricultural Lender Survey report. The report announced this week is produced jointly by the American Bankers Association and Farmer Mac. Nearly half of respondents ranked interest rate volatility among their top two concerns, up 35.5 percentage points from last year. While rising rates have helped bolster bank net interest margins, a combination of higher funding costs, fears of weakening loan demand and strong competition is expected to cut into rising yields. Most lenders reported overall farm profitability increased in the last year. Lenders expect conditions to deteriorate next year, with 52.6 percent projecting a decline in farm profitability in the next 12 months. However, this remains well below the 2016-2020 survey average of 82.3 percent. Jackson Takach (tack-ish), Chief Economist at Farmer Mac, says, “Looking ahead, ag lenders are keeping a close eye on expenses, as feed, fertilizer, fuel, and other input costs remain elevated." *********************************************************************************** New FMI Report Reveals Consumer Playbook for Foodservice at Retail The Food Industry Association released its Power of Foodservice at Retail 2022 report Tuesday. The report shows key insights into consumer demand for foodservice at retail, and comes at a critical time when 25 percent of shoppers are purchasing more grocery foodservice items than a year ago, surpassing dollar and unit sales volume from last year and 2019. The analysis suggests that food retailers can compete for consumers’ food dollars by maximizing value, nutrition and convenience, while clearly communicating these benefits to consumers. As inflation continues to affect Americans’ budgets, shoppers are preparing more meals at home – focusing on weekly meal planning and scratch cooking. Fifty-three percent say grocery foodservice items are a good value compared to eating at a restaurant or ordering takeout. A growing number of shoppers are ranking nutritional value highly when considering foodservice options, as 58 percent of consumers are interested in vegetables or other healthy options. However, only slightly more than a third are very satisfied with the nutrition levels of current foodservice offerings. *********************************************************************************** Grassley Presses Biden Administration on New Rural Mental Health Law Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is requesting an update on the Biden administration’s efforts to implement the Seeding Rural Resilience Act. Grassley sent the request to the Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services this week. The 2020 legislation is designed to curb the rising rate of suicide in rural areas – in the National Defense Authorization Act. The law requires interagency coordination between USDA and HHS. Grassley notes current economic conditions make timely implementation of the law even more important, adding, "The timely implementation of the Seeding Rural Resilience Act can provide life-saving resources to rural Americans." In February and again in June, Grassley asked Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about efforts he is taking to support implementation of the Seeding Rural Resilience Act, given the surgeon general’s emphasis on improving mental health. To date, Grassley has not received an answer from the surgeon general. *********************************************************************************** American Farmland Trust Releases Updated CaRPE Tool American Farmland Trust Tuesday released its updated Carbon Reduction Potential Evaluation Tool. The announcement includes the first of a series of briefs to help states estimate greenhouse gas emission reduction opportunities from the climate-smart cropland and grazing land management practices. The tool and state-specific briefs, which summarize the carbon benefits of climate-smart practices and provide state and federal policy recommendations to increase their adoption, are now available. These briefs are designed to help policymakers and land managers prioritize efforts for cost-effective climate benefits available from the agricultural sector. The tool has been available from AFT since the fall of 2020 and used by states to build working lands solutions into climate mitigation plans and state soil health efforts. Recent updates to the tool allow users to view data by USDA Farm Resource Regions and see results by counties and states and get the weighted emission reduction coefficient. Information on the free, publicly available tool and how to access it can be found at farmland.org. *********************************************************************************** Farm Credit Organizations Launch Terrain Three farm credit organizations this week launched Terrain, a new source of agricultural industry analysis for U.S. farmers and ranchers. American AgCredit, Farm Credit Services of America, and Frontier Farm Credit partnered to offer Terrain to their customers. Curt Hudnutt, CEO of American AgCredit, says, “Serving farmers and ranchers – from everything between Iowa’s hog and corn farmers to California’s dairy and vineyard owners – is our shared mission Terrain’s experts share insights on trends and market-moving events through reports, videos, presentations and more. Mark Jensen, CEO of Farm Credit Services of America and Frontier Farm Credit, adds, “Terrain provides unique expertise to support the future of agriculture and rural communities.” Visit terrainag.com for Terrain’s current perspective on the impact of interest rates on agricultural loans, a discussion on how grain storage costs change with interest rates, and insights on the near-term risks for the hog farming sector. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Sweet Potatoes Enjoyed Around the World The United States is not the only country enjoying U.S. sweet potatoes. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the United States was the top global exporter, by volume, of sweet potatoes in 2020. USDA’s Economic Research Service Tuesday announced U.S. sweet potato exports on a fresh-weight basis increased 1,157 percent from 2001 to 2021. And the annual value of exports grew from $14 million to $187 million in the same period. Promotion of the health benefits and food companies’ expanding sweet-potato offerings, such as sweet potato chips and fries, have helped fuel the expansion. Exports to the United Kingdom and European Union experienced strong year-over-year growth from the mid-2000s until 2018. The United States ranks seventh globally in sweet potato production, according to FAO. Over the past 20 years, top-producing U.S. states more than doubled sweet potato production to meet growing international and domestic demand.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 9, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory report, including ethanol production will be out at 9:30 a.m. CST, followed by USDA's WASDE and Crop Production reports at 11 a.m. Traders will pay attention to this week's weather forecasts with significant temperature changes expected through the week. Outside markets also remain a frequent concern. Weather A sharp cold front is draped over the North-Central U.S. Wednesday morning where scattered showers are building up ahead of a system that is pushing through the Intermountain West. That system will emerge into the Plains Wednesday night and increase precipitation over northern areas, turning a lot of it over to heavy snow in the Dakotas by Thursday morning. Strong winds will accompany the system as well. Tropical Storm Nicole is headed toward Florida with landfall Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, possibly as a hurricane. Regardless, heavy rain will move into Florida that is still trying to recover from Hurricane Ian in late September.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 8, 2022 |


September Pork Exports Continue Upward Trend; Pace Cools for Beef U.S. pork exports topped year-ago totals for the second consecutive month in September, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. September beef exports were below last year for the first time in 2022, but exports remain on a record pace through the first three quarters of the year. Pork exports reached 222,202 metric tons in September, up one percent from a year ago. Export value increased nine percent to $664.8 million – the highest since June 2021. Through September, pork exports were 13 percent below last year at 1.94 million metric tons, valued at $5.57 billion. September beef exports totaled 115,487 metric tons, valued at $890.3 million, down seven percent from a year ago in both volume and value. For the first nine months of 2022, beef exports were still four percent above last year at 1.12 million metric tons. Export value reached $9.12 billion, up 20 percent and already achieving the second-highest total for any calendar year, trailing only the 2021 record of $10.58 billion. *********************************************************************************** Poultry Industry Releases Economic Impact Study The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers recently released an updated economic impact study. The study highlights the poultry industry's positive impact on jobs, wages, and federal and state revenue in the United States. A dynamic and integral part of the national economy, the U.S. poultry industry provides more than two million jobs, $125 billion in wages, $555 billion in economic activity and $33 billion in government revenue. Specifically, the study found the chicken industry provided $417 billion in economic activity, while the turkey industry provides $99.5 billion, and the egg industry provides $44.7 billion. John Starkey, president of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, says, “We are pleased to continue providing this valuable tool across the industry that shows the positive economic impact the poultry industry has on our nation and communities.” The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association funded the economic impact study. *********************************************************************************** California Top Purchaser of Crop Insurance for Specialty Crops New data from USDA's Economic Research Service shows California farmers purchase the most Federal Crop Insurance policies for Specialty Crops. California led the country in policies for specialty crops in 2020, followed by Florida, Washington, North Dakota, and Minnesota. The states also produce the most fruits and vegetables, California, Florida, and Washington, and specialty field crops, from North Dakota and Minnesota. Specialty crops are a commodity group which includes fresh or dried fruits; tree nuts; vegetables; pulse crops such as dry beans, peas, and lentils; and horticulture nursery crops. California’s policies reflect the variety of specialty crops produced in the state, including almonds, grapes, oranges, walnuts, and raisins. Most North Dakota policies cover field crops—dry beans and dry peas. In 2020, specialty crops accounted for 25 percent of the value of U.S. crop production. Crop Insurance policies can mitigate risks by providing payments if insured crops experience losses caused by naturally occurring events and market conditions. *********************************************************************************** Plant Based Products Council Announces First Annual Industry Conference The Plant Based Products Council Monday announced its first annual conference. The PBPC 2023 Annual Conference: Circular Solutions, will explore the innovations, business models, and policies influencing the entire lifecycle of bioproducts in the promotion of a more circular economy. Attendees will hear from and network with industry leaders, policymakers, brands, and experts through panels, keynotes, networking sessions, and more. Plant Based Products Council Executive Director Jessica Bowman says, "We are thrilled to launch our annual conference convening leading experts and innovators to discuss their role in this emerging industry and what solutions, challenges, and opportunities lie ahead." The conference is planned for March 27-29, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The Plant Based Products Council is an advocacy association working toward a more circular bioeconomy through greater adoption of renewable, plant-based materials supported by appropriate end-of-life infrastructure. Members of the organization include ADM, Cargill, and the National Corn Growers Association. *********************************************************************************** High Diesel Prices Put Strain on Farmers With diesel prices more than $1.50 per gallon high than this time last year, the American Farm Bureau Federation calls on the Biden administration to bring more domestic supply online, A ban on U.S. imports of petroleum from Russia, lower domestic production capacity, and seasonal demand are all contributing to higher costs. Russia provided 20 percent of the petroleum imported into the U.S. in 2021, but that was halted after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Further, since 2019, domestic diesel production capacity has dropped by 180,000 barrels per day. Several plants closed during the coronavirus pandemic and are not yet back online. AFBF President Zippy Duvall, in a letter to President Joe Biden, says, "High diesel prices are severely impacting our farmers and ranchers, causing increased costs to consumers, and adding to food insecurity." National diesel prices are expected to average $4.86 per gallon through the end of the year, according to government projections, and $4.29 per gallon in 2023. *********************************************************************************** Gas and Diesel Prices Rise Again For the first time in the last month, the nation’s average gas price increased, rising 6.2 cents from a week ago to $3.78 per gallon. The national average is down 11.5 cents from a month ago but stands 37.8 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel increased 3.4 cents in the last week and stands at $5.32 per gallon. National diesel supply remains tight, but supplies of diesel did see a slight rise last week. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “Brief outages at a limited number of stations are possible, but with refineries continuing to churn out product and maintenance wrapping up, I’m optimistic the situation will improve.” Oil saw a strong rally last week as inventories continued to decline and Strategic Petroleum Reserve releases slowed down. Last week’s report from the Energy Information Administration showed a notable drop in oil inventories of 3.1 million barrels, while the Strategic Petroleum Reserve saw a drop of 1.9 million barrels.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 8, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets There will be few government reports early on Tuesday as the mid-term elections take place. DTN will be watching for more developments on the Ukraine export deal and any export sales news, along with any changes in South American weather. Weather A system continues to move through the Northern Plains on Tuesday, dragging a cold front with a band of snow behind it in Montana. In the Plains, winds are increasing and spotty showers will develop from Texas to Minnesota, more consistent farther north toward the front. A stronger storm continues to build out in the West with heavy precipitation in drought areas in California and Nevada. Dry and warm conditions for eastern areas of the country may want to get fieldwork completed before this system moves east later this week.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday November 7, 2022 |


Ag Groups Ask Congress to Prevent Potential Rail Strike Over 190 members of the Agricultural Transportation Working Group want Congress to prepare to help prevent a railroad strike or lockout. Beef Magazine says a strike or lockout would shut down all rail-dependent facilities and result in devastating consequences to both national and global food security. The Biden administration successfully helped broker an agreement between the National Railway Labor Conference and 12 labor unions on September 15. But two unions voted against the agreement while four others continue reviewing it. The food and agriculture groups sent a letter to congressional leadership saying action will be necessary if the parties fail to reach an agreement. “Resolution of the dispute before November 19 is necessary to ensure uninterrupted rail service,” the letter says. “Adding urgency to the matter is critical inputs, and agricultural products like ammonia could be embargoed starting November 14.” They say a rail strike would be “catastrophic” to the U.S. economy. *********************************************************************************** Food Price Index Virtually Unchanged in October The FAO Food Price Index averaged 135.9 in October, virtually unchanged from September. The index of every commodity group except for cereals was down month-to-month. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says a higher Cereal Price Index countered drops in the indices for vegetable oils, dairy, meat, and sugar. With the latest update, the food price index has dropped almost 24 points from its peak in March but remains 2.7 points above October 2021. The Cereal Price Index averaged 152.3 points, 4.4 points higher than in September and 15.2 points above the same time last year. The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 150.1 points, down 2.4 points month-on-month and nearly 20 percent below last year’s level. The Dairy Price Index averaged 140.1 in October, down 2.5 points from September and the fourth-consecutive monthly drop. The Meat Price Index dropped for the fourth month in a row, averaging 118.4 points in October. *********************************************************************************** Mississippi River Shipments Down 78 Percent The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service says the number of grain barges being unloaded in New Orleans during September and October dropped significantly. An AMS report says the number of barges is 20-30 percent lower than in recent years. The slowdown coincides with river closures and restrictions on barge companies that reduced the bar tow. Typically, 30-40 barges can move down the river together, and the new restriction says no more than 25. The tonnage movement has been even weaker. Since September, tonnage going through locks was down more than 40 percent below recent years. The significant decline in tonnage is consistent with reports of how barges have been forced to reduce their draft. Barges are normally loaded to an 11-12-foot-deep draft during the fall. However, companies started imposing nine-foot barge draft restrictions in October. That can lead to a reduction of 10,000-15,000 bushels per barge. Tonnage appeared to pick up in October. *********************************************************************************** GAO Report is a “Gift” to Refiners The General Accounting Office released a report on the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision-making when it comes to small refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard. The report was first requested three years ago by renewable fuel supporters in Congress. But much has changed since then, and biofuel groups say the report is obsolete. Renewable Fuels Association President Geoff Cooper says the economic analysis can only be described as a creative and obscure acrobatic routine. In the summer of 2019, a group of renewable fuel supporters in the House and Senate asked for an investigation into two former EPA administrators. “More than three years later and less than a week before midterm elections, the GAO puts out a shoddy report that’s friendly to oil refiners and tries to answer questions no one ever asked,” Cooper says. “After all that, the report says small refiners’ costs of compliance are 0.5 percent above larger refiners.” *********************************************************************************** Farm Bureau Leaders Graduate from Women’s Boot Camp Fifteen farm and ranch women leaders graduated from the fall session of the Women’s Communication Boot Camp hosted by the American Farm Bureau. The four-day course featured hands-on sessions related to public speaking, working with the media, and messaging. Graduates will use that training in a variety of ways, including participating in local media opportunities to support Farm Bureau’s policy work. They can also share information with elected officials and join social media campaigns that spotlight modern agriculture. “The women leaders who completed this training will use their skills in their communities and for Farm Bureau on local, state, and national levels,” says Isabella Chism, Chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee. “Consumer interest in food and how its produced remains high, which means effective communication for agriculture is more important than ever.” A spring session of the boot camp will be held April 3-6, 2023, with applications opening in December. *********************************************************************************** NCC Delivers Comments on Proposed Salmonella Framework The National Chicken Council delivered public comments on a proposed regulatory framework for salmonella in poultry products during a virtual meeting with the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The NCC comments addressed each of the components the agency is considering as part of a new strategy. Food safety is a top priority for the broiler industry, and NCC supports changes in regulations that are based on sound science, and robust data, and are demonstrated to positively impact public health. “The industry is and should be expected to control potential pathogens, but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to doing so,” says Dr. Ashley Peterson, NCC’s Senior Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. “in a time of extreme inflation coupled with ongoing food security challenges, a command-and-control approach will do nothing to improve public health and remove chicken from the meat case.” The NCC wants a more collaborative effort to promote food safety.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday November 7, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets There will be few government reports early on Monday, followed on Tuesday by the mid-term elections. DTN will be watching for more developments on the Ukraine export deal and any export sales news, along with any changes in South American weather. Weather A ridge of high pressure is keeping most of the country east of the Rockies warm on Monday outside of the Northern Plains. A few spotty showers will be possible across the Southern Plains through the Tennessee Valley, but most areas are going to stay dry. That is not true for the West where a deep trough is building in the region. A strong low-pressure center is also forming up around Montana, producing some stronger winds and spreading a little snow to the Northern Plains, but the heavier precipitation will be up in the Canadian Prairies.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday November 4, 2022 |


Russia Resumes Participation in Black Sea Grain Deal Russia resumed participating in the Black Sea Grain Export Agreement four days after suspending it due to an alleged Ukraine attack on Russian ships in the Black Sea. Reuters says that brought immediate relief from pressure on food prices and eased worries over a renewed global food shortage. The United Nations, a key sponsor in the deal to help free up Ukrainian grain exports, says Moscow is asking for follow-up on the parts of the deal intended to help Russian food and fertilizer exports. Russian officials want more accomplished to make sure the country can export its enormous food and fertilizer output despite Western sanctions. Russia’s agricultural exports don’t specifically fall under sanctions imposed by the U.S., European Union, and others, but they’re impeded by restrictions on its financial, logistical, and insurance sectors. The initiative was agreed to in July for 120 days. The export deal expires on November 19. *********************************************************************************** Biofuel Groups File Motion to Intervene in SRE Lawsuit Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union filed a motion to intervene to support the Environmental Protection Agency in the D.C. District Court of Appeals. The groups filed the motion to support the agency’s decision to deny 69 petitions from refineries seeking small refinery exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard program for one or more compliance years between 2016 and 2021. The groups say the decision helped to strengthen U.S. energy security, protect the climate, and delivered relief at the pump during record-high gas prices. “Now, certain refiners want to reverse this process and turn back the clock to an era of gross mismanagement and abuse of the SRE provisions of the RFS program,” they say in the motion. “The RFS is back on track and holding refiners accountable to ensure lower prices and cleaner options at the pump for American families.” *********************************************************************************** Cow-Calf Operations Vary in Adopting Rotational Grazing Rotational grazing is a frequently discussed livestock management practice with a wide variety of public and private benefits. Little information has been available on the adoption rate of rotational grazing, so the Economic Research Service at USDA issued a report on the subject. Data shows that 40 percent of cow-calf operations report using rotational grazing. However, just 40 percent of that number use intensive rotational grazing. Operations that retain the majority of their calves through the initial feeder stage for later sale to feedlots are the most likely to adopt intensive rotational grazing. Rotational grazing operations are more likely than continuous grazing operations to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program. ERS says that rotational grazing is more common in the Northern Plains, Western Corn Belt, and Appalachian regions, where about one-half of those operations use the practice. Most grazing systems are simple, with five or fewer paddocks. *********************************************************************************** NCBA Accepting Nominations for the Environmental Stewardship Program The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is accepting applications until March 10 for the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award. The yearly award recognizes outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of U.S. cattle producers. “Cattle producers are actively working to protect and improve the environment because they know environmental stewardship and good business go together,” says NCBA President Don Schiefelbein (SHEEF-el-byne). Any group, individual, or organization is eligible to nominate one individual or business raising or feeding cattle. Individuals and families may not nominate themselves, although nominees may be involved in preparing the application. Along with a typed application, one nomination letter and three letters of recommendation highlighting the nominee’s leadership in conservation are required. Nominees don’t have to be NCBA members but should support the objectives of their state and national organizations. Regional winners will be announced at the 2024 Cattle Industry Convention. For info or to download a nomination packet, go to environmentalstewardship.org. *********************************************************************************** SMART Act Would Double Investments in Ag Export Programs The Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports applauds the introduction of the Supporting Market Access to Reinvigorate Trade Act of 2022. The SMART Act would double funding for USDA’s Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program. Both are critical to expanding global market access for U.S.-produced agricultural exports. A recent economic study predicted that doubling funding for these programs would generate an additional $44.4 billion in American agricultural exports from 2024 to 2029. “Reinvestment in export promotion programs is needed now,” says Robbie Minnich, Coalition Chair. “USDA is forecasting an agricultural trade deficit in 2023 for the first time in years because the growth in American farm exports is not keeping pace with imports, signaling a more competitive global landscape.” Geopolitical conflict is making the future of trade more uncertain, so the coalition says the additional investment is an essential piece of policy to reinforce America’s competitive standing overseas. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Cattlemen Applaud Funding to Expand Local Meat Processing Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $73 million in funding for the first round of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program. The funds will get used to increase competition across the cattle marketplace and support increased producer opportunities, and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association appreciates the USDA’s work. “We’re pleased to see the breadth and scope of projects supported through the funding,” says USCA President Brooke Miller. “The importance of this federal investment in our nation’s independent meat producers is evident when looking at individual projects.” As an example, they point to Upper Iowa Beef which received a grant that will expand its processing capacity by over 50 percent while creating new jobs for the community and premium revenue opportunities for independent producers. “These federal dollars can help usher in a new era of U.S. food production,” Miller says. “We’re encouraged by the announcement and look forward to further rounds of funding.”

| Rural Advocate News | Friday November 4, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets DTN will be watching the non-farm payrolls report, along with new unemployment numbers. We will also be watching for more developments on the Ukraine export deal and any export sales news, along with any changes in South American weather. Weather A cold front will pick up some steam with increasing showers and thunderstorms on Friday across the Mississippi Valley. That includes some heavier rain potential as well. Some of the thunderstorms across eastern Texas and Oklahoma into Arkansas and Louisiana could be severe with all threats being possible. Temperatures are falling dramatically behind the front by some 30 to 40 degrees, but are only seasonably cold ahead of the front. Winds on both sides of the front continue to be breezy with gusts generally in the 30 to 40 mph range.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday November 3, 2022 |


Vilsack Announces Funding to Increase Meat Processing Capacity Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday announced a $73 million investment through the first round of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program. The funding supports 21 grant projects to expand meat and poultry processing capacity, increasing competition, supporting producer income, and strengthening the food supply chain to lower costs, according to USDA. Vilsack says, "These investments create more opportunities for farmers and ranchers to get a fair price, while strengthening supply chains." In addition, the Administration is investing $75 million for eight projects through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program and more than $75 million for four meat and poultry-related projects through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan program. The program was designed to support capacity expansion projects in concert with other private and public finance tools. Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks. USDA will also soon begin taking applications for a new phase to deploy an additional $225 million investment. *********************************************************************************** Regionality of Avian Flu Outbreak Limits Losses in Broiler Production USDA's Economic Research Service reports highly pathogenic avian influenza in 2022 has major regionality differences. The outbreak has had relatively little impact on the broiler industry based on the volume of broiler meat produced in the United States. HPAI was detected in Indiana in February 2022 for the first time nationally since 2015 and was soon confirmed at multiple commercial poultry operations. Flocks at operations with detected infections were depopulated to prevent further spread of HPAI. Because of the limited overlap of the 2022 HPAI outbreak with broiler-producing regions, commercial flocks in the top four broiler-producing States – North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, and Alabama – have largely avoided HPAI. Of the 43.8 million commercial birds depopulated as of October 7, 2022, 2.3 million were meat-producing broilers. This represents less than a tenth of one percent of typical annual broiler slaughter. The effect on broiler production during the 2015 outbreak was also relatively small. *********************************************************************************** CoBank: Higher-Priced Turkeys on the Holiday Menu A new analysis from CoBank suggests consumers will see smaller and higher-priced turkeys this Thanksgiving season. After grappling with staff shortages, plant closures, and supply issues, the turkey industry has been hit by yet another problem in 2022: the worst Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak in U.S. history. HPAI leads to the depopulation of birds, but is also impacting turkey size. The average slaughter weight is below the three-year average. However, there will be a sufficient number of birds. Turkeys will be available, but they will be more expensive and probably a bit smaller than what home chefs are used to. Seasonal cold storage whole bird inventory volumes are at their lowest level since 2006. Wholesale, frozen turkeys are currently selling in the $1.70 per pound range, about 30 percent higher than last year. Fresh, boneless breast meat is trading at $6.50 per pound, a 350 percent increase versus last fall. *********************************************************************************** USDA Opens 2023 Ag Outlook Forum Registration The Department of Agriculture recently opened registration for the 99th Agricultural Outlook Forum. The 2023 event is back in-person, held February 23-24, at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Additionally, all sessions will be live-streamed, and participants can attend the event in person or virtually. Registration is required for both virtual and in-person attendance, however, there is no cost to attending the Forum virtually. The 2023 event will feature comments from USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer as he unveils USDA's initial forecast for the agricultural economy, commodity markets, and trade in 2023. Additionally, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver the event's keynote address. More than 100 subject matter experts, executives and academics will discuss the largest issues impacting agriculture today and potential solutions, including supply chain challenges, climate-smart agriculture and more. Interested participants can register to attend, in-person or virtually, on the USDA website. More than 4,500 people attended the 2022 virtual Forum. *********************************************************************************** National Turkey Federation Executive to lead Fisheries Institute The National Fisheries Institute this week named Lisa Wallenda Picard as incoming President and CEO of the association. Picard joins NFI from the National Turkey Federation, where she is the Senior Vice President for Policy, Trade and Regulatory Affairs. In January of this year, NFI’s President and CEO John Connelly announced plans to retire in early 2023, prompting a nationwide search. NFI leadership calls Picard a "dynamic leader with expertise in food safety and trade relations." Picard joined the National Turkey Federation in 2011 and previously was the Chief of Staff for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Before joining FSIS in 2002, Picard served as National Director of Public Relations for Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus. She also spent several years lobbying on animal welfare and agriculture issues and will join NFI in mid-December. Incorporated in 1945, the National Fisheries Institute is the largest seafood trade association in the United States. *********************************************************************************** Culver’s Launches Farmer Appreciation Contest Culver's this week launched "To farmers With Love," a farmer appreciation contest. The contest is an opportunity for individuals to nominate a farmer in their life to win a generous prize package as part of Culver's Thank You Farmers Project. Fifteen winning farmers will receive a $500 cash prize, Culver's gift cards and swag. Additionally, to demonstrate Culver's dedication to supporting the future of agriculture, the winning farmers will also receive a $575 donation to their local FFA chapters in their names. Culver's marketing and public relations manager, Alison Demmer, says, "We're thrilled to be able to express our appreciation for these deserving farmers in such a personalized way." Through the Thank You Farmers Project, Culver's has donated over $3.5 million to agricultural education since 2013. Those interested in nominating a farmer can visit www.culvers.com to learn more and complete the nomination form. The contest runs from now through November 15.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday November 3, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets DTN will be watching initial jobless claims, trade deficit and factory orders. Fed chairman Jerome Powell's comments regarding future rate hikes should be released Thursday. We will also be watching for more developments on the Ukraine export deal and any export sales news, along with any changes in weather. Weather A cold front moving into the middle of the country on Thursday does not have much precipitation with it early Thursday morning. It is expected to get much more active later Thursday as widespread showers and thunderstorms develop from west Texas up through Minnesota. Storms on the southern end from Kansas southward are likely to be more isolated but could be stronger with severe potential possible. It remains very warm ahead of the front with good fieldwork conditions. The showers will be skipping over much of the southwestern Plains as drought continues to hold its grip on next year's winter wheat crop.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 2, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets DTN will be watching for the results of the ADP employment report, the Federal Reserve announcements on rates, and Fed chairman Jerome Powell's comments. We will also be watching for more developments on the Ukraine export deal, any export sales news, and any changes in weather. Weather A deep trough is building west of the Rockies on Wednesday. It is inducing a low-pressure area over the Northern Plains and southern Canada, with most of the precipitation staying west of the Rockies or in the Canadian Prairies. Stronger winds are expected in the Plains and Upper Midwest, which will lead to increased wildfire risks for areas that are very dry. It will also lead to warm temperatures for most places east of the Rockies and some high temperatures may be broken in the Upper Midwest.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday November 2, 2022 |


Ag Economy Barometer Declines Again Farmer sentiment weakened again in October as the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer fell to a reading of 102, down ten points compared to a month earlier. Both of the barometer’s sub-indices, the Index of Current Conditions and the Index of Future Expectations, declined this month. The Current Conditions Index dipped eight points to a reading of 101, while the Future Expectations Index dropped 11 points to a reading of 102. This month's weakness in farmer sentiment pushes the index back near levels observed in late 2015 and early 2016 when farm income was sharply lower than in the last two years. USDA estimates U.S. inflation-adjusted net farm income averaged across 2021 and 2022 is more than 40 percent above the 2015-2016 average. Producers are concerned about the impact of U.S. interest rate policy on their farms and the ag economy, with over one-third choosing it as the most important policy issue. *********************************************************************************** Meat Sector Releases First-Ever Data Report on Environment The North American Meat Institute released a report Tuesday that sets transparent baselines that will allow the industry to measure progress and verify contributions to global climate goals. With 100 percent of the Meat Institute’s large U.S. members, those with more than 2,000 employees, submitting data, the report covers an estimated 90 percent of meat sold in the United States by volume. Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts commented, “98 percent of American households purchase meat, putting our sector undoubtedly at the center of solutions for healthy diets, healthy communities, and a healthy planet for generations to come.” Supporting the organization’s commitment to measure and fill the “protein gap” for needy families by 2025, 78 percent of reporting companies donate money or products to food banks and charities. Meanwhile, 82 percent of reporting facilities are covered by a company commitment to minimize packaging waste, and 71 percent are covered by a company commitment to reduce food waste. *********************************************************************************** Lawmakers Seek Oversight Answers Regarding Climate Smart Commodities Program The Congressional Western Caucus wants information regarding oversight of the Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program. In a letter this week to the Biden administration, the caucus outlined concerns regarding the program, which was created with no direction from Congress. The lawmakers want answers to questions about how the Department of Agriculture created the program, weighed submitted proposals, and intends to ensure the federal funding does not displace private sector investments. The letter states, "We are dismayed by the lack of transparency and congressional consultation throughout the development of this process," further adding, "In no way can $3.5 billion be considered a 'pilot program.'" USDA awarded $2.8 billion in funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation for the pilot program with plans for an expected second tranche that would bring total funding for 2022 to $3.5 billion. Representatives Dan Newhouse, a Washington state Republican, and Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, led the effort. *********************************************************************************** Iowa Confirms First Fall HPAI Detection The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship confirmed a positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Wright County, Iowa, this week. The virus was found in a commercial layer flock, and this is the first confirmed case of HPAI in Wright County in 2022, located in north-central Iowa. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says, “We have been preparing for the possibility of additional outbreaks and are working closely with USDA and producers to eradicate this disease from our state.” Commercial and backyard flock owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. Sick birds or unusual deaths among birds should be immediately reported to state or federal officials. If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections in birds do not present a public health concern. *********************************************************************************** North Carolina, New York, Lead Noninsured Specialty Crop Assistance Applications New data from USDA's Economic Research Service shows specialty crop growers in New York and North Carolina lead the nation in USDA's Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program applications. Operated by the Farm Service Agency, the program covered about 115 million total acres in 2017. Specialty crops, which include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture nursery crops, are often grown in areas where there are suitable soil and weather conditions. In 2020, North Carolina and New York had the program's highest number of specialty crop applications. Each State had more than 5,000 applications. Across the U.S., program applications were made for 147 different specialty crops in 2020. USDA operates various crop insurance and disaster aid programs to help producers. But when sufficient data is not available to create an actuarially sound insurance product, then producers can apply to the USDA, Farm Service Agency's Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. *********************************************************************************** USDA Rural Development Observes Native American Heritage Month USDA’s Rural Development undersecretary Xochitl (So-CHEEL) Torres Small announced Tuesday USDA is renewing its commitment to strengthen its partnerships with Tribes and Tribal communities. The commitment seeks to ensure Native people have access to the critical infrastructure and economic resources they need to thrive. The announcement is one of many ways USDA is observing Native American Heritage Month. Torres Small says, "We celebrate the countless contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives and honor the vital influence they have had on the advancement of our nation." USDA is issuing a policy statement that recommits the agency to upholding the agency's Trust responsibility to Tribal communities, respecting Tribal sovereignty by protecting Tribal treaty rights and fostering economic and cultural prosperity. Further, the statement commits to engaging with Tribes through timely and meaningful consultation on USDA’s policies and programs, and reflecting on the shared and complex history between Tribes and the federal government.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 1, 2022 |


Russia Pulls Out of Black Sea Grain Export Deal Russia resumed its blockade of grain shipments exiting Ukraine on Sunday after announcing the country is pulling out of the grain deal brokered, in part, by the United Nations. The Hagstrom Report says the amount of grain available for global markets and possible price increases are concerns getting raised around the world. U.S. President Joe Biden called the blockade resumption an “outrageous act.” Russia pulled out of the deal because it says Ukraine staged a significant drone attack over the weekend against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet which is off the coast of Crimea (cry-MEE-ah). Ukraine says the attack didn’t happen, and Russia simply mishandled its own weapons. The U.N. and officials from Turkey were trying to convince Russia to bring back the deal it agreed to earlier this year. The European Union’s foreign policy chief says Russia’s decision puts the much-needed exports of grain and fertilizers to address the global food crisis at risk. *********************************************************************************** USDA Trade Mission Underway in East Africa USDA Deputy Secretary Jewell Bronaugh arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, to kick off an agribusiness trade mission to Kenya and Tanzania. The U.S. delegation includes representatives of 32 agribusinesses and farm organizations hoping to establish trade relationships and explore opportunities for American agricultural exports to East Africa. Kenya is the economic, financial, and transportation hub for Central and East Africa. “It’s my great pleasure to lead this trade mission,” Bronaugh says. “Kenya and Tanzania are important and growing markets, and I look forward to strengthening our ties with both nations while expanding opportunities for U.S. agricultural and food product exports.” Trade mission participants will engage directly with potential importers, receive in-depth market briefings, and participate in site visits. Bronaugh also says this is an exciting opportunity for U.S. agribusinesses and state representatives to learn firsthand about the local markets and build strong connections with their future partners in the countries of East Africa. *********************************************************************************** Deere Moving Production from China to Louisiana John Deere announced it is investing $29.8 million to begin manufacturing harvesters in the United States instead of China. Louisiana’s state development agency says the agricultural manufacturer is expanding an already-existing factory in the state and adding another 70 jobs. “This investment by Deere and Company demonstrates not only the strength of Louisiana’s manufacturing sector but the resilience and recovery of the Bayou Region,” says Louisiana’s Governor John Edwards. Deere will produce medium-chassis cotton harvesters to replace the models currently built in China. The new jobs will pay an average salary of $47,472 a year and add to Deere’s existing workforce of 311 employees in the state. “The employees at our Louisiana factory have demonstrated remarkable resiliency and commitment to our customers,” says a Deere spokesman, describing how workers restored operations after Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana last year. Deere says it’s investing in the community, the state, and current staff. *********************************************************************************** Another Railroad Workers Union Votes Against Rail Settlement Another American railroad workers’ union voted against a contract settlement with railroads. Over 300 trade associations covering local, state, and national-level groups wrote to the White House asking for intervention to keep railroads running. The letter to President Biden and officials says, “We’re writing to ask you to help ensure that the tentative agreement you helped broker between railroads and their worker unions is ratified by both sides.” Two unions rejected the agreement, and the groups are concerned that others may follow. The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen is the latest union to vote against ratifying the agreement, with 60 percent of its members voting no. The union says, “BRS members spoke loudly and clearly that their contributions are worth more, particularly when it comes to the basic right of time off for illnesses.” The trade groups say if more unions vote no, a strike could shut down the entire rail system. *********************************************************************************** National FFA Officer Team Elected at the 95th Convention The 2022-2023 National FFA Officer team was elected during the final session of the 95th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis. Students from Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia were chosen as the National FFA Officers. Andrew Seibel of Virginia is the new national president. Jessica Herr of Pennsylvania was elected the national secretary. Ryan Williamson of Texas is the western region vice president, and McKenna Clifton of North Carolina is the southern region VP. Karstyn Cantrell of Oklahoma is the central region vice president, and Gracie Murphy of Illinois is the east region VP. These members were selected from 35 candidates vying for the honor. Throughout their year of service to the organization, the officers interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, and many other groups and individuals. The National FFA Organization currently has more than 850,000 student members in almost 9,000 chapters. *********************************************************************************** Farmers Say Cover Crops Are On 40 Percent of Cropland A new USDA survey says cover crops are more popular than first thought. Growers who responded to the survey say they’re using cover crops on 40 percent of their cropland in 2022. Successful Farming says that hints at a sizable increase from the 15.4 million acres of cover crops listed in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The USDA’s Conservation Practice Adoption Motivations 2021 Report says a large number of farmers, 59 percent, use cover crops on their farms. That’s from a survey of 34,000 farmers that ran from May through September. Farmers say they used cover crops on 40 percent of their cropland. Earlier this month, the Ag Economy Barometer, which surveys large-scale farmers, said 57 percent of respondents used cover crops on at least some of their land, a jump up from 52 percent in 2021. Half of those farmers say they sowed cover crops on 25 percent or less of their land.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday November 1, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets DTN will be watching for the results of the S & P Manufacturing PMI, job openings, and construction spending. Even more importantly, we will be watching for more developments on the Ukraine export deal and any export sales news. Weather Most of the country east of the Rockies will enjoy a day of warmth and dryness, favorable for fieldwork. A system is brewing in the West, though, where widespread showers will fill in across much of the area into Wednesday along with falling temperatures.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 31, 2022 |


Mexico Moving Ahead on 2024 GMO Corn Ban Mexico appears to be moving ahead with its plan to ban GMO corn imports by 2024. Reuters says Mexico is considering the possibility of direct agreements with farmers in the U.S., Argentina, and Brazil. Mexico’s deputy agriculture minister says the 2024 ban on GM corn won’t be amended in any way. U.S. yellow corn imports are used primarily for livestock feed in Mexico. Victor Suarez (SWAH-rez) says Mexico will cut its imports of U.S. yellow corn by half when the ban takes effect via increasing domestic production. To fill any remaining gap, Mexico will try to make deals with farmers in other countries to grow non-GMO corn and sell it to Mexico. “There are many alternatives to importing non-GMO yellow corn from the United States,” Suarez says. These moves appear to go back on the promise from Mexico’s ag minister that Mexico wouldn’t limit imports of GMO yellow corn from the U.S. *********************************************************************************** Drought Conditions Pushing Eastward Roughly six of every ten acres of land in the U.S. is in some level of drought. The Weekly Drought Monitor says arid conditions now stretch from the Appalachian Mountains in the east to the Pacific Coast in the western U.S. Conditions grew worse in the Ohio Valley while warm weather combined with below-normal precipitation to further dry the Midwest. The University of Nebraska’s National Drought Mitigation Center says the extent of the dry conditions is on par with 2012 as drought expanded across more than half of the states, particularly in the Midwest and Southeast. Drought also deepened in the Central Plains, where stock ponds for cattle remain low to nonexistent. Pastures are providing marginal feed, and most producers have to supplement their cattle feed. While the growing season for field crops is done, drought still affects the winter wheat crop, which makes up most of America’s wheat production. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Diesel Supplies are Shrinking Rapidly America has a shortage of diesel supplies on hand and it’s putting pressure on suppliers to get more into the fuel supply. The Start Magazine says a shortage is spreading in the eastern United States and has prompted at least one supplier to initiate emergency protocols. Mansfield Energy is a fuel supplier that says conditions are rapidly devolving, so they require a 72-hour notice for deliveries to secure fuel and freight. Diesel is the fuel that trucks, trains, and ships fill their tanks with to move goods around the country and across the globe. Supplies are tight partly because Russian diesel imports are banned in the U.S. Andrew Hunter, a senior economist with Capital Economics, says, “U.S. refining capacity has fallen over the past few years, which doesn’t help.” Diesel prices hit a record high of $5.81 per gallon in June, and prices could go higher if the winter is colder than expected. *********************************************************************************** Over 75 Percent of Soybean, Cotton, and Corn Acres are Genetically Engineered USDA’s Economic Research Service says genetically engineered seeds were commercially introduced in the U.S. for major field crops in 1996, and adoption rates increased rapidly. By 2008, more than 50 percent of U.S. corn, cotton, and soybean acres were planted with genetically engineered seeds. The total acres with GE seeds has grown even further, with now more than 90 percent of U.S. corn, upland cotton, and soybeans produced using GE varieties. Genetically engineered crops are broadly classified as herbicide-tolerant (HT), insect-resistant (Bt), or a combination of the two. While other traits like virus and fungus resistance, drought tolerance, and enhanced protein oil or vitamin content have been developed, HT and Bt traits are the most commonly used in U.S. crop production. Herbicide-tolerant seeds are also widely used in alfalfa, canola, and sugar beet production, but most of the GE acres are planted to the three major field crops: corn, cotton, and soybeans. *********************************************************************************** Biodiesel Plays a Big Role in California’s GHG Drop California released its Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report for 2020 which showed a 16 percent decrease in transportation carbon emissions. Clean Fuels Alliance America says that success was due in part to increasing the use of biodiesel and renewable diesel. The state’s analysis shows the percentage of biodiesel and renewable diesel in California’s fuel supply grew from 0.4 percent in 2011 to almost 21 percent in 2020 through the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. California Air Resources Board data says biodiesel and renewable diesel generated 44 percent of the LCFS credits in 2020. “As California works to continue reducing carbon emissions, it’s relying on increased production, import, and blending of biodiesel and renewable diesel,” says Clean Fuels’ CEO Donnell Rehagen (REE-hay-gen). Without biodiesel and renewable diesel, California’s tailpipe fossil CO2 would have been 15 million metric tons higher in 2020. The reduction equals taking 3.2 million cars off the road in 2020. *********************************************************************************** NPPC Promotes New VP of Domestic Policy The National Pork Producers Council says Kelly Cushman is its new vice president of domestic policy. In the newly-created position, Cushman will oversee U.S. government engagement, advocacy, and lobbying efforts for the U.S. pork industry. “Kelly comes to NPPC with a proven track record as an effective leader and political strategist, developing and executing government affairs outreach programs,” says NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys. Cushman is a public affairs and communications professional with over 25 years of experience. She has a blended background of political, government agency, and corporate experience. “I’m excited to support America’s pig farmers who prioritize the health and well-being of their animals to provide high-quality and affordable products,” Cushman says. “I look forward to expanding and integrating NPPC’s government affairs engagement in Washington, D.C., and across the country. Cushman has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Clemson and a master’s in environmental science and policy from Johns Hopkins.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 31, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will check the latest weather forecasts and any news, especially from Ukraine. USDA's weekly report of export inspections at 10 a.m. CDT will give another indication of how soybeans are moving on the river. USDA's Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. will be watched for row crop harvest progress and winter wheat emergence. Financial traders are apt to be cautious with nearly everyone expecting another rate hike Wednesday. Weather Mild to very warm temperatures and mostly dry conditions for most areas on Monday will make for some good trick-or-treating weather. A few showers are going through the eastern Midwest and Southeast on Monday, but the coverage is rather low. Another system is moving into the Pacific Northwest, however, and will be the start of a battle in the middle of the country later this week.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday October 28, 2022 |


Survey Shows Farmer Concerns About Carbon Markets A new report from Farm Journal shows farmer perspectives and concerns on pathways and barriers to participating in carbon markets. A majority of farmers surveyed revealed significant concerns about overcoming technical and financial roadblocks to having success in the carbon markets. Producers worry that the benefits won’t be worth the cost, ongoing compliance regulations will be burdensome and that existing ag practices they already have in place on their operations won’t be fairly compensated. Farm Journal says the initial findings show that even the most “carbon-curious” farmers are saying that participating in current market conditions would require too much time, effort, and resources without fair returns on those investments. Farmers are also concerned about their data and whether it will get handled appropriately or will be difficult to collect. After several years, 97 percent of farmers aren’t ready to participate in carbon markets, but 93 percent are aware they exist. *********************************************************************************** USDA Providing $759 Million to Improve Rural Broadband Access Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says his agency is providing $759 million to improve internet access for people living and working in 24 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Palau. The investments include funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that provides $65 billion to help expand reliable, affordable, high-speed internet access to communities across the United States. “People living in rural towns across the nation need high-speed internet to run their businesses, go to school, and connect with their loved ones,” says Vilsack. “That’s how you grow the economy, not just for rural areas, but across the nation.” The $759 million in loans and grants comes from the third round of funding under the ReConnect Program. USDA is issuing a total of 49 awards in states like Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, and many others. So far this year, USDA has announced $1.6 billion from the third round of ReConnect funding. *********************************************************************************** Bunge: Strong Demand Ahead for Soybean Oil The U.S. soybean sector will continue to see support from rising global demand for biofuels. Oil giant Bunge says that support will stay in place for “some time to come.” The company’s chief financial officer says the demand for soybean oil is strong from both the food and energy-producing sectors. Industry Update Dot Com says Bunge also sees unusually high interest from buyers wanting to lock in their prices beyond the next quarter. “We’re very deliberate about price,” says Bunge CEO John Nappi (nap-PEE). “But the demand is there and continuing to grow steadily. And we haven’t seen any decline or lack of interest from either the energy producers or the food industry side of the equation at this point.” SP Global says demand for soybean oil from the U.S. biofuel industry has been rising quickly since 2020 as processors are more confident about the government’s commitment to an energy transition. *********************************************************************************** Poll Finds Rural Voters Pessimistic About the Future A Daily Yonder poll of rural Americans shows they’re worried about the present, feeling pessimism about the future, and planning to vote the way they did in recent elections. The poll was commissioned by the Center for Rural Strategies and found that rural voters in highly-contested states hold negative views about the economy. For example, three-quarters of the respondents say the economy isn’t working for them. Just over half say they don’t expect their financial situations to get better in the next year. A little over three-quarters of the respondents say they think things will get worse, not better, for the next generation of Americans. The Daily Yonder survey also found nearly half of rural voters say the rising cost of living is one of their biggest concerns. The second-largest concern is government dysfunction. Other top issues included jobs and the economy, social security, rising crime, health care, and the rising cost of food and gas. *********************************************************************************** Inland Waterway System Still Struggling with Drought The conditions along America’s inland waterway system remain concerning. Farmers are harvesting an overall strong crop, but the inland waterway system they use to ship commodities doesn’t have the ability to accommodate large amounts of new grains. It’s especially hard on the soybean industry because September through February accounts for 80 percent of U.S. soybean exports. Because over half of America’s soybeans are exported, barge transportation is essential. American Commercial Barge Lines says depth restrictions of no greater than nine feet have been instituted on the Lower Mississippi River, an almost 30 percent decrease. Barges are often loaded to 11-12 feet this time of year on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. For every one foot of decreased water depth, that means 5,000 fewer bushels are loaded onto each barge. A maximum of 25 barges can be connected on the lower Mississippi compared to 30-40 barges in typical years. *********************************************************************************** USDA Launches Loan Assistant Tool to Enhance Customer Service The USDA has launched a new online tool to help farmers and ranchers better navigate the farm loan application process. The now uniform application process will help make sure all farm loan applicants receive equal support and have a consistent customer service experience with USDA’s Farm Service Agency, regardless of individual circumstances. “USDA recognizes that more must be done to ensure all customers have equal access to our programs and services,” says FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “This tool will help loan applicants better understand the application process and gather the needed documents before the process even begins.” USDA experiences a high rate of incomplete or withdrawn applications, due in part to a challenging and lengthy paper-based application process. The new Loan Assistance Tool is available 24-7 and gives customers an online step-by-step guide that supplements the support applicants receive in person at an FSA office. For more information, go to farmers.gov.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday October 28, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets The Labor Department's third-quarter employment cost index will be out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday, the same time as a report on U.S. personal incomes and consumer spending for September. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index for October is due out at 9 a.m., the same time as a U.S. index of pending home sales for September. Traders will keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts and on outside markets ahead of a likely rate hike on Wednesday, November 2. Weather A small storm system has moved into Texas where rains have spread into Oklahoma. The system will be a slow-mover with showers possibly getting into the Delta Friday night, but could wait until Saturday in some places. Some heavier rain will be possible as further drought reduction looks likely in this small area. But the rest of the country will largely be dry today with near- to above-normal temperatures, favoring harvest and other fieldwork.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday October 27, 2022 |


Bronaugh To Lead East Africa Agribusiness Trade Mission Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh will lead a trade mission to Nairobi, Kenya, and Zanzibar, Tanzania, from October 31 through November 4. Representatives from 32 agribusiness and farm organizations will join Bronaugh on the trip. She says, "This trade mission will provide firsthand knowledge of market conditions and opportunities in East Africa and expand awareness about U.S. agricultural and food products in the region." Both Nairobi, Kenya and Zanzibar, Tanzania, serve as strategic ports in East Africa, attracting many U.S. exporters and investors. Last year, the United States exported more than $60 million worth of agriculture, fish, and forestry products to Kenya, and $6.9 million worth of agricultural products to Tanzania. During the week-long trade mission, participants will meet with potential importers, processors, and distributors from Kenya and Tanzania, as well as other East African nations. National agribusiness groups represented include the U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation, and the U.S. Soybean Export Council, among others. *********************************************************************************** R-CALF Makes Post-Election Push for M-COOL R-CALF USA, the Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America, is making a push for Congress to consider mandatory country-of-origin labeling of beef. R-CALF is encouraging its members and others to show their support to lawmakers for the American Beef Labeling Act. The bill was introduced by Republican Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds, alongside Democrats Jon Tester and Cory Booker last month. The legislation would require the U.S. Trade Representative, in consultation with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, to develop a World Trade Organization-compliant means of reinstating MCOOL for beef within one year of enactment. USTR would have six months to develop a reinstatement plan, followed by a six-month implementation window. If USTR fails to reinstate MCOOL for beef within one year of enactment, it would automatically be reinstated for beef only. R-CALF points to a Morning Consult poll that claims 86 percent of U.S. voters support the bill. *********************************************************************************** Illinois Leads U.S. Pumpkin Production Pumpkins are on full display across the United States as part of many fall traditions. The production of pumpkins, from classic orange Howdens to new varieties like Cinderella, is widely dispersed throughout the United States, with all states producing some pumpkins. However, USDA’s Economic Research Service reported Wednesday that about 40 percent of pumpkin acres are harvested in only six states. Illinois is consistently the nation's largest pumpkin producer by acreage and weight. In 2021, Illinois produced 652 million pounds, more than a quarter of total U.S. pumpkin production and more than the next five states combined. Unlike all other States, most of Illinois' pumpkins are used for pie filling and processed for other food uses. Pumpkins from other states are primarily intended for decorative, or carving, use. In 2021, Indiana produced 181 million pounds of pumpkins, California grew 157 million pounds, Texas grew 108 million pounds, Michigan grew 89 million pounds, and Virginia grew 82 million pounds. *********************************************************************************** Research: Rainfall Declines Increase Food Insecurity Research by Penn State University published in ScienceDaily shows food insecurity increases when rainfall is below normal. The researchers focused on food insecurity in Tanzania, and found moving from a year with typical rainfall to a particularly dry year was associated with a 13-percentage-point increase in the risk of being food insecure. Tanzania has a high prevalence of food insecurity and is highly dependent on rain to grow its maize crops. Penn State assistant professor Heather Randell says, "Potential interventions could include providing drought-tolerant maize, increasing access to agricultural extension services, scaling up agricultural index insurance, improving uptake of soil and water conservation practices, and providing cash transfers based on drought early warning systems." Randell adds the findings also could apply to other low- and middle-income countries, especially those heavily dependent on maize production. The researchers say food insecurity affected about two billion people, or 26 percent of the global population, in 2019. *********************************************************************************** Clean School Bus Program Funding Primarily Supports Electric Busses The nearly $1 billion investment from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program announced Wednesday is largely for electric busses. Through a lottery system, the agency has selected 389 applications totaling $913 million to support the purchase of 2,463 buses, 95 percent of which will be electric. EPA will distribute awards to school districts in all 50 states and Washington D.C., along with several federally recognized Tribes and U.S. territories. School districts identified as priority areas serving low-income, rural, and, or Tribal students make up 99 percent of the projects that were selected. More applications are under review, and the agency plans to select more to reach the full $965 million in the coming weeks. Funding for the effort comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure law to “build a healthier future, reduce climate pollution, and ensure the clean, breathable air that all our children deserve,” according to EPA Administrator Michael Regan. *********************************************************************************** Oscar Mayer: Avoid Bacon on World Vegan Day Oscar Mayer is calling on bacon enthusiasts to abstain from bacon delight of any kind on World Vegan Day, November 1. The company says, "Deliciously tempting bacon, smoked with real wood smoke for 12 hours, can be tough for those who wish to give up meat." According to a recent survey, more than half of vegans have abandoned their diet for bacon, making it the ultimate "gateway meat." Research shows that 63 percent of vegans wish they could eat bacon, and 56 percent admit bacon's delicious taste temps them. To show the brand's dedication on November 1, Oscar Mayer will reduce temptation by removing all bacon from paid media, and censoring, blurring and removing bacon from its social media. Oscar Mayer’s new campaign encourages fans to “BacOFF,” on social media, by pledging to give up bacon on World Vegan Day. Those who choose to do so could win a lifetime supply of bacon.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday October 27, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets Thursday promises to be a busy morning for new reports. USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims, September durable goods and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The U.S. Commerce Department will also issue its first estimate of third-quarter GDP at 7:30 a.m. and many are expecting positive growth. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is expected to raise its interest rate Thursday morning and the Energy Department's weekly report of natural gas sales is due out at 9:30 a.m. Weather A system is exiting the Central Rockies into the Southern Plains on Thursday. Some scattered showers have been falling over Nebraska and South Dakota from the overnight but will spread south into Oklahoma and Texas later today. There is a small risk for severe weather over Texas, but mostly should be just rain. Other areas of the country will be dry with near-normal temperatures.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday October 26, 2022 |


NMPF Unanimously Endorses Marketing Order Modernization Plan National Milk Producers Federation leadership Tuesday unanimously endorsed a proposal to modernize the Federal Milk Marketing Order milk-pricing system. The plan includes returns to the "higher of" Class I mover, discontinuing including barrel cheese in the protein component price formula. It extends the current 30-day reporting limit to 45 days on forward-priced sales of Nonfat Dry Milk and dry whey to capture more export sales in the USDA product price reporting. Additionally, the plan updates milk component factors for protein, other solids and nonfat solids in the Class III and Class IV skim milk price formulas. The plan develops a process to ensure make-allowances are reviewed more frequently through legislation directing USDA to conduct mandatory plant-cost studies every two years, and updates dairy product manufacturing allowances contained in the USDA milk price formulas. Any final proposal will be reviewed by the organization before it’s submitted to USDA to be considered for a federal order hearing. *********************************************************************************** Tyson Foods, Washington State Settle Price Fixing Lawsuit Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced this week the largest chicken producer in the nation, Tyson Foods, will pay $10.5 million because of a lawsuit over price-fixing on chicken products. The announcement is the third and largest resolution in Ferguson’s lawsuit against 19 broiler chicken producers. The claims against the remaining 16 companies continue. The conspiracy harmed an estimated 90 percent of Washington state residents, or approximately seven million individuals. Consequently, the scheme impacted virtually everyone who consumes chicken products. Tyson Foods is the largest chicken producer in the U.S., with approximately 20 percent of the national market share for broiler chickens. The Washington Attorney General’s Office asserts Tyson Foods and 18 other chicken producers drove up the price of chicken since at least 2008, causing consumers to overpay by millions of dollars. Two other states, Alaska and New Mexico, have similar antitrust cases against national chicken producers. *********************************************************************************** Legislation Introduced to Support Farmers Affected by PFAS In a bipartisan, bicameral effort to provide vital assistance to farmers affected by PFAS, lawmakers recently introduced the Relief for Farmers Hit with PFAS Act. Led by Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, the legislation would authorize grants for states to provide financial assistance to affected farmers. PFAS are man-made "forever" chemicals used in industry and consumer products and can lead to serious health effects. PFAS contamination has prevented some farms from selling their products, creating financial hardship for many family farmers. Collins says, "USDA needs to step up and provide support to farmers, who at no fault of their own, are at risk of losing their livelihoods." Specifically, the funds would increase PFAS testing for soil and water sources, provide relocation of a commercial farm if the land is no longer viable, and create research on soil and water remediation systems, and the viability of those systems for farms. *********************************************************************************** USDA: Conservation Tillage Increasing The share of acreage for major cash crops—wheat, corn, soybeans, and cotton—that are planted using conservation tillage has increased over the past two decades in the United States. USDA’s Economic Research Service reported the data Tuesday. Farmers reported employing conservation tillage on the majority of acres of wheat at 68 percent, 76 percent of corn acres, and 74 percent of soybeans. Conservation tillage is less common on cotton fields at 43 percent of acres. Conservation tillage, which includes no-till and mulch till, reduces soil disturbance and preserves more crop residue relative to conventional tillage, in which a plow or other implement turns over most of the soil before planting. Additionally, no-till production, a type of conservation tillage in which farmers plant directly into remaining crop residue without tilling, has increased substantially for wheat and corn over the past two decades. Finally, mulch till has trended upward on each crop except for corn over the past two decades. *********************************************************************************** Florida Ag Department Releases Hurricane Ian Damage Assessment The Florida Department of Agriculture this week released a preliminary damage assessment for agriculture following Hurricane Ian. The assessment considered that losses to agriculture production and infrastructure are estimated to be between $1.1 billion and $ 1.8 billion. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says, "While today's assessment is a preliminary snapshot of the losses to Florida agriculture, it is a critical first step in the process of securing federal disaster aid for our hard-working producers." The report estimated citrus damages between $400 million and $675 million, other fruits and vegetables between $153 million and $230 million, and field crops between $86 million and $160 million. Horticulture damages are estimated up to $297 million, livestock at $492 million and forestry at $32 million. Hurricane Ian made landfall on September 28 near Fort Myers and Cape Coral as a category-four hurricane. The report says Ian is among the strongest hurricanes to make direct landfall in the United States. *********************************************************************************** Applications Sought for Renewed Effort to Assist Farmers American Farmland Trust will accept applications starting November 1 to help farmers nationwide improve farm viability, access, transfer or permanently protect farmland or adopt regenerative agricultural practices. The last day to submit applications is November 14. AFT’s Brighter Future Fund provides grants of up to $5,000 per project. A project may involve one or more individual farmers or farm families, and projects will be awarded on a one-per-farm basis. In 2022, the fund will uplift, support, and amplify historically underserved farmers. AFT Vice President of Programs David Haight says, “The Brighter Future Fund makes small investments that have big impacts with participating farmers – particularly those who face barriers in accessing other types of support.” The Brighter Future Fund was launched in 2020 to help farmers launch, grow, and sustain farms in the face of forces impacting the food and agricultural system. Farmers should submit a completed electronic Brighter Future Fund Application to AFT at farmland.org to apply.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday October 26, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. new home sales in September is due out at 9 a.m. CDT Wednesday, followed by the Energy Department's weekly inventory report at 9:30 a.m., including ethanol production. The Bank of Canada is expected to increase its interest rate by 0.75% to 4.0% Wednesday, followed by a rate hike in Europe on Thursday. Traders will continue to watch the latest weather forecasts and news from abroad, especially Ukraine. Weather As a storm system finally pushes east on Wednesday, quieter weather conditions are expected for most areas east of the Rockies. To the west, a system continues to move through the Rockies, setting up another storm for the late-week period across southern areas.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday October 25, 2022 |


NCGA Calls on USTR to Act on Mexico’s Pending Decree on Corn Imports Calls from corn grower leaders are growing louder for the United States Trade Representative to intervene in a trade dispute with Mexico over corn imports. The response from corn growers comes as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s promises to enact a decree that would end imports of corn grown using biotech and certain herbicides by 2024. Biotech corn makes up over 90 percent of U.S. corn crops. An opinion piece by National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag was published over the weekend in The Hill, a newspaper widely read by Congress and other Washington decision-makers. The editorial calls on USTR to file a settlement dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement over the matter. Haag says, "If the decree is enacted, the negative impact will be felt by farmers in the U.S. and by the people of Mexico." NCGA has been at the forefront of this issue, and says a U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement dispute settlement would allow for extensive debate and mediation. *********************************************************************************** USTR, USDA to Assist Seasonal Produce Industry The Office of the United States Trade Representative will pursue avenues to assist the Southeast seasonal produce industry in coordination with the United States Department of Agriculture. The announcement comes after members of Congress requested an examination of certain issues in a September 8, 2022, Section 301 petition. The 301 statute requires that USTR make a decision on whether to move forward with an investigation within 45 days. The statute also includes a private-sector advisory panel as a specific response to export targeting. Although USTR could not conclude in the 45-day statutory period that a formal 301 investigation would be effective and is not opening an investigation at this time, USTR is moving forward with an advisory panel. USTR and USDA will work with the petitioners and producers to examine the issues raised in the petition and to consider any further actions that may be appropriate as a result. *********************************************************************************** Bill Seeks Excise Tax on Foreign Water-Intensive Crops in the U.S. Legislation introduced last week seeks an excise tax on the sale and export of water-intensive crops grown in the U.S. by foreign governments. Arizona Representative Ruben Gallego introduced the Water Protection Act of 2022, as Arizona and other states face prolonged drought. Gallego says, "While Arizona experiences the driest conditions in centuries, our water is being given away in a sweetheart deal with Saudi Arabia." The Democrat adds, "Arizona's aquifers are meant to serve Arizonans, and this bill will make that happen." The excise tax would be imposed at 300 percent, reflecting the unjustifiable disparity in land lease rates between domestic and foreign producers in Arizona. Arizona is leasing farmland to Fondomonte, a Saudi company which uses Arizona groundwater to grow alfalfa exported to feed cows in the Middle East. The state reports that the company uses enough water annually to supply 54,000 homes, at an estimated cost to the state of more than $3 million a year. *********************************************************************************** EWG: Climate Change Increases Crop Insurance Costs A new Environmental Working Group analysis found the majority of Midwestern counties with increased precipitation between 2001 and 2020 also had growing crop insurance costs. The report alleges the increased crop insurance costs were due to wetter weather linked to climate change. Between 2001 and 2020, farmers in the eight Midwest states received almost $14.5 billion in crop insurance indemnity payments for reduced crop yields or revenue due to excess moisture and precipitation. In all, 661 counties got a crop insurance indemnity payment for excess moisture at some point during that period, adding up to $12.9 billion. EWG claims the Crop Insurance Program undermines the adoption of conservation practices like cover crops that can help farmers adapt to the effects of climate change, such as extreme precipitation events that are expected to continue occurring more frequently. The organization is using the study in a call to make several reforms to the structure of crop insurance. *********************************************************************************** 2012 Nutrition Standards Change Increased Fruits and Vegetables in School Meals A 2012 change in school meal nutrition standards drove changes in the type of foods schools purchased. USDA's Economic Research Service released data Monday that shows following the change in standards, schools obtained more fruits and vegetables through USDA Foods and especially through USDA’s Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. While there was no clear change in the types of foods chosen from 2006 to 2012, the percent of USDA Foods entitlement funds used for purchasing fruits and vegetables from DoD Fresh rose sharply from 6.7 percent of total USDA Foods in 2012 to 15 percent in 2017. Fruit obtained through AMS—mainly canned and frozen—rose from 9.4 percent of total USDA Foods spending in 2012 to 15.4 percent in 2017. Vegetables obtained from USDA's AMS slightly rose from 2012 to 2017. As the spending on fruits and vegetables increased, the percentage spent on meat, poultry, and cheese dropped from nearly 74 percent in 2012 to 61 percent in 2017. *********************************************************************************** Gas Prices Down Again, Diesel Higher The nation's average gas price declined for the second straight week, falling 9.3 cents from a week ago to $3.77 per gallon. The national average is up 10.2 cents from a month ago and 41.2 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price increased 4.0 cents in the last week and stands at $5.30 per gallon. GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan says, “While gasoline prices have seen a large drop, diesel prices have been somewhat mixed, with prices heading higher in the Northeast as inventories drop to extremely tight levels ahead of the heating oil season.” Rising risk of economic downturn, weak Chinese imports and a stronger U.S. dollar were factors pushing oil prices lower in the last week. That comes as OPEC+’s recently decided to cut oil production. De Haan adds that the decline in gasoline prices is seasonal and should continue into the fall, and is unrelated to the coming election.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday October 25, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets An index of U.S. consumer confidence for October is due out at 9 a.m. CDT Tuesday, the only report of the day. Traders will continue to watch the latest weather forecasts and any reports from the Mississippi River. Outside market news will also get market attention with the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates again next week. Weather A cold front saw a low-pressure center form along it across Texas Monday and that low and front will continue northeast through the country Tuesday. Areas of rain and thunderstorms are exiting the Plains but will continue for the Delta, Southeast, and Midwest. Rain will disrupt the remaining harvest and there is a risk of severe storms across the Gulf Coast states. Cooler, drier air is filling in behind the front while another system is moving into the Pacific Northwest.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 24, 2022 |


Farm Financing Demand Edges Higher Strong agricultural prices continue to support the farm economy, but the rapid rise in production expenses could pressure profit margins. That’s pushing the demand for farm financing higher. Larger-sized operating loans are continuing to boost farm lending activity. The Kansas City Fed says the volume of non-real estate farm loans increased by more than 10 percent for the third-consecutive quarter. Operating loans accounted for nearly all the growth, driven by an almost 25 percent increase in the average loan size. Besides a continued growth in lending, interest rates rose sharply and pushed financing expenses to their highest level since 2019. Prices of most major commodities remained elevated alongside favorable market conditions and supported a positive outlook for farm finances through the end of this year. Uncertain demand for farm products in the coming year has led to more volatility, while drought continues to impact large parts of U.S. farm country. *********************************************************************************** NOAA Winter Weather Outlook Shows More Drought Ahead The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its U.S. Winter Outlook. Beginning in December and running through February 2023, NOAA predicts drier-than-average conditions in the South with wetter-than-average conditions in the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, northern Rockies, and the Pacific Northwest. The agency says widespread extreme drought continues in much of the West, the Great Basin, and the central-to-southern Great Plains. Drought will impact the middle and lower Mississippi Valley this winter. Drought will also develop in the South-Central and Southeastern U.S., while drought conditions should improve across the Northwest U.S. in the months ahead. This year, La Niña returns for a third-consecutive winter, which will drive warmer-than-normal temps in the Southwest, along the Gulf Coast, and through the Eastern Seaboard. NOAA says drought conditions are now present in 59 percent of the country, and parts of the Western U.S. and southern Great Plains will get hit hardest this winter. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Grain Exports Hit Near-Record Total in 2021-2022 U.S. grains in all forms (GIAF) exports for the 2021-2022 marketing year topped 122 million metric tons, the second-highest total on record. That total trails the 129 million metric tons in 2020-2021. The U.S. Grains Council analyzed USDA data to find near-record exports of ethanol helped offset losses from corn, barley, and barley products. Mexico is the top GIAF destination. Record exports of ethanol, corn, DDGS, and pork and pork products, combined with fewer imports from China, made Mexico the biggest U.S. market in 2021-2022. Mexico imported over 27 million metric tons worth $11 billion. China was the second-largest export market for U.S. GIAF, with exports totaling 26 million metric tons worth more than $11 billion. Canada was in third place, taking in U.S. GIAF totaling more than 13 million metric tons worth $6 billion. In the current 2022-2023 marketing year, the U.S. Grains Council continues promoting U.S. grains around the world. *********************************************************************************** Company Developing AI to Accelerate Global Soil Restoration Biome Makers, a global ag tech leader in soil health analysis, received a $1.6 million grant from the European Union. The grant will help answer the need for strong solutions around soil biology in agriculture. The EU recognizes the importance of BeCrop®, the company’s soil intelligence technology, and the environmental and socioeconomic impact it has on farmers. The grant will help fast-track the development of BeCrop® AI and machine learning. That will help accelerate Biome Makers’ global mission of recovering soil health. The AI currently has the world’s largest database of taxonomic references and has analyzed more than 415,000 hectares of soil. BeCrop® technology decodes soil biology to help farmers improve food production while improving the sustainability of their farmland. The industry will no longer have to develop agricultural products or apply inputs without verifying their impact. BeCrop® is the first step to making that happen. Companies like Syngenta already utilize the AI. *********************************************************************************** New Zealand is the Latest Country to Tax Cow Burps New Zealand farmers recently gathered in towns and cities across the country to protest against the government’s plan to tax “agricultural emissions.” Reuters says the government confirmed plans to price agricultural gases and biogenic methane, which it says come from cow and sheep burps. Farmers drove tractors and carried signs protesting the proposed plan. Farm groups wonder how the proposal accounts for on-farm forestry and what can offset such emissions. They also worry about how the emissions will be priced and how the program will be governed. One of the protestors told state-owned Radio New Zealand that they aren’t necessarily wanting exemptions. The farmers want to work out how it's going to be best for them and the country. New Zealand’s prime minister told reporters they wanted feedback from the agricultural community, and the plan is in a consultation phase. The government wants to work with producers to find a solution. *********************************************************************************** Export Sales of Corn and Beans Surge Higher Sales of corn and soybeans to overseas buyers jumped week-to-week, while wheat sales declined during the week ending on October 13. USDA data says corn sales hit 408,300 metric tons, more than double the 200,000 tons sold a week earlier. Mexico was the big buyer at 183,700 metric tons, followed by Japan’s 77,600 tons. Soybean sales surged to 2.34 million metric tons, a significant jump over the 724,000 metric tons sold a week earlier. China swooped in to buy 1.98 million metric tons, far and away the top soybean buyer, with the Netherlands in second with 82,800 tons. The soybean total could have been higher, but the United Kingdom canceled a sale that week of 60,000 tons. Wheat sales dropped to 163,100 metric tons, down from almost 212,000 the previous week. Mexico was the top wheat buyer at 93,500 metric tons. USDA says Italy canceled wheat sales of 60,000 tons.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 24, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will pore over the latest weather forecasts, keep up on the interest rate debate and check the latest news from the Mississippi River and Ukraine. USDA's weekly export inspections report at 10 a.m. CDT gets extra attention these days as a new gauge of river problems. USDA's monthly Cold Storage report is set for 2 p.m., followed by harvest progress and winter wheat planting updates in the Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather A strong fall storm system is wound up in eastern North Dakota early Monday morning and heading northeast toward Hudson Bay. Scattered showers across the Northern Plains are a mix of rain and accumulating snows. The cold front to the system extends south through the Plains. Across the south, the system is ingesting the remnants of hurricane Roslyn, which is helping increase precipitation across Texas and Oklahoma. The heavier rain will spread northeast into the central Midwest throughout the day while a low pressure center will develop on the front across Texas later in the day, a feature that will move northeast through the Midwest later this week. Strong winds that have been felt across the middle of the country over the weekend are winding down throughout the day. Temperatures behind the front are dropping significantly from the heat seen over the weekend.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday October 21, 2022 |


Enrollment is Open for ARC, PLC Programs Ag producers can now change their 2023 crop year elections and enroll in the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs for 2023. Signup for the two key safety net programs began Monday, and the enrollment deadline is March 15, 2023. Producers can choose coverage and enroll in ARC-County or PLC, which provides crop-by-crop protection, or ARC-Individual, which protects the entire farm. Although election changes for 2023 are optional, producers must enroll through a signed contract each year. Also, if a producer has a multi-year contract on the farm and makes an election change for 2023, they must sign a new contract. If producers don’t submit their election by the March 15 deadline, their elections remain the same as their 2022 election for crops on the farm. “It’s that time of year for producers to consider all their risk management options,” says Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. *********************************************************************************** October Fed Beige Book Updates Ag Economy Conditions The Federal Reserve Board released its October 2022 Beige Book, which provides as update on current conditions in the agricultural economy. Ag conditions in the sixth district near Atlanta were mixed as cotton growers noted softening demand, while row crop production remained sold. In Chicago’s seventh district, income expectations for producers were unchanged as most operations should be profitable despite rising input costs. Production forecasts in the eighth district of St. Louis declined for corn, rice, and soybeans. In Minneapolis’s eighth district, financial conditions remained strong even as higher input costs bite into profit margins. The tenth district of Kansas City shows strong financial conditions despite adverse developments tied to drought and input costs. The eleventh district of Dallas showed significant rainfall greatly improved drought conditions across much of the district, though it began to dry out again after the rainfall. Many eleventh-district areas had little-to-no crop production because of the drought. *********************************************************************************** Inflation Boosting Prices of Organic Products Ongoing inflation resulted in higher retail prices of organic fresh produce during the third quarter of this year. The Organic Produce Network says that generated a 4.1 percent increase in total organic dollars but also contributed to a decline of 4.5 percent in organic volume compared to the same period last year. Overall, organic fresh produce pricing per pound increased by 8.9 percent during the third quarter compared to the same time in 2021. Sales during the third quarter topped $2.4 billion this year. At the same time, conventional produce’s average price per pound increased by more than 10 percent, with total sales of almost $18 billion. Tomatoes were the bright spot for organic sales in the third quarter, thanks to a 19 percent increase in volume and a hefty 30 percent increase in dollars. Fourteen of the top categories posted year-over-year increases in dollars, led by potatoes, onions, and peaches. *********************************************************************************** EDF Report says Crop Yields will Slow by 2030 The Environmental Defense Fund says extreme heat, changing rainfall, and other climate change impacts will make it harder to grow U.S. staple crops as soon as 2030. The group says future food supplies and farmer livelihoods will be at stake without adaptation efforts getting underway immediately. The EDF report uses an ensemble of 20 computer models to analyze how climate change will alter the yields of staple crops in Iowa, Minnesota, and Kansas by 2030 and 2050. By 2030, nearly all counties in Iowa will see corn yields more than five percent lower than they would have been without climate change. More than half will see declines of 10 percent or more. Over half of Minnesota’s counties will see soybean yields drop by over five percent. Seventeen percent will see drops of more than 10 percent. Eight percent of Kansas counties will see winter wheat yields drop by over five percent by 2030. *********************************************************************************** Winners Announced in National Wheat Yield Contest The National Wheat Yield Contest announced the 2022 winners. Rylee Reynolds of Twin Falls County, Idaho, set a contest yield record of 231.37 bushels an acre. That tops the previous record of 211 bushels per acre set in 2019. Rylee and his dad Gary both placed as national winners in the winter wheat irrigated category. In other results, the Pacific Northwest had some excellent yields this year as all four Bin Buster Award winners are from that region of the country. The contest encourages wheat growers to strive for high yield, quality, and profit while trying out new and innovative strategies for managing their wheat crop. The National Wheat Foundation, which puts on the contest, says there was exceptional participation from all over the nation’s top wheat-growing states. State winners are announced in 27 states, and six of those winners had never won at the national level before this year. *********************************************************************************** Educational Opportunities Ahead at the Cattle Industry Convention The 30th annual Cattlemen’s College will precede the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show on February 1-3 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The educational opportunity draws more than 1,000 attendees every year and includes two days of learning, idea sharing, and networking. The college begins on Tuesday, January 31, with some of the biggest topics in the industry, including the latest in grazing and live cattle handling demonstrations. There are 18 sessions and six educational tracks to choose from on Wednesday, including reproduction technology, herd health, practical nutrition management, better beef business, sustainable grazing, and the latest in genetics. The event concludes with a keynote presentation from Ray Starling of Aimpoint Research. There’s a lot of information at the event, and it’s likely not possible to attend everything in person. To make it easier to access the content, all sessions will be recorded and available for registered attendees. Go to convention.ncba.org for information.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday October 21, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets Traders continue to keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts, developments along the Mississippi River and outside market news, especially concerning Ukraine. USDA's Cattle on Feed report for Oct. 1 is due out at 2 p.m. CDT Friday and is expected to show 11.45 million head on feed, down nearly 1% from a year ago. Weather A pattern change is underway with a storm system set to drop down into the western states later today and through the weekend, bringing scattered showers to the Pacific Northwest. East of the Rockies it is quickly getting warmer than where we were just a couple of days ago. It is also very dry and increasing winds will lead to higher risks of fires in areas of drought, which are widespread in the country.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday October 20, 2022 |


USDA, USAID Announce Global Food Security Research Strategy Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USAID Administrator Samantha Power Wednesday released the U.S. government's Global Food Security Research Strategy. The strategy underscores the U.S. government's commitment to ending hunger and malnutrition and building medium to long-term sustainable, resilient food systems, according to USDA. The new research strategy emphasizes priority objectives and the use of data to help strengthen the impact of U.S. food security assistance and, with America's leadership, generate sustainable solutions for addressing the root causes of hunger and malnutrition, which are both inextricably linked to entrenched, extreme poverty. The research strategy will underpin the United States Government Global Food Security Strategy. Secretary Vilsack says, "Investment in, and support for, agricultural research and development is imperative so that the world's farmers have access to innovations that enhance productivity and efficiency." The strategy focuses on climate-smart agricultural innovations, improved nutrition through high-quality, affordable diets, and genetic improvement of resilient crops and livestock. *********************************************************************************** Lawmakers Urge FTC to Investigate Kroger-Albertsons Merger Senate Democrats urge the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the proposed merger between Kroger and Albertsons. The two are concerned about the transaction's potential implications for consumers. The group of lawmakers includes Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar, Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal and New Jersey's Cory Booker. In a letter to the FTC, the lawmakers say, "The grocery industry is essential to daily life, and Americans need the benefits that robust competition brings, namely lower prices, higher quality, and innovation." The lawmakers say the merger comes as food prices are elevated, and "too many American families are struggling to put food on the table." When Albertson’s merged with Safeway in 2015, the FTC found that the merger was likely to harm competition in 130 separate markets and required the company to sell more than 150 stores. Additionally, Klobuchar announced the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, will hold a hearing in November to examine the proposed transaction. *********************************************************************************** Grassley, Ernst Urge EPA to Set Robust RFS Blending Volumes Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst Wednesday urged the Environmental Protection Agency to establish expanded renewable volume obligations in the upcoming "set" rule under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The Iowa Republicans Join South Dakota Republican John Thune and Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin to encourage the agency to increase blending obligations for all renewable fuel types. In a letter to the EPA, the lawmakers say, "Through this rulemaking, EPA has a historic opportunity to not only reinforce its efforts to restore integrity to the RFS, but chart a new course for biofuels that will help meet America's diverse energy demands." Additionally, the lawmakers urge EPA to take other actions to maximize uses for biofuels, including updating lifecycle analysis for biofuel emissions and approving additional fuel registrations under the RFS. Other Senators from Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin also signed the letter to the EPA. *********************************************************************************** Florida Ag Losses Estimated at $1.5 Billion The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences this week released a preliminary assessment of the agricultural production losses associated with Hurricane Ian. The report, which considered crops, livestock, and animal products, estimates a potential loss of up to $1.56 billion for Florida producers. The Economic Impact Analysis Program conducts assessments after any event that disrupts Florida's agriculture industry, with assessments for Hurricane Ian initiated on September 29, 2022, through a survey to producers. Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says, "The impact on Florida's affected commodities cannot be understated, especially the heartbreaking damage to Florida citrus, an industry already facing significant challenges." The preliminary assessment may not account for damage in inaccessible areas or flood areas that cannot be evaluated until fields have dried out. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services is expected to release its own findings later this week. *********************************************************************************** Third-Party Use High for Employer H-2A Applications U.S. farmers who want to hire temporary foreign workers through the H-2A visa program usually work with a third party, according to USDA's Economic Research Service. The new data announced this week indicated third parties, such as agents, associations or a lawyer, to make the applications. Employers themselves filed applications for only 15 percent of all jobs requested. Across the U.S., agents filed applications for 45 percent of all H-2A jobs, an association of farm enterprises filed for 21 percent of jobs, and 19 percent came from a lawyer representing the farmer. However, the usage rates for third parties differ across states. For instance, lawyers tend to file for most of the jobs in California, while agents and associations account for almost two-thirds of the job filings in Florida. The H-2A program allows farm operators who foresee a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. temporarily to perform agricultural labor or services. *********************************************************************************** Student Leaders Prepare for the 95th National FFA Convention FFA members and supporters from across the country will celebrate agriculture and agricultural education next week during the 95h National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis. More than 60,000 FFA members from the U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands are expected to participate in the event. Those attending will participate in general convention sessions hosted at Lucas Oil Stadium, be inspired by their peers as they are recognized for their accomplishments, and hear from keynote speakers. Convention attendees will also explore various career paths at the National FFA Expo, located in the Indiana Convention Center, participate in career success tours, and more. There are several entertainment opportunities, including a Wednesday night concert featuring Lauren Alaina and Jimmie Allen and a Thursday night concert with Mickey Guyton and Russell Dickerson, and rodeos on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. General convention sessions will be aired live on RFD-TV and The Cowboy Channel. FFA members and supporters can tune in and watch gavel-to-gavel coverage of the event.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday October 20, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. A report on U.S. existing home sales in September and the Conference Board's index of U.S. leading indicators are due out at 9 a.m., followed by the Energy Department's weekly natural gas storage report at 9:30 a.m. Traders will keep an eye on weather and outside market news. Weather Ahead of a change in the upper-level pattern, temperatures are rising east of the Rockies from the cold conditions we have seen the last few days there. It will continue to be fairly dry outside of Michigan where some lake-effect showers will shut off later Thursday. The dryness will promote harvest and fieldwork, but increasing winds could be concerning for fires, especially in the Plains.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday October 19, 2022 |


Inflation Reduction Act Payments to Distressed Farmers Reaches $800 Million Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday announced distressed farmers with qualifying USDA farm loans have already received nearly $800 million in assistance from the Inflation Reduction Act. The $3.1 billion in assistance for distressed farm loan borrowers stems from section 220006 of the Inflation Reduction Act. The legislation directed USDA to expedite assistance to distressed borrowers of direct or guaranteed loans administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency, whose operations face financial risk. Secretary Vilsack says the funding "helps keep our farmers farming and provides a fresh start for producers in challenging positions." The announcement kicks off a process to assist distressed farm loan borrowers using several complementary approaches, with the goal of keeping them farming, removing obstacles, and improving how USDA approaches borrowing and servicing. Work has already started to bring some relief to distressed farmers. As of today, more than 13,000 borrowers have already benefited from the resources provided under the Inflation Reduction Act, according to USDA. *********************************************************************************** Avian Flu Poultry Deaths Near U.S. Record Avian influenza losses are nearing a record in the United States this year, as the virus has infected more wild birds that transmit the disease. A new report from Reuters shows more than 47 million birds have died from infections and culling. The outbreak sparked export bans and lowered egg and turkey production, leading to tight supplies and higher prices as the Thanksgiving Day shopping period nears. The 47 million deaths are near the deadliest U.S. outbreak in 2015, where 50.5 million birds died or were culled. Rosemary Sifford, chief veterinary officer for the Department of Agriculture, says, "Unfortunately, what we've done probably hasn't been enough to protect us from this high load of virus in the wild bird population." Officials are finding the virus in a wide range of wild birds, and it seems to live longer in the birds. Since February, USDA reports the outbreak has infected flocks in 42 states. *********************************************************************************** Online Grocery Baskets Shrinking Online grocery buyers are spending more but buying less, according to a new report this week. The Grocery Doppio Performance Report shows digital sales improved in the third quarter of 2022, albeit lower than 2021 levels. The report shows 13.7 percent of all grocery sales in 2022 are digital, worth $87 billion. There was a 14.4 percent increase in digital sales in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the second quarter of the year. However, inflation is impacting what buyers are purchasing. The report shows shoppers' basket size declined by 5-6 items in the third quarter. Shoppers are faced with a 21 percent increase in price per item in 2022, and 73 percent of shoppers have moved to lower-priced brands in response to the increased prices. Meanwhile, grocery retailers face $2 billion in lost sales due to canceled online orders this year, and a $7.5 billion loss for items not in stock. *********************************************************************************** Online SNAP, P-EBT Totaled $9.7 Billion During Pandemic Online nutrition assistance recipients redeemed $9.4 billion in benefits during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA’s Economic Research reported Tuesday the redemptions came from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, along with the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer benefits, or P-EBT. The programs allowed users to buy groceries online from authorized retailers. The pilot launched with several retailers in 2019 and early 2020 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot opened to additional states and retailers in response to the pandemic. The number of participating retailers expanded significantly in the first two years of the pandemic. By December 2020, USDA authorized 13 retailers, growing to 116 in December 2021 and to 148 in March 2022. In 2020, SNAP and P-EBT recipients redeemed $1.5 billion in benefits online. In 2021, this amount more than quadrupled to $6.2 billion. Online redemptions in the first quarter of 2022 totaled $1.9 billion. *********************************************************************************** Florida Lawmakers Seek USDA Disaster Declaration A group of bipartisan lawmakers from Florida wants the Department of Agriculture to declare a disaster area for Florida counties impacted by Hurricane Ian. The lawmakers made the request last week in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The letter also asked Vilsack to make assistance available to growers whose crops were damaged or destroyed. The letter states, "to ensure that they can recover from losses and continue their important service of feeding America, the expeditious approval of a disaster declaration is warranted and necessary in order to have a successful winter and spring harvest season." The lawmakers say Florida's growers have a unique role in the American food economy, as one of the only locations in the United States where major agricultural production can occur in the winter and spring months. Also last week, USDA's Economic Research Service reported Florida accounted for 1.7 percent of U.S. farm sector cash receipts in 2021. *********************************************************************************** Purdue, USDA, Release Online Freeze-date Tool A new interactive online tool for visualizing and exploring freeze-date trends and other climate patterns is available, thanks to Purdue University and the Department of Agriculture. Purdue’s Midwestern Regional Climate Center partnered with USDA’s Midwest climate hub to create the digital tool, which covers 25 states in the upper Midwest, the Northeast and Appalachia. The tool may interest producers of tree fruits, grapes and row crops such as corn and soybeans to help them take advantage of longer growing seasons. Agricultural advisors, weather forecasters, university Extension staffers and state climatologists also have expressed interest in the tool. While many think of a freeze at 32 degrees, farmers are interested in values that are colder or warmer. Corn and soybeans, for example, can survive 28 degrees, while fruit trees are more sensitive to freezing or near-freezing temperatures. And the freeze-date tool allows users to query their desired temperatures. You can find the Freeze Date tool on the Purdue website.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday October 19, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. housing starts for September is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, followed by the Energy Department's weekly inventory report at 9:30 a.m. CDT, including ethanol production. Traders will continue to watch the latest weather forecasts and any news that develops, especially regarding Russia's grain deal with Ukraine. The Federal Reserve's Beige Book will be out at 1 p.m., offering its latest assessment of the U.S. economy. Weather Widespread near-record cold conditions east of the Rockies have led to sub-freezing temperatures close to the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday morning. In the cold air, lake-effect rain and snow showers continue over eastern areas of the Lakes, annoying those with fieldwork to do. Otherwise, the drier conditions elsewhere are favorable. While still cold on Thursday, temperatures will be gradually rising for the rest of the week and weekend, starting in the Plains this afternoon.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday October 18, 2022 |


USDA Opens 2023 Dairy Margin Coverage Program Enrollment Dairy producers can now enroll for 2023 coverage through the Dairy Margin Coverage Program. The program helps dairy farmers manage changes in milk and feed prices. Enrollment for the program began Monday and runs through December 7. Last year, USDA’s Farm Service Agency took steps to improve coverage, especially for small- and mid-sized dairies, including offering a new Supplemental DMC program and updating its feed cost formula to better address retroactive, current and future feed costs. DMC is a voluntary risk management program that protects dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price—the margin—falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern encouraged dairy producers to consider the maximum coverage under the program. Mulhern says, "The current combination of high prices with costs that can be even higher illustrates the basic value of DMC for producers who can benefit from the program." *********************************************************************************** Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum Successfully Brings Sector Together The American Farm Bureau Federation is celebrating a successful Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum held over the weekend in Kansas City, Missouri. The National Milk Producers Federation, dairy cooperatives, processors, state dairy associations and dairy farmers joined AFBF for the event. The three-day event provided a platform for farmers’ voices to be heard while also answering the call from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to bring the dairy producer community together to discuss FMMO modernization. Discussions at the forum focused on Class price formulas and de-pooling, among other topics. The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Milk Producers Federation agreed on a joint statement regarding the need for FMMO improvements. A number of dairy organizations attending the event also supported the joint AFBF-NMPF statement. The AFBF-NMPF statement reads: “With the last major update to the FMMO system occurring in 2000, we believe it is time to consider improvements that better reflect today’s milk markets.” *********************************************************************************** 16,000 Farmers, Ag Organizations, Submit Comments on EPA Atrazine Proposal More than 16,000 farmers and agricultural organizations recently united against EPA's proposed revision to its 2020 atrazine registration review decision. The farmers and agricultural organizations representing corn, citrus, grain sorghum, sugar cane, and other crops, submitted comments calling for the agency to base decisions on credible scientific evidence. Efforts to help farmers speak out against the proposal were coordinated by the Triazine Network, a diverse coalition of state and national agricultural groups that rely on atrazine and other triazine herbicides to control weeds. The atrazine comment period ended on October 7. In their comments, growers expressed frustration with the EPA's lack of transparency and its repeated efforts to implement measures that would end effective use of atrazine for weed control. In addition to the ultra-low 3.4 ppb level, EPA doubled and tripled down by creating an over-predictive model that predicted 72 percent of U.S. corn acres would be in violation. *********************************************************************************** Growth Energy: Access to E15 Would Save Drivers more than $20 Billion A new study from Growth Energy found nationwide access to E15 could save drivers billions in annual fuel costs, create new jobs, and return billions to the U.S. economy. The study, conducted by ABF Economics, follows months of record-high gas prices across the country and President Joe Biden's emergency waiver to allow the sale of E15 for the 2022 summer driving season. The study says a nationwide transition to E15 would also put an additional $36.3 billion in income into the pockets of American households, support an additional 188,000 jobs, and generate $66.3 billion for the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor responds, “Today's study shows that expanded, year-round access of this higher biofuel blend can provide a much-needed boost to the farm economy and even greater savings to American families." E15 is currently sold at over 2,700 stations across 31 states, and drivers have chosen the biofuel blend to fuel 35 billion miles total. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Durum Production Increasing, Food Use Remains Stable U.S. durum wheat production is expected to increase in the 2022/23 marketing year after last year’s drought reduced production to its lowest in 60 years. USDA’s Economic Research Service reported Monday production in 2022/23 is forecast at 64 million bushels, up 70 percent from the previous marketing year, but below the average of the previous five years. Durum wheat is the primary class of wheat used to produce pasta. Food use of durum was elevated in marketing years 2019/20 and 2020/21, fueled by surging consumer demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, when shoppers stocked up on pasta while in quarantine. While the surge in demand has since subsided, consumer prices for wheat-based products, including pasta, are up substantially in 2022. This year's larger durum crop, along with larger Canadian production, has eased some supply pressure. However, high commodity prices in general and elevated input, labor, and energy costs have each contributed to higher prices for the manufactured products of wheat, including pasta. *********************************************************************************** Weekly Gas Prices Reverse, Diesel Higher The nation's average gas price declined for the first time in four weeks, falling 5.4 cents from a week ago to $3.86 per gallon. The national average is up 20.6 cents from a month ago and 56.6 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price increased 18.7 cents in the last week and stands at $5.26 per gallon. GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan says, “We’ve seen an abrupt, yet expected decline as refinery issues have eased in the West and Great Lakes, overpowering some increases elsewhere.” In addition, oil prices have cooled off slightly after OPEC+’s decision to cut production, and that should slow increases elsewhere. Diesel and heating oil prices will likely continue to rise as extremely low inventories of middle of the barrel products like these two push prices higher. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, oil supplies last week surged nearly 10 million barrels.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday October 18, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets The Federal Reserve's report of U.S. industrial production in September is the only significant report for Tuesday, due out at 8:15 a.m. CDT. Traders will keep close attention on the latest weather forecasts, news from Ukraine and at 1 p.m., some will take a look at USDA's monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry outlook. Weather Cold air that has drifted southward is resulting in widespread frosts and freezes Tuesday morning for much of the country east of the Rockies. This is record cold for some areas. The cold air is pretty dry outside of the Great Lakes where lake-effect showers continue as a mix of rain and snow, which will be an annoyance for those still looking to complete some fieldwork and harvest.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 17, 2022 |


USDA Releases Proposed Regulatory Framework on Reducing Salmonella The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service released a proposed regulatory framework for a new strategy to control Salmonella contamination and reduce illnesses from poultry products. The agency will host a virtual public meeting on November 3 to get input from stakeholders on the framework. The proposed framework has three components: requiring that incoming flocks be tested for Salmonella before entering an establishment; enhancing establishment process control monitoring and FSIS verification; last is implementing an enforceable final product standard. “We know that Salmonella in poultry is a complex problem with no single solution,” says USDA Deputy Undersecretary Sandra Eskin. “We have identified a series of strategic actions FSIS could take that are likely to drive down Salmonella infections linked to poultry product consumption, and we are pressing those in this proposed framework.” For more information on the virtual meeting, go to the Meetings and Events page on the FSIS website. *********************************************************************************** NCC Says New FSIS Salmonella Framework Lacks Data, Research The USDA announced its new regulatory framework in an effort it says would help reduce Salmonella illnesses associated with poultry products. “We support the need to develop science-based approaches that will impact public health, but this is being done backward,” says Dr. Ashley Peterson, National Chicken Council senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs. “The agency is formulating regulatory policies and drawing conclusions before gathering data, much less analyzing it, which is called speculation.” The NCC says the facts show that the Centers for Disease Control and FSIS’s own data demonstrate progress and clear reductions in Salmonella in U.S. chicken products. “Increased consumer education about proper handling and cooking of raw meat must be part of any framework going forward,” Peterson says. “Proper handling and cooking of poultry is the last step, not the first, that will help eliminate any risk of foodborne illness. We’ll do our part to promote safety.” *********************************************************************************** Land O’ Lakes Launches “Farmers are Incredible” Campaign Land O’ Lakes is celebrating National Farmers Day by raising consumer awareness of the critical role that farmers play in society by launching the “State of the American Farmer” survey. The survey revealed some of the misconceptions that Americans have about the state of farming. On average, Americans believe that less than half of all farms are family-owned and operated and that just 43 percent of what they buy comes from family farms. Despite some misconceptions, most Americans are interested in the source of their food. Nearly all of the survey respondents say it’s at least somewhat important that their groceries be sourced sustainably. To show support for farmers, Land O’ Lakes launched “Farmers are Incredible,” a multiplatform creative campaign rooted in celebrating National Farmers Day. The goal is to emphasize the year-round importance of farmers and the agriculture industry. The campaign features the co-op’s farmer members and their work. *********************************************************************************** Corn Belt Farmland Price Sets New Record A recent farmland sale in Iowa set a new record for the Corn Belt. In Plymouth County, Iowa, farmland was sold for $26,250 per acre. Ag Web Dot Com says Brock Auction Company brokered the sale, which included 55 acres of high-quality farmland. That put the total bill at $1.44 million. The bidding began at $17,000 per acre, and three bidders each topped $25,000 per acre, with a local farmer getting the winning bid. This sale now holds a record high for farmland prices. It’s bigger than the last number one sale price from August, when a farm in Sioux County, Iowa, sold for $26,000 per acre. A Plymouth County, Iowa farm recently sold for $25,000 per acre. Numbers in Iowa appear to be up across the board. The Iowa Chapter of the Realtors Land Institute says the value of high-quality cropland is $14,472 per acre, up almost 17 percent from September 2021. *********************************************************************************** Farm Bureau Announces Farm Bill Priorities The American Farm Bureau released its top priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill, easily the most consequential legislation for agriculture next year. The overarching priorities include continuing the current farm bill program funding levels and maintaining a unified farm bill that includes nutrition programs and farm programs together. Farm Bureau also favors prioritizing risk management tools that include federal crop insurance and commodity programs and ensuring adequate USDA staffing and resources to provide technical assistance. “Since the farm bill was enacted in 2018, farmers have faced significant challenges from market volatility, increased input costs, and devastating natural disasters,” says AFB President Zippy Duvall. “We need long-term stability.” Their priorities include more than 60 recommendations over multiple farm bill titles. Other recommendations include reference price increases for commodities, more transparency for milk checks, funding for conservation programs, rural development, and streamlining of nutrition programs to get food to those who need it most. *********************************************************************************** Ethanol Output Jumps to Highest Level in a Month The Energy Information Administration says U.S. ethanol production jumped to its highest level in almost a month during the week ending on October 7. Ethanol output rose to an average of 932,000 barrels per day, the largest production level since the week ending on September 9 and up from the 889,000 produced during the prior week. The Midwest is the biggest ethanol-producing area in the country, and output surged to an average of 881,000 barrels a day, the highest level in a month and up from 840,000 a week earlier. East Coast production jumped to 10,000 barrels a day, up from 3,000 barrels the week before. Rocky Mountain output was unchanged, while production dropped on the Gulf Coast by 7,000 barrels a day and 1,000 on the West Coast. Ethanol inventories rose to 21.86 million barrels in the seven days ending on October 7, up from 21.68 million barrels a week earlier.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 17, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will stay on top of the latest weather forecasts and news developments, especially from Ukraine after Russia's President Putin suggested Friday missile attacks were no longer needed. USDA's weekly report of export inspections has become on way of tracking problems on the Mississippi River and is due out at 10 a.m. CDT, followed by Crop Progress at 3 p.m. Also, the National Oilseeds Processors Association will release its estimate of members' soybean crush late Monday morning. Weather A strong cold front pushed south through the country over the weekend. It will continue its journey into the Gulf of Mexico Monday, bringing scattered showers to parts of Texas. But the bigger story is the very cold air filling in behind the front. Widespread frosts and freezes will occur over the next few nights, getting down to Oklahoma, northern Mississippi and Alabama tonight. The cold pushes closer to the Gulf of Mexico for later this week. Cold air moving over the Great Lakes is causing a mix of lake-effect rain and snows that continues the next couple of days, annoying those with fieldwork to do.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday October 14, 2022 |


Consumer Price Index Summary The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday. The food index increased 0.8 percent in September, the same increase as August. The food at home index rose 0.7 percent in September as all six major grocery store food group indexes increased. The index for fruits and vegetables rose 1.6 percent, while the index for cereals and bakery products rose 0.9 percent. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 0.4 percent, while the index for nonalcoholic beverages increased 0.6 percent in September. The dairy index rose 0.3 percent in September, the same increase as the previous month. The food away from home index rose 0.9 percent in September, as it did in August. The food at home index rose 13.0 percent over the last 12 months, and the index for food away from home rose 8.5 percent over the last year. *********************************************************************************** MacKenzie Scott Gift to 4-H to Strengthen Workforce The National 4-H Council Thursday shared details of the $50 million unrestricted gift from writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, announced in February. The gift will help close the opportunity gap for America's youth. Over the next five years, National 4-H Council will allocate $10 million to strengthen the 4-H workforce and optimize 4-H youth programming. The investment will accelerate 4-H's ability to meet the needs of young people today and tomorrow while providing the professional development and training required to deliver quality, relevant and impactful programming. The Board will preserve the remainder of the gift for the long term to ensure that National 4-H Council can sustain programs and activities that have the greatest benefits for 4-H youth development in the future and to ensure the gift's enduring impact. The National 4-H Council Board made its investment decisions based on an inclusive process undertaken over six months with extensive input from Cooperative Extension and land-grant university leaders. *********************************************************************************** USDA Seeks Comment on Program Assisting Producers Who Have Experienced Discrimination The Department of Agriculture seeks public comment on how it should implement Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act. The provision aims to assist the nation’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending programs. Section 22007 provides a transformative opportunity for USDA to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners impacted by discrimination in USDA farm lending programs. IRA Section 22007 directs USDA to provide financial assistance to producers who have experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending programs and has appropriated $2.2 billion for this purpose. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “These actions further build on USDA’s commitment to use all the tools it has available to help farmers.” The request for information in the Federal Register asks several questions on how USDA should design and administer the program. The 30-day comment period opens Friday, October 14, and closes on November 14, 2022. USDA values your input and welcomes all comments. *********************************************************************************** Grains Council Holds Export Exchange in Minneapolis More than 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products from more than 50 countries are gathering in Minneapolis for Export Exchange 2022 to end the week. The event is co-sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association. Export Exchange offers attendees an unparalleled opportunity to meet and build relationships with domestic suppliers of corn, distiller's dried grains with solubles, sorghum, barley and other commodities. U.S. Grains Council president and CEO Ryan LeGrand says, “It is essential for us to strengthen the bonds between suppliers and partner countries, and the connections made this week will not only help propel our industry this year, but for years to come.” The global buyers were grouped into 20 trade teams that have either been in the U.S. ahead of Export Exchange or will continue their visits after the event to explore American agriculture practices and tour facilities. *********************************************************************************** Florida Accounted for 1.7 Percent of U.S. Farm Sector Cash Receipts in 2021 New data from the Department of Agriculture shows Florida accounted for 1.7 percent of U.S. farm sector cash receipts in 2021. USDA's Economic Research Service estimates the previous year's farm sector cash receipts—the cash income received from agricultural commodity sales. The data includes state-level estimates, which offer background information about states subject to unexpected events that affect the agricultural sector, such as Hurricane Ian. In 2021, commodities produced in Florida contributed about $7.5 billion, or 1.7 percent, of the $434 billion in total U.S. cash receipts. Floriculture, the cultivation of flowers, accounted for the largest share of Florida's cash receipts, valued at $1.1 billion. The next largest commodities in Florida in terms of cash receipts were oranges, at $670 million, sugarcane at $553 million, cattle and calves at $546 million, and milk $470 million. Florida led the nation in cash receipts for sugarcane, cabbage, cucumbers, watermelon, sweet corn, and snap beans. *********************************************************************************** Taziki's Doubles Down with American Lamb Taziki's Mediterranean Café and the American Lamb Board teamed up this summer to promote a new Mediterranean Lamb Burger, made with two patties of 100% American Lamb. The promotion ran from June through September. Dan Simpson, CEO of Taziki’s, says, “Our guests loved the Mediterranean flair added to comfort food and sales surpassed our expectations.” Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café has 90 locations spanning across 16 states nationally, with most locations in the Southeast. Because of its popularity, about 50 percent of the Taziki’s locations continued to offer the lamb burger for an additional month beyond the promotion period. A similar promotion was featured last year with great results, which led to a repeat feature in 2022. American Lamb Board chairman Peter Camino says, “We thank Taziki’s for their commitment to using American Lamb in their lamb burgers. Serving local lamb supports the nation's shepherds and their families.”

| Rural Advocate News | Friday October 14, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is set for 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday and expectations remain low, while barge traffic is restricted along the Mississippi River. A report on U.S. retail sales for September is also out at 7:30 a.m., followed by the University of Michigan's early consumer sentiment index for October at 9 a.m. Traders will continue to keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts and outside market news, especially anything pertaining to Ukraine and the grain deal with Russia. Weather A storm system continues to spin around Ontario, Canada on Friday. In the cold air wrapping around the system, some isolated showers continue in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, including a few snowflakes. Breezy winds also continue across a good chunk of the country as well. In drier areas, there is an increased fire risk.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday October 13, 2022 |


Combine Sales Grow, Tractor Sales Drop in September Combine harvester sales rose during September in both the U.S. and Canada, while total tractor sales fell in both countries. Data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers says total U.S. ag equipment unit sales stayed above the five-year average for the second month since April. Total farm tractor sales fell 12.8 percent in September compared to last year, while U.S. self-propelled combine sales for the month rose 6.6 percent, slowing gains made in August. The 100-plus horsepower two-wheel-drive tractor segment was once again the only positive segment in the U.S., up 9.6 percent from August. In Canada, growth was led by combine harvesters, up 105 percent. Overall unit sales for tractors were down one percent. “The ag equipment market, as with most markets for manufactured goods, is turbulent,” says Curt Blades, senior vice president of industry sectors and product leadership with AEM. “Supply chain difficulties continue to weigh on manufacturers’ deliveries.” *********************************************************************************** Soy Checkoff Supports Research to Expand Export Infrastructure The United Soybean Board announced it is investing $400,000 to help provide efficient access and bolster international trade markets for U.S. soybean meal. The money will be used for the research, analysis, and design costs of the Port of Grays Harbor’s Terminal Four Expansion and Redevelopment Project. The terminal in Aberdeen, Washington, plays an important role in international exports. “The Port of Grays Harbor is critical in expanding high-value soybean meal exports,” says Tony Johanson, USB director and Soy Transportation Coalition board member. “Our farmers remain committed to enhancing and maintaining U.S. infrastructure to help sustain our competitive advantage over global competitors.” Scheduled to be operational in 2025, the upgrades will allow the terminal to increase soybean meal exports from three to six million metric tons. To accommodate the growth, the Port of Grays Harbor will expand the rail infrastructure, allowing the terminal to handle the volume and mitigate traffic congestion. *********************************************************************************** USDA Investing $110 Million to Improve Rural Healthcare USDA Rural Development Undersecretary Xochitl (zo-CHEEL) Torres Small announced that the agency is awarding $110 million in grants to improve healthcare facilities in rural towns across America. These grants will help 208 rural healthcare organizations expand critical services for five million people in 43 states and Guam. “Access to modern and sustainable healthcare infrastructure is critical to the health, well-being, and prosperity for the millions of people who live in rural and tribal communities,” she says. “That’s why we are committed to making sure that the people who need it most, no matter where they live, have access to high-quality and reliable health services like urgent care, primary care, and dental care.” Torres Small also says through the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants, USDA is being a ”strong partner” to people across 43 states and Guam. The investments will help build, renovate, and equip rural hospitals and clinics. *********************************************************************************** October WASDE Report Shows Lower Corn, Soybean Production USDA’s October World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates and Crop Production Reports call for lower U.S. corn and soybean production. The corn outlook is for reduced supplies, greater feed and residual use, lower exports and corn used for ethanol, and smaller ending stocks. Corn production is forecast at 13.8 billion bushels, down 49 million on a reduction in yield to 171.9 bushels per acre. Corn supplies are forecast at 15.32 billion bushels, with the season-average corn price up five cents to $6.80. U.S. oilseed production is forecasted at 126.9 million tons, down 1.6 million from September. Soybean production is forecast at 4.3 billion bushels, down 65 million on lower yields now projected at 49.8 bushels. Supplies dropped by 31 million bushels, with the season-average soybean price down 35 cents to $14.00. The wheat outlook is for lower supplies, domestic use, exports, and stocks. The season-average farm price rose 20 cents to $9.20. *********************************************************************************** NCBA Says Google Feature Misrepresents Beef The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association denounced Google’s decision to bias consumers against beef through their new sustainability search feature. NCBA says that feature provides inaccurate climate information about cattle production. “Google is using its billions of dollars of resources to target cattle producers and ignore the science that demonstrates beef’s sustainability and value to the environment,” says NCBA President Don Schiefelbein (SHEEF-ell-byne). “Cattle producers have a record of continuous improvement, which has led to the U.S. recording the lowest global greenhouse gas emissions from beef while contributing to the world’s food security.” NCBA also says cattle production protects green space, upcycles grass and forages, and provides consumers with a lean source of protein packed with essential nutrients. “Google should seriously reconsider this feature,” Schiefelbein adds. NCBA points out that livestock play an important role in protecting open spaces and accounts for only a very small portion of greenhouse gas emissions. *********************************************************************************** Railroad Union Votes Down Labor Contract, Strike Looming The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters rejected a tentative labor contract brokered between rail carriers and workers’ union reps. The third-largest rail workers union in the country was the first union to say no to a deal brokered in part by the Biden administration. The union voted the deal down 6,646 to 5,100. President Tony Cardwell told Politico that workers “resent the fact that management holds no regard for their quality of life, illustrated by their stubborn reluctance to provide a higher quantity of paid time off, especially for sickness.” Negotiations will restart, resetting the countdown on a potential strike. The union says it will delay any strike until five days after Congress reconvenes. Four other unions approved the tentative agreement. However, every one of the 12 unions representing employees must ratify their contracts to prevent a strike. Voting will be finished by mid-November.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday October 13, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets Thursday morning's reports will start at 7:30 a.m. CDT with attention on the Labor Department's consumer price index for September, following a producer price report that came in higher than expected Wednesday. U.S. weekly jobless claims and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor will also be out at the same time. The Energy Department's natural gas storage report will be out at 9:30 a.m., followed by the weekly energy inventory report at 10:00 a.m. The Treasury's budget report for September is due out at 2 p.m. USDA's weekly export sales report is set for Friday morning, due to this week's federal holiday. Weather A cold front continues to press eastward through the country on Thursday with scattered showers. Cold air continues to funnel in behind the front across most of the country east of the Rockies. Breezy winds continue Thursday, especially in the Plains, which increases the fire risk.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday October 12, 2022 |


Ag Groups Argue Against Prop 12 in Supreme Court Agriculture groups argued against California's Proposition 12 to the Supreme Court Tuesday. The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council challenged the ability of one state to set agricultural production standards for the entire country. California's Proposition 12 law bans the sale of pork from hogs that don't meet the state's arbitrary production standards, even if the hogs were raised outside of California. AFBF President Zippy Duvall says, "Proposition 12's misguided approach will ultimately cost every family through higher food prices." The National Cattlemen's Beef Association also supports AFBF and NPPC. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane says, "While this case is not focused on cattle producers, the precedent set by the court will determine all producers' ability to engage in interstate commerce." Earlier this year, NCBA filed an amicus brief before the court arguing that California's mandates on livestock production methods violated the dormant commerce clause of the Constitution. *********************************************************************************** Biden Administration Invests $80 Million to Improve Nutrition in School Meals The Biden Administration Tuesday provided $50 million in grants for schools to invest in new food service equipment that will allow them to continue serving nutritious meals. The funding adds to the $30 million equipment grants the administration gave schools earlier this year. The announcement comes during National School Lunch Week, as designated by President Joe Biden. The added support for school meals and child nutrition builds on the momentum from last month's White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, where the administration unveiled a national strategy to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease by 2030. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, "Ensuring access to nutritious school meals is one of the best investments we can make in our fight to end child hunger and improve health." USDA provides grant funds to states, which use a competitive application process to award them to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program. *********************************************************************************** Global Food Insecurity Increased Nearly 10 Percent in 2022 New research from USDA’s Economic Research Service announced Tuesday shows global food insecurity increased by nearly ten percent in fiscal year 2022. USDA’s International Food Security Assessment model estimates how food prices and incomes affect food demand and access in 77 low- and middle-income countries. Food security is then evaluated by estimating the population unable to access sufficient calories to sustain a healthy, active lifestyle. Of the people in countries included in the 2022 assessment, almost 119 million more people are estimated to be food insecure compared to 2021. The upward trend in international prices for wheat, coarse grains, and vegetable oils during the 2021/22 marketing year has been further exacerbated by Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, which reduced exports of the commodities from the Black Sea region. Domestic prices of major grains in 2022 are projected to rise in 70 of the 77 countries included in the assessment, with the North Africa region being the most affected. *********************************************************************************** RIPE Urges Equitable Payments Above Costs for Conservation in Farm Bill Platform Rural Investment to Protect our Environment, or RIPE, announced its 2023 Farm Bill platform Tuesday. Shaped by farmers and ranchers across the country who lead RIPE, the platform urges organizations to include a resolution, based on RIPE100 principles, in their farm bill platform. The resolution states, “A portion of new funds appropriated by Congress for climate-smart agriculture should be invested in a new conservation program offering a simple enrollment process that enables producers — including early adopters — to earn equitable payments above implementation costs, economic losses during transition to new practices and future climate policy costs.” The recommendation comes as Congress considers how to best encourage climate-smart agriculture through the farm bill, including how to allocate $18 billion in new funds from the Inflation Reduction Act. RIPE is a producer-led organization advancing RIPE100 — a conservation program that would pay producers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship, offering equitable payments above costs associated with practice implementation. *********************************************************************************** University Of Illinois to Develop Corn for Diverse Organic Systems Decades of corn breeding efforts emphasizing yield have contributed to modern hybrids with shallower and less complex root systems than their predecessors. Because the breeding and selection of most modern hybrids has taken place in environments with high nutrient concentrations, optimal weed control, and soil moisture conditions, hybrids perform best under high input systems. With help from a new four-year, $1.5 million grant from USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture, a team of researchers at the University of Illinois plans to study overlooked attributes of corn roots. The new grant investigates maize roots for organic/regenerative systems and explores ways to manipulate the agroecosystem to optimize carbon storage, resource use efficiency, and productivity. The researchers will work with farmers to learn how they use information about crop and soil conditions to balance management goals. In addition to optimizing yield, the team will work to develop corn roots that respond to changing soil conditions that are driven by management, like rotation length and diversity. *********************************************************************************** USDA Invests $14M to Strengthen Hispanic-serving Higher Education Programs In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced an investment of $14 million to Hispanic-serving higher education institutions. The funding supports Hispanic student learning experiences in the agricultural and human science sectors. The investment will help attract, retain and graduate outstanding students from underrepresented communities. USDA Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh says Hispanic-serving higher education institutions “are our trusted partners in preparing the next generation of agriculture leaders that more fully represent the many diverse populations and voices in America.” The funding is part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Hispanic-serving Institutions Education Grants Program. The grant program aligns the education institutes' efforts to support the academic development and career attainment of underrepresented groups. As part of the program, USDA awarded funding to New Mexico State University – Las Cruces, Northern Arizona University – Flagstaff, and University of Puerto Rico – Carolina, among other Hispanic-serving higher education institutions.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday October 12, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets Outside markets will be interested in the Labor Department's 7:30 a.m. CDT report on U.S. producer prices Wednesday, followed by minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting at 1 p.m. Grain traders are anticipating USDA's next WASDE and Crop Production reports, both due out at 11 a.m. CDT with updates on row crop harvest estimates and USDA's views on several other hot topics. Weather also remains a prime area of interest with rain needed in many areas. Weather A strong cold front is moving through the middle of the country early Wednesday and producing a broken line of showers from northern Oklahoma into Wisconsin. Additional showers are forming ahead of the front from Alabama up to the Great Lakes. The front will continue to sweep southeast throughout the day with light to moderate rainfall. Some thunderstorms could be stronger in the Delta region Wednesday afternoon. A secondary front moving just behind this first one by about 12 to 18 hours is making for more isolated showers across the Western Corn Belt. Breezy conditions behind this front continue to create an increased fire risk, but it will generally be breezy most places today.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday October 11, 2022 |


National School Lunch Week: USDA Serves 224 Billion Since 1971 President Joe Biden recently declared this week as National School Lunch Week. The annual declaration highlights how school meals remain a vital lifeline, supplying well-balanced, free or low-cost meals to kids across the country since the program began in 1946. USDA’s Economic Research Service also released a report analyzing data on school lunch meals served. USDA found that between 1971 and 2021, the National School Lunch Program served about 224 billion meals. Of these meals, 126.4 billion were served for free or at a reduced price. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 interrupted the operations of many schools through fiscal years 2020 and 2021. As a result, about 3.2 billion lunches were served through the program in 2020 and 2.2 billion in 2021, fewer than the 4.9 billion in 2019. The drop reflects the use of a USDA pandemic waiver allowing schools to serve meals through the Summer Food Service Program and the creation of the temporary Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program. *********************************************************************************** Report: Plant-Based Products Appeal Wearing Off Plant-based food is a hot market, but plant-based meat alternative is not, according to a recent study by Deloitte Insights. The researchers say there are many contributing factors, including supply chain problems and a tough comparison point from an impressive prior year. However, data from Deloitte's Future of Fresh survey suggests three consumer-driven reasons for the current stagnation. The addressable market may be more limited than many thought. Dramatically improved taste in recent years unlocked new interest, but the portion of the population open to trying and repeat buying it may already have reached a saturation point. With inflation, fewer people are willing to pay a price premium. Willingness to pay a premium for plant-based alternative meat dropped nine percentage points from last year. Finally, some assumed benefits are being questioned by consumers. Even buyers of plant-based alternative meat are changing their views on some of its attributes. The biggest change is in health perceptions. *********************************************************************************** Mosaic Company Announces Hurricane Ian's Impact on its Fertilizer Producer The Mosaic Company recently announced that North American Phosphates was negatively impacted by damage caused by Hurricane Ian. Significant flooding and high winds were experienced throughout central Florida during the storm, and this caused modest damage to Mosaic Company facilities and supporting infrastructure. Early assessments indicate phosphate production could be down by approximately 200,000-250,000 metric tons, split roughly evenly between the third and fourth quarters of 2022. Repairs are expected to be completed over the next couple of weeks. In addition to production impacts, the timing of shipments was also affected by the storm. Phosphates sales volumes in the third quarter are now expected to total 1.60-1.65 million metric tons, as port and rail closures delayed late third quarter shipments to October. Mosaic plans to provide further updates when it reports third quarter results. The Mosaic company produces fertilizers in West Central Florida, where Hurricane Ian made landfall late last month. *********************************************************************************** NCC Announces 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences The National Cotton Council recently announced the 2023 Beltwide Cotton Conferences, set for January 10-12 at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans. The event offers attendees timely updates on the latest research, technology and issues affecting U.S. cotton production and processing. The BWCC, coordinated by the National Cotton Council, annually brings together the U.S. cotton industry to exchange information about cotton production. The BWCC's Consultants Conference will run the afternoon of January 10 and extend through the morning of January 11. The 12 cotton technical conferences will meet concurrently beginning on the morning of January 11 and conclude by noon on January 12. The Cotton Sustainability Conference will plan to focus on the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol. The Cotton Engineering-Systems Conference is planning presentations on data analytics, robotics, remote sensing and unmanned aerial vehicles, among others. Those planning to attend are encouraged to register via the BWCC home page at www.cotton.org. *********************************************************************************** Walmart Foundation Teams Up with National FFA Foundation The Walmart Foundation Monday announced a $750,000 grant to the National FFA Foundation to incorporate sustainability principles in school education. The National FFA Foundation will leverage the expertise of the National FFA Organization to develop these educational resources. The National FFA Organization is working to ensure they meet the demand by educating the next generation of leaders. This generation will lead by example, act responsibly and create solutions to feed, clothe and fuel the world. National FFA Organization Chief Program Officer Christine White says, “The funding made available allows us to create new sustainability-focused education resources and programming that integrates current sustainable practices across multiple disciplines.” The focus of these resources will be to leverage the social influences of students by creating an inclusive program so all students enrolled in agricultural education can see how sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. *********************************************************************************** National Average Fuel Prices Edge Higher Again The nation’s average gas price climbed for the third straight week, rising 13.8 cents from a week ago to $3.92 per gallon. The national average is up 22.5 cents from a month ago and 67.0 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel increased 18.0 cents in the last week to $5.04 per gallon. OPEC+ decided to cut oil production by two million barrels a day recently, causing an oil price surge of 20 percent, largely the reason for the increase in fuel prices. However, some refinery issues that increased prices appear to be improving in the West and Great Lakes. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “prices in those two regions are likely to inch down, even with OPEC’s decision, as the drop in wholesale prices has offset the rise due to the production cut.” According to GasBuddy, U.S. retail gasoline demand fell last week by 0.3 percent.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday October 11, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets With Columbus Day behind, Tuesday may feel like a Monday as we will have USDA's weekly report of export inspections at 10 a.m. CDT and Crop Progress update at 3 p.m. Traders will continue to keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts and outside market news, especially from Ukraine. Trading in grains may turn slow as the day wears on, ahead of Wednesday's WASDE and Crop Production reports. Weather Scattered showers are moving northeast from Texas into Missouri and Illinois Tuesday morning as an upper-level disturbance moves out ahead of a cold front that is sweeping into the Northern Plains. That front will move through most of the northwestern Corn Belt from Nebraska through Minnesota by tonight. The front will produce scattered showers and some thunderstorms, some of which may be severe from southeast Nebraska up into Wisconsin Tuesday evening and night. Breezy winds will occur both ahead of and behind the front, which increases the fire danger risk for those trying to harvest. The front is the first of two that will sweep through the country over the next couple of days.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 10, 2022 |


August Pork Exports Higher While Beef Again Tops $1 Billion U.S. pork exports in August topped year-ago totals for the first time in 2022. USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation shows beef exports were slightly above the large volumes of last August and once again surpassed $1 billion in value. “We talk about the importance of developing a wide range of markets for U.S. red meat, and the August numbers are a great example of that,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Exports face significant headwinds in some key destinations. However, the emphasis on broad-based growth pays dividends and allows the overall export picture to remain positive.” Pork exports reached 226,300 metric tons, the largest total since November 2021, while the value rose four percent to $659 million. Beef exports topped 133,800 metric tons, up one percent from last year and the second-largest volume on record, with the export value at just under $1.04 billion. *********************************************************************************** Dairy Industry Groups Hold Press Conference on Labor Shortage Groups like the American Business Immigration Coalition Action, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and many others involved in U.S. dairy held a press conference on labor shortages. The press conference took place during the World Dairy Expo to help call attention to the urgency of fixing the national farm labor shortage by passing new agriculture workforce solutions in the Senate. Brody Stapel, president of the Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative Board, says dairy is a unique industry with different challenges than any other sector of agriculture. “Our cows must be milked twice a day, every day, and our raw product is extremely perishable,” he says. “That makes a steady workforce that much more important.” Walt Moore, president of the American Dairy Coalition, applauded the House of Representatives for passing the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and said it’s urgent that Senators from across the country do the same. *********************************************************************************** Drought Conditions Cover 321 Million Acres of Crops Drought intensified in many of the nation’s top corn-growing states during the past week. Nationally, 321.6 million acres of crops are experiencing some level of drought, while more than 31 million beef cattle across the country are living with drought. The latest drought monitor map shows a pocket of D2 severe drought emerging in Illinois with poor crop conditions and low hay yield in that region. While drought conditions in Texas have improved recently, pockets of D4 exceptional drought are still present in one percent of the state. D3 extreme drought covers 12 percent of Texas. Drought also intensified in Minnesota, which saw its first area of D3 extreme drought since last December. Wisconsin’s D2 severe drought in the northwest corner spread out to cover four percent of the state. A small part of Iowa is experiencing D4 exceptional drought, while five percent of the Hawkeye State is experiencing D3 extreme drought. *********************************************************************************** World Food Prices Drop in September The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization says the Food Price Index averaged 136.3 points in September, 1.1 percent below August and the sixth-straight monthly decline. The decline was driven by a sharp fall in the international prices of vegetable oils and moderate decreases in those of sugar, meat, and dairy products. Together, that more than offset a rebound in the cereal price index, which averaged 147.8 points in September, a 1.5 percent rise from August. The Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 152.6 points in September, down more than six percent from August month-on-month and the lowest level since February 2021. The Dairy Price Index averaged 142.5 points, down a half-percent from August and the third-consecutive monthly decline. However, that was still almost eight percent higher than the same time last year. The Sugar Price Index was 109.7 points, down 0.7 percent and its lowest level since July 2021. *********************************************************************************** Barge Operator Can’t Make Deliveries Due to Dry Mississippi River The largest barge operator in the U.S. told its customers last week that it won’t be able to make good on deliveries due to the shrinking Mississippi River. Bloomberg says Ingram Barge Company declared a force majeure in a letter to customers because of the “near-historic” low water along the Mississippi River. The river is the top way to get American grains exported to the world market. Drought has dropped the water level far enough that ships are beginning to run aground. The U.S. Coast Guard is responding to stuck vessels in at least two places, including Stack Island between Louisiana and Mississippi and upriver near Memphis. American Commercial Barge Line, another shipping company that uses the river to transport goods, says the drought is causing the most severe impact on navigation since 1988. The logjam comes at the worst time as grain harvest is in progress, and supplies will pile up. *********************************************************************************** NCGA: Collaboration Will Propel Climate Advancements Field to Market recently released a report titled Climate Action in U.S. Agriculture that showcases increasing climate commitments from its diverse membership sectors. The report essentially creates a clearinghouse of self-set sustainability and climate targets to give companies and organizations a one-stop shop to benchmark goals, drive performance, and promote accountability. Some of the key findings in the report include 73 percent of the members having public commitments on climate action, up from 68 percent in 2021. Of the 29 corporate members, 22 percent have set science-based targets for reducing emissions. Two of the five goals set by the National Corn Growers Association directly address climate concerns and are documented in the report. The goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13 percent and increase energy efficiency by 13 percent. NCGA Sustainability Director Rachel Orf says the group is working to assist their growers in reaching those goals by 2030.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 10, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, federal offices and banks are closed Monday for Columbus Day. U.S. grain and livestock futures markets are open along with most other markets. USDA's weekly export inspections and crop progress reports will take place at their usual times, but on Tuesday instead of Monday. Traders will still pay attention to the latest weather forecasts and any pertinent news from the outside world, include weekend fighting in Ukraine. Weather Most of the country will be dry Monday, but scattered showers in West Texas will migrate northeast through Oklahoma later today and then into Missouri overnight. Showers will be welcome where they are received for those doing winter grains planting. Elsewhere in the country, conditions continue to favor the ongoing harvest.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday October 7, 2022 |


Biofuel Group Intervening in Legal Attack on RFS The Renewable Fuels Association recently filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency in a lawsuit over the Renewable Fuel Standard. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the agency seeking a court review of EPA’s Renewable Volume Obligations under the RFS for compliance years 2020 through 2022. The RFA is intervening on behalf of the agency to help stress the importance of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard. The biofuel group’s goal is to “protect EPA’s substantial interest in the integrity of the RFS and investments RFA’s members have made in renewable fuels to support the program,” the motion states. “After years of mismanagement and setbacks by previous administrations, the Biden administration’s EPA is moving in the right direction on the RFS,” says RFA president and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We’re looking to intervene in the case so EPA can continue putting the RFS back on track.” *********************************************************************************** WTO: Contraction in Global Trade Growth During 2023 The World Trade Organization is predicting a slowdown in global trade growth next year. Reuters says the pullback is because of sharply-higher energy and food prices and rising interest rates that will limit import demand. The WTO also says global trade could contract further if the war in Ukraine worsens. For 2023, the organization sees trade growth at just one percent compared to a previous forecast of 3.4 percent growth. The WTO director-general says there’s a lot of unpredictability in its forecast, noting that the picture for 2023 is “considerably darker” and the risks for next year’s forecast were more toward the downside. Weather events hitting food-producing regions or damaging energy export infrastructure could further slow trade growth in 2023. The WTO is also warning countries against being tempted to put trade restrictions in place. The group says trade restrictions would only deepen inflationary pressures and reduce living standards. *********************************************************************************** Labor Department Tightens Some H-2A Rules The U.S. Department of Labor issued new rules for hiring H-2A workers that tighten housing and food standards. Industry Update Dot Com also says the new rules clarify that farm associations can be held liable for violations by individual farmers. The new rules canceled a series of broader changes proposed by the Trump administration, some of which were implemented in January 2020. The new rules will take effect on November 14, and the Labor Department says the rules will “strengthen worker protections, modernize and simplify the application process for H-2A and temporary labor certification, and ease the regulatory burden on employers.” The department emphasized in the rule that it doesn’t have legal authority to allow H-2A workers to work year-round in the country. H-2A workers are still limited to seasonal work only. The House-passed Agriculture Workforce Modernization Bill that stalled in the Senate would have allowed a limited number of year-round H-2A visas. *********************************************************************************** Minnesota Farmer is New NCGA President The National Corn Growers Association says Tom Haag (Hayg) of Eden Valley, Minnesota, is the organization’s next president. During an introductory news conference, Haag said the year is already shaping up to be a big one for America’s corn farmers. “There’s the next farm bill, the Next Generation Fuels Act, and that’s barely scratching the surface,” he says. “I’m focused on going all-in for corn farmers, but I can’t do it alone.” He also says it will take corn farmers working together to ensure their voice is heard in Washington, D.C., and to work on increasing demand for their product. “It’s hard to know in advance what other issues could come our way, but I am ready to tackle them together,” Haag says. Haag is a fourth-generation family farmer in south-central Minnesota and a former president of the Minnesota Corn Growers. He and his son Nathan raise 1,700 acres of corn and soybeans. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Applauds SEC Protection Bill More than 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation that would shield agricultural producers from a climate disclosure rule proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. U.S. Cattlemen’s Association President Brooke Miller says, “U.S. farmers and ranchers absolutely need this exemption from the SEC’s climate disclosure proposal. Our producer-members already face nearly insurmountable proposed and ongoing regulatory burdens from an array of federal agencies.” Miller also says producers’ main job should be putting American beef on American plates, not managing the complex clerical duties of SEC compliance rules. The “Protect America’s Farmers from the SEC Act” prohibits the SEC from requiring an issuer of securities to disclose greenhouse gas emissions from upstream and downstream activities in the issuer’s value chain arising from a farm. The SEC’s proposed rule says registrants would be required to disclose information about their direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related risks. *********************************************************************************** Beef Industry Scholarship Applications Open The National Cattlemen’s Foundation is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship. Ten scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded to outstanding students pursuing beef industry careers. “We are pleased to continue our decades-long collaboration with the National Cattlemen’s Foundation and NCBA to support and inspire the next generation of food producers through this scholarship program,” says Tim Andriesen, CME Group managing director of agricultural products. Eligible applicants must be graduating high school seniors or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at a two- or four-year institution. The application process includes writing a one-page letter expressing career goals related to the beef industry, a 750-word essay describing an issue in the beef industry and offering solutions to this problem, or two letters of recommendation. The applicant or a family member must be a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The deadline is November 11. For information, go to nationalcattlemensfoundation.org.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday October 7, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets At 7:30 a.m. CDT, the U.S. Labor Department will report on nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate, both for September. Federal Reserve officials will add their own public comments after the reports and at 2 p.m., there is a report on August consumer credit. Traders will continue to watch the latest weather forecasts, especially for any rain chances that would help fill the Mississippi River or ease drought in the western Plains. Weather A strong cold front has been pushing through the Corn Belt over the past day and very cold air is filling in behind it. Temperatures in the Northern Plains have dropped down into the 20s and lower 30s for most areas, producing killing frosts this morning. The colder air will spread through the Corn Belt Friday with more frosts and freezes expected through the weekend. Showers are limited to Nebraska behind the front and across west Texas into Oklahoma, where they are welcome for winter wheat establishment. Other areas will remain dry and offer good harvest conditions despite the cold.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday October 6, 2022 |


Thune Introduces Bill to Improve Livestock Disaster Assistance Senators John Thune and Ben Ray Luján recently introduced the Livestock Disaster Assistance Improvement Act. The bipartisan legislation by the South Dakota Republican and New Mexico Democrat would improve the effectiveness and timeliness of multiple Department of Agriculture programs that assist farmers and ranchers in the aftermath of adverse weather events. The legislation would also provide USDA with direction to help improve the accuracy of the U.S. Drought Monitor, which triggers certain disaster programs. Thune says, “These common-sense updates to disaster programs would help provide greater and expedited assistance to farmers and ranchers when they need it the most.” The legislation would update the Emergency Conservation Program and Emergency Forest Restoration Program to clarify that state and federal grazing permit holders are eligible for these programs. The bill also allows the Farm Service Agency to waive the 30-day public comment period for Bureau of Land Management National Environmental Policy Act applications during a drought emergency, among other changes. *********************************************************************************** Senate Ag leadership Urges USDA to Expand Margin Protection Tools Leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee recently urged the Department of Agriculture to expand margin protection tools under the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Citing record high input costs and extreme volatility in commodity prices, Senators Debbie Stabenow and John Boozman say the expansion would “allow producers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these tools and better manage production cost risk by next fall.” Farmers are heading into the second consecutive planting season with elevated fertilizer and diesel prices while crop prices are getting more volatile. The letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urges margin protection, already in place for dairy, cattle and swine, and certain crops, should be thoughtfully expanded in a timely manner. As the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation considers expanding existing tools or developing new ones, the lawmakers say, "We urge the department to immediately prioritize additional and extensive risk management education for both producers and agents" on the policies currently available. *********************************************************************************** USDA Announces Farm and Food Workers Relief Program Organizations The Department of Agriculture this week announced 15 organizations to receive funding through the Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, "The grant recipients today will help us provide relief payments to workers across the country who kept food moving to our families during an especially challenging time." The program, administered by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, uses funding to provide relief to farmworkers and meatpacking workers who incurred pandemic-related health and safety costs. Funding is also set aside for three pilot programs to support grocery workers in recognition of their essential role in the pandemic response. These organizations are now preparing systems and will begin implementing outreach so that eligible farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery workers may apply to these grant recipients to receive $600 payments soon. USDA anticipates that beneficiaries will be able to apply for funds from some of these recipients as soon as late November. *********************************************************************************** Iowa Ag Secretary: Atrazine Restrictions Will Negatively Impact Conservation Efforts Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig this week submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the proposed restrictions on atrazine. One of the most widely used herbicides in corn production, the proposed revisions by EPA would severely limit the use of atrazine. Secretary Naig tells the EPA that further restricting the use of atrazine will negatively impact pest resistance management and conservation efforts. In his comments, Naig says, "The EPA proposed picklist approach to managing atrazine is complicated, costly, and not feasible for Iowa farmers, landowners, and pesticide applicators." Further, he urges the EPA to listen to feedback from farmers and "adopt atrazine use requirements that are based on the best available science." In October 2020, EPA received a petition alleging that the Agency violated its duties under The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act by issuing the atrazine reregistration without substantial evidence supporting the decision. The comment period on the proposal ends Friday. *********************************************************************************** Report: Global Farm Productivity Declining Global agricultural productivity growth is in steep decline, and current efforts to expand sustainable agriculture production to feed a growing global population are inadequate to deal with the challenges that the world faces. That's according to the 2022 Global Agricultural Productivity Report, produced by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. To sustainably produce food and agricultural products for more than nine billion people in 2050, agricultural productivity must increase an average of 1.73 percent annually. From 2011-2020, global agricultural productivity grew at an average of just 1.12 percent per year, a significant drop from the average growth rate of 1.99 percent from 2001-2010. Current efforts to accelerate productivity growth are inadequate, the climate will have a significant impact on production, and regional inequities around the world exacerbate the problem, the report says. Researcher Tom Thompson says, "We urgently need to reverse this trend so that we can improve food and nutrition security, sustainability, and resilience." *********************************************************************************** USDA Partnership Seeks Increase in Native American Homeownership The Department of Agriculture is providing $4 million in loans to expand the Native American Relending Pilot program. Two Native Community Development Financial Institutions will use the loan funds to expand homeownership opportunities for Native Americans living on tribal lands in South and North Dakota. Rural Development Undersecretary Xochitl (So-CHEEL) Torres Small says, “We are proud to partner with expert organizations that help us continue to drive economic security and prosperity for rural people.” USDA is providing the funding under the Single Family Housing Direct Loan program. Through this program, USDA provides loans to Native Community Development Financial Institutions, which relend the funds to eligible homebuyers to purchase homes on Native lands. USDA has helped nearly four million rural residents purchase homes since the passage of the Housing Act of 1949. Homeownership rates on Native American lands have historically been lower than those for other communities.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday October 6, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as the weekly U.S. jobless claims and update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. At 9:30 a.m., the Energy Department has its weekly report of natural gas in storage. More Federal Reserve officials are set to speak and traders will continue to watch the latest weather forecasts. Weather A strong cold front moving through the Northern and Central Plains and Midwest on Thursday is causing temperatures to quickly fall behind it. Scattered frosts are occurring in the Red River Valley of the North Thursday morning, but will be much more widespread and colder Thursday night. Scattered showers are continuing over west Texas, which is a good sign for winter wheat establishment the next few days, but overall conditions continue to be good for harvest.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday October 5, 2022 |


Interest Rates Help Drive Farmer Sentiment Lower The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer’s farmer sentiment index dropped five points to 112 in September. The drop in farmer sentiment was primarily the result of producers’ weakened perception of current conditions. The Current Conditions Index dropped nine points to 109, and the Index of Future Expectations dropped three points to 113. Concerns about input costs and, in some cases, availability are key factors behind the relative weakness in this month’s farmer sentiment. A growing number of producers expressed concern about the impact of rising interest rates on their operations. High input costs were cited as the number one concern by 44 percent of the survey respondents, while 23 percent chose rising interest rates. Another 14 percent of respondents chose input availability as their biggest worry. The Farm Capital Investment Index also dropped as producers continue to indicate now is not a good time to make large investments in their farms. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Dairy Consumption is Rising Again The USDA’s annual report on per-capita dairy consumption saw an emphatic rise in domestic dairy demand. The level of demand rose from 655 pounds per person in 2020 to 667 pounds per person last year. That’s a total not seen since 1960, when it was 659 pounds, and is approaching 1959’s consumer total of 672 pounds. The last time America consumed this much dairy as they do today, Elvis was in the Army. While USDA data says fluid milk consumption has continued a slow decline, cheese continues to rise. American-style cheese consumption reached another record last year. Butter consumption is returning to levels unseen for several decades. Even as dairy consumption shifts, the overall trajectory is positive. The gain in 2021 is the seventh in the past eight years. The National Milk Producers Federation says despite more competition from non-dairy competitors, consumers continue to find dairy useful, preferable, and important. *********************************************************************************** Mexico’s Proposed GMO Corn Ban Will Cost U.S. Producers Billions A Mexican presidential decree to ban genetically modified corn in 2024 would have severe economic consequences for the U.S. and Mexican economies. A study from World Perspectives, Inc., says the move will result in a loss of billions for America’s farmers and higher prices for Mexican consumers. The net economic loss for the U.S. corn industry in the first year of the ban will be $3.56 billion. The U.S. ethanol industry, including DDGS, will incur a net loss of $521.5 million after accounting for gains from lower GM corn prices. Overall, the U.S. economy would lose $73.89 billion in economic output. During a ten-year forecast, the GM corn ban will increase the cost of corn by an average of 19 percent. That will inflate the cost of most foods and other goods for Mexicans. Poultry meat prices will jump by 67 percent because of a 13.7 percent increase in the cost of feed. *********************************************************************************** Southern Plains Economic Conditions Weakening Extremely dry conditions are putting a strain on the Fed’s Eleventh District. Ag bankers responding to a third-quarter survey report overall weaker economic conditions because of drought that’s pressuring agricultural production. The cotton crop and pastureland are especially hurting because of a lack of moisture. “The Southern Plains cotton crop is a disaster,” one survey participant says. “Almost all dryland crop has already been abandoned because of drought, and the irrigated crop still standing is pitiful.” Ag loan demand decreased during the third quarter of this year, the third-straight drop in the past three quarters. Loan renewals or extensions fell for the seventh-straight quarter, but the rate of loan repayments increased. Loan volume decreased for all categories compared with last year. Ranchland and dryland values rose during the quarter, while irrigated cropland values were steady. Cropland, dryland, and ranchland values increased the most in Texas, rising at least 10 percent year-over-year. *********************************************************************************** Smithfield Foods Sending 150,000 Servings of Food for Hurricane Relief Smithfield Foods is sending more than 37,000 pounds of food to Fort Myers, Florida, to help with recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Ian. The protein will be delivered to Mercy Chefs, a Virginia-based non-profit that deploys to disaster zones across America. They will help serve free chef-prepared, restaurant-quality, hot meals to victims, volunteers, and first responders in Fort Myers. “Our hearts go out to everyone in the path of this catastrophic hurricane,” says Jonathan Toms, senior community affairs manager with Smithfield. “We hope this food assistance brings some relief to the people of Fort Myers as they start down the long and difficult road to recovery.” Chef Gary LeBlanc, founder and CEO of Mercy Chefs, says, “Our continued partnership with Smithfield Foods is critical to feeding those who have lost everything. We’re honored to have the opportunity to serve those facing extreme devastation in the wake of Hurricane Ian.” *********************************************************************************** NSF, BASF Open Joint Scholarship Application The National Sorghum Foundation and BASF are accepting applications for a joint scholarship for $2,500 in tuition assistance for the 2022-2023 academic year. The award will be given out in January of 2023. “The National Sorghum Foundation has a longstanding commitment to developing the leadership potential of college students with a passion for improving the sorghum industry,” says newly appointed NSF Chair Jeff Dahlberg. “BASF has worked with us on this endeavor for many years, and we are excited to provide deserving students with the financial support they need to help them succeed.” Scholarship applicants must be the child or grandchild of a National Sorghum Producers member and be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an agriculturally-related curriculum. Applications should be postmarked by December 1. More information about the scholarship criteria and the application forms can be found online at SorghumGrowers.com. NSP is the organization representing U.S. sorghum producers across the country.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday October 5, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets The U.S. Commerce Department will report on the August trade deficit at 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday and provide USDA will more specific information about ag exports, which will be released later in the day. At 9:30 a.m., the Energy Department will release its weekly inventory data, including ethanol production. Traders will continue to monitor the latest weather forecasts, keenly aware the southwestern U.S. Plains and Lower Mississippi River desperately need rain. Weather A weak system is producing a few isolated showers as it moves through the Midwest on Wednesday. But the big story is the strong cold front that will be moving down from Canada and into the North-Central U.S. Wednesday night. Mild conditions will be felt for one more day across the country, but temperatures will plummet tonight across the Dakotas and Minnesota and continue to do so as the front pushes south through the country for the rest of the week. Some frosts will be possible far north tonight.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday October 4, 2022 |


NCBA Urges EPA to Pause WOTUS Rulemaking The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association called on the Environmental Protection Agency to pause their Waters of the United States rulemaking. The action follows Monday’s Supreme Court oral arguments in the case Sackett v. EPA, a case that will determine the EPA’s authority to regulate bodies of water under the Clean Water Act. NCBA’s Kaitlynn Glover says, "we call on the EPA to suspend their rulemaking until the outcome of the case is clear." In April, NCBA filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court, calling for a new test for determining whether a water feature fell under the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. NCBA's argument would allow the government to protect substantial bodies of water while preventing overreach on small isolated agricultural water features. NCBA also commented on the Biden administration's proposed "Waters of the U.S." rule. NCBA calls for this rulemaking to halt until the Supreme Court issues a ruling in the Sackett v. EPA case. *********************************************************************************** Hurricane Ian Devastates Southwest Florida Agriculture The Florida Farm Bureau says farmers and ranchers are facing widespread destruction of crops, buildings and fencing from Hurricane Ian last week. Florida Farm Bureau is working with its members to assess the damage. The organization says significant fruit has been dropped from the trees in areas of the citrus belt. Fall vegetables once rooted are now lost. Not only has there been loss of human life, but livestock and dairy farms have been devastated by the wrath of Hurricane Ian. Farmers and ranchers are repairing greenhouses, structures, irrigation systems and other machinery and equipment throughout the region. Many farm families are still cutting their way through down trees and power lines and battling flooded roads and blown-out culverts to evaluate the damage. One thing is for certain, the organization says, is that "Florida farmers and ranchers remain unwavering in their commitment to produce the food and fiber that millions of Americans depend on." *********************************************************************************** NPPC Comments on Swine Inspection Program Federal Ruling The National Pork Producers Council late last week welcomed a federal ruling upholding the Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System. A federal judge in California upheld the program, which NPPC says incentivizes investment in new technologies while ensuring a safe supply of wholesome American pork. In a statement, the organization says, “Pork producers use science-based approaches to continuously improve and modernize their practices to ensure product quality and consistency and their workforce's health and safety." However, opponents who filed the lawsuit argue the rule greatly undermines the ability of federal inspectors to protect consumers from foodborne illnesses by fully inspecting hog carcasses, and instead allows plant employees with little training to take over several steps. The lawsuit was filed by Food & Water Watch, Center for Food Safety and the Humane Farming Association. Center for Food Safety senior attorney Amy van Saun says, “we can only hope we don't see more foodborne illness” because of the ruling. *********************************************************************************** USDA: H-2A Seasonal Worker Program Expanded Over Time USDA’s Economic Research Service Monday reported data that shows the H-2A season worker program has expanded over time. U.S. agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of U.S. domestic workers can fill seasonal farm jobs with temporary foreign workers through the H-2A visa program. The Department of Labor certified around 317,000 temporary jobs in fiscal year 2021 under the H-2A visa program, more than six times the number certified in 2005. Only about 80 percent of the certified jobs in 2021 resulted in the issuance of a visa. The program has grown partly in response to current U.S. domestic workers finding jobs outside of U.S. agriculture and a drop in newly arrived immigrants who seek U.S. farm jobs. The H-2A program continued to expand in FY 2020 despite the jump in U.S. unemployment caused by lockdowns associated with the Coronavirus pandemic. Nationally, the average H-2A contract in FY 2020 offered 24 weeks of employment and an average hourly wage of $13. *********************************************************************************** Registration Open for 2023 American Farm Bureau Convention The American Farm Bureau Federation announced the opening of general registration Monday for the 2023 American Farm Bureau Convention. The convention will be held in-person January 6-11, 2023, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. AFBF assessed the status of San Juan and the convention facilities following Hurricane Fiona and determined that all are fully operational. AFBF President Zippy Duvall says, “This is your opportunity to gain insights about the future of agriculture, sharpen your skills and help define the agenda in Washington.” Workshop topics include the 2023 farm bill, policy updates, market outlooks, trade, the latest ag education resources and strategies for coping with farm stress. An exciting aspect of the convention is the opportunity for farmers and ranchers from the 50 states to see and learn about crops and agricultural practices unique to Puerto Rico. You can view the high-level convention agenda and register online to attend at annualconvention.fb.org. *********************************************************************************** Weekly Gas Prices up, Diesel Down For the second straight week, gas prices climbed higher, with the nation’s average gas price posting a rise of 11.1 cents from a week ago to $3.78 per gallon. The national average is up 0.4 cents from a month ago and 59.8 cents higher than a year ago. However, the national average price of diesel declined 2.9 cents in the last week and stands at $4.86 per gallon. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says despite the higher gas prices, “areas of the Northeast and Gulf Coast have continued to see declines as the nation experiences sharp differences in trends between regions.” Prices continued to surge on the West Coast and Great Lakes last week. De Haan is hopeful prices will fall, but does caution that OPEC could decide to cut oil production by a million barrels as the global economy slows down. Meanwhile, U.S. retail gasoline demand fell 1.8 percent last week, according to GasBuddy.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday October 4, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets There are no significant reports Tuesday, but a few Federal Reserve officials will be speaking and could get attention. Traders will continue to monitor the latest weather forecasts, any hint of export sales and any news regarding Ukraine, China or Fed policy. Weather A system moving through the Northern Plains will bring some strings of showers across the Plains Tuesday and will get into Minnesota and Iowa Tuesday night. Mild to warm conditions will be felt across most of the country, and the combination of mostly dry conditions and warmth should continue good harvest conditions for most areas. Drought areas in the Plains may see some showers, but the drought will continue.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 3, 2022 |


Mississippi River Shipping Rates Hit Record High Harvest season is in high gear, and U.S. farmers have another supply chain challenge. Bloomberg says there aren’t enough barges moving goods up and down the shrinking Mississippi River. Drought is drying a vital American waterway, which means a lot less room for vessels moving corn and soybeans from farms to U.S. ports. At one point last week, barge rates hit $49.88 per ton. That’s the highest price on record and a 50 percent jump from 2021 shipping rates. More than half of the corn and soybean shipments heading to world markets travel along the Mississippi. The barge problems are hitting at harvest when the supplies of grain will be at their largest. It also follows a challenging growing season filled with weather problems and soaring inflation for things like fuel and fertilizer. Fertilizers needed by producers to grow grain are also at risk as they ship along the Mississippi. *********************************************************************************** FTC Sues Companies Over Pay-To-Block Scheme The Federal Trade Commission and a group of 10 state attorneys general filed a complaint in federal court against pesticide makers Syngenta Crop Protection and Corteva. The complaint accuses the manufacturers of allegedly paying distributors to block competitors from selling their cheaper generic products to farmers. The complaint says the firms run “loyalty programs” in which distributors only get paid if they limit business with competing manufacturers. Cutting off the competition allowed the defendants to inflate their prices and force American farmers to spend millions of dollars more on their products. The complaint seeks to shut down the illegal pay-to-block scheme and restore competition to affected markets. “The FTC is suing to stop Syngenta and Corteva from maintaining their monopolies through harmful tactics that have jacked up pesticide prices for farmers,” says FTC Chair Lina Khan. “By paying to block generic producers from the market, these companies deprived farmers of cheaper options.” *********************************************************************************** Logan Confirmed to Farm Credit Administration Board Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman announced that the Senate confirmed Vincent Logan to the Farm Credit Administration Board. “His background in both the agriculture and financial sectors makes him well-qualified for this role,” Stabenow says. “He will be the first Native American to serve as a board member.” Ranking Member Boozman says he’s happy to see Logan’s confirmation. “His experience and expertise will help guide a mission that’s critical to the success of our family farmers, ranchers, and agriculture businesses. I look forward to working with him to provide dependable credit sources.” Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose says they congratulate Mr. Logan on his confirmation and look forward to working with him. “He’s well-qualified to serve on the FCA Board, and we appreciate the Senate Agriculture Committee and the full Senate’s swift action to fill the board seat,” Van Hoose says. *********************************************************************************** NMPF on Short-Term Infant Formula Imports The National Milk Producers Federation says the temporary, short-term lifting of restrictions on infant formula imports to address the rare infant formula shortage is a positive move to fill the supply gap. “We did not oppose the just-passed Bulk Infant Formula to Retail Shelves Act given its targeted volume and limited time frame,” says NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “Those guardrails are necessary to ensure that imports temporarily complement U.S. supplies rather than displace existing available dairy formula ingredients.” However, Mulhern says his group “emphatically” opposes efforts that would create long-term dependence on foreign suppliers for a critical nutritional food. “The focus must be to develop additional production in the U.S. necessary to ensure that this crisis isn’t repeated,” Mulhern adds. “As COVID taught us, only a robust domestic supply chain with American workers and U.S. sources of production can best protect families from disruptions of critically-needed products.” *********************************************************************************** Korean Grain Importers will View Corn Crop in Four States A team of feed grain and DDGS buyers from Korea will be in the U.S. in early October to take a close look at the corn crop. The team, which includes a Korean government official, will get to better understand grain quality control and export systems in Washington, Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois. The team is the first of 21 groups with participants from 51 countries that will travel to the U.S. as a lead-up to the U.S. Grains Council’s biggest event, the Export Exchange. Export Exchange is a biennial educational and trade forum for U.S. feed grains and will host more than 400 international buyers and end-users. “The Council is delighted to hold the Export Exchange again for the first time since 2018,” says USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “It’s a great opportunity for foreign buyers to create connections with U.S. producers.” Export Exchange is in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 12-14. *********************************************************************************** FSA to Consider Eliminating District Committees Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux told lawmakers late last week that he’ll give serious consideration to the recommendation to replace the FSA’s district committee system. Industry Update Dot Com says the USDA’s Equities Commission recently made the recommendation. However, Ducheneaux says the district committee system is an opportunity for producers to be an important part of the process, but it’s also important for those committees to be representatives of those who produce. The administrator says the district committees evaluate regional prices and determine producers’ rights, but they don’t have the right to influence the loan approval process. “We’ve been involved at every opportunity with members of the Equity Commission,” he says. “But we have to understand that we’re working to overcome the decades and generations when it was members of the county commissions that considered the loan applications.” Former FSA officials also say the county committees are important to the FSA’s mission.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday October 3, 2022 |


Monday Market Watch Markets Back from the weekend, traders have a long list of concerns to check on, including the latest weather forecasts, events in Ukraine, Mississippi River levels, energy supplies in Europe and economic concerns in the U.S. The Institute of Supply Management's index of U.S. manufacturing for September is due out at 9 a.m. CDT, followed by USDA's weekly report of export inspections. USDA's Crop Progress report is due out at 3 p.m. Weather A system that has been stuck in the northern Rockies since late last week continues to produce some isolated shower across the Northern Plains and central High Plains on Monday. Only limited areas will see anything more than light rain. The rest of the country is mild and dry, favorable for the continued harvest. Drought continues to affect winter wheat areas, however, with limited soil moisture in the Pacific Northwest, southwestern Plains, and northern Delta into the Midwest.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 30, 2022 |


Biodiesel to Turbo Charge American Biofuel Growth A new report from CoBank says the recent investment surge in U.S. renewable diesel production capacity is likely to ignite a period of growth and transition for the biofuels industry. “The outlook for biofuels is good as the U.S. and other developed countries embrace renewable liquid transportation fuels as a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Ken Zuckerberg, lead grain and farm supply economist for CoBank. “Renewable diesel offers the most intriguing opportunity in the biofuels space because the growth potential is extraordinary.” Several industry stakeholders are planning to build new soybean crush and refineries during the next two years, which would increase U.S. renewable diesel production capacity to 6.5 billion gallons by 2030. Soybean oil is the most common feedstock for producing renewable diesel. CoBank says U.S. soybean acreage would need to grow by 17.9 million acres to fill the supply gap created by the additional crush and refinery projects. *********************************************************************************** USDA Expands PACE Coverage USDA says it has expanded its Post-Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) insurance option for corn farmers who “split-apply” nitrogen on their crops. The coverage now includes most counties in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, where non-irrigate corn is insurable. USDA rolled out PACE earlier this year to support stewardship of fertilizer and will continue to offer it in select counties of Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, and the Dakotas. “PACE provides an additional risk management tool for corn growers,” says NCGA President Chris Edgington. PACE provides coverage for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the post-nitrogen application due to field conditions created by the weather during the V3 through V10 stages. “We’re always working to offer risk management options and opportunities in the best interest of producers and their operations, and that also support and encourage environmental and climate-smart practices,” says Risk Management Agency Administrator Marcia Bunger. *********************************************************************************** Smithfield to Pay $75 Million to Settle Price-Fixing Suit Smithfield Foods agreed to pay $75 million to settle a price-fixing lawsuit. Reuters says consumers accused the meat producer and several competitors of conspiring to inflate prices in the U.S. pork market by limiting supply. Smithfield spokesman Jim Monroe says the company denied liability in settling, and that the accord reduces the distraction, risk, and cost of protracted litigation. “The agreement also limits a substantial portion of Smithfield’s remaining liability in the nationwide case,” he says. In other litigation, Smithfield previously reached settlements worth $83 million with direct purchasers and $42 million with commercial purchasers, including restaurants. Some of the other defendants include Hormel Foods, Tyson Foods, and data provider Agri Stats, Inc. Smithfield agreed to provide cooperation that the plaintiffs’ lawyers say will strengthen their cases against the remaining defendants. Smithfield is based in Virginia and owned by Hong Kong-listed WH Group, which calls itself the world’s largest pork company. *********************************************************************************** Ag Groups React to White House Conference on Hunger Several U.S. ag groups and stakeholders took part in the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Jim Mulhern president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, thanked the White House for inviting him to the conference. “We know from decades of working in this area that dairy products and the nutrients they provide will be vital to reaching the conference goals,” he says. Colin Woodall, CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, also attending the conference. “We will continue to highlight beef’s role as an excellent source of protein for all ages, especially those Americans lacking iron and other essential beef nutrients,” Woodall says. National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says they’re standing together to end hunger in the United States. “Access to safe and nutritious food is a basic human right, so we’re advocating for strong federal nutrition programs that emphasize fresh and locally-produced food,” Larew says. *********************************************************************************** NCGA Selects Eight for Research Ambassador Program The National Corn Growers Association announced it has picked eight new research ambassadors for the 2022-2023 academic year. They are all secondary students from some of the nation’s top universities, including the University of Minnesota, Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and others. It’s the second year of the program which NCGA is building momentum. The program was developed and funded by the NCGA Sustainable Ag Research Action team. The objective is to build a network of future leaders in the ag sector. Ambassadors must show academic excellence, leadership potential, and be involved in research relevant to corn production. “We’re continuing to build bridges between the research lab and the farm field,” says Sustainable Ag Research Action Team Chair Jason Lewis. Ambassadors receive a financial reward of $2,500, as well as up to $750 for registration and travel reimbursement to participate in research conferences, and fully-funded travel to NCGA events. *********************************************************************************** Beef Campaign Takes Fine Dining to New Places Colorado Angus rancher Ty Walter recently rock climbed a 100-foot high ledge to enjoy fine dining with a celebrity. In a cliff-side setting, Walter joined actor, comedian, and host Joel McHale to talk about cattle production and what makes Certified Angus Beef® brand products consistently superior, all while enjoying a four-course meal at an elevation of 8,500 feet. After a two-mile hike, the pair rock climbed up the ledge to help promote the Certified Angus Beef brand. There, Walter and McHale enjoyed the four-course meal prepared by CAB Executive Chef Ashley Brennemen. “Every meal doesn’t have to be this extreme, but we wanted to showcase Certified Angus Beef products in a way that would inspire people to create their own flavor adventure,” Brenneman says. Walter adds that, “The thing I was most nervous about was dropping my fork.” The adventure is available on the Certified Angus Beef Brand Test Kitchen YouTube Channel.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 30, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets Reports on U.S. personal incomes and consumer spending for August are due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday, followed by the University of Michigan's index of U.S. consumer sentiment at 9 a.m. More Federal Reserve officials speak again Friday. At 11 a.m., USDA will release its quarterly Grain Stocks report and Small Grains 2022 Summary. Traders will also keep an eye on outside markets and follow the latest weather forecasts. Weather Ian, which strengthened back up to hurricane strength Thursday night, will move onshore over South Carolina Friday afternoon. Heavy rain from the system is already pouring into the Carolinas. Far eastern Georgia and Virginia will see rain from the system as well. A weaker disturbance has parked itself over the northern Rockies and is spreading isolated showers through the Northern Plains, and has also made for a few showers out into Minnesota and a few sprinkles cannot be ruled out for portions of the Central Plains as well. Otherwise, harvest conditions are quite good with rising temperatures for most agricultural areas.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 29, 2022 |


Stabenow Addresses White House Hunger Conference Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow addressed the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health Wednesday. The Michigan Democrat was part of a panel with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. Stabenow says, "As long as we have hunger and food insecurity in America, we have work to do, and as Chairwoman, I'm confident that the strong anti-hunger and nutrition framework we've built can help to tackle it." In conjunction with the White House Conference, Stabenow released a fact sheet detailing the Committee's recent work on anti-hunger and nutrition issues. That work includes a 21 percent increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, investments in the food bank network and focusing on nutrition education, among other topics. Stabenow adds now is the time to build on the progress to eliminate hunger and commit to a healthier America. *********************************************************************************** FDA Proposes Updated Definition of ‘Healthy’ Claim on Food Packages The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday proposed updated criteria for labeling foods with the nutrient content claim "healthy" on their packaging. The proposal comes the same day as the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The rule would align the definition of the “healthy” claim with current nutrition science, the updated Nutrition Facts label and the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. FDA says more than 80 percent of people in the U.S. aren’t eating enough vegetables, fruit and dairy. And most people consume too much added sugars, saturated fat and sodium. The proposed rule is part of the agency’s ongoing commitment to helping consumers improve nutrition and dietary patterns to help reduce the burden of chronic disease. The proposed rule would update the “healthy” claim definition to better account for how all the nutrients in various food groups contribute and may work synergistically to create healthy dietary patterns and improve health. *********************************************************************************** Atrazine Proposal Comment Deadline Nears The deadline to submit comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s atrazine proposal is next Friday. The National Corn Growers Association is encouraging growers to join its call-to-action and submit comments to the EPA on the important role atrazine plays in their work. The call-to-action was launched over the summer as EPA began revising its registration for atrazine. EPA is proposing a level of concern for atrazine at 3.4 parts per billion, down from the current level of 15 parts per billion. The move would significantly impair the effective use of atrazine on farms, according to NCGA. Brooke S. Appleton, NCGA vice president of public policy, says, “Reducing the effectiveness of this important herbicide will hinder the work of farmers and turn the clock back on our conservation efforts.” Since the organization launched the call to action on July 20, more than 3,000 growers have commented. EPA’s open comment period closes on October 7. You can submit comments via ncga.com. *********************************************************************************** Grassley, Brown Propose Banning Foreign Individuals from Obtaining U.S. Farm Credit Senators Chuck Grassley and Sherrod Brown introduced legislation this week to prevent foreign individuals from obtaining credit and financial services through the Farm Credit System. The Iowa Republican and Ohio Democrat content that currently, certain foreign individuals and entities are eligible to receive credit through this government-sponsored enterprise. Grassley states, “The expansion of foreign-owned farmland is a justified cause for concern among many family farmers and ranchers. Brown adds, “American taxpayer dollars should not be used as a financing tool for foreign governments to undermine our national security and take our family farms.” FCS was established in 1916 to provide credit to rural areas when commercial lenders were avoiding farm loans. It is mandated and limited by statute to serve agriculture. In 2021, FCS had a portfolio of roughly $210 billion in farm loans. Since 1997, regulations have allowed FCS associations to extend credit to certain foreign nationals who are not permanent residents of the United States and to foreign-owned entities. *********************************************************************************** USDA to Invest $8 Million to Expand Monitoring of Soil Carbon The Department of Agriculture plans to invest $8 million to support and expand carbon monitoring in soils. The investment also supports the assessment of how climate-smart practices affect carbon sequestration. The investment is part of USDA's efforts to build out a national soil carbon monitoring network, which was kicked off with soil carbon monitoring on Conservation Reserve Program acres in 2021. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service requests proposals for regional projects focused on soil organic carbon stock monitoring, which are due November 28, 2022. The investment in building out the soil carbon monitoring network is part of USDA's comprehensive effort to address climate change through climate-smart agriculture and forestry. NRCS Chief Terry Cosby says, “Soil health management practices and activities are a tremendous part of our strategy when it comes to climate-smart agriculture and forestry.” Additional information is available in the notice of funding, which will appear on grants.gov *********************************************************************************** U.S. Red Meat Industry Commemorates 45 Years in Japan Leaders representing the U.S. red meat industry recently traveled to Tokyo to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the inaugural U.S. Meat Export Federation office, which opened in Tokyo in 1977. Japan has consistently been a top customer and is the leading international market for U.S. red meat, purchasing nearly $4.1 billion in 2021. Through July 2022, U.S. red meat exports to Japan reached $2.4 billion. The U.S.-Japan trade partnership is highly valued by those in the U.S. pork, beef and lamb industries. While in Tokyo for meetings, market visits and a celebration event attended by 200 importers, distributors, trade media and U.S. exporters, industry representatives expressed appreciation for the business relationships developed over the past 45 years and expressed a commitment to serve the Japanese market well into the future. The group traveling to Japan included representatives of the U.S. beef and grain industries, meeting with key leaders, traveling to local grocery stores and meeting with influencers.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 29, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims, an update of second-quarter U.S. GDP and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. At 9:30 a.m., the U.S. Energy Department's weekly report of natural gas storage will be released. USDA's quarterly Hogs and Pigs report is set for 2 p.m. with expectations for an annual inventory decline of 1.6%. Weather Cold temperatures are producing frosts again this morning in the Midwest from eastern Iowa into Michigan. Outside of the cold though it is rather dry with mostly good harvest weather across much of the country. Ian has been downgraded to a tropical storm overnight as it pushed across the Florida Peninsula with heavy rainfall. The storm will spend the day offshore before pushing north toward South Carolina. Rains will begin to impact the Southeast Coast tonight with heavy rain expected for Friday and Saturday from eastern Georgia up through Virginia that will impact harvest and may cause flood damage.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday September 28, 2022 |


White House Hunger Conference Today (Wednesday) The long-awaited White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health convenes today (Wednesday). The goal of the conference is to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity by 2030. The White House Tuesday released its national strategy with actions the federal government will take to drive hunger solutions. Pillars of the strategy include improving food access and affordability, integrating nutrition and health, empowering consumers to make healthy choices, supporting physical activity and enhancing nutrition and food security research. President Joe Biden says, “This important conference and the commitment to a national strategy on ending hunger and healthier eating will build on the research and knowledge we now have to make America truly a stronger, healthier nation.” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack added, “The Strategy lays out big goals, and we need everyone - local, state, and tribal governments, Congress, private companies, nonprofit organizations, and everyday citizens - to work together to achieve them.” *********************************************************************************** USDA Funding Seeks More US Fertilizer Production A new federal grant program announced Tuesday seeks to increase American-made fertilizer production. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the $500 million in grants, intended to spur competition in the fertilizer sector and combat price hikes on U.S. farmers. The Fertilizer Production Expansion Program is part of a government-wide effort to promote competition in agricultural markets. The Commodity Credit Corporation grants will support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers. Funds also will expand the manufacturing and processing of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives in the U.S. and its territories. USDA plans for a 45-day application window for applicants to receive priority for projects that increase the availability of fertilizer and nutrient alternatives for farmers to use in crop years 2023 or 2024. USDA will also offer an extended application window for financial assistance to significantly increase American-made fertilizer production to spur competition and combat price hikes. *********************************************************************************** Ongoing Western Drought Most Intense in 20 Years USDA’s Economic Research Service Tuesday reported the ongoing Western drought is the most extreme drought in the region since 2000. As of September 19, 2022, the U.S. Drought Monitor classified more than 18 percent of land in the Western States as experiencing extreme or exceptional drought. In July of this year, more than 32 percent of land was in those categories. Drought conditions in the Western States gradually subsided in the latter months of 2021 but began intensifying again during the first half of 2022. The U.S. Drought Monitor categorizes drought in a region according to soil moisture, streamflow, and precipitation levels. Regional designations are primarily based on historical weather patterns. For agriculture, drought can mean diminished crop and livestock outputs, as well as reduced farm profitability. Drought also reduces the quantity of snowpack and streamflow available for diversions to irrigated agricultural land. These impacts can reverberate throughout the local, regional, and national economies. *********************************************************************************** Funds Available for On-farm Storage Damaged by Recent Natural Disasters The Department of Agriculture this week announced funding to help farmers rebuild on-farm storage systems impacted by recent natural disasters. USDA will make $20 million available to farmers in Kentucky, Minnesota, South Dakota and surrounding areas to rebuild damaged storage facilities damaged in 2021 and 2022 by natural disaster events. The assistance will help producers who were hard-hit by disasters and are currently struggling with a lack of available grain storage have the resources they need as they head into the 2022 crop harvest. The assistance from USDA's Farm Service Agency will help producers affected by the December 2021 tornadoes that passed through eleven counties in Kentucky, as well as producers in Minnesota and South Dakota affected by derechos in May 2022 and July 2022. Similar to other USDA cost-share programs, USDA anticipates that the funds will cover 75 percent of the eligible expenses associated with grain storage capacity costs with building grain storage capacity or purchasing equipment. *********************************************************************************** AFT Announces Solar Energy Development Partnership American Farmland Trust Tuesday announced a partnership with Edelen Renewables and Arcadia. The Farmers Powering Communities seeks to combat climate change through solar energy development while protecting America’s farmland and ranchland. The partnership provides more farmers with the opportunity for a new revenue stream and brings renewable energy to communities where it has not yet been available. Farmers Powering Communities will advance community solar projects of 25 to 50 acres to provide green energy to those who do not have access to rooftop solar – connecting them with local solar farms and bringing resiliency to more Americans. Community solar projects bridge the gap, connecting people to shared solar facilities. The partnership will identify the best land for new solar farms, establish installations and link them to local energy providers who will provide the power to residents at costs lower than the market average. Development will begin in 2023 across a number of states that have active community solar programs. *********************************************************************************** USDA NASS, NASDA, Celebrate 50 Year Partnership USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture celebrate 50 years of working together. The partnership provides timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. NASS and NASDA are celebrating the anniversary during the NASDA annual meeting this week in Saratoga Springs, New York. NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer says, “NASDA enumerators do an incredible service for NASS, the producers, our nation, and the world.” NASS works closely with state departments of agriculture to support their agricultural statistics needs and reduce duplication with federal programs. NASDA provides vital, grassroots support for the NASS mission by employing thousands of part-time enumerators who assist farmers and ranchers with ag census and survey responses through telephone and in-person interviews. The partnership allows NASDA staff to focus on data collection, which is essential for accurate data reports, while NASS staff concentrate on survey integrity and data analysis.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday September 28, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets An index of pending U.S. homes sales in August is due out at 9 a.m. CDT Wednesday, followed by the Energy Department's weekly inventory report at 9:30 a.m. More Federal Reserve officials will also be speaking at public appearances and are apt to get attention. Traders will continue to watch Hurricane Ian and the latest weather forecasts and are still nervous about the direction of outside markets. Weather Hurricane Ian, a powerful Category 4 storm, is set to move into west-central Florida during the day Wednesday and Wednesday night. In addition to the strong winds from the storm center, the hurricane will be producing heavy, flooding rains as well. Colder air has settled into the Midwest and frosts are occurring in the Upper Midwest states Wednesday morning. Some very isolated lake-induced showers may continue in a couple of spots on the southern end of the Great Lakes, but most areas will remain dry with good harvest conditions continuing.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday September 27, 2022 |


USDA Announces Action to Spur Competition, Protect Producers and Reduce Costs The Biden administration Monday announced two new Department of Agriculture efforts to support fair and competitive meat and poultry markets. The efforts include publishing the proposed Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Rules Under the Packers and Stockyards Act to protect farmers and ranchers from abuse, and a new $15 million Agricultural Competition Challenge to ramp up collaboration with the State Attorneys General on enforcement of competition laws, such as laws against price-fixing. The two efforts come from the White House Competition Council, which held a meeting Monday. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, "USDA is focused on building new, fairer, and more resilient markets, protecting producers, and reducing food costs." Earlier this year, USDA and the Department of Justice announced their commitment to work closely together to effectively enforce federal competition laws, including by launching the FarmerFairness.gov complaint portal for reporting suspected violations of federal competition law. *********************************************************************************** USMCA Partners Host Environmental Committee Meeting Officials from the United States, Mexico and Canada met last week as part of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Environment Committee. The committee was established as part of the USMCA to oversee the Environment Chapter's implementation and provide a forum to discuss and review chapter implementation. At the meeting, the officials discussed progress and challenges faced in implementing the environmental obligations since the Agreement's entry into force in 2020. The committee also discussed follow-up items from the first Committee meeting, including the findings of a mapping exercise to identify gaps and opportunities for trilateral collaboration for implementing Chapter 24 commitments, recognizing the need to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication with efforts already underway by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. In addition, the committee held a public session to share information and hear from stakeholders from Canada, Mexico, and the United States regarding the implementation of Chapter 24. *********************************************************************************** Insured Acreages Vary Widely Across Fruit and Nut Specialty Crops USDA's Economic Research Service Monday reported insured acres of specialty crops vary widely across specific crop types. USDA’s Risk Management Agency offers Federal Crop Insurance Program products to cover specialty crops in counties with enough data available to offer a sound insurance product. Using cherries as an example, crop insurance is available for cherry growers who operate in counties with a high number of cherry acres. Because of this, farmers used federal crop insurance to cover about 65 percent of all cherry acres. Cherry growers outside of those counties used the USDA Farm Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program to cover about 20 percent of all cherry acres, leaving only 15 percent of acres not covered by any risk management program. For some crops, however, federal risk management programs covered only a small portion of acres. Kiwifruits and strawberries, for example, had less than 15 percent of acres covered, while hazelnuts had less than one percent. *********************************************************************************** AEM Hosts Record-breaking DC Fly-in The Association of Equipment Manufacturers Monday reported a record attendance for its Washington, D.C. fly-in last week. Representing equipment manufacturers and suppliers from across the country, participants met with 70 lawmakers. The group advocated for pro-manufacturing policies that will help equipment manufacturers succeed in the United States and around the world. AEM’s Kip Eideberg says, “As Congress continues its legislative business through the end of the year, we will continue to remind lawmakers that they need to reach across the aisle and work to move our country forward.” AEM members advocated for domestic supply chain investments, precision agriculture incentives to support climate-smart practices, and a grant program that supports workforce development. AEM says tariffs continue to hurt the equipment manufacturing industry. AEM asked lawmakers to establish a permanent Section 301 tariff exclusion process so American manufacturers can petition the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to remove tariffs needed for domestic manufacturing and the national economy. *********************************************************************************** Merck Animal Health to Acquire Virtual Fencing Developer Merck Animal Health recently announced an agreement to acquire Vence, an innovator in virtual fencing for rotational grazing and livestock management. Vence provides enhanced technology for producers and ranchers to track, monitor and manage the movement of cattle through a high-tech platform of virtual fencing solutions. Using a computer or smartphone, customers can manage cattle movement and facilitate rotational grazing. Vence's virtual fencing technology can reduce the need for fencing to subdivide pastures and allows producers and ranchers to manage their cattle and grass inventory, while reducing costs of labor and fencing materials. Merck Animal Health president Rick DeLuca says, “Vence is a natural fit with Merck Animal Health's growing portfolio of animal intelligence products that include identification, traceability and monitoring products.” The acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022, subject to closing conditions. Vence is available in the United States and parts of Australia. *********************************************************************************** Mixed Week for Fuel Prices Ending the 14-week stretch of gas prices declining, the nation's average gas price posted a rise of 3.2 cents from a week ago to $3.67 per gallon. The national average is down 17.5 cents from a month ago but 49.3 cents higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price declined 5.1 cents the last week and stands at $4.88 per gallon. Refinery snags in some areas of the country contribute to wild fluctuations as areas of the West Coast, Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes and Plains have seen significant refinery issues leading to supply challenges. However, the Northeast and Gulf Coast continue to see normal activity at refineries and prices there have dropped. The disconnect between regions grows larger and will likely remain abnormal for the next few weeks. Gas Buddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “A slew of unexpected refinery disruptions, including fires and routine maintenance, have seemingly all happened in a short span of time.”

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday September 27, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. durable goods orders in August will be out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday, followed by August new home sales and the Conference Board's index of U.S. consumer confidence for September at 9 a.m. Several Fed officials are also scheduled to speak throughout the day and will likely get attention. Traders will keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts and news from Ukraine, but are most jumpy about Fed policy and prospects for higher interest rates ahead. Weather A shot of colder air is settling into the Midwest on Tuesday. Some limited frosts are noted around northern Minnesota into northern Wisconsin, but most areas are remaining on the warm side of freezing. Some showers are still hanging around the Great Lakes. Otherwise, dry conditions continue across most of the country, favoring the continued harvest. Bands of heavy rain from Hurricane Ian are pounding southern Florida as the storm crosses Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico and the state is bracing for its landfall Wednesday night or early Thursday.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday September 26, 2022 |


USDA Panel Targets County Committee System The Equity Panel investigating discrimination within the agency wants USDA to consider eliminating the county committee system that’s played a big role in managing the Farm Service Agency’s agricultural programs. Industry Update Dot Com says the Fairness Committee voted to recommend in an interim report to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack that the USDA do research and analysis on possibly ending the district county committee system and develop a fairer alternative for all farmers. The analysis should include what the county committees are currently doing in creating disparities for minority farmers. That should include the historical role of the district committee system and the current displacement of minority farmers. The commission also recommends that USDA immediately put a program in place that ensures minority county committee councilors have access to the FSA administrator to report real-time problems or issues in the county. The final report will be completed and submitted to Vilsack soon. *********************************************************************************** Wheat Growers Applaud Efforts to Increase Export Promotion Funding America’s wheat growers have a long history of valuing export market development by supporting the successful public-private partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. That’s why U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers applaud the introduction of the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act of 2022 in the Senate. The legislation would double the funding for the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development Program, both of which are administered by the FAS. “MAP funding hasn’t increased from $200 million since 2006, and FMD funding hasn’t changed from $34.5 million since 2002,” says USW Chair Rhonda Larson. “However, our foreign competition in most global markets, including wheat, has grown.” USW also uses MAP and FMD funding to enable greater use of U.S. wheat in food aid programs which have taken on more significance due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine that disrupted the global wheat trade. *********************************************************************************** The Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program Moves Ahead The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service published a Notice to Trade related to the Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the Library is designed to be a tool for cattle producers, making information available that may allow them to capture unrealized value for their livestock. “We are pleased to see the pilot program progressing and note the important decision to use the Livestock Mandatory Reporting statutes as a basis for any subsequent rulemakings,” says NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “We look forward to continuing to work with staff at AMS to ensure the success of this tool as well as the protection of our members’ proprietary business information.” The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 directed the AMS to create a Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program to increase market transparency for U.S. cattle producers. AMS is drafting a rule to ensure complete contractual information gets reported. *********************************************************************************** USDA Extends Deadline for Grazing Land Agreements The USDA extended the application deadline for Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Cooperative Agreements to October sixth. USDA is investing up to $12 million in partnerships that expand access to conservation technical assistance for livestock producers and increase the use of conservation practices on grazing lands. Project proposals for GLCI Cooperative Agreements will identify and address barriers to accessing grazing assistance for producers. The projects should address several concerns, including local natural resource concerns, use climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices and principles, and encourage existing and new partnerships through emphasizing equity in advancing the resource needs of underserved communities. The projects should also identify and implement strategies to quantify, monitor, report on, and verify conservation benefits associated with grazing management systems. NRCS Chief Terry Cosby says privately-owned grazing lands cover almost 30 percent of the landscape, so addressing climate change and conserving resources will happen through voluntary practices. To apply, go to grants.gov. *********************************************************************************** Stabenow, Boozman Expect Votes on USDA, FSA Nominees Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says she’s hopeful the Senate will confirm three agriculture nominees this week by unanimous consent. The Hagstrom Report says Alexis Taylor is the nominee for USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs. Jose Emilio Esteban is nominated for USDA undersecretary for food safety. Vincent Logan is the nominee for the Farm Credit Administration Board. Ag Committee Ranking Member John Boozman also hopes they can be confirmed this week. Under questioning, Taylor says she’ll work on difficult issues like Mexico’s potential ban on biotech corn. Logan, the chief financial officer with the Native American Agriculture Fund, repeatedly promised to work with young and beginning farmers. When answering questions, Esteban said he's passionate about preventing salmonella and pledged to work together with all parties on “how we get there.” The Senate Finance Committee recently approved Doug McKalip’s nomination as Chief Ag Negotiator, and he’s waiting for Senate confirmation. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Export Sales Take a step Back USDA data shows export sales of corn, beans, and wheat all fell week-to-week during the seven days ending on September 15. Corn sales during the week dropped sharply to 182,300 metric tons from 583,000 tons during the previous week. Japan was the biggest buyer at 83,200 metric tons. Exports for the week hit 563,000 metric tons, up from almost 427,000 tons the prior week. Soybean sales to overseas buyers dropped to 446,000 metric tons, sharply lower than 843,000 tons a week earlier. Egypt was the top buyer with 174,000 metric tons of beans. Exports during the week totaled over 522,000 metric tons, up from almost 374,000 during the prior week. Wheat sales during the week came in at 183,500 metric tons, with Indonesia the top buyer with 136,000 tons. The USDA report says wheat exports from the U.S. totaled 678,000 metric tons, up slightly from 676,800 tons a week earlier.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday September 26, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will check the latest weather forecasts, harvest anecdotes, any news from Ukraine or Russia and be wary of outside markets after Friday's widespread risk-off selling. Several Federal Reserve officials are also scheduled to speak Monday and may get attention. USDA's weekly export inspections report is due out at 10 a.m. CDT, followed by Crop Progress at 3 p.m. Weather A push of colder air is moving into the Midwest for Monday and will spread out across eastern areas of the country this week. Some showers will continue near the Great Lakes because of it. Other areas will be warmer and drier. The country awaits the arrival of Hurricane Ian, which is forecast to make a Florida landfall and bring widespread rain and wind damage into the Southeast later this week and weekend.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 23, 2022 |


USDA Providing Over $500 Million to Expand Rural Broadband USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that his agency is awarding $502 million in loans and grants to help provide high-speed internet in rural America. The funds will be available for rural residents and businesses in 20 states. USDA is making these investments through the third funding round of the ReConnect Program. “High-speed internet will improve the rural economy,” says Vilsack. “It will help rural businesses grow and get access to new markets, as well as help rural residents get access to more and better health care and educational opportunities.” The secretary also calls rural America the country’s “backbone.” To be eligible for the funding, an applicant must serve in an area where high-speed internet service speeds are lower than 100 megabits per second for downloads and 20 Mbps for uploads. The agency will have more investment announcements in the coming weeks. For more information about investment in rural areas, go to rd.usda.gov. *********************************************************************************** Court Ruling Reinstates Modernized Endangered Species Rules Modernized Endangered Species Act regulations will be reinstated after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a district court improperly vacated 2019 revisions. The appeals court found that the district court erred by reversing the regulations without determining whether they were actually unlawful. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says they appreciate the ruling by the Court of Appeals. “The revisions to the Endangered Species Act protected at-risk animals while ensuring that farmers could continue feeding America’s families,” he says. “This ruling doesn’t end the debate about modernizing the ESA, but it sends an important message to the lower courts that their job is to rule based on law.” This is the second appellate court ruling to favor the Farm Bureau in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the past month. In August, the Court overturned a lower court’s ruling that prohibited AFBF from defending the delisting of the gray wolf. *********************************************************************************** NCGA Hosts Next Generation of Ag Leaders for Policy Institute The National Corn Growers Association hosted a group of student delegates from the Agriculture Future of America during the AFA’s Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. The NCGA staff provided a tour and overview of the work the organization does and led discussions around how the national and state associations work collaboratively across the country to increase opportunities for America’s corn farmers. “AFA does incredible work, helping equip the next generation of agriculturalists with the tools and networking experience they’ll need to have successful careers and impact positive change,” says NCGA Market Development Manager Michael Granche’ (GRAHN-chay). “AFA doesn’t just refine their skills but gives them the confidence to walk up to a stranger and tell their ag story.” NCGA was able to engage with the student delegates through different workshops and roundtable opportunities. The Corn Growers will also be a sponsor of AFA’s Leaders Conference held in November in Kansas City. *********************************************************************************** September Wheat Production Forecast Unchanged The USDA’s 2022-2023 September wheat production forecast is unchanged from August at 1.783 billion bushels. 2022-2023 wheat exports are also unchanged from the previous month at 825 million bushels, and there are no by-class changes. U.S. wheat exports for June and July 2022 reached a total of 117 million bushels, down 23 percent from the same time last year. September U.S. wheat imports are unchanged at 110 million bushels, up from 95 million in 2021-2022. America’s wheat imports for June and July totaled 23 million bushels, up 50 percent from the same period in 2021. The 2022-2023 season-average farm price is projected at $9 a bushel, down 25 cents from the previous month. However, it would still be a record. Wheat futures markets remain volatile on a daily basis, underscored by uncertainty regarding the continuity of shipments from the Black Sea region. Recent data says prices may be lower in the coming months. *********************************************************************************** China Food Security Policy May Mean Lower Soybean Demand A Bloomberg article has a large number of soybean farmers around the world worried about the future of Chinese soybean demand. The Chinese government is attempting to boost the country’s food security by trying to lower the number of soybeans turned into animal feed. The farm ministry says feed grains are the biggest problem when it comes to China’s food supply. Ministry officials are asking the feed sector to learn from some of the country’s top producers who have successfully cut down on the amount of soybean meal used in their livestock rations as their main source of protein. China is by far the biggest importer of soybeans in the world, and the import bill last year totaled more than $50 billion. Bloomberg says, “Even modest shifts in soy consumption would help control both import costs and inflation and represent a worry for ‘legions’ of overseas farmers that rely on Chinese demand.” *********************************************************************************** NCGA Asks Senate to Confirm USDA Nominees The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is urging the Senate Ag Committee to confirm key nominees for Undersecretary for Food Safety and Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs in the USDA. “Cattle producers need strong, stable leadership in top positions at USDA, and we ask the Senate to move quickly on confirming these highly qualified nominees,” says Ethan Lane, vice president of government affairs for NCBA. Dr. Jose Emilio Esteban, who currently serves in USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, is the nominee for Undersecretary for Food Safety. Alexis Taylor, the current director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, is the nominee for Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. NCBA has worked closely with Dr. Esteban, who they say is an extremely qualified candidate for the position of undersecretary. They also have worked closely with Taylor in previous roles at USDA and on Capitol Hill, calling her a “proven advocate for farmers and ranchers.”

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 23, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets USDA's cattle on-feed report for September 1 is the only significant report Friday and is expected to stay close to last year's total of 11.23 million head. Traders will continue to keep track of weather, outside market news, events from Ukraine and any word regarding the vote on the rail workers' contracts. Weather A weak system is moving through the Corn Belt on Friday. Areas of isolated showers and a few thunderstorms are expected as the system drifts eastward. Showers may produce a few delays to the ongoing corn and soybean harvest, but not much. Cooler temperatures to the north oppose hot temperatures that continue across the south. Winter wheat areas in Kansas and Nebraska have seen a few showers this week, but conditions continue to be poor for most areas.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 22, 2022 |


Biden Administration Invests $178 Million in International Food for Progress Projects The Department of Agriculture will invest $178 million in seven international development projects on four continents to support U.S. government priorities. The projects include promoting climate-smart agriculture, facilitating trade and addressing the root causes of migration in Central America. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding Wednesday and says, "By partnering with private-sector organizations, local governments, and local producers and businesses, we are helping to build more equitable and resilient food systems." Through Food for Progress, USDA donates U.S. agricultural commodities to eligible entities such as private voluntary organizations and foreign governments, which then sell the commodities on the local market and use the proceeds to support agricultural, economic or infrastructure development programs. USDA will donate 240,000 metric tons of commodities this year, valued at $129.6 million. The seven new Food for Progress projects funded by USDA in 2022 are in addition to 41 projects currently underway in 38 countries. *********************************************************************************** USDA Funding International School Feeding Projects The Department of Agriculture will invest $220 million in eight new school feeding projects. The projects are expected to benefit more than a million children across 2,200 schools in food-insecure countries in Africa and East Asia. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding Wednesday, awarded through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. This year's awards are part of the $2 billion investment to strengthen global food security, announced by President Joe Biden at the United Nations General Assembly. USDA's 2022 commitment includes direct financial support for the projects and funding for purchasing and transporting 41,350 metric tons of U.S.-grown commodities to be donated to the projects for use in school meals. The awards also include $23.7 million for purchasing nearly 13,000 tons of locally or regionally produced commodities, supporting producers and supply chains in the target countries, and improving the nutritional diversity of school meals. *********************************************************************************** 2022/23 Rice Imports Projected at an All-time High U.S. rice imports for the 2022/23 marketing year, August–July, are projected to rise 16 percent from a year earlier and to reach the highest volume on record at 44 million hundredweight. USDA’s Economic Research Service reports imported rice is also projected to account for almost 32 percent of domestic use of rice in 2022/23, the highest share on record. Imports of long-grain and the combined classes of short- and medium-grain rice are projected at all-time highs. For long-grain rice, growing consumer preference for Asian aromatic rice, such as jasmine rice from Thailand, has increased import purchases. In addition, the United States has been importing a much smaller volume of regular milled long-grain rice from South American suppliers. Increasing imports are spurred by reduced production in California, where a second consecutive year of drought has reduced the size of the rice harvest. The California rice crop is forecast down 38 percent from a year earlier and is expected to be the smallest crop since 1977/78. *********************************************************************************** Report: Gen Z Prefers Quick Service Restaurants Older Gen Zs, ages 18-24, in the U.S. are discerning when choosing restaurants, according to new data by the NPD Group. Although price matters to this group, their taste preferences and definition of value dictate the type of restaurants they visit. As a result, Gen Zs skew towards quick service restaurants, particularly fast casual, that balance value and focused menu. In the 12 months ending July 2022, Gen Zs made five billion restaurant visits, 4.3 billion visits were to quick-service restaurants, and 736 million were to full-service restaurants. Overall quick service traffic was flat compared to a year ago, while Gen Zs fast-casual visits were up four percent in the period compared to a year ago. Gen Zs favor major fast-casual chains that provide the menu items they want, value for the money, and messaging that reflects their interests, like organics and sustainability, according to NPD's recently released Winning Gen Z Consumers study. *********************************************************************************** Pork Board Receives $155 Million in Climate-Smart Funds The National Pork Board received three grants totaling $155 million as part of the USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding. The three grants are part of the $2.8 billion awarded to 70 selected projects in the first round of funding for the program. The first grant, valued at $20 million, will incentivize soil health and manure management practice adoption and support on-farm sustainability reports for pork operations. The second grant, totaling $95 million, will support a program to advance the adoption of cover crops and conservation tillage in 20 states. The third grant, worth $40 million, will support testing and evaluating climate-smart data in all segments of agriculture in ways that add increased value and support to producers. National Pork Board Sustainability Vice President Ashley McDonald says, “Pork producers stand out as leaders in sustainability with the data aggregation tools they have invested their dollars into already, continually driving to position U.S. pork as the protein of choice here.” *********************************************************************************** Clean Fuels Hires Fuel Economist Jonathan Martin Clean Fuels Alliance America Wednesday announced the appointment of Jonathan Martin as its first Director of Economic and Market Analytics. Martin, most recently an economist with Marathon Petroleum Co., brings ten years of experience in oil and gas corporate economics to this newly created role. He will be based in Ohio. Well-versed in synthesizing and analyzing data, Martin is strategically positioned to support Clean Fuels in economic analysis of planning and policy decisions. Martin has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana. Clean Fuels CEO Donnell Rehagen says, “As the diversity of clean fuels grows, we are dedicating additional resources to better predict market trends for our organization and our members.” Martin adds, “I hope to apply my background in energy economics and analytics to help our members and the industry stay abreast of shifting market trends and potential growth opportunities.”

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 22, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Conference Board's index of leading indicators for August is due out at 9 a.m. Traders continue to watch the latest weather forecasts and world events with special attention lately on the Fed and Wednesday's comments from Russia's President Putin. Weather A cold front continues to sag south into the southern reaches of the country Thursday but is starting to lose its strength. Still, cooler fall temperatures continue to filter a bit farther south than where they were Wednesday and the heat ahead of the front is being tamped down toward the Gulf Coast. A system in the West will move into the Plains later today and is already producing scattered showers for portions of the Northern and Central Plains, especially around the Nebraska-Kansas border.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday September 21, 2022 |


Grassley Introduces Bipartisan Biochar Research Network Act Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa Tuesday introduced the Biochar Research Network Act. The Iowa Republican’s legislation seeks to study the effectiveness of biochar, which is a carbon-rich material produced from biomass. Specifically, the bill would establish a national biochar research network to test the impact of biochar across various soil types, application methods and climates to learn more about its capacity to benefit farmers and the environment. Grassley says, “A lot of work remains to fully understand the benefits biochar could provide, and that’s why I’m honored to lead the introduction of the Biochar Research Network Act.” The proposed research network would work to understand productive uses for biochar to help with crop production and climate mitigation. The network would also assess biochar’s potential for soil carbon sequestration and deliver cost-effective and practical information to farmers on sustainable biochar production and application. A companion bill was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. *********************************************************************************** NCBA Extremely Disappointed with White House Biotechnology Executive Order The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association expressed disappointment Tuesday over an Executive Order announced last week. The White House last week released the Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy. NCBA President Don Schiefelbein says, "Unfortunately, we are extremely disappointed that this Executive Order also addresses fake meat production under the guise of food security." He adds, "Supporting cell-cultured, fake meat products is the wrong approach, and the administration should remain focused on supporting America's farmers and ranchers." NCBA encourages the administration to support the biotechnology innovations already occurring in the cattle industry. According to the organization, technology like gene editing is critical to improving cattle health and wellbeing, while also helping the U.S. cattle industry demonstrate climate neutrality by 2040. NCBA says cattle producers play an important role in ensuring food security and has long fought for policies that help producers remain in business while raising the highest quality beef in the world. *********************************************************************************** USDA Expands SNAP Online Shopping, Adds New Retailers The Department of Agriculture continues to expand opportunities for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, participants to conveniently shop online for groceries. USDA reported Tuesday more than 150 additional retailer chains now offer online shopping to SNAP participants, representing thousands of stores. In collaboration with state agencies and vendor partners, USDA expanded the availability of SNAP online purchasing to 49 states and the District of Columbia, providing more than 99 percent of all SNAP participants with access to online purchasing. USDA's Stacey Dean says, "Expanding the diversity of our online shopping retailers is a critical component of our nutrition security goal to provide better access to healthy, safe, affordable foods." In July 2022, just over three million SNAP households shopped online, a substantial increase from March 2020, when about 35,000 SNAP households shopped online. In the last four months, 44 retailers were added to the program, representing 1,240 store locations. *********************************************************************************** CoBank: Off-farm Income Increasingly Important A new study shows increasing dependence on off-farm employment and income reveals the growing economic interconnection of rural communities and surrounding cities. According to a study by researchers at the University of Missouri, 82 percent of U.S. farm household income now comes from off-farm sources. The study was commissioned by CoBank and completed in partnership with CoBank's Knowledge Exchange. Most farmers cited reliable income as the top reason for off-farm employment, as one-half of farm households have negative farm income in a typical year. Health and retirement benefits were also cited as key reasons for off-farm jobs within farm households. Among the study's key findings is that rural communities have increasingly diverse economies, and success within a rural community's agricultural sector is largely dependent on other sectors of the regional economy at large. Today, only 6.5 percent of workers in rural counties are employed in agriculture, compared to 15.4 percent in 1970. *********************************************************************************** AEM Releases Sustainability Toolkit for Manufacturers The Association of Equipment Manufacturers recently unveiled its equipment industry Sustainability Toolkit. The toolkit provides assessments and resources to help manufacturers and their supply chains minimize operational impact on the environment. The toolkit aims to advance the equipment manufacturing industry's efforts to align with evolving regulation and support a more sustainable world. AEM President Megan Tanel says the toolkit is “a resource to help our member companies take action to deliver lasting change to protect the environment.” AEM Sustainability Council Chair Karen Cecil adds, "The assessments in the toolkit provide actionable best practices for improving sustainability opportunities and efficiency, plus minimizing risks." The toolkit offers action plans, tools, and best practices to implement under four phases of the sustainability maturity model. The toolkit also features several assessments designed to help company leaders navigate the evolving sustainability landscape and identify areas for improvement. *********************************************************************************** New Leader Brings Innovative Perspective to CropLife America Policy Efforts CropLife America Tuesday announced the hiring of incoming Vice President, Government Relations Peggy Browne. With years of experience in agriculture, government, and policy, Peggy will use her expertise to lead CropLife America's government relations team. CropLife America president and CEO Chris Novak says, "Peggy's background and passion for agriculture, her understanding of government, and her demonstrated leadership will help CropLife continue to move industry priorities forward." Before joining CLA, Browne worked for USDA's Farm Service Agency —starting first in Oregon as the state executive director before moving to Washington, D.C., as the deputy administrator of field operations. Browne also recently worked on the Senate Agriculture Committee. Browne founded and was president and CEO of Browne Consulting, where she worked with farmers to develop and manage conservation projects, advised clients on water rights issues, Farm Bill programs and more. Her agriculture experience is grounded in her experience as a farmer/rancher in Oregon, where she served as vice president of the Oregon Farm Bureau.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday September 21, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. existing home sales in August is due out at 9 a.m. CDT Wednesday, followed by the Energy Department's weekly energy inventory at 9:30 a.m. CDT. Ethanol production has slowed lately and will be watched in the 9:30 a.m. report. Wednesday is the final day of the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting and you will want to be seated for the increase in interest rates expected to be out at 1 p.m. Weather Heat remains in place across a good portion of the south Wednesday, but a strong fall cold front continues to work its way southeast through the country. Areas of showers and thunderstorms will come along with the front, being strongest across the eastern Great Lakes later Wednesday and Wednesday night, extending back to Colorado. Temperatures behind the front are some 20 to 30 degrees lower than they were yesterday.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday September 20, 2022 |


Legislation Would Reduce Regulation on Trucking Industry Legislation introduced last week would remove burdensome government regulations from the trucking industry, according to Senator Mike Rounds. The South Dakota Republican introduced the Trucking Regulations Unduly Constricting Known Service-providers, or TRUCKS Act. Rounds says the regulations are burdensome to agriculture, school districts and trucking companies. In 2012, then-President Obama signed into law legislation that set in motion a new rule that created a requirement for Entry-Level Driver Training. The final rulemaking went into effect earlier this year. All new drivers who wish to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License must now complete Entry-Level Driver Training, adding a burdensome requirement at a time when the American Trucking Association estimates a nationwide trucker shortage of 80,000 drivers. The bill would allow states to issue a new “Small Business Restricted CDL” so Entry-Level Driver Training requirements would not affect small businesses with nine CDLs or less. The U.S. Custom Harvesters have endorsed the legislation. *********************************************************************************** Not All Happy with Climate-Smart Practices Funding The Climate-Smart agriculture partnerships funding announced last week has some environmental groups drawing criticism. While welcomed by many in the food and agriculture sector, environmental group Friends of the Earth says some of the funding recipients are unacceptable. Funding recipients and partners include a range of corporations, universities, NGOs, trade associations, farms, tribal organizations, and state agencies. USDA is expected to soon make another announcement of $700 million for smaller projects under this initiative. Jason Davison, Senior Food and Agriculture Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, says, “Unfortunately, several of them will funnel tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to some of the most egregious climate offenders — Big Ag corporations like JBS, Cargill, and ADM.” Davison adds, “Many of these corporations and trade associations have historically fought climate mitigation measures, refusing to report data on their emissions and other pollution.” Friends of the Earth called on Congress and the Department of Agriculture to ensure transparency and accountability for the projects. *********************************************************************************** USDA Funds Six International Research Projects on Climate-Smart Agriculture USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service Monday announced grants for research and educational partnerships focused on climate-smart agriculture in tropical countries. Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley announced the $300,000 in funding to six U.S. universities. Whitley says, “We’re confident that they can collaborate on climate solutions that contribute to food security and agricultural sustainability, both locally and globally.” The Foreign Agricultural Service is awarding the funds under the Scientific Cooperation Research Program. FAS is awarding approximately $50,000 each to Tennessee State University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Texas State University, the University of Missouri, the University of Nebraska, and Louisiana State University. Whitley noted that this year's awards support two of USDA's top priorities under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh: putting agriculture at the center of solutions to the global climate crisis; and advancing racial justice, equity and opportunity in USDA program administration through the involvement of three prominent minority-serving institutions. *********************************************************************************** Food Insecurity Rates Differ Across States USDA’s Economic Research Service Monday released data showing the variations of food insecurity across the nation. Food insecurity rates vary across States because of household-level characteristics, State-level characteristics, and State-level policies. The estimated prevalence rates of food insecurity during 2019-21 ranged from 5.4 percent in New Hampshire to 15.3 percent in Mississippi. The estimated national average was 10.4 percent. The prevalence of food insecurity was significantly higher than the national average in nine States and lower than the national average in the District of Columbia and 14 States. In the remaining 27 States, differences from the national average were not statistically significant. USDA monitors the extent of food insecurity in U.S. households at the national and State levels through an annual U.S. Census Bureau survey. State-level estimates are obtained by averaging three years of data. Food-insecure households are those that had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all members of the house due to a lack of resources. *********************************************************************************** Dickhut Retiring from Farmers National Company Farmers National Company Monday announced Randy Dickhut (dick-hoot), Senior Vice President of Real Estate Operations, will retire on September 30, 2022. He retires after more than 20 years of work and leadership within the company. Dickhoot began his career with Farmers National Company in 2002 as a Farm Manager in West Central Illinois. In 2006, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska when promoted to the Vice President of Client Relations, and will complete his tenure with the company as the Senior Vice President of Real Estate Operations. Farmers National Company also announced that Paul Schadegg, Western Area Sales Manager, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Real Estate Operations. Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role with 20+ years of real estate and farm management experience. Farmers National Company, an employee-owned company, is the nation's leading agricultural landowner services company. *********************************************************************************** Murky Future for Fuel Prices Fuel prices fell again last week, but GasBuddy says the near-term future is murky. The decline marks the 14th consecutive week of declines. The nation's average gas price declined 3.9 cents from a week ago to $3.64 per gallon. The national average is down 25.7 cents from a month ago but 45.9 cents higher than a year ago. The average diesel price declined 7.0 cents last week and stands at $4.93 per gallon. However, this week could change the downward trend, according to GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan, who says, “With some issues arising in Plains and Great Lakes states as the transition to winter gasoline begins, I think we have the best potential to see the weekly trend of falling prices snapped.” West Coast states also continue to see increases as unexpected refinery issues continue to percolate, preventing a downward move. De Haan adds, “diesel prices should continue to ease after a much-needed jump in inventories last week.”

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday September 20, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. housing starts in August is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT and is the only significant report of the day. Traders will keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts for the U.S. and South America, watch for a possible export sale announcement and any news regarding Ukraine or Wednesday's expected rate hike. Weather A strong cold front has dropped out of Canada and into the Northern Plains on Tuesday morning. The front will continue southeast through the day, getting into the Central Plains and the Upper Midwest by tonight. Limited showers are expected with the front, but some better thunderstorms will be possible around Wisconsin in a couple of rounds. Hot temperatures continue ahead of the front while much cooler temperatures follow behind it by about 20-30 degrees.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday September 19, 2022 |


Agricultural Share of Exports Hit High Mark in 2021 The value of all U.S. exports has grown at an average annual rate of six percent since 2002 and reached a record high of $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2021. The USDA says while the bulk of U.S. exports consists of industrial supplies and capital goods, agriculture’s share of total U.S. exports has steadily increased. Between fiscal years 2002 and 2021, the value of agricultural exports rose by an average of 11 percent every year, exceeding the overall rate of increase for the rest of American exports. In 2021, ag producers accounted for 12 percent of the total value, up from nine percent in 2002. Even as total U.S. exports dropped 12 percent when COVID-19 began in fiscal year 2020, ag exports stayed steady because of surging shipments of soybeans, corn, and pork to China. In 2021, total U.S. exports rebounded by 14 percent as global demand recovered and trade restrictions relaxed. *********************************************************************************** USDA Resumes Export Sales Reports U.S. soybean exporters are off to a decent start as far as sales in the new marketing year. However, the first USDA report in several weeks says the shrinking U.S. crop, questionable Chinese demand, and South American competition are all threats to future sales opportunities. Reuters says those factors are pressuring U.S. corn exports too, but the latest level of sales was already uneventful ahead of the U.S. harvest. Technical issues prevented USDA from publishing weekly U.S. export data for almost a month. The data released last week included four weeks of sales ending on September 8. The data drought spanned marketing years as 2022-2023 began on September 1 for corn and soybeans. Soybean sales beat expectations in those four weeks at 5.75 million tons. For the 2022-2023 marketing year, U.S. corn sales during those four weeks hit 2.465 million tons. Total corn sales in the new marketing year reached 12.3 million tons. *********************************************************************************** Farmers Union Holds Successful D.C. Fly-In Last week, more than 250 members of the National Farmers Union came to Washington, D.C., from all over the country to advocate for family farmers. During the week, members attended hundreds of Congressional meetings, met with over a dozen federal agencies, and directly participated in discussions with Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Rostin Benham, and many others. “This has been an incredibly productive and successful fly-in for National Farmers Union,” says NFU President Rob Larew. “It’s a testament to the passion and interest of our members that they’re willing to take time away from the farm and come to Washington and build bipartisan support for Fairness for Farmers and their farm bill priorities.” Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says National Farmers Union, in many respects, has been the architect and the designer of the work the Biden administration is doing in terms of farm country and agriculture. *********************************************************************************** Taiwan Team to Purchase 69.8 Million Bushels of U.S. Wheat Representatives from the Taiwan Flour Millers Association signed a letter of intent last week with U.S. Wheat Associates to buy 1.9 million metric tons of U.S. wheat over the next two years. Officials from U.S. Wheat Associates say that’s about 69.8 million bushels of American wheat worth $576 million. The signing took place at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Taiwan is the sixth-largest U.S. wheat export market and the seventh-largest overseas market for U.S. agricultural products. “American farmers place great value on the relationship between U.S. agriculture and Taiwan,” says Michael Peters, USW Vice Chairman. “We pride ourselves as being dependable partners who grow the highest quality agricultural products in the world.” The team from Taiwan also signed Letters of Intent with the U.S. Soybean Export Council and the U.S. Grains Council to purchase soybeans and corn. The total estimated commitment in the three letters is estimated at $3.2 billion. *********************************************************************************** RIPE Awarded $80 Million for Pilot Conservation Program Rural Investment to Protect our Environment (RIPE) and its partners have been awarded $80 million for a pilot program by USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program. RIPE is a producer-led organization advancing RIPE 100. It’s a conservation program that would pay producers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship, offering equitable payments above costs associated with practice implementation. Under the three-year program, the pilot will help producers in Arkansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Virginia prove the value of paying farmers and ranchers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship practices that deliver public value through carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas reductions, improved soil health, water quality and conservation, and other environmental practices. Other key principles of the pilot include easy enrollment, equitable payments, and no penalty for early adopters. Participants will get technical support in learning how to implement climate-friendly practices such as cover crops, no-till, nutrient management, and more. *********************************************************************************** Lamb Board Hosts Farm Tours for Food Influencers People who influence opinions about food are taking to the backroads of America and learning how American lamb is raised while natural resources are protected. The American Lamb Board selected key market areas for the tours, including Boston, Seattle, Boulder, and Napa. “Our Lamb Checkoff engages with food influencers because they add another layer of credibility to our messages,” says ALB Chairman Peter Camino (Kah-MEE-no). “We’ve had numerous occasions when influencer relationships created opportunities we didn’t anticipate.” On August 1, a group of 25 Boston-area chefs and food media influencers made the trip to a farm in Boxford, Massachusetts, and enjoyed a deep dive into learning about lamb. The tour shed light on the intricacies of raising sheep in New England and highlighted the regenerative farming practices the producer already employs. The next tour was held on September 18 and hosted a group of influencers at Ninety Farms, located near Seattle.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday September 19, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders may be a little cautious with an eye on outside markets as the Federal Reserve starts a two-day meeting Tuesday and is expected to increase the federal funds rate target on Wednesday. Traders will also be checking for rain prospects, especially for HRW wheat areas. USDA's weekly report of export inspections is due out at 10 a.m. CDT Monday, followed by the Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather Scattered showers left over from the weekend continue over the eastern Midwest on Monday. Additional showers are developing with a weak system in the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies. But over the rest of the country and particularly in the Central Plains, heat is building with temperatures well above normal forecast for the next couple of days. Recent showers did not fall over much of the winter wheat areas of the country which continue to suffer drought while the heat is also unfavorable. Showers may have and continue to have some negative effect for mature corn and soybeans waiting to be harvested.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 16, 2022 |


Tentative Railroad Agreement Reached The Biden administration helped to broker a deal between the major railroads and labor unions. The agreement avoids a rail shutdown but still has to be approved by a vote of union members. The biggest issue in the dispute wasn’t pay but working conditions. Some freight rail engineers and conductors faced on-call schedules that could see them called to work on short notice up to seven days a week. CNN says roughly 30 percent of America’s freight moves by rail. Recently harvested crops would be stuck, unable to reach processing plants and risk spoiling. The shutdown would have likely made inflation worse, cost the U.S. economy up to $2 billion a day, and affected the agriculture, manufacturing, and energy sectors of the economy. Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, told Reuters that the deal is great for the ethanol industry as much of the country’s biofuel supplies are moved by railroads. *********************************************************************************** Wheat Growers Applaud Rail Agreement The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates applaud the tentative agreement between the railroads and rail union representative that averted a potential Friday rail shutdown. While the union members have to vote on the deal, they have agreed not to strike while the deal goes through ratification. “COVID-19 forced rail laborers into a tough situation as essential workers, and we applaud their willingness to come to an agreement,” says NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “We also appreciate the railroads understanding the severity of the situation and taking steps to improve their services.” Wheat growers are uniquely reliant on rail due to the large distances between production and consumption. “Our country’s reputation as the world’s most reliable wheat supplier depends heavily on functioning rail transportation and that won’t change in the future,” says USW President Vince Peterson. Railroads have moved more than one billion bushels of wheat during the last five years. *********************************************************************************** NCBA Wants Limited Greenhouse Gas Rule The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association reiterated the need for a limited version of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s greenhouse gas disclosure rule. SEC Chair Gary Gensler recently testified before the Senate Committee on Banking. “The SEC’s proposed greenhouse gas disclosure rule is aimed at large publicly-traded companies but would lead to unintended consequences for small businesses like farms and ranches,” says NCBA Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart. “The rule would require data that simply does not exist at the farm or ranch level and increases the regulatory burden on individual cattle producers.” She also says they’re asking the SEC to limit their proposed rule to avoid unintentional impacts to farms and ranches across the country. The greenhouse gas rule would require businesses up and down the beef supply chain to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, including farms and ranches. The rule would also expose individual producers to additional levels of legal liability. *********************************************************************************** Court Rules GMO QR Codes Unlawful A U.S. District Court says the USDA’s decision to allow genetically engineered foods to only be labeled with a QR code was unlawful. The Center for Food Safety says USDA is required to add additional disclosure options to those foods under the USDA’s Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. “This is a victory for all Americans,” says Meredith Stevenson, Center for Food Safety staff attorney and counsel in the case. “The decision marks a key step toward ending the food industry’s deceptive and discriminatory GMO food labeling practices, which have kept consumers in the dark by concealing what’s in their products.” The Court sent back to the agency the QR code portions of the 2018 Trump administration rules for GMO labeling that went into effect on January 1 of this year. The Center also says the court now confirmed that the USDA acted unlawfully in allowing standalone QR code and other electronic GMO labeling. *********************************************************************************** Subcommittee Hearing Covers Pros and Cons of “Right to Repair” The House Small Business Subcommittee heard from both sides in the right-to-repair debate in agriculture. Industry Update Dot Com says lawmakers will have to consider measures that would require machine manufacturers to give customers the software, parts, and tools they want to make their own repairs. Ken Taylor of the Equipment Dealers Association expressed concern that giving people access to internal software in their equipment would allow them to change emissions and safety controls in tractors and other implements. While dealers already sell several parts directly to farmers, the manufacturer’s association doesn’t want customers tampering with controls for safety, environmental, and health reasons. Gay Gordon-Byrne represented the Repair Association and said farmers just want to be able to get parts and make repairs themselves. “All this worry about modifying emissions and tweaking tractors isn’t repair,” she says. “We just want to do something simple that’s been complicated by these questions.” *********************************************************************************** Farmers for Soil Health Thankful for Funding The National Corn Growers Association applauded a recent USDA decision to allocate up to $95 million in funding to help farmers accelerate their cover crop adoption. The funding will support Farmers for Soil Health, which works to advance conservation practices to improve soil health across the U.S. The FFSH collaborative is comprised of commodity groups, including the NCGA, the American Soybean Association, the National Pork Board, and the United Soybean Board. “We appreciate the USDA for recognizing the important role that farmers play in combatting climate change,” says NCGA Vice President of Production and Sustainability Nathan Fields. “These funds will help us identify and support practices that work for corn growers, expand the use of cover crops, and build on our efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions.” Fields also says the funding will help NCGA reach 30 million acres of cover crops by 2030 through funding cost-share and technical assistance.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 16, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets Early Friday, traders will be checking to see if there is anything new regarding the tentative agreement between rail companies and workers. The latest weather forecasts will also be checked for the possibilities of rain next week in the southwestern U.S. Plains. At 9 a.m. CDT, the University of Michigan will report on U.S. consumer sentiment and USDA's Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook will be out at 1 p.m. Weather A disturbance from Thursday continues with some showers from Kansas into Minnesota Friday morning. Another system will move from the central Rockies into the Central and Northern Plains late in the day and produce another smattering of scattered showers from Kansas northward late today and tonight. Most of the rest of the country will remain dry with above-normal temperatures, heavily influenced by warm lows this morning.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 15, 2022 |


USDA Investing $2.8 Billion in Climate-Smart Commodities Partnerships and Projects Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. USDA’s initial investment of $1 billion is expected to triple to more than $3 billion in pilot projects that will create market opportunities for American commodities produced using climate-smart practices. These projects will expand markets for climate-smart commodities, leverage greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production, and provide meaningful benefits to production agriculture. Applicants submitted more than 450 project proposals for the first round of funding. “There is strong and growing interest in the private sector and among consumers for food that’s grown in a climate-friendly way,” Vilsack says. The strength of the 70 projects led USDA to increase its investment from the $1 billion announced earlier this year. More information on Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities and program details are available at usda.gov. *********************************************************************************** NACD: “Leave No Producer Behind” The National Association of Conservation Districts is one of 70 partners selected to participate in USDA’s Climate-Smart Commodities Program. The NACD will receive a grant of up to $90 million over three years for technical, financial, and marketing assistance. The association intends to advance grassroots efforts that ensure producers and local communities are prepared to meet growing demand and have access to climate-smart commodity markets. The NACD’s goal is to leave no producer behind. “We’re thrilled about the opportunity to invest in local communities through the Climate-Smart Commodities Program,” says NACD President Michael Crowder. “We know that producers are more likely to implement climate-smart practices if transition risks are minimized and they have ready access to profitable market opportunities.” Roughly 70 percent of land in the lower 48 states is privately owned, which means implementing sound conservation practices relies on individual producers. This assistance will support producers in making sound conservation decisions. *********************************************************************************** Scott Speaks On Soil Health, Regenerative Practices After House Ag Hearing House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott spoke after a hearing titled “Soil Health Practices and Programs that Support Regenerative Agriculture. ”As I noted after my first hearing as Chair in 2021, changing weather patterns have introduced significant risks to agricultural production, forest resources, and the economy will affect risk-management tools, financial markets, and global food security,” Scott says. “The risks to agriculture are why topics like soil health are important to consider.” He also says the witnesses at the hearing provided the committee with valuable insight to help them better understand the conservation and economic benefits of soil health practices and how they support regenerative agriculture. “The lessons we learned through the Dust Bowl led to the creation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service,” Scott adds. “In the face of growing climate challenges, managing soil health is one of the most effective ways farmers can increase productivity and protect natural resources.” *********************************************************************************** Nestle Getting Into the “Fake-Milk” Market Nestle is trying to establish a presence in the animal-free dairy market by working with Perfect Day, a startup company trying to create a milk-like beverage from microflora. The genetically-engineered microflora will be programmed to produce proteins similar to cow’s milk, but Nestle says the microflora milk will have a smaller environmental footprint. Nestle says it will try out the new beverage in a handful of stores later this year. The company says it’s only the beginning of new dairy products. “Innovating alongside leaders like Nestle is a key part of how we’re making an impact,” says Perfect Day CEO Ryan Pandya. Perfect Day is also working with several other manufacturers to bring animal-free milks to market. They’re working with Betterland Foods, another new company that introduced lactose-free milk in whole or creamy varieties. Tomorrow Farms introduced its Bored Cow Flavored Milk brand that uses Perfect Day’s animal-free whey proteins. *********************************************************************************** Ten Semi-Finalists Advance in Ag Innovation Challenge The American Farm Bureau, in partnership with Farm Credit, announced that ten teams advanced to the semifinal round of the 2023 Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. “The future of agriculture depends on innovative solutions to the challenges that we’re facing today,” says AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “The entrepreneurs behind the start-up companies we’re recognizing are committed to helping rural communities and supporting farmers and ranchers in their mission to provide the food, fuel, and fiber we all rely on.” The competition is an opportunity for individuals to showcase ideas and business innovations in agriculture. It’s the ninth year of the challenge, which was the first national business competition focused exclusively on rural entrepreneurs launching food and agriculture businesses. The ten semi-finalist teams are being awarded $10,000 each and will compete at the AFBF convention in Puerto Rico. Four teams will then advance to the final competition during the annual convention.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 15, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets Fingers crossed, USDA is expected to have weekly export sales data, updated through September 8 available at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, data that was stopped as of August 11 after technical issues got in the way. Also at 7:30 a.m., there will be weekly U.S. jobless claims, August retail sales and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. At 9:15 a.m., the Federal Reserve's report on industrial production will be out, followed by natural gas storage at 9:30 a.m. and a soybean crush estimate for August from the National Oilseeds Processors Association later Thursday morning. Weather Weak disturbances continue to move from the West into the Northern Plains, producing more scattered showers on Thursday. Another little disturbance will create scattered showers farther south through the Central and Southern Plains as well. These storms may be briefly strong enough this afternoon and early evening to become severe, but any moderate to heavy rain will be isolated. The few areas that do receive rain will be happy to do so for winter wheat planting, though there may be some delays for corn and soybean maturity. Outside of the rain potential, it continues to be hot in the middle of the country as a ridge of high pressure is largely in control.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday September 14, 2022 |


August Consumer Price Index Increases The Consumer Price Index increased 0.1 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis after being unchanged in July. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest contributors to the broad-based monthly all items increase. The food index increased 0.8 percent in August, the smallest monthly increase in that index since December 2021. The food at home index rose 0.7 percent in August as all six major grocery store food group indexes increased. The index for other food at home rose 1.1 percent, while the index for cereals and bakery products rose 1.2 percent over the month. The meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index, the fruits and vegetables index, and the nonalcoholic beverages index all increased 0.5 percent in August. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.3 percent over the month, the smallest increase in that index since November 2021. *********************************************************************************** Executive Order Seeks Advancement of Biotechnology An Executive Order by President Joe Biden announced this week focuses on advancing biotechnology and biomanufacturing innovation. Specifically, the order seeks innovative solutions in health, climate change, energy, food security, agriculture, supply chains, and national and economic security. The White House says, “For biotechnology and biomanufacturing to help us achieve our societal goals, the United States needs to invest in foundational scientific capabilities.” Of note, the order will bolster federal investment in key research and development areas, boost sustainable biomass production, create climate-smart incentives for American agriculture, and expand market opportunities for bioenergy and biobased products. Within 180 days, the order directs the Agriculture Secretary to issue a report assessing how to use biotechnology and biomanufacturing for food and agriculture innovation. This includes improving sustainability and land conservation, increasing food quality and nutrition, increasing and protecting crop yields, protecting against plant and animal pests and diseases, and cultivating alternative food sources. *********************************************************************************** Organic Trade Reaches $3.4 Billion in 2021 USDA’s Economic Research Service Tuesday reported organic trade reached $3.4 billion in 2021. Since 2011, there has been an uptick in the total value of imported organic products, partially because more products are being tracked and partially because more high-value organic products, such as blueberries and squash, are being imported into the United States. The United States also exports organic food, and those exports have been steadily rising since 2011, reaching $0.7 billion in 2021. For example, the United States exported 2.4 thousand metric tons of organic fresh cultivated blueberries, with more than 90 percent headed to Canada in 2021. In the same year, the United States imported 41.5 thousand metric tons of organic fresh cultivated blueberries. Importers of organic products must either be USDA-certified or belong to a trading partner with an organic recognition agreement with the United States. Countries with such agreements include Canada, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. *********************************************************************************** North American Combine Continue Unit Sales Growth in August, Tractors Mixed Combine sales grew for August in both the U.S. and Canada, while total tractors fell in the U.S., but grew in Canada, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Total U.S. ag equipment unit sales rose above the five-year average for the first time since April 2022. U.S. total farm tractor sales fell 11.7 percent for August compared to 2021, while combine sales for the month grew 25.8 percent to 790 units sold, making for a three-month growth streak for that segment. In Canada, growth in all segments led Canadian unit sales to its first positive year-over-year month in unit sales since January 2022. Overall unit sales in tractors were up 7.2 percent, and combine sales grew 33.1 percent to 221 units sold. Year-to-date farm tractor unit sales are down 6.7 percent in Canada, while harvesters cut their losses down to 13.7 percent. *********************************************************************************** Lawsuit Seeks Documents from EPA Regarding Dicamba Harms The Center for Food Safety this week filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. The lawsuit claims the EPA is unlawfully withholding records about the impacts of dicamba. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, alleges that EPA withheld public records from an agency report showing that control measures in its 2020 dicamba registration decision failed to reduce the number, severity, or geographic extent of dicamba-related incidents compared to prior seasons. Meredith Stevenson, staff attorney at the Center for Food Safety, says the action "reflects the agency's pattern of thwarting the public's access to information under FOIA." In June 2022, the center submitted a FOIA request to EPA, seeking documents referenced in the agency's December 2021 report on dicamba. The EPA has yet to produce any records, prompting CFS to now sue under FOIA law. The lawsuit comes amid an ongoing lawsuit challenging the legality of EPA's 2020 registration of over-the-top dicamba pesticide uses on dicamba-resistant cotton and soybeans. *********************************************************************************** Farm Foundation Hosting Antimicrobial Stewardship Forum Farm Foundation this week announced a forum on Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture: How Far Have We Come and What's Next? The free online forum is set for Tuesday, September 27, at 9:00 am CDT. Farm Foundation says antimicrobial resistance poses a serious public health threat and has the potential to affect society, the economy and the health of animals and humans. The latest Forum will examine scientific evidence related to antimicrobial use and the effects of antimicrobial resistance in agriculture. The forum will also address key public policies shaping discussions around stewardship, resistance and what challenges need to be addressed in the long and short term. Shari Rogge-Fidler, Farm Foundation President and CEO, says, “We're proud to provide a space where farmers and industry stakeholders alike can engage on a crucial topic.” The event is being held virtually via Zoom and is free to attend, but registration is required. Find details and registration at: farmfoundation.org/AntimicrobialForum.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday September 14, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department's producer price index for August may be anti-climactic Wednesday, but will be out at 7:30 a.m. CDT followed by a new round of crop estimates from Statistics Canada. The U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory report is set for 9:30 a.m. and includes weekly ethanol production. Traders will continue to watch the latest weather forecasts and keep an eye on outside market concerns after Tuesday's sell-off in the stock market. Weather A ridge of high pressure is building over the middle of the country Wednesday. Temperatures will continue to increase for most areas, especially with regards to morning lows. Disturbances off in the West will move northeast, producing scattered showers for the Northern Plains. Some isolated showers will also get into portions of the Central and Southern Plains. The heat and overall dryness will continue to be unfavorable for those looking to plant winter wheat.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday September 13, 2022 |


USDA Forecasts US Corn, Soybean, and Cotton Production Down from 2021 Corn, soybean, and cotton production is down from 2021, according to Monday's Crop Production report issued by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Corn production is down eight percent from last year, forecast at 13.9 billion bushels, while soybean growers are expected to decrease their production one percent from 2021, forecast at 4.38 billion bushels. Meanwhile, cotton production is down 21 percent from 2021 at 13.8 million 480-pound bales. Planted corn area is estimated at 88.6 million acres, down one from the previous estimate. Area planted to soybeans is estimated at 87.5 million acres, down one percent from the previous estimate, but cotton planted area is estimated at 13.8 million acres, up 11 percent from the previous estimate. The U.S. season-average soybean price is forecast at $14.35 per bushel, unchanged from last month. Meanwhile, USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand report raised the season-average corn price ten cents to $6.75 per bushel. USDA also lowered the season-average farm price for wheat 25 cents to $9.00 per bushel. *********************************************************************************** The Fertilizer Institute urges Congress Act to Avoid a Freight Rail Shutdown The Fertilizer Institute over the weekend again urged Congress to take action to avoid a freight rail shutdown on September 16. TFI sent a letter to Congressional leaders pushing for intervention to prevent a stoppage from occurring. TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch says, "A stoppage hasn't yet happened, but we are already feeling the negative effects of non-resolution." Rail carriers announced Friday evening that shipments of fertilizer products, such as ammonia – a key fertilizer and building block for approximately three-fourths of all fertilizer – will start coming off rail networks this week. Rosenbusch contends the situation will get exponentially worse every day there is no resolution, adding, "if they cannot reach an agreement, Congress must act to avoid an economic catastrophe that will only add to inflation and increase consumer pain." Congress can prevent rail workers from striking and has done so before, in 1986 when then-President Ronald Reagan intervened in the strike of workers for Maine Central railway. *********************************************************************************** Lawmakers Ask USTR To Protect Growers from Unfair Practices by Mexico Lawmakers led by Florida Senator Marco Rubio recently asked U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to investigate the flood of surplus agricultural products from Mexico. The request, filed as a petition under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, says actions by Mexico over the last two decades have burdened and restricted U.S. commerce. The lawmakers say that for more than 20 years, Mexico has leveraged heavy subsidies and low wages in a scheme to conduct a “conquest of external markets” and displace Florida’s seasonal and perishable agricultural industry from the domestic U.S. market. Specifically, the petition names fruits and vegetables grown with subsidized horticultural infrastructure and other forms of Mexican government support as a marketplace burden for U.S. growers, and may allow Mexico the ability to set market prices that harm American consumers. Provisions of the amended Trade Act of 1974 gives USTR authority to investigate and redress unreasonable trade practices that burden and restrict U.S. commerce. *********************************************************************************** Food Insecurity in Households with Children Reached Two-decade Low in 2021 USDA’s Economic Research Service reported Monday food insecurity in U.S. households with children reached a two-decade low in 2021. The Economic Research Service monitors the prevalence of food insecurity in U.S. households with children by measuring food insecurity for the household overall, as well as for adults and children separately. The first measure, food insecurity in households with children, indicates that at least one person in the household—whether an adult, a child, or both—was food insecure. The second measure, food insecurity among children, indicates that households were unable at times to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children. Both annual measures improved in 2021. In 2021, 12.5 percent of households with children were food insecure, a significant decrease from 14.8 percent in 2020 and the lowest point in two decades. The prevalence of food insecurity among children in 2021 was 6.2 percent, down from 7.6 percent in 2020. The decline means that in 2021 nearly 2.5 million fewer children lived in households that experienced food insecurity. *********************************************************************************** Organic Produce Association Elects Chairman The Organic Produce Association recently elected Theo Cristantes Jr as chairman. Cristantes is the chief operations officer for Wholesum and has been serving in an acting capacity since the fall of last year. The Organic Produce Association consists of members in the organic produce industry who focus on science-based policymaking and the ability to be innovative while respecting the tradition of organics and the integrity of the USDA Organic Seal. Crisantes, a trained agronomist, has worked for more than 20 years in the organic produce industry, growing certified organic tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and eggplants at his family's third-generation farming operation. Wholesum currently supports over 21.8 million square feet of greenhouses and grows 2,500 acres of in-ground produce. Crisantes says, "I look forward to working with all our OPA members to address key issues with the goal of expanding the production and consumption of organic produce." *********************************************************************************** Fuel Prices Decline Again The nation's average gas price declined for the thirteenth consecutive week, down 7.6 cents from a week ago to $3.67 per gallon. The national average is down 26.9 cents from a month ago but 52.3 cents higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price declined 5.5 cents last week and stands at $5.01 per gallon. However, Gas Buddy's Patrick De Haan says, "we're seeing drastically different price behaviors from coast to coast, with some areas seeing noticeable increases while others are seeing decreases." Refinery issues in California are leading to increases in areas supplied by the state's refineries, including Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and California. Gasoline supply remains tight for the East Coast with some modest moves up, while prices continue to edge lower in the Plains, South and areas of the Great Lakes. Last week saw an 8.8-million-barrel rise in U.S. oil inventories, while U.S. gasoline demand fell 5.4 percent last week.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday September 13, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department will release its report on consumer prices for August at 7:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday, watched by a big crowd looking for clues to future Fed policy. Traders are still digesting USDA's new estimates on Monday and will keep an eye on weather as well as the response of outside markets to Tuesday's CPI report. The Treasury department reports on the federal budget at 1 p.m. Weather A ridge of high pressure is moving from the Rockies into the Plains on Tuesday and temperatures will rise in response. The ridge also comes with dryness as it pushes a system into the Northeast. The heat and dryness will exacerbate drought conditions in the Plains for winter wheat planting, but will help to dry-down corn and soybeans for harvest. Across the West, several small disturbances will make for some showers which will move northeast through the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies over the next several days.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday September 12, 2022 |


July Beef Exports Top $1 Billion, Pork Exports Behind Last Year American beef exports again topped the $1 billion mark in July and posted the fifth-largest volume ever. July beef exports totaled over 126,500 metric tons, three percent higher year-over-year. Export value topped the $1 billion mark for a sixth time this year, finishing at $1.006 billion in July. “Global demand for U.S. beef continues to be amazingly resilient, especially at the retail level,” says U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom. Export value per head of fed slaughter is on a record pace at more than $475. U.S. pork exports topped 208,000 metric tons in July, six percent lower than last year. July export value reached $625 million, five percent lower than 2021. “July pork exports were below last year, but the good news is the per-unit price of U.S. pork is trending higher in the international marketplace.” July lamb muscle cuts reached 161 metric tons, up from 49 last year. *********************************************************************************** Applications Open for the Rural High-Speed Internet Program Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is accepting applications for its ReConnect Program loans and grants to expand access to high-speed internet for millions of people in rural America. The agency is making over $1 billion available for the program, a critical piece of the effort to connect every American to affordable and reliable high-speed internet. “Ensuring that the people of rural America get connected with reliable high-speed internet brings new and innovative ideas to the rest of the country,” Vilsack says. “That’s why high-speed internet is an important part of USDA Rural Development’s work with rural communities.” USDA is accepting applications for loans with available funds of $150 million, grants with available funds of $700 million, and combination loan/grant awards using $300 million under the ReConnect Program. “Reliable high-speed internet opens the world’s marketplace to rural business owners,” Vilsack adds. The application deadline is November 2. Go to rd.usda.gov for information. *********************************************************************************** GAO Reviews the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program During 2020 and 2021, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency provided $31 billion in aid to more than 950,000 producers of agricultural commodities, including crops, dairy, and livestock. The goal was to help offset losses and costs associated with COVID-19. The Government Accountability Office found problems in the process the FSA used to review claims under CFAP submitted by producers. For example, the agency reviewed the claims of 90 producers, and over half didn’t provide support for their payments. GAO says $661.5 million distributed primarily for livestock and other commodities went to high-income producers whose average annual adjusted gross income exceeded $900,000 over three years. The average payment per producer was highest in California at over $97,600. Iowa, California, and Nebraska each received over $2 billion in CFAP payments. Eight other states, including Minnesota, Kansas, and South Dakota received at least $1 billion. Seven individual operations received at least $3 million in total payments. *********************************************************************************** NGFA Wants Intervention in Rail Disputes The National Grain and Feed Association asked Congress to intervene, if necessary, to prevent any interruptions of rail service that could occur if negotiations fail between carriers and labor groups. Last week, the association sent letters to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, Transportation, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Association members want Congress to prevent a rail stoppage “of any duration,” noting that uninterrupted rail service is vital to the American agricultural economy. “The U.S. rail network moves critical agricultural inputs and significant quantities of agricultural products,” the letter says. “These essential items are transported by rail to domestic facilities and ports for exports abroad. A complete stoppage of the rail system would lead to shutdowns or slowdowns of rail-dependent facilities resulting in devastating consequences to the country’s national and global security.” They also say most freight railroads lack the capacity to make up for any downtime. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Meets with Indo-Pacific Framework Partners U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo hosted counterparts from the 13 Indo-Pacific Economic Framework partner countries. Those partners represent over 40 percent of the world’s economy. At the first official in-person Ministerial meeting, the ministers had positive and constructive discussions and announced a substantial milestone in their pursuit of the framework. “This meeting was a chance to deepen our partnerships and fill in the details about how we will work collectively to address the challenges and opportunities that will define the 21st century,” says Tai. As the meeting concluded, the partners reached a consensus on ministerial statements for each of the four IPEF pillars, including trade, supply chains, clean economies, and fair economies. “After days of intensive discussions, we made real progress toward that goal, and I’m excited to continue developing this Framework, which will unlock enormous economic value for our region and be an example for the world.” *********************************************************************************** Federal Reserve Makes Observations on Ag Economy Last week, the Federal Reserve Board released its August Beige Book update, which summarizes the Fed’s commentary on current economic conditions. The report included several observations on the U.S. agricultural economy. In the Sixth District around Atlanta, demand for agricultural products remains strong. Hot weather and dry spells damaged crop yields, particularly corn. In the Seventh District of Chicago, ag income prospects for 2022 were little changed as most producers will likely turn a profit. In the Eighth District of St. Louis, conditions got moderately worse since the previous report, and finding enough quality labor is listed as the biggest concern. Agricultural conditions in the Ninth District around Minneapolis strengthened modestly since the previous report, and 80 percent of farm lenders said incomes in their area increased in the second quarter compared to last year. In the Eleventh District around Dallas, overall drought conditions slightly improved after some significant rain in August.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday September 12, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Traders will return from the weekend, checking the latest weather forecasts and news from around the world, especially events in Ukraine and China. USDA's weekly export inspections will be out at 10 a.m. CDT, followed by the Crop Production and WASDE reports at 11 a.m. USDA's Crop Progress report will be out at 3 p.m. Weather A storm system wound up near Chicago will move through the northern Midwest on Monday, with areas of showers arcing through the East Coast and down into the Southeast as the day heats up. Heavier rain has been falling over northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, where some flooding has occurred and may continue today. Cooler temperatures have filled in behind the system across the Corn Belt over the weekend but will be short-lived as the western heat pushes eastward this week.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 9, 2022 |


McKalip Nomination for Chief Ag Negotiator Heads to Full Senate The Senate Finance Committee unanimously voted to move Doug McKalip’s nomination to be USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator to the full Senate for a final vote. U.S. agriculture groups reacted positively to the news. “It’s clear there is bipartisan momentum behind both his nomination and the need to open markets for America’s farmers who rely on trade,” says Brian Kuehl (KEEL), Farmers For Free Trade Executive Director. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says the vote comes at “an important time” as current and future trading partners look to the U.S. to help meet the growing demand for food, fuel, and fiber. The U.S. Meat Export Federation is asking the Senate for swift approval of McKalip in the upcoming vote. McKalip’s future boss, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, says, “Doug’s decades of public service and unparalleled knowledge of agricultural and food security issues will be a major asset to our office.” *********************************************************************************** Retailers “Moderately Optimistic” About Fall Fertilizer Sales 2022 has been a challenge for ag retailers and their customers due to supply shortages and high prices. Crop Life magazine says global uncertainty has affected key fertilizer sources like Russia, China, and Ukraine, adding even more stress to the marketplace last spring. Looking ahead to fall, the view of most ag retailers is mixed. Steven Page of EDC Ag Products in Texas says, “We’re bullish on fertilizer sales this fall. Higher-than-expected commodity prices and falling fertilizer prices mean end users will be replacing nutrients in their soil.” Matthew Taylor of Nutrien Ag Solutions in Colorado says he’s also optimistic. “Application season should be strong as long as there’s a good application window,” he says. “Continuing supply chain challenges and overseas events are still a drag on the industry, but overall, the fall application season should be good.” Even less-than-positive retailers say their outlook could change with the right conditions. *********************************************************************************** APHIS Reviews Genetically-Modified Tomato The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reviewed a new tomato variety from Norfolk Plant Sciences. The tomato was modified to alter its color to purple and enhance the nutritional quality. The agency says it found the plant is unlikely to pose an increased plant pest risk compared to other cultivated tomatoes and is not subject to regulation. That means, from a plant pest risk perspective, this plant may be safely grown and bred in the U.S. The gene-edited tomato is high in antioxidants believed to fight cancer and heart disease. A Rabobank report says interest in specialty crops should continue growing worldwide. Gene-editing technology like CRISPR (crisper) lets scientists design a plant without introducing foreign genes and should help reduce the recent controversy over GMOs. “We expect that specialty crops like fruits and vegetables with output traits to be among the first new GMOs to hit the market,” the report says. *********************************************************************************** Dairy Checkoff Competition Focusing on “Calming Benefits” The Dairy Management Incorporated’s New Product Competition is accepting applications for innovative products that focus on dairy’s qualities related to calming. The program used to be known as the National Dairy Council New Product Competition. It’s open to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to develop products in line with industry and consumer insights to uncover innovative dairy-based products that offer calming benefits. Research shows that, with a heightened emphasis on mental and emotional well-being, consumers are looking for products that calm. There is projected growth associated with products that calm, and these are of particular interest to Gen Z consumers. Successful entries will demonstrate innovation and provide value to consumers. The judging panel includes experts from across the dairy industry. The winning team will earn $8,000, with second place receiving $5,000, and $3,000 going to third place. The application deadline is January 16, 2023. For more information, go to usdairy.com. *********************************************************************************** Vilsack Addresses 2022 Public Final Charge Rule The Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security released the 2022 Public Charge Final Rule. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the move represents an important step towards ensuring that all who are eligible for USDA’s nutrition assistance programs can access their crucial benefits. The rule clarifies the policy that’s been in place for most of the last 20 years, definitively allowing eligible immigrants to apply for and receive non-cash government benefits like SNAP or WIC without fear of any negative impact on their immigration status. “This action ensures faithful implementation of the law, one that will have a meaningful impact on immigrant communities and help give them the nourishment to lead happier and healthier lives,” Vilsack says. “Immigrants and their families have the right to access the programs for which Congress has made them eligible.” He also says it’s a chance to advance nutrition security for generations to come. *********************************************************************************** CoBank: Avian Flu Still a Threat to U.S. Poultry Supplies A report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange says the widespread outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza that hit U.S. poultry production has subsided. Case numbers significantly dropped as temperatures rose and the migratory season for wild birds ended. However, the risk of another outbreak this fall remains elevated, and the stakes for poultry producers will be high. Poultry product values had increased substantially before this year’s outbreak due to tight supplies and strong consumer demand for animal protein products. The added burden of supply shocks caused by HPAI made tight market conditions even worse, sending values skyrocketing. ‘Fortunately for U.S. poultry exporters, the current world views on HPAI trade restrictions have relaxed since the last major outbreak,” says Brian Earnest, lead animal protein economist with CoBank. The 2014-2015 HPAI outbreak forced producers to euthanize 43.2 million laying hens and 7.3 million turkeys. The cost to the industry was estimated at $1.6 billion.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 9, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets There are no significant reports on Friday's docket. While the weather forecasts are becoming less important for this year's row crops, traders are still keeping an eye out for winter wheat planting and spring wheat harvest conditions. Traders also continue to keep watch over news from Ukraine, Russia and China and outside markets. Weather A strong cold front has pushed through the Northern Plains and is moving through the Central Plains and Upper Midwest early Friday. The front is bringing in a shot of much colder fall-like temperatures and bands of showers are developing behind the front as well. Temperatures out ahead of the front still remain above normal, which continues to stress the late stages of filling corn and soybeans and prevent much winter wheat planting from occurring as well.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 8, 2022 |


$400 Million Available to Create Regional Food Business Centers Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wednesday announced the availability of approximately $400 million to create USDA Regional Food Business Centers. The centers will provide local and regional food systems coordination, technical assistance, and capacity-building services. Vilsack says, "Regional Food Business Centers will serve as USDA's cornerstone in the development of the local and regional supply chains." USDA will fund at least six regional centers, including a national tribal center and at least one center serving each of three targeted areas. The targeted areas include counties on the U.S./Mexico border, persistent poverty communities in the Delta and the Southeast, high-need areas of Appalachia, and centers in other regions. USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Undersecretary Jenny Lester Moffitt says the new centers “will decrease barriers and improve supply chain linkages.” The effort seeks to help farmers and businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state and local resources. *********************************************************************************** NCBA Supports Livestock Regulatory Protection Act The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association voiced support to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee regarding the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act Wednesday. During a committee hearing, NCBA Chief Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart told lawmakers, “NCBA strongly supports the Livestock Regulatory Protection Act, which protects farmers and ranchers from onerous regulation.” The legislation aims to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing Clean Air Act Title V (5) permits for emissions like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, water vapor, or methane that result from livestock production. NCBA says the emissions are naturally occurring due to cattle’s biological functions and cattle producers continue to employ innovative practices to mitigate the impact of these emissions on the environment. NCBA adds methane emissions from cattle account for just two percent of total U.S. emissions. American Farm Bureau Federation Vice President Scott VanderWal also voiced support for the legislation during the hearing. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Household Food Insecurity in 2021 Unchanged From 2020 Data from USDA’s Economic Research Service released Wednesday shows in 2021, 89.8 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the entire year. Food secure means they had access to food at all times for all household members during the year. The remaining 10.2 percent of households were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 3.8 percent that experienced very low food security. In households reporting very low food security, the food intake of one or more household members was reduced, and their eating patterns were disrupted at times because the household lacked money and other resources for obtaining food. The 2021 prevalence of food insecurity, at 10.2 percent, was statistically unchanged from 2020. Very low food security was not significantly different from its 3.9 percent rate in 2020. The Economic Research Service monitors the food security status of households in the United States through an annual nationwide survey. *********************************************************************************** Lawmakers Seek Additional Wildfire Fighting Resources A group of western lawmakers this week asked the Department of Agriculture and Interior Department for additional wildfire fighting resources. The 25 lawmakers asked the federal government to assist in continuing to fight fires aggressively, communicate clearly and take administrative steps now to prepare additional personnel for when they are needed. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the lawmakers say, “As you are well aware, wildfires do not respect jurisdictional boundaries, so constant communication between public and private entities is crucial.” The letter points out that recent reports suggest the United States Forest Service faces a significant wildfire staffing shortfall despite the recent pay increase included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. USDA and DOI can surge additional personnel to help when the firefighting season is underway. The lawmakers say, “we ask you do everything you can to start that process now.” *********************************************************************************** Gavins Point Winter Releases Will be at Minimum Rates Drought conditions along the Missouri River Basin mean winter releases from Gavins Point Dam will be at a minimum 12,000 cubic feet per second this winter. While July brought much-needed moisture to the Missouri River Basin, August returned to the warm and dry conditions seen over the last two seasons. August runoff was 0.9-million-acre-feet, 62 percent of average above Sioux City, and 0.6 million-acre-feet, or 49 percent of average above Gavins Point Dam. The 2022 calendar year forecast for the upper basin, updated on September 1, is 20.2 million acre-feet million-acre feet, 78 percent of average. The average annual runoff for the upper basin is 25.8-million-acre-feet. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, drought conditions in the basin have worsened over the past month. Seventy-four percent of the basin is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions, with seven percent of that being extreme or exceptional drought. *********************************************************************************** Farm Bureau Foundation Partnering with Grow with Google The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has partnered with Grow with Google to train 2,000 teachers on digital skills. The effort seeks to reach 200,000 students in rural communities by the end of the 2023 school year. The Foundation is bolstering agricultural education curriculum through the Farm Bureau Foundation Fellows Program, a fellowship that will allow educators in agricultural regions to teach students where their food comes from. Throughout the eight-month program, fellows will develop place-based curriculum that incorporates agriculture, technology and key digital skills into an Applied Digital Skills lessons. The lessons will be available, for free, to all educators interested in teaching students about food, fuel and fiber. Foundation executive director Daniel Meloy says, “We hope this program empowers teachers to introduce their students to the exciting world of agriculture, while also teaching them an array of technical skills.” To learn more and apply, visit agfoundation.org.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 8, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets In case you missed the earlier memo, USDA is having technical difficulties and won't provide a new weekly export sales report until September 15. There will be a report of U.S. weekly jobless claims at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, along with an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The U.S. Energy Department's weekly natural gas storage is due out at 9:30 a.m., followed by weekly energy inventories at 10 a.m. Weather Hot temperatures continue from the West into the Plains and Upper Midwest Thursday with triple-digit readings yet again in some areas. However, a strong cold front is dipping down from the Canadian Prairies and will be bringing much colder air with it. Temperatures will fall more than 20 degrees behind the front and narrow bands of showers will develop in the Northern Plains. Other areas of the country will remain dry with drought increasing in the Central and Southern Plains.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday September 7, 2022 |


August Ag Economy Barometer Increases Farmer sentiment improved in August as the Purdue-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer rose 14 points above its July reading to 117. Both the Index of Current Conditions and the Index of Future Expectations increased last month. Producers were less worried about their farm’s financial situation than in July, although they remain concerned about a possible cost-price squeeze. When asked about their biggest concerns for the next year, more than half of respondents chose higher input costs. Other concerns include rising interest rates, input availability, and lower output prices. Despite this month's improvement in sentiment, all three indices remain well below year-ago levels. Finally, this month's survey revealed an uptick in the percentage of farmers engaged with companies offering payments to sequester carbon. However, just one percent of respondents said they've signed a carbon contract, with the majority of those choosing not to sign, suggesting that payment rates offered remain too low. *********************************************************************************** USDA Seeks Livestock Disease Indemnity Valuation Comments The Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on a new approach to indemnity valuation and a new indemnity framework. The advanced notice describes two structural changes to the indemnity regulations. The first is the use of an annual indemnity value table to standardize the indemnification process and resolve discrepancies between disease programs. Under the new approach, APHIS would collaborate with other USDA agencies, including the Farm Service Agency’s Livestock Indemnity Program, to develop USDA indemnity values and the methodology to determine them. The values would be published online annually. Second, the proposal describes an approach to standardize allowances for appraisal when an indemnity value cannot be calculated using the tables or when a producer elects to appeal the value based on extraordinary circumstances. This approach would resolve known challenges with indemnification based on fair market appraisal by an appraiser. The public comment period is open through November 6, 2022. *********************************************************************************** USDA NASS to Review Acreage Information USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service announced Tuesday the agency will review all available acreage data for select crops. USDA NASS will review planted and harvested acreage for chickpeas, corn, cotton, dry edible peas, lentils, peanuts, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets, in preparation for the September Crop Production report. The reviewed information includes survey data, satellite-based data, and the latest information from USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency. If the data review justifies any changes, NASS will publish updated planted and harvested acreage estimates in the September 12 Crop Production report. USDA says it is a normal practice for NASS to review data in September for many of these crops. The review typically takes place in October for corn, sorghum, soybeans, and sugarbeets. However, USDA says the datasets are sufficiently complete this year to consider adjustments in September. In October, NASS will review acreage for canola, dry edible beans, and sunflowers. *********************************************************************************** Farmers Intend to Plant More Corn Next Year U.S. farmers plan to grow five percent more corn acres next year, according to a recent Farm Futures survey. The survey found farmers expect to plant 94.3 million acres of corn next spring, an increase of 4.5 million acres compared to 2022. The survey collected data from July 13 to August 1, 2022, from nearly 700 farmers. If the estimate proves correct, it will be the largest corn acreage planted in the United States since 2013, when farmers planted 95.4 million acres of corn. The Farm Futures survey reports farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of soybeans in 2023, down nearly 700,000 acres from the 2022 crop year. The survey also shows an increase in wheat acres in 2023, at 36.6 million acres, up 7.5 percent from 2022. Combined, corn, soybeans and wheat acres total 230.5 million acres, according to the survey, up two percent from the 224.8 million acres planted this year. *********************************************************************************** Food Insecurity in Africa Peaked Early During Pandemic At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, projections indicated the number of people experiencing food insecurity would increase. In a recent USDA Economic Research Service study, researchers used World Bank household survey data collected during the pandemic to assess food insecurity in four sub-Saharan Africa countries. Researchers tracked three levels of food insecurity intensity—mild, moderate, and severe—based on household responses to the Food Insecurity Experience Scale. They observed a sharp increase in reported food insecurity in the early months of the pandemic. In Ethiopia and Nigeria, the rate of moderate food insecurity reported increased from about zero to between 30 and 70 percent by June 2020. In Burkina Faso (boo-keen-uh fah-so) and Malawi (Muh-louhg-ee), where data was available beyond 2020, researchers observed gradual declines in food insecurity. At the end of June 2021, about 15 percent of households in Burkina Faso still reported moderate food insecurity, as did about 50 percent of Malawi households. *********************************************************************************** Vytelle Awarded for Global Sustainability The Business Intelligence Group Tuesday named Vytelle, a precision livestock company, as a Sustainability Leadership Award winner in the 2022 Sustainability Awards program. The Sustainability Awards honor those who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission. The global cattle industry is facing what Vytelle calls the triple challenge. Farmers are facing a growing demand for protein driven by the upsurge of consumers demanding meat and milk be produced sustainably. This means farmers must improve and increase productivity, while also improving efficiency by producing with less. Vytelle has built the first integrated livestock technology platform to accelerate genetic progress in cattle. Farmers who use the platform to identify their most valuable and elite genetics will increase the reliability of their intended mating decisions and accelerate their genetic outcomes. Vytelle Chief Executive Officer Kerryann Kocher says, “We’re honored to receive the Sustainability Leadership Award and continue our partnerships with progressive cattle farmers to deliver our mission.”

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday September 7, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets The launch of the iPhone 14 is expected Wednesday, a day when there shouldn't be much competition from other news. At 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, the U.S. Commerce Department releases the trade deficit for July and provides more detailed export data for USDA to release later Wednesday morning. The Federal Reserve's Beige Book follows at 1 p.m. Traders will keep an eye on news from Ukraine and China, as well as the latest weather forecasts. Weather A ridge of high pressure continues to have a strong foothold in the western U.S. where heat continues. The heat has leaked out into the Plains as well in advance of the next system that will move through the Canadian Prairies today. Some isolated showers will be found there as well as into the Southeast, otherwise most of the country will be dry today.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday September 6, 2022 |


World Food Prices Continue Falling as Supply Levels Rise Global food prices dropped for a fifth-straight month after a seasonal rise in supplies took place and demand dropped for some products. The northern hemisphere wheat harvest is helping to ease supply concerns as more grain moves out of Ukraine. A U.N. index of world food costs dropped 1.9 percent in August and remains at its lowest level since January. While consumers will feel some relief, the declines aren’t as sharp as they were in July, when food prices dropped the most since 2008. Food prices do remain higher than last year. Food costs fell across the board last month, with vegetable oils dropping slightly below last year’s level. More palm oil supplies from Indonesia and seasonally rising outputs in southeast Asia helped to lower prices. Import demand for sunflower oil is subdued. Dairy stocks remained adequate. Major poultry importers reduced purchases, and domestic bovine meat demand in key exporters was weak. *********************************************************************************** Real Estate Lending Pushes Farm Debit Higher The Kansas City Fed says strong growth in farm real estate debt pushed agricultural loan balances higher at commercial banks in the second quarter. Outstanding farm debt increased by five percent from last year, the fastest pace in almost six years. While agricultural real estate loans continued to build, production lending rose more modestly following subdued demand in recent years. Loan performance continued to improve. Recent loan growth supported a slight improvement in the interest margins and income at agricultural banks from last quarter, but bank liquidity remained abundant. The agricultural economy remained steady over the past quarter providing ongoing support to farm finances. With substantially higher production costs and weather risks, incomes could be pressured if commodity prices drop more notably. Despite some growing risks, farm balance sheets remained strong alongside high liquidity, and a sharp increase in farm real estate values also continued to support agricultural credit conditions. *********************************************************************************** California Joins Opposition to Foreign Land Ownership The California legislature passed a bill outlawing land sales to foreign countries to help protect the nation’s food supply. The Washington Examiner says California has a large Central Valley farm belt, where two-thirds of the nation’s fruits and nuts are grown. “Food can, and is, being used as a weapon like we’re seeing in Ukraine,” says the bill’s author, state Senator Melissa Hurtado. “Recent reports have shown that a nation could get leverage by acquiring agricultural land and creating bioweapons that impact our food chain.” The bill would exempt land owned by a foreign government before January 1. It would also direct the state’s Ag Department to release annual reports on the amount of foreign farmland utilized, the type of usage, and “any legislative, regulatory, or administrative policy recommendations in light of the information from the annual report.” Bill supporters say foreign investments in ag land put U.S. food security at risk. *********************************************************************************** USDA Extends WIC-Related Formula Flexibilities The USDA is extending a key funding flexibility in the WIC program that’s allowed state agencies and their infant formula manufacturers to work together to provide more options for needy families. Under this flexibility that’s now extended to the end of October, USDA is covering the added cost of non-contract formula to make it financially feasible for states to allow WIC participants to buy alternate sizes, forms, or brand of infant formula. “USDA is committed to maintaining flexibilities to provide continued support to WIC families as the nationwide supply of infant formula recovers,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “WIC families are counting on us, and while the supply of formula is improving, the extended flexibilities will make sure those families can find the formula they need for their babies.” To make the extended flexibility economically feasible, USDA is covering the additional costs of these alternate formulas while supplies remain impacted. *********************************************************************************** EPA Proposes Stopping Authorized Use of Certain Pesticide Ingredients The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to remove 12 chemicals known as PFAS from the current list of inert ingredients approved for use in pesticides to better protect people and the environment. “Exposure to PFAS is an urgent public health and environmental issue in our country, and we’re continuing to work aggressively to reduce the use of these dangerous chemicals,” says Michael Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Ensuring that these 12 chemicals can no longer be used in pesticides is an important step to protect workers, the public, and the planet.” EPA also says it will take a renewed look at previous PFAS decisions and do a thorough review of its list of chemical substances that have been approved for use as inert ingredients in pesticide products. Those products contain at least one active ingredient and other intentionally-added inert ingredients that improve product performance. *********************************************************************************** Three Years of Biofuel Blending Mandates Coming in November The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency will announce a rule this year detailing annual biofuel-blending mandates for three years instead of just one year. Three sources told Reuters that the multi-year announcement will provide longer-term certainty to the refining and biofuel industries. Reuters says they’ve been battling over the Renewable Fuel Standard’s annual mandates since it first began. One source who requested anonymity says, “They’re trying to put together a proposal for 2023, 2024, and 2025, where once they have the proposals together, then they don’t have to go back in and don’t have to change or modify the volumes.” According to a legal document filed in July, the EPA has been ordered to propose a rulemaking for 2023 mandates by November 16. While Congress has set the mandates since the RFS began, the EPA will have the authority to set multi-year mandates and make other changes starting next year.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday September 6, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the three-day weekend, traders will be checking up on the latest weather forecasts and any market-related news from over the weekend, including the decision from OPEC's meeting on Monday. USDA's weekly report of export inspections will be out at 10 a.m. CDT Tuesday, followed by USDA's Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather An old system from the weekend remains a little active on Tuesday, with isolated showers across the southeastern Midwest down to the Southeast on Tuesday. The Plains continue to be dry with heat for much of the region that continues to sap soil moisture ahead of winter wheat planting.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 2, 2022 |


USDA Says Farm Profits To Reach Near-Record High in 2022 USDA’s Economic Research Service forecasts inflation-adjusted U.S. net cash farm income to increase by $13.5 billion or 8.7 percent from 2021. Net cash farm income is gross cash income minus cash expenses and will reach $168.5 billion in 2022, the highest level since 2012. In comparison, net farm income is forecast to drop by almost $1 billion from 2021 to $147.7 billion this year. That drop comes after net farm income increased by $44 billion in 2021 to the highest level since 2013. Net farm income is a broader measure of farm sector profitability that incorporates noncash items, including inventory changes, economic depreciation, and gross rental income. Both cash receipts and expenses are forecast to increase. Cash receipts for farm commodities are projected to rise by $66.3 billion or 14 percent from the previous year to reach $525.3 billion this year. Production expenses will also increase by $44 billion to $437.3 billion. *********************************************************************************** Brazil Soybean Acres to Top 100 Million Brazilian farmers will start planting corn, soybeans, and many other crops in September and October. CONAB (KOH-nab), the country’s largest ag forecaster, says if the weather cooperates, the 2022-2023 Brazilian harvest could be the largest ever. During the upcoming season, CONAB says Brazil’s farmers will produce more than 300 million tons of soybeans, corn, cotton, rice, wheat, and soybeans. That’s 14 percent higher than in 2021, during which Brazil’s farmers brought in an estimated 271.4 million tons of grain, an all-time high. The growth of Brazil’s crops is attributed to two factors, including a 2.5 percent rise in planted area and 11 percent higher yields versus 2022. While production costs will be higher in the upcoming season, Brazilian farmers will benefit from high commodity prices, robust global demand, and a favorable exchange rate. Soybeans make up almost half of the total grains produced in Brazil and are projected to reach 5.5 million bushels. *********************************************************************************** First “Triple-Dip” La Nina in This Century The World Meteorological Association says the La Nina weather pattern will last through the end of 2022. That’s the first time this century it will have lasted for three consecutive winters in the northern hemisphere. La Nina conditions in the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean strengthened as trade winds intensified between July and August. The conditions are affecting temperatures and precipitation patterns and making drought conditions and flooding in different parts of the world that much worse. The current WMO forecast shows the current La Nina, which began in September 2020 and continuing during the next six months. La Nina refers to the cooling of ocean surface temperatures coupled with winds and rainfall. It almost always has the opposite effect of El Nino, which is the warm phase of the so-called El Nino Southern Oscillation. The WMO says it is “exceptional” to have three consecutive years with a La Nina weather pattern. *********************************************************************************** Book Teaches New Generation About the “Father of the Green Revolution” A new generation will learn about Norman Borlaug, the “Father of the Green Revolution,” thanks to the newest book from Feeding Minds Press. “Hero for the Hungry” is the story of Borlaug, who dedicated his life’s work to eradicating world hunger. “We are excited to introduce today’s young people to Norman Borlaug,” says Daniel Meloy, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation, which runs the publishing venture. “With ‘Hero for the Hungry,’ we hope his story of science and true American grit inspires young readers to explore how they too can solve hunger issues.” The story follows Borlaug from his humble beginnings on a small farm in Iowa to groundbreaking innovation that helped feed millions in a time of famine by improving the productivity of wheat, earning him a Nobel Prize. “Hero for the Hungry” can be used in a variety of classrooms, including biology, science, agriculture, or history. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Announces 2022 Annual Meeting The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association invites everyone in the industry to its 15th Annual Meeting and Cattle Producer’s Forum in Nashville, Tennessee, December 8-10. On Friday, December 9th, policy committees and members will review the past year’s successes and determine policy goals for the upcoming year. With significant progress getting made on cattle market reform legislation this year, the Annual Meeting will be a critical time to reflect and prepare for the next session of Congress. On Saturday, December 10, USCA will host the premier Cattle Producer’s Forum to discuss current marketing trends. Following a Washington, D.C. update from USCA’s lobbying team, the group will hear from multiple cattle markets specialists talk about the 2023 market forecast. The forum will also host a Consumers’ Perspective Panel discussion, which will include the unlikely relationship between the digital currency Bitcoin and beef production. For more information or to sign up, go to cattlemensmeeting.square.site. *********************************************************************************** USGC Talks Biotech Corn With Japanese Regulators The U.S. Grains Council recently organized a trip to the U.S. for Japanese regulators involved in that country’s food, feed, and environmental approvals of biotech corn. While in the U.S., the group met with USGC staff, U.S. government regulators, biotech seed companies, and industry organizations. They also met with U.S. corn producers and companies involved in the production, distribution, and exports of U.S. corn to Japan. The meetings helped educate the Japanese regulators about biotech corn events in the pipeline for entry into Japan’s regulatory system in the future. They also learned how regulatory approvals and regulations need to be able to work with the U.S. corn production, distribution, and export systems. “The Council has been organizing trips for the biotech team even year since 2007,” says Tommy Hamamoto, USGC Director in Japan. “The knowledge and confidence they’ve gained have helped regulators to consistently make and maintain science-based regulatory decisions.”

| Rural Advocate News | Friday September 2, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department will have nonfarm payrolls and the U.S. unemployment rate out, both for the month of August at 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday. A report on U.S. factory orders follows at 9 a.m. As usual, traders remain interested in the latest weather forecasts and any news from Ukraine. Grain and livestock markets will close at their normal times Friday, but could exhibit stranger than usual behavior ahead of the three-day weekend. Weather A cold front moving into the Western Corn Belt is producing some shower activity Friday morning from Nebraska into Minnesota. The front is moving southeast, with showers extending from Kansas to Lake Superior. Some of these storms could be severe. Another low-pressure center moving out of Oklahoma and into the Ozarks is producing scattered showers and storms and is being pulled northeast throughout the day. Strong storms are not expected but rainfall will help some of the drought areas in this region. Otherwise, temperatures remain well above normal for most areas not directly behind the front and very hot in the West.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 1, 2022 |


Vilsack Announces $21.9 Million to Strengthen Meat and Poultry Supply Chains USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Wednesday announced an additional $21.9 million for grant projects through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program. The funding awards 111 projects, bringing the program's total funding to $54.6 million. The funding will help strengthen and develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors throughout the United States. Facility improvements and expansions funded through the program will help processors obtain a Federal Grant of Inspection or qualify for a state’s Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. Achieving a Federal Grant of Inspection or operating under a Cooperative Interstate Shipment program allows meat and poultry processors to ship products across state lines, develop new markets, increase capacity, and better meet consumer and producer demand along the supply chain. USDA also encourages grant recipients to request assistance through the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program. The technical assistance program, launched in March of this year, connects participants to a nationwide network of resources and expertise. *********************************************************************************** USDA Updates Crop Insurance Plans to Broaden Access  The Department of Agriculture is improving two of its most comprehensive risk management safety net programs. USDA announced the improvements Wednesday for the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, and Micro Farm, making them more accessible to farmers. The improvements include doubling the maximum insurable revenue under Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, now $17 million, more than tripling the size of farm operations eligible for Micro Farm, now $350,000 and reducing paperwork requirements. The improvements are in direct response to feedback from stakeholders as USDA's Risk Management Agency recognizes the role these insurance options play for many producers, including specialty crop, organic and direct market producers. The Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program protects all eligible commodities on a farm under one insurance policy. The Micro Farm program provides a risk management safety net for all eligible commodities on a farm under one insurance policy, but on a smaller scale. The updates to both programs take effect in crop year 2023. *********************************************************************************** States and Territories to Issue $12.5 Billion in USDA’s Summer Child Food Benefits The Department of Agriculture partnered with 32 states and territories to provide summer food buying benefits to families with children. The states and territories will provide an estimated $12.5 billion in temporary nutrition benefits to approximately 32 million children. USDA Food and Nutrition Service administrator Cindy Long says, “Our hope is that all states will adopt the program, ensuring that all children have access to the healthy food they need and deserve.” Children are eligible for this temporary nutrition benefit, known as Summer P-EBT, if they are eligible for free or reduced-price meals during the school year, or if they are under age six and live in a household receiving SNAP benefits. The benefits are loaded onto a debit-type card that can be used to purchase food. Families of eligible children typically receive $391 per child for the summer, with higher rates for families in Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories. *********************************************************************************** Economic Research Service: Textile Manufacturing Shifts Out of China China’s position as the top global cotton importer is weakening as cotton shipments flow into flourishing textile industries in competing countries. USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that soon after China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, the nation’s textile manufacturers became the world’s leading importers of cotton. Following years of rising production costs, volatility from government intervention in the market, and government caps on the volume of imports, China’s cotton imports dropped from their peak of 24.5 million bales in 2011 to 4.4 million bales in 2015, before rebounding to 9.5 million bales in 2021. Meanwhile, competing countries, including Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Turkey, expanded their textile industries and boosted cotton imports over the same period. These countries’ combined imports now exceed China’s volume of cotton imports. This increasing geographic diversification of global cotton demand has helped U.S. cotton exports to remain relatively robust despite volatility in China’s imports over the past decade. *********************************************************************************** USDA Announces No Actions Under Feedstock Flexibility Program The Commodity Credit Corporation does not expect to purchase and sell sugar under the Feedstock Flexibility Program for crop year 2021, which runs from October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022. The CCC is required by law to quarterly announce estimates of sugar to be purchased and sold under the Feedstock Flexibility Program based on crop and consumption forecasts. Federal law allows sugar processors to obtain loans from the Department of Agriculture with maturities of up to nine months when the sugarcane or sugar beet harvests begin. On loan maturity, the sugar processor may repay the loan in full or forfeit the sugar to USDA to satisfy the loan. Under the Feedstock Flexibility Program, if USDA is faced with the likelihood of loan forfeitures, it is required to purchase surplus sugar and sell it to bioenergy producers to reduce the surplus in the food use market and support sugar prices. *********************************************************************************** Peoples Company Launches Energy Management Division Peoples Company Wednesday announced the launch of its energy management division to help clients maximize and diversify revenue streams. The Peoples Company energy management division manages oil, natural gas, and renewable energy assets for its clients. The division offers Geographic Information System mapping, real-time client data portals, modernized revenue processing, and customized reporting. Experienced energy management professionals also help clients navigate complex issues like division orders, authorizations for expenditure, and joint interest billings to ensure their interests are protected. Peoples Company President Steve Bruere says, “Energy management is a highly specialized offering because each asset is unique and requires individualized service.” As Peoples Company continues its expansion across the country, Bruere noted that this new service offers clients a single firm to manage assets ranging from farmland to energy rights. Peoples Company’s energy management division will be based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company is self-descried as a full-service land transaction and management business licensed in all major agricultural regions.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday September 1, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets For a second consecutive Thursday, USDA will not issue a weekly export sales report due to technical difficulties and does not expect to have data available until Sept. 15. U.S. weekly jobless claims are due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT, the same time as a report on U.S. productivity in the second quarter and we get an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Institute of Supply Management's index of U.S. manufacturing is due out at 9 a.m., followed by the Energy Department's weekly natural gas storage report at 9:30 a.m. Weather While there may be some isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms across the far South on Thursday, much of the rest of the country should be relatively quiet. That comes with a caveat as a small low-pressure center developed from Wednesday's storms in Nebraska and will move east through Iowa. There is some potential for showers and thunderstorms to develop with this feature Thursday. Otherwise, above-normal temperatures are forecast for many areas today as well, with near triple digits in the Northern Plains.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 31, 2022 |


USDA Releases Updated Trade Projections for 2022, 2023 The Department of Agriculture Tuesday released updated trade projections for the remainder of fiscal year 2022 and the first projections for fiscal year 2022. The outlook follows the federal fiscal year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. Agriculture exports for 2023 are projected at $193.5 billion, with imports at $197 billion. The export forecast is $2.5 billion below the revised 2022 forecast. The decrease is primarily driven by lower exports of cotton, beef, and sorghum that are partially offset by higher exports of soybeans and horticultural products. For 2022, the export estimate of a record $196.0 billion represents an increase of $5.0 billion from May's projection, mainly due to increases in livestock, poultry, and dairy exports. USDA cautions that the global economic outlook for 2022 and 2023 is growing more uncertain due to the continued materialization of downside risks. Previous growth projections are moderated due to ongoing trade disruptions, above-target inflation rates, and rising energy prices. *********************************************************************************** USDA Awards Funding to Strengthen Markets for Agricultural Products The Department of Agriculture Tuesday awarded $11.2 million to 22 grant projects to strengthen and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. The funding comes from USDA Agricultural Marketing Service programs. Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, says, “USDA is excited about funding projects that improve access to fresh, locally sourced food and strengthen market opportunities for local and regional producers.” Through the Acer Access and Development Program, USDA is awarding $5.9 million to fund 12 projects. Acer projects aim to improve consumer knowledge, awareness and understanding of the maple syrup industry and its products. Through the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program, USDA is awarding more than $1 million to five projects to explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agriculture. And through the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program, USDA is awarding $4.4 million to agencies in Alaska, Hawaii, and other territories to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food. *********************************************************************************** Major School Nutrition Program Spending Declined During Pandemic USDA's National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program typically make up the largest share of child nutrition program expenditures. In fiscal year 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, spending on the two programs amounted to about $18.7 billion, nearly 80 percent of the $23.6 billion spent on all child nutrition programs that year. However, school disruptions during the pandemic led to a decline in spending, to $13.9 billion in 2020 and $12.4 billion in 2021. The declines were partly due to many schools transitioning to the Summer Food Service Program and creating the temporary Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program. Spending on the summer food program increased from nearly $500 million in 2019 to $10.7 billion in 2021. P-EBT spending reached $10.7 billion in 2020 and $28.3 billion in 2021. Although spending on the Child and Adult Care Food Program was relatively stable across the three years, the program’s share of child nutrition program spending declined from about 16 percent in 2019 to seven percent in 2021 as overall expenditures increased. *********************************************************************************** NAWG Responds to Lower Snake River Dams Report The National Association of Wheat Growers welcomes recommendations regarding dams along the Lower Snake River by Senator Patty Murray and Washington Governor Jay Inslee. The Democrats say in a joint statement, "it’s clear that breach is not an option right now.” NAWB CEO Chandler Goule responds, “We are glad the recommendations released by Senator Murray and Governor Inslee recognize the role these dams play in agriculture and acknowledge dam breaching is not feasible at present.” Goule adds, " However, we remain concerned and opposed to breaching as it would be detrimental to wheat growers across the region." NAWG says the dams play a vital role in providing a safe, efficient and affordable way for wheat farmers to get their product to market. Last month, NAWG filed a public comment outlining concern, whereby other modes of transportation cannot simply replace barging. Wheat farmers move grain most efficiently by using the waterway instead of rail or truck while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the organization. *********************************************************************************** Western Ag Groups Seek Quick Action for IRA Water Conservation Funding Western agriculture groups ask the Biden administration to quickly implement Inflation Reduction Act spending allocated to responding to the ongoing drought. The IRA includes $4 billion for drought response in the west. The seven agriculture groups made the request in a letter to the Interior Department and Bureau of Reclamation. The letter encourages the administration to quickly release a Notice of Funding Availability with guidance to water managers currently developing drought response proposals and quickly deploy that funding to address the most urgent needs. The letter states, "The ability of agricultural producers to participate in any voluntary, compensated water reduction program becomes much more difficult, if not impossible, if not initiated and implemented soon." The letter also urges the administration to unite stakeholders and ensure "agriculture has a place at the table." The letter is signed by the Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon Farm Bureaus, the Agribusiness and Water Council of Arizona, Family Farm Alliance and Western Grower. *********************************************************************************** Bison Increase Plant Diversity, Drought Resilience in Grasslands A Kansas State University-led study finds bison double plant diversity in a tallgrass prairie. The research involves more than 30 years of data collection and was recently published in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The study found that plant communities also were resilient to the most extreme drought in four decades. These gains are now among the largest recorded increases in species richness because of grazing in grasslands globally, researchers said. The study occurred in the Flint Hills ecoregion, the largest remaining landscape of tallgrass prairie. Researchers examined plant community composition and diversity in three treatments that were designed to capture characteristic management regimes: no mega-grazers were present, bison were reintroduced and allowed to graze year-round, or domestic cattle were introduced and allowed to graze during the growing season. The study also found cattle have a positive impact on plant diversity, compared to having no large grazers present, although increases in plant species richness were significantly smaller than those caused by bison.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 31, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets At 9:30 a.m. CDT, the U.S. Energy Department will issue its weekly inventory report, including ethanol production. Traders remain attentive to weather, the war in Ukraine and the skittish mood of outside markets, facing another interest rate hike in September and an OPEC+ meeting on Monday, September 5. Weather A front has dragged down to Texas and the Gulf Coast for Wednesday, where showers will continue, especially in Texas. A few more showers and thunderstorms could pop up around Nebraska this afternoon and evening, but most areas to the north will be dry with rising temperatures.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 30, 2022 |


White House Announces Hunger Conference for September The White House Monday announced the date for its Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. The Conference is set for September 28, 2022, in Washington, DC. As the President announced in May, this will be the first Conference of this kind in more than 50 years. Millions of Americans are afflicted with food insecurity and diet-related diseases—including heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes—which are some of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. Lack of access to healthy and affordable foods is one of many factors impacting hunger and diet-related diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges further. The Conference will bring government leaders, academics and activists together to end hunger and reduce diet-related diseases in the U.S. by 2030. The White House will also announce a national strategy at the Conference that identifies actions the government will take to drive transformative change and address the intersections between food, hunger, nutrition, and health. *********************************************************************************** USDA Announces Details for Upcoming Census of Agriculture America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to be represented in the nation's only comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every state, county and territory. The Department of Agriculture will mail the 2022 Census of Agriculture to millions of agriculture producers across the 50 states and Puerto Rico this fall. The 2022 Census of Agriculture will be mailed in phases, starting with an invitation to respond online in November, followed by paper questionnaires in December. Farm operations of all sizes, urban and rural, which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022 are included in the ag census. Collected in service to American agriculture since 1840 and now conducted every five years by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Census of Agriculture tells the story and shows the value of U.S. agriculture. Changes to the 2022 questionnaire include new questions about the use of precision agriculture, hemp production, hair sheep, and updates to internet access questions. *********************************************************************************** Interest Expense Ratio for Agriculture Stays Even with 20-year Average USDA’s Economic Research Service reports the interest expense ratio of farms was 0.04 in 2020, remaining in line with the long-term trend and initial forecasts, despite the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced demand for agricultural commodities. The interest expense ratio is calculated by dividing interest expenses by the sum of the value of production and Government payments for a given year. Interest expenses are the costs incurred by farm operations when debt is used to finance farm activities. A USDA forecast in February 2020 predicted interest expenses for 2020 at $18.0 billion, with a predicted interest expense ratio of 0.04. By February 2022, interest expenses for 2020 were estimated to be slightly higher than predicted at $19.4 billion. The February 2022 estimates also showed that while the value of production was lower than initially forecast, government payments were higher. The interest expense ratio was highest at 0.06 in 2000 and trended downward to a low of 0.03 multiple times from 2000 to 2020. *********************************************************************************** Corteva Announces 2022 Climate Positive Leaders Program Corteva Agriscience Monday announced that applications are available for its 2022 Climate Positive Leaders Program. The program recognizes farmers and ranchers who implement, scale and share climate-positive practices. The program will give the selected global and regional leaders tools and opportunities to broadly share their experiences and help accelerate the adoption of climate positive practices. Farmers and ranchers in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States are eligible to participate. Farmers can be nominated by local or regional grower groups, nonprofit organizations, universities, field or sales representatives, or other technology partners. The Global Leader recipients will receive a lifetime membership to Global Farmer Network, training and in-person participation in a Global Farmer Roundtable. Corteva will accept nominations for the program through November 30, 2022. You can find more information at Corteva.com. *********************************************************************************** EPA Issues Fuel Waiver for Four States Impacted by Bp Refinery Shutdown The Environmental Protection Agency over the weekend issued an emergency fuel waiver to help alleviate fuel shortages in four states impacted by a refinery shutdown. A BP oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana, shut down because of a fire at the facility. EPA waived the federal regulations and federally enforceable State Implementation Plan requirements for fuel volatility on gasoline sold in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The waiver will continue through September 15, 2022. The Clean Air Act allows EPA Administrator Michael Regan, in consultation with the Department of Energy, to waive certain fuel requirements to address shortages. Administrator Regan determined that extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances exist and has granted a temporary waiver to help ensure that an adequate gasoline supply is available in the affected areas. EPA and DOE are continuing to actively monitor the fuel supply situation resulting from the Bp refinery shutdown and considering additional measures to alleviate the impact. *********************************************************************************** Fuel Prices Decline Again, Gas Down $1.20 From Peak U.S. fuel prices continued their decline for the 11th straight week, with gasoline down five cents a gallon to a national average of $3.81. GasBuddy reports the national average is down 39.8 cents from a month ago but 69.1 cents higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has increased 7.3 cents in the last week and stands at $5.04 per gallon. GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan says, “Gas prices are now $1.20 per gallon lower than mid-June with Americans spending $450 million less on gasoline every day as a result.” However, some issues could change the course of fuel prices moving forward, including the shutdown of BP’s refinery in the Midwest. De Haan says, “While that refinery may get back online sooner rather than later, it’s not impossible that down the road the situation could impact prices in the region." The rest of the country, however, will see prices moderate.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 30, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets An index of U.S. home prices is due out at 8 a.m. CDT Tuesday, followed by an index of U.S. consumer confidence at 9 a.m. Traders will be watching the latest forecasts, checking the news from Ukraine and any clues from outside markets. Weather A cold front that produced widespread severe weather on Monday will continue to move south and east Tuesday. Though thunderstorms are not expected to be as strong as yesterday, there should be widespread coverage from Texas to the Northeast and points south of the front. Dryness and more seasonable temperatures are moving in behind the front, but readings still remain near or above normal for most areas.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 29, 2022 |


Ag Credit Conditions Stay Strong As Risks Grow The Kansas City Fed says agricultural credit conditions remained strong in the second quarter, but slower improvement is expected during the months ahead. Those bankers who responded to the Federal Reserve Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions say farm income continued to increase. However, the pace of increase slowed in recent quarters, and further softening is expected going forward. Farm loan repayment rates continued to strengthen, but the pace of improvement also slowed. Following almost two years of acceleration, farmland values also showed signs of moderating as interest rates continued to increase. Strength in farm finances continued to support a positive outlook for agricultural credit conditions through the remainder of 2022, but risks to the farm economy are more noticeable. With a substantial increase in production costs over the past two years, profit margins for many producers could be squeezed by a sizeable decline in commodity prices. Balance sheets likely remain strong for 2022. *********************************************************************************** NCGA: New California Vehicle Requirements a Missed Opportunity Last week, the California Air Resources Board approved standards for vehicles made in the model year 2026 and later. In response to the announcement, the National Corn Growers Association says California regulators “missed an opportunity” to allow for more innovation and broaden low- and zero-emission solutions, in addition to the proposed electric vehicles, to maximize emission reductions while improving equity for consumers. “As NCGA told regulators during the rule-making process, constraining the vision of a zero-emission future prevents the state from tapping into the immediate and affordable environmental solutions that come from replacing more gasoline with low-carbon and low-cost ethanol in both current and new vehicles, including the electric plug-in hybrids, ” the organization says in a release. “Ethanol is on a path to net zero emissions, and NCGA will continue to work with and urge California to use all the tools in its toolbox as it addresses climate change and cuts harmful tailpipe emissions.” *********************************************************************************** Whole Foods Sued Over Deception in Antibiotic-Free Meat The nonprofit group Farm Forward joined a consumer class-action lawsuit against Whole Foods alleging that the retail giant is deceiving shoppers about beef products in its stores. Since 1981, Whole Foods has claimed that all of the animals within its supply chain are raised without antibiotics. However, an independent laboratory found antibiotic residue in “antibiotic-free” meat bought from a Whole Foods store in California. Antibiotic-free meat can cost as much as 20 percent or more than conventional meat, and surveys show 75 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for it. In April, Farm Forward released results of a program that tested Whole Foods meat for antibiotic residues. Among the findings, Farm Forward found residue of an antibiotic that can be used to promote growth in cattle in a meat product labeled “organic” and “antibiotic free.” Farm Forward says it has proof of deceptive marketing practices by Whole Foods. *********************************************************************************** Technical Difficulties for Weekly Export Sales Reporting Last week, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service launched a new Export Sales Reporting and Maintenance System. This is a system through which U.S. exporters are required by law to report any sales transactions with buyers outside the U.S. for many key commodities. The information collected through the system is aggregated and reported to the public each week by the FAS. During the launch, FAS encountered challenges that affected the physical dissemination of the data as well as the data quality. As a result, the agency took the system offline and retracted the weekly export sales information that was passed out last week. Data integrity, credibility, and transparency are top priorities for FAS, and the timely and accurate reporting of agricultural export sales data is vital to effectively-functioning markets. FAS recognized the disruption and took steps immediately to rectify the situation. FAS intends to resolve the problems as soon as possible. *********************************************************************************** Chinese Government Tells Farmers to Replant or Switch Crops After Drought China’s record heatwave is beginning to disappear, and farmers are assessing the damage caused by the lengthy dry spell. Reuters says the Chinese government is urging its producers to replant or switch crops where they can. Over 70 days of extreme temperatures and low rainfall have hit the country’s crops hard. Rain is in the forecast over the next ten days, but farmers worry the heat has already done too much damage. In an emergency notice, the ag ministry called on the country’s farmers to harvest and store rice and take action to strengthen potential grain growth in the weeks ahead. In parts of the country where drought has already done damage, the government is asking its farmers to switch to late-fall crops like sweet potatoes. However, experts say that won’t be an easy task because nearby wells have been severely depleted of water, and some ponds have disappeared. *********************************************************************************** Glufosinate-Resistant Palmer Amaranth Found in Missouri University of Missouri Extension researchers have confirmed the state’s first case of glufosinate-resistant Palmer Amaranth in the Bootheel Region of Missouri. Palmer Amaranth spreads and adapts quickly to herbicides. Each weed produces up to one million seeds, which heightens the spread of resistance. The confirmation of Glufosinate resistance is a big concern for the state’s farmers because that resistance seems to be evolving at a quicker pace. Extension researcher Jim Heiser says, “Every mode of action that Palmer becomes resistant to seems to come at a quicker pace than the previous one.” He also warns farmers not to solely rely on herbicides to control weeds. He says to consider cultural practices for weed control, such as narrow row spacing for crops, the use of cover crops, and harvest weed seed management techniques. Palmer’s spread likely comes from used farm equipment like combines, custom harvesting crews, and feed and seed from other regions of the country.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 29, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Traders will return from the weekend, checking the latest weather forecasts, any news from outside markets and will pause at 8 a.m. CDT to see if USDA has an export sale announcement. At 10 a.m., USDA's weekly grain export inspections will be released, followed by the Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather A cold front that is working through the Corn Belt on Monday will spark scattered showers and thunderstorms from Kansas and Nebraska up into the central Great Lakes. Storms could be severe, with the greatest risk for severe weather across northern Illinois Monday afternoon and evening. Showers and thunderstorms may continue to develop in the hot and humid airmass south of the front as well but is not expected to be severe.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday August 26, 2022 |


Fertilizer Institute Hopes for Quick Rail-Labor Union Contract Settlement The Fertilizer Institute is grateful to members of the Presidential Emergency Board who listened to rail carriers and their labor unions amid their contract negotiations. The PEB offered measured recommendations on a pending contract agreement between the two. Both sides have until September 16 to evaluate the PEB’s recommendations during a mandated 30-day cooling-off period. The board’s recommendations include general wage increases and service recognition bonuses worth $1,000. “Uncertainty of this nature is yet another disruption in an already complex environment for farmers, so a speedy resolution is paramount,” says TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch. “Over half of all fertilizer moves by rail every year throughout the United States, and the timeliness and reliability of fertilizer shipments are absolutely critical.” He also says if the farmers can’t get their fertilizer in a timely manner, it results in lower crop yields, higher food prices, and more inflation for America’s consumers. *********************************************************************************** Court Grants Coalition Intervention in Gray Wolf Lawsuit The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the American Farm Bureau, and other members of a coalition applauded an appeals court decision allowing intervention in a case regarding gray wolves. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will allow the coalition to intervene in the Defenders of Wildlife versus the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and defend the previous administration’s delisting of the gray wolf. “The decision to allow the coalition to intervene in the case demonstrates what we’ve always known: livestock producers deserve to have their voice heard on the delisting of the gray wolf,” says Kaitlynn Glover, executive director of the Public Lands Council. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says when the gray wolf exceeded its recovery goals, it became an Endangered Species Act success story. “With thriving populations, management of species should now be the responsibility of the states, which can best determine appropriate management practices for the gray wolf,” Duvall says. *********************************************************************************** “Protecting Agriculture’s Future” is the theme for Farm Safety and Health Week National Farm Safety and Health Week is September 19-23. Agriculture is known as one of the most dangerous industries in America. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says about 100 agricultural workers suffer a lost worktime injury every day. In 2019, the agriculture industry had a fatality rate of 19 deaths per 100,000 workers. National Farm Safety and Health Week has been held the third week of September since it was established in 1944. The goal is to help bring attention to the risks of working in agriculture. To do that, AgriSafe has daily webinars for agricultural health and safety professionals, healthcare providers, extension agents, farmers, ranchers, and their employees. This year’s theme, “Protecting Agriculture’s Future,” reminds everyone in the industry that the cornerstone of sustainable agriculture is healthy and safe workers. Every day will have a different theme, such as “Tractor Safety and Rural Roadway Safety,” on Monday, September 19. *********************************************************************************** U.S. and Canadian Cattle Inventory Down Two Percent The USDA says all cattle and calves in the U.S. and Canada combined to total 111 million head on July 1, 2022, a two percent drop from the 113 million head on July 1 of last year. All cows and heifers that have calved, at 44.5 million head, were down two percent from last year. All cattle and calves in the U.S. as of July 1, 2022, totaled 98.8 million head, down two percent from July 1 of last year. All cows and heifers that have calved came in at 39.8 million head, a drop of two percent from a year ago. All cattle and calves in Canada totaled 12.3 million head as of July 1, down three percent from the 12.6 million head on July 1, 2021. All cows and heifers that have calved hit 4.69 million head on July 1, a number that’s down one percent from a year ago. *********************************************************************************** Renewable Diesel to Overtake Biodiesel Production The U.S. Energy Information Administration says renewable diesel production will surpass biodiesel production in the country in October. The EIA’s team lead for petroleum and natural gas modeling says they’re seeing continued growth on the renewable diesel side and stagnation to slight shrinking on the biodiesel side. Western Producer says renewable diesel capacity was estimated at 1.92 billion gallons per year in May, up from 1.75 billion gallons in January. Biodiesel capacity was estimated at 2.22 billion gallons, down from 2.26 billion. Many of the traditional oil refineries in the U.S. are being converted to renewable diesel plants. The EIA estimates that 440,000 barrels per day were converted to renewable diesel in 2020. Expectations are that another 660,000 barrels a day will be converted to renewable diesel in 2022. The agency says it’s already prepared an article for when renewable diesel surpasses biodiesel production, which it expects to publish in October. *********************************************************************************** NPPC Hires New Director of Food Policy Dr. Ashley Johnson has joined the National Pork Producers Council as director of food policy. In her new role, she’ll focus on developing and implementing post-harvest food safety and human nutrition programs and addressing animal care issues in market channels. “Her wealth of knowledge is a tremendous asset as we help set the direction of the country’s food policies and weigh in on issues that could affect producers’ ability to produce safe, nutritious pork for consumers around the world,” says NPPC CEO Bryan Humphreys. Johnson comes to NPPC from Zoetis (zo-EH-tis), where she was a technical service veterinarian for more than five years. Among her many duties, she worked with the animal health company’s public affairs department to disseminate information to its pork team and customers on legislation and regulatory actions that could affect the pork industry. Johnson earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday August 26, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets At 7:30 a.m. CDT, reports on U.S. personal incomes and consumer spending for July will be released, followed by the University of Michigan's index of U.S. consumer sentiment at 9 a.m. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will speak in Jackson Hole, Wyoming Friday morning and is expected to support another rate hike when the Fed meets in September. Weather A front stalled across the Gulf Coast will continue to produce scattered showers on Friday while another system moving through Canada will bring some to the eastern Midwest and Northeast. Another trailing behind it will continue to bring some showers to the Northern and Central Plains as well. Overall, showers will be pretty isolated outside of the Northeast and Gulf Coast, offering only limited help for filling corn and soybeans in a few spots.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 25, 2022 |


Vilsack Announces New Program for Underserved, Minority Farmers A new $550 million program from the Department of Agriculture seeks to support projects that help underserved producers. The program supports projects that enable producers access to land, capital, and markets, and train the next diverse generation of agricultural professionals. The investments are made through funding provided in the American Rescue Plan Act, as amended by the Inflation Reduction Act. The provisions fund and direct USDA to take action to help ensure underserved producers have the resources, tools, programs, and technical support they need to succeed. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the funding is part of “USDA’s unwavering commitment to advancing equity for all, including people who have been underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” The program includes Up to $300 million for “Increasing Land, Capital and Market Access” Projects aimed at helping underserved producers. An additional $250 million goes to the “From Learning to Leading: Cultivating the Next Generation of Diverse Food and Agriculture Professionals” program. *********************************************************************************** USDA Invests $121 Million in Infrastructure to Combat Climate Change The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced $121 million in funding for critical infrastructure to combat climate change in rural America. The investments include $111 million for 289 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities. USDA Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh says the investments will “strengthen our energy security, create good-paying jobs and save Americans money on their energy costs.” The funding will help people in 49 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. It reflects the many ways USDA Rural Development helps rural residents, businesses and communities address economic development, infrastructure and social service needs, according to USDA. Bronaugh highlighted a total of 415 investments that USDA is making through three programs designed to help people and businesses in rural areas. The programs are Community Facilities Disaster Grants, Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Guaranteed Loans and Grants, and Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Grants. *********************************************************************************** USDA Extends Infant Formula Waivers, Supports WIC State Agencies The federal government this week extended a series of waivers to provide WIC families with additional infant formula options through the end of the year. The Department of Agriculture extended the waivers to December 31, 2022, or 60 days after the expiration of the state’s COVID-19 major disaster declaration. The waivers were previously set to expire at the end of September. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “We will continue to work all hands on deck to ensure families can access infant formula.” The waivers extended allow WIC state agencies, with the necessary agreements from their infant formula contract manufacturers, to offer participants additional infant formula options, such as alternate sizes, forms and brands. USDA began offering waivers immediately after the February voluntary recall of certain Abbott powder infant formulas, which exacerbated existing supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, USDA has granted nearly 500 waivers to WIC state agencies. *********************************************************************************** AFIA Releases State of the U.S. Feed Industry Report The American Feed Industry Association released its annual "Our Industry, Our Promise," report Wednesday. The report details the challenges the U.S. feed and pet food industry faced over the past year, and the steps the AFIA took to address member priorities. The report provides an overview of the segment's impact on the U.S. economy, its efforts to promote animal food safety and worker health and safety, and its initiatives to enhance global competitiveness and industry environmental sustainability programs. AFIA President and Chief Executive Officer Constance Cullman says, "turmoil continued throughout 2021 and into 2022, but through it all, our industry stayed strong." The report offers a look at the business climate for U.S. animal food manufacturers, state issues and regulations, management of food safety, and trade. The report also provides an update on AFIA's educational offerings over the past year. Find the report on the AFIA website, afia.org. *********************************************************************************** Rural Homes with Persistent Poverty Have Less Access to Internet Households in rural persistently poor counties were the least likely to have home internet in 2015-19, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. The data released Wednesday shows more than three in ten households lack internet access at home. In comparison, only two in ten households in rural counties that were not persistently poor had no internet access at home. A similar pattern was observed in urban areas, with two in ten households in persistently poor counties lacking home internet access. Only a little more than one in ten households in urban counties that were not persistently poor had no internet access at home. For households with internet access at home, service was mainly through a subscription, which includes a range of access from dial-up to broadband to cellular data plans. USDA syas the gaps in at-home internet access and subscriptions suggest that households in persistently poor counties—and more specifically, households in rural persistently poor counties—had additional barriers to internet adoption. *********************************************************************************** Cattle Industry Convention Looking for New Talent The National Cattlemen's Beef Association seeks new talent to perform during the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in New Orleans next year. Applications for the National Anthem Contest and the Talent Round-Up are now being accepted. The 10th annual NCBA National Anthem Contest will accept entries through October 15, 2022. The contest winner will perform the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the convention's Opening General Session as well as the Friday night NCBA event. The winner will also receive round-trip airfare to New Orleans, a hotel room for three nights and free convention registration. Solo singers, bands and others with unique talents are also encouraged to enter the Talent Round-Up by November 11, 2022. Selected acts will receive complimentary registration, be invited to perform on the Beef's Got Talent stage during convention, and be recognized through social media. For more information and to enter, visit convention.ncba.org.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 25, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims, a revision of second quarter U.S. GDP and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The U.S. Energy Department reports on weekly natural gas storage levels at 9:30 a.m. Traders will continue to keep an eye on the rain forecast for winter wheat areas and monitor world drought conditions as well as any news from Ukraine. Weather Rain showers with mostly light amounts will move across the northern Midwest and portions of the Northern Plains Thursday. Meanwhile, heavy rain and flooding are in store for the Gulf Coast and Deep South along with the northern Rockies. Dry conditions will be in place elsewhere.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 24, 2022 |


USDA Accepting Applications for Biofuel Infrastructure Grants The Department of Agriculture Tuesday opened the application window for grants to increase the sale and use of biofuels. USDA has $100 million in funding available through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act. The program seeks to market higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by sharing the costs to build and retrofit biofuel-related infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “Expanding the availability of higher-blend fuels is a win for American farmers, the rural economy and hardworking Americans.” The additional funding follows an April investment of $5.6 million to increase the availability of biofuels by 59.5 million gallons per year in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and South Dakota. In June, USDA also announced that it had provided $700 million in relief funding to more than 100 biofuel producers in 25 states who experienced market losses due to the pandemic. *********************************************************************************** U.S., Chile, Convene Environmental Affairs Council, Plans Indo Pacific Meeting Officials from the U.S. and Chile met this week as part of the Environmental Affairs council under the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement. The council is chaired by Assistant United States Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources Kelly Milton. The officials reviewed the progress of implementation obligations under the environmental chapter of the free trade agreement. The talks focused on climate, illegal fishing and strengthening ocean conservation. Meanwhile, the U.S. Trade Representative's Office Tuesday also announced an upcoming Indo-Pacific Economic Framework Ministerial meeting. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will co-host the meeting September 8-9 in Los Angeles, California. Tai and Raimondo held a virtual Ministerial in July, reaffirming their goal to pursue ongoing and intensified engagements with Indo-Pacific partner countries. They held the first virtual Ministerial in May, shortly after the official launch in Japan. Ambassador Tai also held an informal meeting with the partners in June. *********************************************************************************** Organic Initiative Includes Grower Assistance Program USDA’s Organic Transition Initiative announced this week includes a new program from the Risk Management Agency. The Transitional and Organic Grower Assistance, or TOGA Program, reduces a producer’s overall crop insurance premium bills, and helps them continue to use organic agricultural systems. Premium benefits for TOGA include ten percentage points of premium subsidy for all crops in transition, a $5 per acre premium benefit for certified organic grain and feed crops, and ten percentage points of premium subsidy for all Whole-Farm Revenue Protection policies for organic or transitioning to organic crops. Producers can receive both RMA’s TOGA and premium assistance from other premium subsidy programs. The TOGA program is part of the Organic Transition Initiative, which additionally offers farmer-to-farmer mentoring and direct support through conservation financial assistance. Meanwhile, USDA’s Farm Service Agency is currently accepting applications for both the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program and Organic Certification Cost Share Program. *********************************************************************************** Fruits, Vegetables, Top Local Foods Purchased by Schools Many U.S. school food authorities purchase local foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, and proteins for their district’s cafeterias. In addition to buying locally produced foods, many school districts participate in other farm to school activities, such as product-specific promotions, taste tests of local foods, onsite edible gardens, and field trips to farms. Approximately two-thirds of U.S. school districts participated in farm to school activities during the 2018-19 school year, according to research from USDA. Of the school districts that participated, 78 percent reported purchasing any local foods during the school year. Fruits and vegetables topped the list of local foods purchased in 2018-19, at 85 percent and 82 percent of school districts, respectively. Further, 68 percent of school districts reported buying locally produced milk, and 29 percent reported buying local grains, including baked goods. Approximately a third of school districts reported purchasing other local dairy products, and about a quarter purchased locally produced proteins. *********************************************************************************** July Egg Production Down, Broiler Hatch Up United States egg production totaled nine billion during July, down three percent from last year. The Department of Agriculture says production included 7.69 billion table eggs, and 1.31 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.22 billion were broiler-type, and 90.7 million were egg type. The average number of layers during July totaled 368 million, down four percent from last year. Total layers in the United States totaled 369 million, down four percent from last year. Egg-type chicks hatched during July totaled 50.1 million, down two percent from July 2021, while eggs in incubators totaled 49.9 million, up 11 percent from a year ago. Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 166,000 during July 2022, down 17 percent from July 2021. Broiler-type chicks hatched during July 2022 totaled 859 million, up two percent from July 2021. Eggs in incubators totaled 727 million, up two percent from a year ago. *********************************************************************************** Register Now for the Second USDA Innovation Fair Registration is open for the Second USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair on September 14. The virtual event showcases the latest food loss and waste mitigation technologies, innovations and programs developed by USDA, academic institutions, local governments, and businesses. The Innovation Fair is designed for everyone – from food scientists and industry experts to community gardeners and those curious about food loss and waste efforts. The fair includes presentations by 12 food loss and waste reduction experts and will feature 36 exhibit booths. Attendees are invited to visit the virtual booths, and text or video chat with representatives in real-time. Attendees can also interact with other participants in a virtual networking lounge. Also participating in this year's fair are U.S. Food Loss and Waste 2030 Champions—businesses and organizations that have committed to reducing food loss and waste in their own operations in the United States by 50 percent by the year 2030. Registration is free at www.usda.gov/foodlossandwaste.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 24, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. durable goods orders will be out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, followed by the Energy Department's weekly inventory report at 9:30 a.m., including an update of ethanol production. Traders remain interested in the latest weather forecasts, events in Ukraine and growing evidence of global drought. Weather Wednesday features continued dry and warm across most central crop areas. Rainfall will focus on the Northern Plains and northern Midwest with light to moderate amounts, the Delta with locally heavy totals, and in the northern Rockies and Desert Southwest with potential flash flooding.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 23, 2022 |


USDA to Invest up to $300 million in New Organic Transition Initiative The Department of Agriculture Monday announced the details of a $300 million investment for a new Organic Transition Initiative. Funded in part by the American Rescue Plan, the initiative will help build new and better markets and income streams for farmers, according to USDA. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “we are expanding USDA’s support of organic farmers to help them with every step of their transition.” The number of non-certified organic farms actively transitioning to organic production dropped by nearly 71 percent since 2008. Through the comprehensive support provided by this initiative, USDA hopes to reverse the trend, opening opportunities for new and beginning farmers and expanding direct consumer access to organic foods through increased production. The initiative will deliver wrap-around technical assistance, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring, provide direct support through conservation financial assistance and additional crop insurance assistance, and support market development projects in targeted markets. *********************************************************************************** Farmland Prices, Equipment Sales, Decline in Monthly Index Farmland prices and farm equipment sales declined in the August Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index. The overall index fell for the fifth straight month, for August slumped to 44.0 from 46.0 in July. The index ranges between 0 and 100, with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral. The region’s farmland price index for August declined to 60.0 from July’s 66.0, marking the 23rd straight month that the index has moved above growth neutral. August’s solid reading was the lowest index since February 2021. The August farm equipment-sales index sank to 45.9 from 56.5 in July. After 20 straight months of advancing above growth neutral, the index unexpectedly dropped below the threshold to its lowest level since November 2020. Index organizer Ernie Goss says, “Farmers and bankers are bracing for escalating interest rates and falling farm commodity prices.” However, bankers expect to record a 1.7 percent decline in farm loan delinquencies over the next 12 months. *********************************************************************************** Busy Week for USTR Officials Officials from the U.S. Trade Representative's Office have a busy schedule this week. Assistant United States Trade Representative for Central and South Asian Affairs, Christopher Wilson, and Assistant United States Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs, Julie Callahan, started the week in New Delhi. The officials held consultations under the framework of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum. Those talks continue through Wednesday, then Wilson will travel to Bangladesh for discussions on a range of bilateral trade issues on Thursday. Meanwhile, today, (Tuesday), Ambassador Jayme White meets with officials from Mexico to follow up on the July U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Commission meeting. Assistant United States Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources Kelly Milton will take part in the public session of the United States-Chile EAC-ECC meeting. The travels this week follow last week’s announcement that the U.S. and Taiwan reached a consensus on the negotiating mandate for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade announced, with negotiations planned for this fall. *********************************************************************************** Pro Farmer Crop Tour Underway Pro Farmer scouts are measuring the corn and soybean crop yield potential during this week’s Pro Farmer Crop Tour. Farmer-scouts and industry experts will cover corn and soybean fields across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota during Crop Tour. Pro Farmer Editor Brian Grete says, “We know there are some trouble spots out there, areas that were dry in June and remained that way through pollination, but also many good areas where yields will be impressive.” Pro Farmer Crop Tour is the most thorough and most followed inspection of yield potential during a critical time in the growing season. Crop industry stakeholders watch results closely for insights around projected grain supplies and the effects on commodity markets. Daily results are presented during nightly meetings. Registration is required to attend the meetings or access live-streaming results. You can register at profarmer.com. Pro Farmer will release the final results of the tour Friday afternoon. *********************************************************************************** Adult Obesity Increased During First Year of COVID-19 Pandemic New data from USDA's Economic Research Service shows that U.S. adults ages 20 and older reported a three percent higher prevalence of obesity during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from March 13, 2020, to March 18, 2021, compared to a pre-pandemic baseline period of January 1, 2019, to March 12, 2020. Four behaviors that can influence the risk of obesity—exercise, hours of sleep, alcohol use, and cigarette smoking—were also examined to help explain the change in the adult obesity rate during the pandemic. Participation in exercise rose 4.4 percent over the period, and people slept 1.5 percent longer, both associated with reducing obesity. Meanwhile, the number of days in the period of a month in which alcohol was consumed was 2.7 percent higher, and cigarette smoking dropped by four percent. *********************************************************************************** Fuel Price Decline Enters 10th Straight Week The decline in fuel prices has extended to the 10th straight week. Gasoline prices fell 5.1 cents in the last week to $3.86 a gallon, while diesel prices fell 6.3 cents to $4.97 a gallon. The national average gas price is down 51.3 cents from a month ago but 72.2 cents higher than a year ago. GasBuddy’s Patrick D Haan says diesel prices are below $5 a gallon for the first time since March, “likely helping to cool off aggressive inflation numbers.” However, De Hann adds, “The pace of declines is certainly slowing down as oil prices have bounced up slightly.” Thus far, Mother Nature has spared markets from disruptions from hurricanes, but that remains a wildcard as we head into the peak of hurricane season. Oil markets rallied last week as global oil supply continues to tighten, but balancing concerns of an economic slowdown in many major developed countries.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 23, 2022 |


Tuesday Market Watch Markets A report on U.S. new home sales for July is due out at 9 a.m. CDT Tuesday, the only official report on the docket. Traders will continue to watch the latest weather forecasts, any news from Ukraine and for more specifics from the drought in China. Weather Warm and dry conditions will cover most primary crop areas Tuesday. This combination keeps pushing corn and soybeans in the latter stages of production. Rainfall will focus on the Delta with heavy amounts and a flood threat.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 22, 2022 |


USDA Announces Another Phase of Disaster Assistance The USDA announced another phase of assistance will be forthcoming to commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. Over 18,000 producers will soon be mailed new or updated pre-filled disaster applications to offset eligible crop losses. About $6.4 billion has already reached 165,000 producers through the Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Relief Program. “We knew when we announced ERP in May that we would have additional applications to send near the end of the summer as we received new information and found producers left out of the first data set we used,” says USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie. FSA will mail those pre-filled applications in late August to producers who have potentially eligible losses. Bonnie says he's proud of his team’s continued efforts to help over 18,000 producers who need the assistance. Contact your local FSA office for additional information on eligibility requirements. *********************************************************************************** Drought Conditions Improve Slightly in the Western Corn Belt The U.S. Drought Monitor says the amount of land facing drought eased a little in the western Corn Belt but was largely unchanged in the Midwest. In a six-state region, including Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, approximately 51 percent of the land suffered under drought conditions. That’s down from 53 percent during the previous week and 72 percent only three months ago. In the eastern part of the Midwest, including Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, about 14.5 percent of the area was in drought. That’s down slightly from 15 percent the prior week but up from less than one percent three months ago. Iowa, the nation’s biggest corn producer, has 39 percent of its land in a drought, up 6.9 percent from May. Illinois, the second-largest producer of corn and soybeans, only has five percent of its area in a drought. *********************************************************************************** Ethanol Industry May Get Help From Climate Law President Biden’s new climate law offers a major expansion in tax credits for companies that capture and store carbon emissions. Reuters says that could give the ethanol industry a significant boost toward achieving its climate goals. The ethanol industry intends to use carbon capture and storage technology to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. A group of projects that could benefit from the expanded credits is a series of pipeline proposals in the Midwest that could capture and transport ethanol plant emissions. Three companies intend to put up over 3,600 miles of pipelines from ethanol plants in six states to underground carbon storage sites. The three companies say the projects have the potential of capturing up to 39 million tons of carbon every year. That could potentially mean more than $3.3 billion in tax credits for the businesses. The pipelines are currently in the permitting stages in each state. *********************************************************************************** There is Still Time to Apply for ASA Conservation Legacy Awards There is still time for farmers to share how conservation is a part of their operation and maybe win a Conservation Legacy Award. The award recognizes farm management practices of U.S. soybean farmers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable. Reduced tillage, cover crops, and improving water quality are just a few of the conservation practices that are eligible for the reward. Different regions of the country have their unique challenges and ways to approach conservation and sustainability. All U.S. soybean farmers are eligible for a Conservation Legacy Award. Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, conservation, environmental management, and sustainability. The selection process for the awards is divided into four regions, which are the Midwest, Upper Midwest, Northeast, and South. One farmer from each region will get recognized at the 2023 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida, and one will be the overall winner. The registration deadline is September 1. *********************************************************************************** Improving Photosynthesis Means a 20 Percent Boost in Soybean Yields For the first time, researchers have proven that multigene bioengineering of photosynthesis increases major food crop yields in field trials. A collaborative team led by the University of Illinois has worked on this project for more than ten years. Project researchers have transgenically altered soybean plants to increase the efficiency of photosynthesis, resulting in greater yields without a loss of quality. These results come at an important time. A recent United Nations report shows that nearly 10 percent of the world’s population was hungry in 2021. By 2030, UNICEF says more than 660 million people will likely face food scarcity and malnutrition. Photosynthesis is the natural process all plants use to convert sunlight into energy and yield. Project researchers say the 100-plus step photosynthesis process is surprisingly inefficient, so they’ve been working to improve it. The lead scientist says data shows the food supply level needs to grow significantly to meet the demand. *********************************************************************************** USDA Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook for August U.S. export numbers of eggs, turkey, and pork in the first half of 2022 were all down compared to the first half of last year, but exports of broiler meat and beef were higher. Egg and turkey exports, down 38 and 20 percent, respectively, were hurt by the outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Egg exports to Canada were flat, but there were significant decreases in major markets like Mexico, Japan, and Hong Kong. Exports of turkey to Mexico, one of the top destinations, were down 18 percent year over year. Pork exports were down 18 percent year over year due to weaker demand in the Asian markets. Broiler exports were up three percent, with exports to Taiwan increasing over 64 percent from last year. That helped to offset decreases in major markets like Mexico and Cuba. U.S. animal products may continue facing headwinds like a strong U.S. dollar making American exports more expensive.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 22, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders are keeping close track of the latest weather forecasts, events from Ukraine and growing evidence of global drought. USDA's weekly report of grain inspections is due out at 10:00 a.m. CDT Monday, followed by Crop Progress at 3 p.m. Weather Dry and seasonally warm conditions will cover most primary crop areas Monday. This combination is favorable for filling crops. Some beneficial rain moved across the Midwest during the past week. Meanwhile, portions of the Southern Plains and Delta will have moderate to heavy rain, notably in northern and northeastern Texas.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday August 19, 2022 |


U.S. and Taiwan Start Negotiations on Formal 21st Century Trade Initiative The United States and Taiwan reached an agreement on the negotiating mandate for the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century trade that was announced on June 1. The negotiating mandate sets out the broad objectives shared by both countries for the upcoming negotiations. The first round of talks will likely take place in the early fall. “Today, we begin negotiations with Taiwan that will deepen our trade and investment relationship, advance mutual trade priorities based on shared values, and promote innovation and inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses,” says Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi. The U.S. and Taiwan have set a robust agenda for negotiations on trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, strong anti-corruption standards, and enhancing trade between small and medium enterprises in both countries. “We plan to pursue an ambitious schedule for achieving high-standard commitments and meaningful outcomes to help build a prosperous 21st-century economy,” Bianchi adds. *********************************************************************************** Western Farmers to be Impacted by Emergency Water Usage Cuts Seven western states that rely on Colorado River water were told by government officials to develop a plan to dramatically reduce water usage by as much as four million acre-feet. The L.A. Times says those negotiations didn’t result in an agreement, so the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced new emergency water cuts for states like Arizona and Nevada and in Mexico as the nation’s two biggest reservoirs are at historically low levels. “In order to avoid a catastrophic collapse of the Colorado River System and a future of uncertainty and conflict, water use in the basin must get reduced,” says Tanya Trujillo (True-HEE-yoh), assistant secretary for water and science with the Interior Department. Under the Tier 2 Shortage Declaration, Arizona’s yearly water allotment is reduced by 21 percent, Nevada’s by eight percent, and Mexico’s by seven percent. “Every sector state has a responsibility to ensure water gets used with maximum efficiency,” Trujillo adds. *********************************************************************************** Dairy Groups Tout Nutrition as Schools Reopen Almost 50 million children are returning to public schools, and a group of dairy and nutrition advocates encourages parents and policymakers to remember dairy. The dairy advocates say when it comes to the health of students, milk and dairy product options need to be more accessible during the school year. The group released a fact sheet pointing out that milk is the top source of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and vitamin D in kids ages 2-18. Unfortunately, the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services say children over four and adolescents aren’t getting enough dairy to meet the recommendations in the federal Dietary Guidelines, missing out on several nutrients they need to grow. Michael Dykes of the International Dairy Foods Association says, “School meals are an important opportunity for children to get the nutrients they need. Now is when we need to work together to encourage nutritious milk consumption every day.” *********************************************************************************** Taco Bell Ventures Into Plant-Based Meat Market Taco Bell is getting into the plant-based meat market. The company says it’s testing a proprietary product in the market around Birmingham, Alabama. The Wall Street Journal says the company has been working on the soy and pea-based product for three years. It’s debuting in a Crispy Melt Taco that’s made with a white corn shell tortilla. Taco Bell’s Chief Innovation Officer Liz Matthews says the product will cost $2.49 and that price affordability was critical to an accurate market test. The cost has been a challenge in testing other plant-based products as they typically cost 40 percent more than animal-based products. “It was important not to have an upcharge,” Matthews says. “We wanted to ensure that this product is as affordable and accessible as our seasoned beef.” The company wanted to get the taste and consistency right so that customers couldn’t tell the difference between the plant-based and animal-based offerings. *********************************************************************************** Lamb Board Studying the Industry’s Environmental Footprint The American Lamb Board’s benchmark research on the environmental footprint of America’s lamb industry is within months of wrapping up. The research is funded by the mandatory American Lamb Checkoff and focuses on collecting data from representative U.S. sheep farms, ranches, and feedlots related to greenhouse gas emissions. The study will cover four types of operations, including intensive production, intensive grazing, extensive grazing, and range. From the data, Michigan State University researchers will compare the amount of greenhouse gasses required to produce one kilogram of lamb from each production type. “We must have solid, actual data on American lamb production’s environmental footprint,” says ALB Chair Peter Camino (Kah-MEE-no). “We need to have science to accurately tell our U.S. lamb story instead of assumptive data that doesn’t paint a realistic picture of the industry.” ALB also says it’s time to establish some benchmark data to work on weaknesses and build on industry strengths. *********************************************************************************** Iowa Steer Show Raises Over $400,000 for Ronald McDonald House A list of Iowa VIPs helped raise a record-breaking amount of money for those in need. The Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show is an Iowa tradition that pairs famous people together with steer exhibitors to benefit charity. The Des Moines Register says this year’s event raised over $440,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa, surpassing last year’s total of $375,000. “It’s hard to comprehend what kind of impact that much money can have for Iowa families,” say co-chairs Tanner Lawton and Casey Anderson. “The compassion shown by all of our participants is what makes this such a special event.” This was the 40th annual event, which has raised more than $5 million since starting in 1983. The Ronald McDonald House organization supports families with children experiencing a critical illness. The Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and the office of Governor Kim Reynolds co-hosted the event this year.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday August 19, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets Events at the Europe's largest nuclear plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, are getting increased attention as Russia's attack has put the plant at risk of leaking radiation or possibly, experiencing a meltdown. Otherwise, traders will pay attention to weather and the only significant report of the day, USDA's Cattle on Feed report for Aug. 1, due out at 2 p.m. CDT. Weather Showers and thunderstorms are in store for the northern Midwest Friday. The rain will expand into more of the Midwest during the weekend with favorable late-season crop moisture. We'll also see periods of rainfall in the southeastern and southwestern U.S. with expansion across the far Southern Plains indicated over the next few days. The Far West and Northwest heat wave continues but with less intensity than earlier this week.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 18, 2022 |


Biofuel Groups Welcome President’s Signature on IRA Biofuel groups welcome signage of the Inflation Adjustment Act this week. The sweeping legislation includes key priorities for the biofuels industry. The legislation signed by the president earlier this week includes an extension for tax credits for carbon oxide sequestration and utilization, the Clean Fuel Production Credit starting in 2025 and expiring at the end of 2027 to produce low-carbon fuels, and five tears of sustainable aviation fuel credits. Additionally, the legislation includes $500 million for biofuels infrastructure through the end of 2031, an extension of the Biomass-Based Diesel Blenders Credit, and a $300 million grant program to increase domestic production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuel. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper says, "This bill puts ethanol on a sustainable path for growth and investment.” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor adds, “Biofuels are critical to meeting climate goals, and this law will help maximize our industry's contributions to a cleaner future. “ *********************************************************************************** RIPE Responds to IRA, Urges Change in Payment Model to Producers Rural Investment to Protect our Environment, or RIPE, applauds the inclusion of $20 billion for climate-smart agricultural practices in the Inflation Reduction Act. However, RIPE urges lawmakers to shift funds away from the cost-share model in favor of payments that provide producers with a reasonable return for conservation. RIPE Executive Director Aliza Drewes says, “We believe that new funds intended for climate-smart agriculture should set payment levels to cover the full cost of practice implementation.” While the IRA offers significant funding, the group claims most producers will not seek to use them because the payment terms are limited to cost-share requirements. RIPE is a producer-led nonprofit advancing a unique climate policy plan for farmers, ranchers and the public, and advocates for the implementation of the RIPE100 policy. The policy would allow farmers and ranchers to earn payments that reflect the benefits they deliver with a price floor above implementation cost, economic risks and future climate policy costs. *********************************************************************************** USAID Purchasing Ukrainian Wheat for UN Food Program The U.S. Agency for International Development, known as USAID, is providing more than $68 million in additional funding to the UN World Food Program. The funding supports the purchase, movement and storage of up to 150,000 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat to help respond to the world’s worst food crises. Before Russia's invasion, Ukraine was one of the World Food Program's top grain suppliers and the fourth largest commercial wheat exporter. Opening the Ukrainian market is a vital step forward in the emergency response, according to USAID, which says the world is facing its most severe food crisis in decades. USAID supported the first humanitarian grain shipment to leave the Black Sea this week. The shipment will support the humanitarian response in the Horn of Africa. The United States has provided nearly $7.6 billion in assistance to respond to the global food security crisis since the beginning of Russia’s war against Ukraine. *********************************************************************************** Farmers Receive 15-18% of Retail Price for Fresh Potatoes USDA’s Economic Research Service reports the farm share of the retail price of potatoes fluctuated between 15 percent and 18 percent in recent years. The farm share of the retail price is the ratio of what farmers receive to what consumers pay per pound in grocery stores. The national monthly average price of fresh potatoes was $0.78 per pound at grocery stores in 2021, and the monthly average price received by farmers was $0.12 per pound. As part of the farm share calculation, the USDA Economic Research Service assumes that farmers supply a little more than 1.04 pounds of fresh potatoes for each pound sold at retail to account for the roughly four percent of fresh potatoes that is lost through spoilage or damage. Therefore, at an average farm price of $0.12 per pound, the farm receipt was 12.5 cents for each pound of potatoes sold in 2021, about 16 percent of the retail price. *********************************************************************************** Former House Ag Lawmaker Faces Fraud Charges A former member of the House Agriculture Committee faces fraud charges. The Department of Justice this week released a 28-count indictment against TJ Cox, a Democrat who represented California’s 21st District between 2019-2021. According to the indictment, Cox perpetrated multiple fraud schemes targeting companies he was affiliated with and their clients and vendors. Cox created unauthorized off-the-books bank accounts and diverted client and company money into those accounts through false representations. From 2013 to 2018, Cox obtained over $1.7 million in diverted client payments and company loans and investments across two different fraud schemes. According to allegations in the indictment, when Cox was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 election, he perpetrated a scheme to fund and reimburse family members and associates for donations to his campaign. During his time on the Agriculture Committee, Cox sat on the Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee, along with the Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research Subcommittee. *********************************************************************************** Scholarships to Help Producers Attend Cattle Industry Convention The 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show is headed to New Orleans next year, and funding is available to offset some costs for producers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association offers a variety of scholarships and grants to help producers attend CattleCon23, February 1-3, 2023, in New Orleans. NCBA President Don Schiefelbein says, “These scholarships are perfect for youth, first-timers and others looking to expand their network at the largest event in the beef cattle business.” Scholarship recipients receive a complimentary Education Package registration and discounted housing accommodations for three nights. Scholarships will be awarded to up to five beef cattle industry members, up to three young beef producers, and up to three students in the industry. Applications for all scholarship categories are due by September 23, 2022, and will be evaluated based on eligibility and answers to application questions. For more information about the scholarship program, visit convention.ncba.org.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 18, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is set for 7:30 a.m. CDT, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. A 9 a.m., a report on U.S. existing home sales in July and the Conference Board's index of U.S. leading indicators will be released, followed by the Energy Department's weekly natural gas storage at 9:30 a.m. Not surprising, the latest weather forecasts remain an important trader topic. Weather Dry conditions with seasonally warm temperatures are in store across the central U.S. Thursday. Showers and thunderstorms will cross the northern tier, and a broad swath of light to moderate rain is in store for the southern tier. Meanwhile, the Far West and Northwest will have another day of excessive stressful heat. The Southwest is in line for flooding monsoon rain during the balance of this week.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 17, 2022 |


Biden Signs Inflation Adjustment Act President Joe Biden Tuesday signed the Inflation Adjustment Act, a bill that includes billions for USDA conservation programs. Brooke S. Appleton, National Corn Growers Association vice president of public policy, says, “Through this legislation, Congress and the administration recognize that farmers’ voluntary climate-smart agricultural practices are an important part of addressing climate change.” The law allocates $19.9 billion in funding for USDA's conservation programs and $1 billion for additional conservation technical assistance. To advance biofuels, the legislation includes $500 million for infrastructure for greater market deployment of higher blends of biofuels, and new tax credits based on carbon reduction to incentivize clean fuels such as biofuels like ethanol and new sustainable aviation fuel. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, welcomed the president's signature on the bill. Stabenow says, "we are equipping farmers, foresters, and rural communities with the tools they need to be a part of the climate solution, while boosting their economic success at the same time." *********************************************************************************** Ukraine Ag Exports Down Roughly 50% Ag exports from Ukraine are down 46 percent this year, compared to 2021, according to Ukraine’s agriculture ministry. So far, Ukraine has exported 2.65 million metric tons of grain during the 2022-23 growing season. Grain exports for the 2021-22 season ending June 30 rose 8.5 percent to 48.5 million metric tons, driven by strong shipments before Russia invaded Ukraine, according to Reuters. Since, exports have stalled because the Black Sea ports were closed off, driving fears of higher food prices and even shortages. However, those ports we unblocked last month, and Ukraine began exporting products. Ukraine's Ministry of Agrarian Policy reports the country exported 2.66 million metric tons of grains and oilseeds in July 2022, 22.7 percent more than June. Exports of wheat increased more than three times in July to about 412,000 tons compared to 138,400 tons shipped for export in June. Ukraine could harvest up to 50 million metric tons of grain this year, compared to 86 million in 2021. *********************************************************************************** USDA Releases Latest Wheat Outlook Report The August Wheat Outlook Report from the Department of Agriculture shows Russia, Canada and the United States are all expected to recover from their production issues last year. The report shows Global 2022-23 wheat production is pegged at a record 779.6 million metric tons. Production for Russia is expected at a record 88.0 million metric tons. The Canadian Prairies have received ample rains to recover from the devasting drought in 2021-22. The U.S. Northern Plains and Pacific Northwest have recovered from a major drought last year, but year-to-year growth in production is constrained by drought in the Southern Plains. U.S. wheat production is forecast at 1.783 billion bushels, up two million bushels from the July forecast. On the other hand, Argentina and Australia are projected down from their record production in 2021-22. A major heat wave has limited the European Union's yield potential. And the ongoing conflict in Ukraine creates a challenge for producers to harvest, and growing conditions have been below average, which has limited yield potential. *********************************************************************************** Soy-Based Asphalt Installed at Farm Progress Show Site Soybean farmers attending the 2022 Farm Progress Show will have the opportunity to experience the value of their soy checkoff investments in research and development firsthand. An installation of more than 42,000 square feet of soy-based asphalt, sponsored by the Iowa Soybean Association, has been completed at the Central Iowa Expo Grounds near Boone, Iowa, just in time for the event. As high oleic soybean acres continue to increase, more end users are realizing the value of this soybean variety and the corresponding added value it brings to a range of products, including asphalt. April Hemmes, United Soybean Board member from Iowa, says, “Our goal in funding this project is to highlight the diversity of high oleic soybean oil and its potential for use in pavement, coverings and coatings.” The binding agent, developed with high oleic soybean oil, increases asphalt durability and offers a more environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional binding agents. *********************************************************************************** USCA Announces Independent Beef Producer and Processor's Online Directory The U.S. Cattlemen's Association Tuesday announced the Independent Beef Producer and Processor's online directory. The network is intended to be a resource for those seeking new connections within the industry. The directory is for producers looking for regional processors, processors seeking local producers and consumers interested in sourcing local beef. USCA Independent Processors Committee Chairman Patrick Robinette says, “This directory has been a priority for the USCA processing committee as consumers continue to seek out local beef options and producers continue to explore efficient and affordable ways to get it to them.” To register as a producer or processor, head to uscattlemen.org to find more information and the application link. You must be a U.S. Cattlemen's Association member to post to the directory. In January, the Biden administration unveiled its Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain. USCA supports the Action Plan, which included a $1 billion investment in independent processing capacity. *********************************************************************************** Membership in National FFA Organization Reaches All-Time High The National FFA Organization Tuesday announced a record-high student membership number of 850,823, an increase of 15 percent from last year. In addition, chapter numbers increased by 178, resulting in 8,995 chapters in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Interest in FFA and agricultural education continues to grow as membership and the number of chapters increase. The top five student membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. This year, the organization has more than 132,700 Latino members, more than 47,000 Black members and more than 13,000 American Indian and Alaska Native members. Further, 43 percent of the membership is female, and 50 percent is male, with .5 percent reporting as nonbinary, 4.7 percent undisclosed, and 1.2 percent unreported. National FFA CEO Scott Stump adds, “As we continue to grow, we see the enthusiasm for agricultural education and FFA reflected in our membership.”

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 17, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. retail sales in July is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, followed by the U.S. Energy Department's weekly inventory report at 9:30 a.m. Monday's report from USDA showed a slightly lower value for corn products so last week's ethanol production is expected to come in steady to lower than the previous week. At 1 p.m., the Fed will release minutes from the latest Open Market Committee meeting. Weather and Ukraine remain high on the list of traders' attention. Weather Dry and mild conditions will cover most primary crop areas Wednesday, favorable for filling row crops along with wheat harvest. Rain will focus on the Southern Plains and Delta in the form of light to locally moderate showers and thunderstorms. Meanwhile, stressful hot and dry conditions are in store for the Far West and Northwest.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 16, 2022 |


Tai, Vilsack, to Visit Iowa This Week U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack head to Iowa this week. The duo from the Biden administration will join Representative Cindy Axne, an Iowa Democrat, for a series of events focused on trade. Specifically, they will promote the administration's work to expand market access for U.S. farmers and help them bring their goods to customers worldwide. Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack will also promote the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, along with the CHIPS and Science Act, which they say will lower costs for Iowa families, reduce inflation, and help the United States maintain its global competitive edge. Because of the Inflation Reduction Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Tai says, “the United States is in a stronger position to maintain our global competitive edge for years to come." Meanwhile, Vilsack will also travel to Colorado this week for similar events promoting the Inflation Adjustment Act. *********************************************************************************** Republicans Concerned Over Inflation Adjustment Act House Democrats passed the Inflation Adjustment Act last week following action in the Senate. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the legislation this week. However, the partisan bill has Republicans concerned about the upcoming farm bill. Glen GT Thompson of Pennsylvania is the ranking Republican on the House Agriculture Committee. Following passage of the Inflation Adjustment Act in the House, Thompson stated, "My Democrat colleagues are either politically deaf or blinded by ideology as they ignore 40-year high inflation, exorbitant food and fertilizer prices, severe labor shortages, and relentless overregulation from the Biden Administration." Thompson contends the legislation "only complicates the pathway to a Farm Bill and creates even greater uncertainty for farmers." However, House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott, A Georgia Democrat, says, "My colleagues may complain about the steps we had to take to ensure this additional funding,” but adds that Republicans have taken similar actions with the Farm Bill. *********************************************************************************** USDA Touts Inflation Reduction Act Funding for Conservation The Department of Agriculture Monday promoted the funding included in the Inflation Reduction Act for USDA conservation programs. The legislation will deliver $19.5 billion in new conservation funding to support climate-smart agriculture. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, "President Biden and Congress have taken an important, historic step towards easing the burden of inflation on the American public and meeting the moment on climate." The funding will bolster the new steps that USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service announced Monday to improve opportunities for nutrient management. NRCS will target funding, increase program flexibilities, and launch a new outreach campaign to promote nutrient management's economic benefits and expand partnerships to develop nutrient management plans. This is part of USDA's broader effort to address future fertilizer availability and cost challenges for U.S. producers. Through USDA’s conservation programs, farmers will have streamlined opportunities to improve their nutrient management planning, which provides conservation benefits while mitigating the impacts of supply chain disruptions and increased input costs. *********************************************************************************** USDA: Beef Producers Face Higher Inputs U.S. beef producers face higher input costs this year, predicted up seven percent compared to 2021. USDA’s Economic Research Service reported Monday the farmer’s share of the retail value of beef also increased year over year, but rising input costs, especially for cattle feed, may limit farmers’ ability to benefit from higher cattle prices. Feed expenses are the largest operating cost for cow-calf producers, comprising 75 percent of these costs in 2021. Prices for beef cattle feed were up 16 percent in May 2022 relative to May 2021. High fertilizer prices have contributed to increased feed costs, while drought conditions have squeezed feed grain and hay supplies. The 2021/22 season-average farm price for corn—the primary grain fed to cattle—is currently projected at $5.95 per bushel, the highest since the 2012/13 marketing year. Other feed grains, including sorghum, oats, and barley, are projected to increase in 2021/22 relative to 2020/21. *********************************************************************************** NACD Announces $15 Million in 2022 Technical Assistance Grants The National Association of Conservation Districts Monday announced $15 million in technical assistance grants. The grants continue funding to nearly 500 conservation districts in 49 states and territories. Funded by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the grant program is in its fifth year. The program allows NACD to accelerate on-the-ground conservation by increasing the capacity available to conduct outreach and deliver technical assistance. Grant funding supports over 490 positions, including technicians, conservation planners, program support specialists and technical specialists. All these employees will provide conservation technical assistance to help customers carry out their conservation plans. Over the life of the program, grantees have delivered services in 50 states and three territories. Conservation districts have awarded more than 30,000 Farm Bill conservation contracts and assisted with over 55,000 additional EQIP contracts. Their work has benefitted over 2.5 million acres, improving soil health, forest and woodland conditions, wildlife habitat, and water quality. ********************************************************************************** USDA Recommends Adding Food Safety Items to Your Back-to-School List With August being back-to-school season, the Department of Agriculture reminds parents to include food safety items on their shopping list. Sandra Eskin, USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety, says, “Because children are particularly at risk for serious foodborne illness, food safety must be at the top of the list when preparing lunches for school and field trips.” When preparing school lunches, or food for children at any time for that matter, USDA provides a few tips to enhance food safety. First, USDA suggests that you clean and sanitize surfaces and utensils to prevent cross-contamination during food prep. Additionally, different colored cutting boards can help keep meat and poultry separate from ready-to-eat foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Using food thermometers can help determine whether cooked foods reach a safe temperature to kill any harmful bacteria. Also, to keep perishable food safe in a lunch box, use cold gel packs combined with a frozen juice box or bottle of water.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 16, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets U.S. housing starts for July are set to be released at 7:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday, followed by the Federal Reserve's July report on U.S. industrial production at 9:15 a.m. Traders will continue to examine the latest weather forecasts and news out of Ukraine and China. Weather A front continues its trek southward, bringing much more seasonable temperatures to the country. This is resulting in moderate to locally heavy precipitation in and around Missouri throughout the day. Other isolated showers will be possible west to Colorado, in the Upper Midwest, and across the East, but the rains in the middle of the country are coming to drought areas in desperate need. Heat will unfortunately continue south of the front and across the West.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 15, 2022 |


USDA Forecasts Lower Corn Production and Higher Soybean Production Than Last Year The USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service forecasted U.S. corn production down from 2021 and soybean production up from last year. The corn production forecast is 14.4 billion bushels, down five percent from last year. Soybean production is forecast at 4.53 billion bushels, up two percent from 2021. Average corn yield is forecast at 175.4 bushels an acre, down 1.6 bushels from 2021. USDA says soybean yields will average a record-high of 51.9 bushels an acre, a half-bushel higher than last year. Wheat production is predicted at 1.78 billion bushels, eight percent higher than in 2021. Growers will likely produce 1.20 billion bushels of winter wheat, down six percent from last year. Spring wheat forecast is 55 percent higher this year at 512 million bushels. NASS forecasts all cotton production at 12.6 million 480-pound bales, 28 percent lower than last year. Yield will average 846 pounds per harvested acre, up 27 pounds from 2021. *********************************************************************************** WASDE Calls for Lower Corn, Higher Soybean Ending Stocks The World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates Report predicted lower 2022-2023 U.S. corn supplies, reduced feed and residual use, slightly higher food, seed, and industrial use, smaller exports, and lower ending stocks. With supply falling more than usage, stocks dropped 82 million bushels to 1.4 billion. The season-average corn price is unchanged at $6.65 a bushel. U.S. soybean supplies are projected to be 4.8 billion bushels, 36 million higher than last month. Soybean exports are up by 20 million bushels to 2.16 billion on increased supplies. Ending stocks are forecast higher at 245 million bushels, and the season-average soybean price is down slightly to $14.35 a bushel. The wheat outlook shows higher supplies, higher domestic use and exports, and reduced stocks. The projected ending stocks dropped to 610 million bushels. Even though it dropped by $1.25, the season-average farm price is still projected at a record $9.25 a bushel. *********************************************************************************** Solid Farm Economy Shows Signs of Slowing The Kansas City Federal Reserve says financial conditions in its district remained solid in the second quarter, but survey respondents say signs of slowing growth are likely in the months ahead. Farm real estate values grew rapidly in recent quarters, but those valuations moderated in the second quarter alongside recent drops in agricultural commodity prices. Farm income remained stronger than last year, but an increase in farm loan interest rates, drought, higher input costs, and the pullback in commodity prices likely contributed to a slightly less optimistic outlook for the farm economy than the previous quarter. While this year’s outlook is still positive, lenders reported growing concerns about 2023. A larger share of lenders reported significant increases in production expenses for producers compared to 2021. Severe drought has reduced hay and forage for livestock and contributed to higher feed costs. Despite concerns, loan repayment problems dropped to the lowest level in seven years. *********************************************************************************** New England Residents Can Still Have Pork on the Table New England residents who love pork caught a break. A Massachusetts federal court judge signed a court order approving an agreement to delay enforcement of a state law banning the sale of pork that comes from animals not raised under the state’s housing standards. A coalition led by the National Pork Producers Council filed suit seeking to stop the law’s impending implementation. The suit also asks the court to find the law unconstitutional. “This is a significant outcome as NPPC continues to push to preserve the rights of America’s pig farmers to raise hogs in the way that’s best for their animals and maintains a reliable supply of pork,” says Terry Wolters, president of the NPPC. “The impact would have been especially hard on producers in surrounding states who didn’t have a vote in the Massachusetts referendum.” The agreement ends 30 days after the Supreme Court decides on a suit against California’s Prop 12. *********************************************************************************** Gas Prices Drop Below Four Dollars a Gallon The American Automobile Association says the national average price of regular gasoline fell below four dollars a gallon. The national average was $3.99 a gallon last week, a sharp drop from the record high of five dollars a gallon in mid-June. Prices haven’t been below four dollars since March. Oil prices worldwide have dropped amid rising concern about the global economy, which has taken gas prices lower as well. Brent, the global benchmark for oil prices, has fallen under $100 per barrel, down from more than $120 in June. NPR says industry analysts expect prices will continue falling but how long that will continue depends on what happens to oil prices in the future. Global economic concerns, especially as food and energy prices climb, will continue to determine the amount of oil demand. Oil producers in the U.S. and around the world worry about overproducing oil given the world’s economic fears. *********************************************************************************** FBN Releases 2022 Corn and Soybean Yield Report Farmer Business Network released its 2022 U.S. Corn and Soybean Yield Report. According to a recent survey, analysts expect the U.S. corn yield to be 175.9 bushels per acre, and soybeans will average 51.1 bushels per acre. FBN’s latest model-based yield forecast is 170 bushels per acre for U.S. corn and 50.7 for soybeans. Among their key findings for corn, yields in Iowa and Nebraska are expected to be significantly below the strong yields of 2021. Yield expectations decreased in Missouri and the Dakotas while Indiana and Ohio have the strongest yield improvements. Soybean findings show most states are set to have smaller yields compared with last year, with the exception of the Northern Plains. Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota have lower yield outlooks accounting for the majority of this year’s expected decrease. FBN’s current prediction of lower U.S. yields puts the balance sheet in a position to have declining stocks.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 15, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will still be considering USDA's new estimates from Friday, keeping close track of the latest weather forecasts and watching for any news from Ukraine. USDA's weekly report of grain export inspections is due out at 10 a.m. CDT Monday, followed by NOPA's monthly soybean crush report at 11 a.m. and USDA's Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather A system setting up a cold front across the Central Plains into the Ohio Valley is active Monday morning with moderate to heavy rain in southern South Dakota and Nebraska and will get into southwest Iowa later today. All of these areas are in desperate need of rainfall and look to get it. Heat continues south of here with triple-digit temperatures yet again for the Central and Southern Plains and perhaps the Delta as well. Cool temperatures through the rest of the Corn Belt are easing stress for filling corn and soybeans

| Rural Advocate News | Friday August 12, 2022 |


Congressional Research Office Details Ag Provision in Inflation Reduction Act The Congressional Research Service this week published details of the Inflation Reduction Act regarding agriculture. The Senate passed the bill, which is considered a substitute to the House-passed Build Back Better Act, on August 7, and the House will consider the bill Friday (today). The legislation provides $19.5 billion for agricultural conservation. It would add over $18 billion in additional funding for existing farm bill conservation programs. The bill also provides debt relief for distressed farm borrowers and assistance for underserved farmers and ranchers. These provisions would replace similar provisions from the American Rescue Plan Act that were blocked by the courts because the relief was found to be race-based and not narrowly tailored to meet a compelling state interest. The legislation would support renewable energy initiatives, primarily by providing $13.3 billion for farm bill energy title programs, and provide $5 billion in funding for forest management, planning and restoration. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Harvesters and Heavy-Duty Tractors Gain in July, Smaller Units Continue Decline U.S. and Canadian ag tractor monthly unit sales in July 2022 fell, while combine sales grew in the U.S., according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. U.S. total farm tractor sales fell 21 percent for the month of July compared to 2021, while combine sales for the month grew 9.2 percent to 715 units sold. That’s the second straight month of gains in combine harvesters so far this year. Heavy-duty ag tractors were positive, but total farm tractor sales are down 14.8 percent year-to-date, while combine sales are approaching even, now down only 2.2 percent on the year. In Canada, overall unit sales in tractors were down 10.7 percent, while harvesters are down 22.1 percent, reversing the previous month’s improvement. AEM’s Curt Blades says, “Right now, the trends we’re seeing in farm equipment unit sales tracks with trends we’re seeing in the overall economy.” *********************************************************************************** USDA Awards $74 Million to Improve Rural Health Care The Biden administration Thursday announced a $74 million effort to improve health care facilities in rural communities. The USDA Rural Development grants will help 143 rural health care organizations expand critical services for 3 million people in 37 states, Guam and Puerto Rico. The investments include $32 million for 67 rural health care organizations to help more than one million people living in socially vulnerable communities. The Biden administration made the funds available in the Emergency Rural Health Care Grants Programs through its historic legislative package, the American Rescue Plan Act. The investments will help rural hospitals and health care providers implement telehealth and nutrition assistance programs, increase staffing to administer COVID-19 vaccines and testing, build or renovate facilities, and purchase medical supplies. They also will help regional partnerships, public bodies, nonprofits and Tribes solve regional rural health care problems and build a stronger, more sustainable rural health care system in response to the pandemic. *********************************************************************************** USDA to Invest $15 Million in Innovative Projects for Climate-Smart Agriculture The Department of Agriculture this week announced a $15 million investment for the Conservation Innovation Grants Classic program. Through the program, grantees work to address water quantity, air quality, soil health and wildlife habitat challenges, all while supporting agricultural production. This year's funding priorities are climate-smart agriculture, addressing invasive species and conservation in urban agricultural systems. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Cosby says, “We’re eager to help our nation’s farmers and ranchers address these challenges and opportunities, and science and innovation will help get us there.” For the fiscal 2022 award process, at least ten percent of the total funds available are set aside for proposals that entirely benefit historically underserved producers. Applications are being accepted now through October 11, 2022. Private entities whose primary business is related to agriculture, nongovernmental organizations with experience working with agricultural producers and non-federal government agencies are eligible to apply. For more information and to apply, visit grants.gov *********************************************************************************** USDA Invests $2.2 Million to Help Underserved Producers, Small Farms The Department of Agriculture Thursday announced a $2.2 million award to 16 organizations to educate historically underserved producers, small-scale farmers and others. The award from USDA's Risk Management Agency funds farm risk management and climate-smart farm practices. USDA says the funding provides the resources for organizations, such as nonprofits and universities, to develop training and resources for producers on risk management options. RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger says, "This funding and these partnerships help us reach communities that have historically lacked access to training and resources." This $2.2 million investment for 2022 builds on a nearly $1 million investment in 2021. RMA advertised available funding in January 2022, and more than 50 organizations applied. Successful applicants provided comprehensive summary of work statements and budgets, and proposals that demonstrated an ability to partner with other entities to deliver training. Organizations receiving funding this year include nonprofits, historically black colleges and universities, and university extensions, among others. ********************************************************************************** National Farmers Union Schedules Washington Fly-in National Farmers Union members will head to Washington, DC, next month for the organization’s Fall Legislative Fly-In Sunday, September 11th through Wednesday, September 14. During the four-day gathering, Farmers Union members from across the country will meet with Members of Congress, of Agriculture officials, and representatives from other federal agencies. Throughout the meetings, Farmers Union members will share their legislative and policy priorities for the final months of 2022. Farmers Union members will highlight the need for Fairness for Farmers policies, which include placing a special investigator for meat and poultry at USDA, strengthening the Packers and Stockyards Act, bringing more openness to the cattle market, re-establishing Country Of Origin Labeling for beef, and ensuring that farmers have the right to repair their own equipment. Discussions will also be held to outline NFU’s priorities for the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill and how the Inflation Reduction Act can best help family farmers and ranchers address the climate crisis.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday August 12, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets The University of Michigan's index of U.S. consumer sentiment is set of 9 a.m. CDT Friday, followed by USDA's WASDE and Crop Production reports at 11 a.m. CDT. One hour later, the Farm Service Agency will release its first estimate of prevented plantings in 2022. Traders will keep their usual habits and stay close to the weather forecast. Weather A disturbance moving through the Upper Midwest is bringing scattered showers and thunderstorms to Minnesota and Wisconsin Friday morning and will continue to press a bit eastward throughout the day. Some moderate to heavy rain will be possible in spots. Other scattered showers remain possible across the Southeast as a front continues to slip south through the region. Meanwhile, heat continues to be widespread through the majority of the Plains, stressing filling crops.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 11, 2022 |


Consumer Price Index: Inflation Continues for Food Prices The latest Consumer Price Index released Wednesday shows a continued increase in the cost of food in the United States. The food index increased 1.1 percent in July, the seventh consecutive monthly increase of 0.9 percent or more. The food at home index rose 1.3 percent in July as all six major grocery store food group indexes increased. The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose the most, up 2.3 percent, as the index for coffee rose 3.5 percent. The index for other food at home rose 1.8 percent, as did the index for cereals and bakery products. The index for dairy products increased 1.7 percent, and the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 0.5 percent in July after declining in June. The index for fruits and vegetables also increased 0.5 percent over the month. The overall Consumer Price Index was unchanged in July after rising 1.3 percent in June, and the gasoline index fell 7.7 percent in July. *********************************************************************************** Ukraine Reports 2.66 Million Metric tons of Ag Exports in July Ukraine's Ministry of Agrarian Policy reports the country exported 2.66 million metric tons of grains and oilseeds in July 2022, 22.7 percent more than June. Exports of wheat increased more than three times in July to about 412,000 tons compared to 138,400 tons that were shipped for export in June. At the same time, this is significantly less than the 960,000 tons of wheat exported from Ukraine in July 2021 through the working seaports of the country, but the impact of the new crop is noticeable. Ukraine shipped 183,000 tons of barley, higher than the 26,000 tons of barley exported a month earlier. However, this is less than the 1.1 million tons of barley shipped in July last year. Corn exports increased in July by 84.7 thousand tons compared to June and amounted to 1.1 million tons. For comparison, in July 2021, corn exports were at the level of 960,000 tons, because traditionally, at this time, the Ukrainian corn season was coming to an end. *********************************************************************************** Growth in Number of Farmers Markets Slows New data released Wednesday from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows the growth in the number of farmers markets is slowing. According to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, from 1994 to 2019, the number of farmers markets rose from 1,755 to 8,771 in 2019, averaging growth of nearly seven percent per year. Expansion began to slow in 2011 before eventually falling below a one-percent per year increase between 2016 and 2017. Since then, growth in the number of farmers markets has remained modest and stable. A USDA ERS report found that shares of local food sales have increased at intermediate market outlets, such as grocery stores, restaurants, and distributors. Increased availability of local products at these outlets corresponds with a plateau in purchases at direct-to-consumer outlets such as farmers markets and contributes to the observed slower growth relative to the prior two decades. According to the 2019 National Farmers Market Manager Survey, about two-thirds of farmers market vendors reported an increase in overall production. *********************************************************************************** USDA Invests Nearly $8M to Improve Dietary Health and Nutrition Security The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced the availability of nearly $8 million to support the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program Produce Prescription Program. The funding is part of USDA’s American Rescue Plan efforts and will be administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. GusNIP Produce Prescription projects provide financial and non-financial incentives to income-eligible individuals and families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to improve dietary health through increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. By bringing together stakeholders from various parts of the food and health care systems, GusNIP projects foster understanding to improve the health and nutritional status of participating households and use data to identify and improve best practices on a broad scale. The awards fund GusNIP Produce Prescription meritorious applications from fiscal year 2021 that were highly ranked but could not be funded at the time due to budget constraints. Seventeen projects are being funded. *********************************************************************************** Pro Farmer Crop Tour Upcoming Pro Farmer scouts will fan out across the Corn Belt to measure this year's corn and soybean yield potential during the 30th annual Pro Farmer Crop Tour, set for August 22-25. The tour is an August ritual covering seven Midwestern states and capturing the attention of the industry and media. Observations and results will be shared nightly at in-person events throughout the tour routes and live-streamed online. Registration is required to attend nightly meetings and to access live-streamed results each night. Pro Farmer Crop Tour is the most thorough and most followed inspection of yield potential during a critical time in the growing season. Crop industry stakeholders watch results closely for insights around projected grain supplies and the effects on commodity markets. Farmer-scouts and industry experts will cover corn and soybean fields across Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota during Crop Tour. Interested participants can register for the crop tour online at profarmer.com/register. *********************************************************************************** CHS Foundation to award Grants to Teachers for Agriculture Projects For 75 years, the CHS Foundation has helped develop the next generation of ag leaders for lifelong success. In honor of the milestone, the foundation is awarding $75,000 in grants for K-12 teachers to implement a project at their school that will engage students in experiential agricultural education. Funds will be awarded for projects that have a strong tie to agriculture and demonstrate how they will engage students in agricultural topics. Teachers are encouraged to dream big, but ideas include implementing a new ag class or pathway or purchasing agriculture equipment for hands-on learning. Written and video submissions will be accepted until October 1, 2022. First place will be awarded $20,000, second place will receive $15,000, and third place will receive $10,000. An additional 12 finalists will be selected, and each receive $2,500. The initiative is open to any K-12 educators in a CHS trade territory. For more information about the program, visit chsfoundation.org.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 11, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT, the same time as the weekly U.S. jobless claims, the Labor Department's producer price index for July and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Energy Department's report on natural gas storage follows at 9:30 a.m. Traders will continue to stay on top of the latest weather forecasts and watch for any news regarding Ukraine or export sales. Weather It is a tale of two halves across the U.S. on Thursday. Heat continues to build across the West and Plains while milder air is being reinforced by a secondary cold front east of the Mississippi River. Widespread showers continue in the Southeast today and isolated showers will form on the edge of the hot-cold dynamic across the Upper Midwest. Some heavier precipitation will be possible in North Dakota into Minnesota overnight into Friday.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 10, 2022 |


Legislation to Protect and Expand Broadband Access Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Joni Ernst of Iowa introduced bipartisan legislation to protect and expand access to high-speed internet in rural communities and encourage rural broadband investment. The Access to Capital Creates Economic Strength and Supports Rural America Act would provide regulatory relief to rural telecommunications service providers by allowing them to submit streamlined financial reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission. These small businesses are often the only service providers in their regions and could be put out of business by looming regulatory costs. The ACCESS Rural America Act would save small businesses from costly SEC reporting requirements that were never intended for them. “Reliable high-speed broadband is essential to rural families, students, and farmers,” says Baldwin. “Unfortunately, rural telecom companies are getting hit with costly reporting fees that are intended for much-larger companies, threatening to upend their businesses and halt their service to the communities.” *********************************************************************************** Tyson Foods Reports Sales Slump Amid Lower Demand, Higher Costs Reduced domestic and international demand for pork is hitting Tyson Foods, one of the nation’s top pork producers. The Arkansas-based meatpacker reported this week that the company earned approximately $25 million from its pork business for the three months ending on July 3. That’s about 63 percent lower than the same quarter in 2021. The company reports that China, the biggest consumer of pork in the world, is buying less pork from the United States. Company executives also reported this week that U.S. stores are buying less pork as well. Hog farmers find themselves needing to decrease the number of pigs they’re raising this year because of higher corn prices for feeding the animals and fewer buyers at the grocery store. Domestically, U.S. farms had approximately 72.5 million head of hogs as of June 1, down one percent from the same day in 2021. Tyson expects that the tight live hog supply will continue. *********************************************************************************** USDA Boosts Conservation on Grazing Lands and Support for Farmers, Ranchers The USDA is investing up to $12 million in partnerships that expand access to conservation technical assistance for livestock producers and increase the use of conservation practices on grazing lands. The Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting proposals through its Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative until September 22. “Privately-owned grazing lands cover nearly 30 percent of our national landscape, which means we have a tremendous opportunity to address climate change and conserve our natural resources through voluntary, private lands conservation,” says NRCS Chief Terry Cosby. Project proposals for GLCI Cooperative agreements will identify and address barriers to accessing grazing assistance for producers. Through GLCI, the NRCS will leverage partnerships to increase the availability of technical assistance for farmers and ranchers engaged in grazing activities and act as a guide for grazers seeking additional resources. The initiative will expand and establish new peer-to-peer networks for grazers and direct financial support to grazing mentors. *********************************************************************************** Shrinking U.S. Cattle Herd Likely Means Higher Beef Prices American shoppers struggling with inflation are looking at higher beef prices continuing in their local meat cases. Because of high feed prices and severe drought, ranchers were forced to reduce their cattle herds. Grain prices have dropped to their lowest levels since Russia invaded Ukraine, but Reuters says that might not mean lower food prices right away at the grocery store. Corn futures have dropped by 26 percent since they hit a 10-year high in April after the Ukraine conflict sparked supply worries. However, those corn prices are still nine percent higher than last year. While the lower prices benefit livestock producers, U.S. government data showed on July 1 that producers had already lowered the nation’s cattle herd by approximately two percent compared to last year. Ground beef prices are already ten percent higher than last year. Because of continuing drought in cattle country, producers will likely still have to liquidate even more cattle. *********************************************************************************** Soybean and Wheat Inspections for Overseas Delivery Rise The USDA says export inspections of soybeans and wheat rose week-to-week while corn assessments dropped during the week ending August 4. Bean inspections during the week jumped to 867,500 metric tons from almost 595,000 a week earlier. That’s also significantly higher than the 115,000 metric tons examined during the same week in 2021. Wheat assessments rose to 604,000 metric tons during the week, up from just over 308,000 during the previous week. That was down from the 654,000 metric tons during the same week last year. Corn inspections dropped to 555,000 metric tons, significantly lower than the 905,000 tons during the prior week. Since the marketing year began on September 1, corn inspections total 52.5 million metric tons, down from the same time last year. Soybean inspections now stand at 54.5 million metric tons, lower than last year. Wheat assessments total 3.5 million metric tons, trailing the 4.45 million tons from last year. *********************************************************************************** New AgView Feature Furthers Protection for U.S. Pork Industry A new feature from AgView, a pig contact-tracing platform, helps further protect the U.S. pork industry from Foreign Animal Diseases. Producers can now continuously share info with state animal health officials thanks to the new feature that allows them to voluntarily opt-in, log info for each site, and share information. The new feature will allow producers to share individual site owners and contact info for each site,, movement data, Secure Pork Supply documentation, and Lab results. With this information always available, state animal health officials can better monitor foreign animal disease concerns, even without a declared FAD event. AgView is funded by the Pork Checkoff and provides herd health and movement data at the state and federal levels to promote business continuity in case of an FAD concern. All pork producers are encouraged to sign up and participate in AgView, and there’s no additional cost for Pork Checkoff-paying producers to take part.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 10, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch LIst Markets The Labor Department will release the U.S. consumer price index for July at 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, a number that will factor into Fed policy. The U.S. Energy Department's weekly report of energy inventories is set for 9:30 a.m. and includes ethanol production. At 1 p.m., the Treasury releases federal budget data for July. Traders continue to stay close to the latest weather forecasts and any news regarding Ukraine. Weather A front continues to move southeast through the country with scattered showers from Texas into the Mid-Atlantic and points southward on Wednesday. Meanwhile, heat is building back into the Plains north of the front. A secondary cold front is moving through the Dakotas and Upper Midwest, which will be the focus for showers late Wednesday through Thursday, but will be rather quiet during the day.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 9, 2022 |


Senate Passes Inflation Reduction Act, Includes Ag Funding The Inflation Reduction Act passed by the Senate over the weekend includes some $40 billion of agricultural-focused funding. Passed along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, the legislation seeks to address prescription drug prices, climate, and reducing the federal deficit. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, says the legislation "gives farmers the resources they need to tackle the climate crisis by reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions." However, the committee's top Republican, Senator John Boozman of Arkansas, alleges Democrats are “passing their far-Left agenda, including reviving parts of the radical Green New Deal, raising taxes on job creators, turbocharging the IRS to harass taxpayers, and expanding the federal government’s reach." The bill includes $4 billion for drought resilience directed to the Bureau of Reclamation, and $3.1 billion in funding for distressed borrowers of USDA loans, according to Politico. The legislation also includes funding for USDA conservation programs and rural development. *********************************************************************************** USDA: Farmland Values up More Than 12% U.S. farmland prices increased 12.4 percent over the last year, according to new data from the Department of Agriculture. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service released the 2022 Land Values Summary Friday afternoon. The report shows the U.S. farm real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, averaged $3,800 per acre for 2022, up $420 per acre from 2021. The U.S. cropland value averaged $5,050 per acre, an increase of $630 per acre, or 14.3 percent, from the previous year. Finally, the U.S. pasture value averaged $1,650 per acre, an increase of $170 per acre, up 11.5 percent from 2021. In the Corn Belt region, cropland values increased 15.3 percent from $6,880 per acre in 2021, to $7,930 per acre in 2022. New Jersey and California have the highest average cropland values, with Ney Jersey at $15,900, up 7.4 percent from 2021, and California at $15,410, up 11.2 percent from last year. *********************************************************************************** Direct-to-Consumer Farm Sales Reach $10.7 Billion in 2020 Information updated Monday by USDA’s Economic Research Service shows in 2020, U.S. farms sold almost $10.7 billion of food commodities directly to consumer outlets and supply chains. This includes restaurants, grocery stores, regional distributors and local institutions. The figure is nearly $2.8 billion, or 35 percent more than sold in 2019. From 2019 to 2020, sales at farmers markets and restaurants and grocery stores increased by 11 and 13 percent, respectively, whereas sales at farm stores, community-supported agriculture, and other direct-to-consumer channels increased by 79 percent. Meanwhile, sales to regional distributors increased by 73 percent. However, sales to local institutions declined by 86 percent in 2020 relative to 2019, likely because of closures or restricted operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, in 2020, 73 percent of total direct sales occurred through intermediary supply chains, while the remaining 27 percent were direct-to-consumer outlets. USDA adds that about seven percent of America’s two million farms sold commodities through direct-to-consumer outlets. *********************************************************************************** USDA Investing $14.5 Million for Taxpayer Education, Outreach Efforts for Agriculture The Department of Agriculture announced funding for two outreach and education efforts for farmers and ranchers late last week. USDA's Farm Service Agency is investing $10 million for agriculture-oriented taxpayer education as well as $4.5 million in outreach for the Conservation Reserve Program's Transition Incentives Program. Both efforts help advance equity and access to USDA programs and agriculture. Deputy Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Gloria Montaño Greene, says, “Running a farm operation is tough, and we are working to help meet gaps where farmers need assistance.” FSA’s $10 million investment funds the new Taxpayer Education and Asset Protection Initiative. The partnership with the University of Arkansas, the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee and others, establishes hubs for taxpayer education while developing and delivering tax education resources. For the Conservation Reserve Program's Transition Incentives Program, $4.5 million will award stakeholder organizations to conduct outreach and provide technical assistance to promote the program. *********************************************************************************** House Ag Committee to Host Farm Bill Listening Session in Ohio House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott Monday announced an upcoming Farm Bill listening session in Ohio. The session is the next in a series titled "A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Perspectives from the Field." The House Agriculture Committee has conducted several hearings in Washington, D.C., focused on the 2018 Farm Bill and improvements that can be made in the 2023 Farm Bill. The Georgia Democrat, Scott, says the series of listening sessions allows House Agriculture Committee Members to gather input from producers and consumers on the ground across the country. The next session in the series takes place at 12:00 p.m. ET at Terra State Community College in Fremont, Ohio, on Monday, August 22. It will be hosted by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, an Ohio Democrat, and chaired by House Agriculture Subcommittee Chair Cheri Bustos, an Illinois Democrat. The event is open to the public, and additional dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks. *********************************************************************************** CFTC Seeks Nominations for Agricultural Advisory Committee The Commodity Futures Trading Commission seeks nominations for the Agricultural Advisory Committee membership and public input on upcoming priorities. In a Federal Register notice, the CFTC made the request, with a deadline of September 7, 2022. Through public meetings, the committee advises the Commission on agricultural derivatives market regulatory issues and priorities important to producers, processors, consumers, and other stakeholders. The committee is authorized to submit reports and recommendations to the Commission. CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam, sponsor of the Agricultural Advisory Committee, says the committee’s mission “is particularly important in light of recent environmental developments and geopolitical events affecting the agricultural markets." There are five active Advisory Committees overseen by the CFTC. They were created to provide advice and recommendations to the Commission on a variety of regulatory and market issues that affect the integrity and competitiveness of U.S. markets. The Advisory Committees facilitate communication between the Commission, market participants, regulators, and academics.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 9, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets A report on second-quarter U.S. productivity is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday, the only official report on the docket ahead of the Labor Department's consumer price index on Wednesday. Traders will keep an eye on the weather forecasts, notice the ship reports out of Ukraine and watch for to see if there's another export sale announcement from USDA at 8 a.m. CDT. Weather A front is bringing some relieving temperatures to parts of the Plains and Midwest on Tuesday. Along and south of the front it will be much warmer and widespread showers are likely to occur. The rains are falling on some drought areas from Texas to the northern Delta which should help to ease the stress. Meanwhile, heat is building across the West and leaking out into the Northern Plains.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 8, 2022 |


Food Prices Post Biggest Drop Since 2008 Global food prices fell by the biggest amount since 2008 due to easing concerns over the supplies of grains and vegetable oils as Ukraine restarted its exports. The United Nations world food cost index dropped almost nine percent in July. Bloomberg says the index is at its lowest level since January before Russia’s attack on Ukraine helped push the cost of food close to record levels. It’s the fourth-straight monthly drop in the U.N index, giving some relief to consumers struggling with a cost-of-living crisis covering everything from energy to transportation. However, food prices are still high, and global hunger is getting worse. Wheat and corn prices eased last month after Russia and Ukraine reached a deal to reopen Ukraine’s ports. While there are still many challenges yet to solve, three more grain ships left the country’s ports on Friday. Corn harvests in Argentina and Brazil are also helping to ease prices. *********************************************************************************** First-Half Beef Exports on a Billion-Dollar Pace America’s beef exports remained on a red-hot pace during June, topping $1 billion for the fifth time this year. Data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation also shows that pork exports stayed below last year’s totals during June while lamb exports continued trending higher. June’s beef exports reached 130,600 metric tons, down slightly from the record volume posted in May but up 16 percent year-over-year and the fourth-largest on record. June’s export value was $1.05 billion, also down slightly from the May record but 31 percent higher than last year. Beef export value through the first six months reached $6.19 billion. June’s pork exports totaled 219,100 metric tons, eight percent lower than last year, and valued at $649.9 million. First-half pork exports were 18 percent below last year and valued at $3.62 billion, 16 percent lower than 2021. June lamb exports rose 56 percent compared to 2021 at 1,700 metric tons. *********************************************************************************** Drought Now Covers Half the U.S. Over 50 percent of the U.S. was in at least some level of drought for the fourth-straight week. The U.S. Drought Monitor says the combination of extreme heat and low rainfall is pulling moisture from plants and the soil. The Western U.S. and, especially, California remains in a drought that’s lasted several years. While drought is an increasing worry in the Northeast, Midwest, and South, extreme rainfall events are hitting parts of Kentucky and Mississippi. A flash flood warning was issued for St. Louis late last week, thanks to rainfall rates of several inches per hour. Drought also expanded in some parts of the Southern Plains, particularly in Texas, where the consequences are hitting agriculture and cattle ranching. Drought impacts in Texas ranged from crop failure to water supply problems. The only improvement in the monitor came from heavy rains in the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, Arkansas, northern Mississippi, and parts of Tennessee. *********************************************************************************** USDA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Poultry Transparency Rules The USDA is extending the public comment period for its proposed rule to promote transparency in poultry grower contracting and tournaments to August 23. USDA is taking these steps to help ensure the integrity of the federal rulemaking process and to ensure all parties have the opportunity to comment fully. “There is fear throughout the meat and poultry industry as we saw earlier in the year at two Congressional hearings where witnesses didn’t testify due to concerns of retaliation,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “But it’s critical that we hear the full story, so we are highlighting the option for comments to be provided anonymously.” Information regarding the proposed rule and the commenting process is also now available in a recorded webinar that’s posted on the Agricultural Marketing Service website. The webinar provides information on the proposed rule to protect American poultry growers from abuses and enhance competitiveness in U.S. livestock and poultry markets. *********************************************************************************** Beyond Meat’s Bubble Starting to Burst Beyond Meat, the plant-based meat company is generating a lot of bad news recently. Food Fix says the company’s stock fell late last week on news it was lowering its revenue forecast for the year. That announcement came one day after saying it would lay off four percent of its workforce to burn less money. A MarketWatch article says the company needs to “dramatically cut costs and lower its spending, or it will wind up bankrupt.” The company’s stock price has been cut in half since the start of 2022, and that’s after share prices had already dropped 45 percent in 2021. The company’s highest valuation of $15 billion now stands at $2 billion. Ethan Brown, founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, says the layoffs are a piece of its larger strategy to reduce expenses and support sustainable growth. Beyond Meat is struggling to turn partnerships with companies like McDonald’s into profitable endeavors. *********************************************************************************** POET Ethanol Gets Into Shipping POET, the world’s largest biofuel producer, says it signed a purchase agreement with Savannah Marine Terminal to acquire its rail-to-container transload facility in Savannah, Georgia. The acquisition will include all equipment and real estate to operate the grain transload facility. The Port of Savannah is one of the highest volume container ports in the U.S. It also has closer proximity to several of POET’s key global markets for its animal feed products. A release from POET says the facility will strengthen POET’s shipping process, ensuring greater traceability and transparency for its customers, who already expect the best in food safety and quality. “This acquisition is yet another indicator of our confidence in the future of the bioeconomy,” says POET Founder and CEO Jeff Broin. “We look forward to the opportunities this facility will create to ensure that our growing suite of plant-based bioproducts is available to consumers across the globe.”

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 8, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will pore over the latest weather forecasts and watch for further news from Ukraine and Taiwan. USDA's weekly grain export inspections will be out at 10 a.m. CDT, followed by the Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather A front that moved through the Upper Midwest over the weekend with some heavy rain will continue southeast through the Midwest on Monday. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will develop along the front from Kansas to the southern Great Lakes. A few of those showers over southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois are falling where heavy rain developed over the weekend and could cause flooding. Temperatures remain hot south of the front, which continues to produce stress for filling corn, soybeans, and other summer crops.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday August 5, 2022 |


ReConnect Round Four Funding Application Period is Open USDA Rural Development Undersecretary Xochitl (So-CHEEL) Torres Small says the agency will begin accepting applications on September 6 for funding to expand access to high-speed internet in rural America. USDA is making the next round of funding available through the ReConnect Program, which received new funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “High-speed internet connects people and small businesses to new markets and helps people in rural America build brighter futures,” Torres Small says. “For too long, many rural communities have been left out of the digital economy.” The Department will begin accepting applications on up to $150 million in loans, up to $300 million in loan/grant combinations, and up to $700 million in grants. USDA made several improvements to the ReConnect Program in Round Four to increase the availability of funding in rural areas where residents and businesses lack access to affordable, high-speed internet. More information is available at rd.usa.gov. *********************************************************************************** Dakotas Make Up Large Share of Prevent Plant Claims Since 2007, North and South Dakota had a large share of prevent-plant claims. The University of Illinois’ Farm Doc Daily says those states accounted for 35 percent of U.S. corn and soybean prevent plant acres versus nine percent and 12 percent, respectively, of total acres planted to corn and soybeans. Compared with other North Central states, average planting progress on the first date that prevent-plant can be taken is notably slower in these two states. Farm Doc says this finding implies that farmers in North and South Dakota have more of an opportunity to opt for prevent-plant, prompting a significant insurance policy question: “Should prevent-plant first decision day be set so that the normal planting progress rate is the same for all areas when it’s time to make the prevent-plant decision?” Evidence suggests the prevent plant acres would drop in both states if the first decision day occurred later. *********************************************************************************** EPA Requests Partial Rehearing in Glyphosate Litigation Earlier this week, the Environmental Protection Agency submitted a petition to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals requesting a partial rehearing of its glyphosate interim decision. In that ruling, the panel vacated the interim decision’s human health risk assessment and sent back the ecological risk assessment to the agency to complete an Endangered Species Act analysis by October 1. The EPA is seeking a partial rehearing because of the ecological part of the decision. In its request, the EPA says that finalizing an ESA consultation is a multi-year process, for which the panel only granted 106 days. EPA also says it can’t comply with the order because it has to coordinate with other agencies that aren’t part of the lawsuit. The agency requested the court grant the rehearing to consider lifting the October 1 deadline. The American Soybean Association is a party to the litigation and monitoring the case for further developments. *********************************************************************************** Tyson Foods Ignoring Subpoena in Meat Price Gouging Probe New York’s attorney general says Tyson Foods is refusing to comply with a subpoena for a civil probe into possible price gouging during COVID-19. Letitia (Leh-TEE-sha) James asked a state judge in Manhattan to make Tyson turn over materials like contractual terms, prices, and profit margins for its meat sales to New York retailers between December 2019 and April 2022. James says Tyson, one of the largest U.S. meat producers, stopped complying after giving limited information based on the company’s argument that New York’s price gouging law didn’t apply to meat products brought in from outside the state. James called that “novel and unfounded,” pointing out in a recent court filing that it can only be tested by examining the same materials that Tyson now refuses to hand over to her office. Reuters says Tyson declined to comment on the subpoena, saying it raised meat prices to offset soaring labor and feed costs. *********************************************************************************** Ethanol Production Reaches Highest Level in Four Weeks The Energy Information Administration says ethanol output jumped to its highest level in a month while inventories increased slightly. Production of the biofuel rose to an average of 1.043 million barrels a day during the week ending on July 29. That’s up from 1.021 million barrels daily during the previous week and is the highest output since the seven days that ended on July 1. In the Midwest, output averaged 984,000 barrels a day, up from 962,000 the previous week and also the highest point in a month. Production in the Gulf Coast increased to 25,000 barrels a day, on average, from 23,000 barrels. That was all the weekly gains as East Coast output was unchanged at 12,000 barrels a day and Rocky Mountain production remained at 15,000 barrels a day. West Coast output dropped by 7,000 barrels a day. Stockpiles rose modestly to 23.394 million barrels a day during the week. *********************************************************************************** Oil Falls Below $90 a Barrel Oil prices declined to the lowest point in almost six months, caused by weakening gasoline demand and recessionary fears weighing down markets. Bloomberg says West Texas Intermediate fell to $87.78 a barrel, a level last seen during the weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine. The price drop this week was jump-started by government data showing Americans are driving less than they did in the summer of 2020. Fears of a slowing economy have intensified along with the potential impacts on crude demand. One senior market analyst says prices falling under $90 a barrel is “quite remarkable” given how tight the market is and how little relief is in store. Crude oil has now given up all of the gains triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Since it peaked at more than $130 a barrel, the benchmark has dropped due to signs that Moscow is still getting its oil cargoes onto the global market.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday August 5, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department will release its reports of nonfarm payrolls and U.S. unemployment for July at 7:30 a.m. CDT, two factors the Fed will be closely watching. Traders will keep close watch on the latest weather forecasts, any news from Ukraine and any more talk of possible exports to China. A report on U.S. consumer credit in June is set for 2 p.m. Weather Showers will continue along a stalled boundary near the Ohio River on Friday. Those showers will keep temperatures down a few degrees. But elsewhere across much of the Plains and Midwest, temperatures will rise well above normal. The heat is ahead of a cold front that is moving through the Northern Plains. The front will produce some scattered showers and thunderstorms, some of which may be severe. Temperatures behind the front are much cooler, offering a brief break from the summer heat.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 4, 2022 |


ISDA Sets November Hemp Inspection Date Despite the significant interest for hemp or hemp-derived products, they are not recognized as legal feed ingredients. In a recent memorandum, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) said that effective Nov. 1, it will be inspecting for hemp and hemp-derived products in commercial animal feeds and animal remedies (i.e., supplements). These products are illegal in Idaho and if found on or after Nov. 1, will be subject to a stop sale and further action from the department. The AFIA supports ISDA’s actions on this issue, as it is one step toward ensuring these products do not end up in adulterated animal feed until found as approved ingredients.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 4, 2022 |


Senate Legislation Would Regulate Digital Commodities Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member John Boozman (BOZE-man), and Senators Cory Booker and John Thune introduced legislation to regulate digital commodities. The Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission new tools and authority it needs to regulate digital commodities and safeguard customers and markets. “One in five Americans have used or traded digital assets, but these markets lack the transparency and accountability they expect from our financial system,” Stabenow says. “That puts Americans’ hard-earned money at risk.” The senators say digital assets and blockchain technology have already, and will continue to change the way global markets function. They point out that the fast-growing industry is governed largely by a patchwork of state-level regulations. Boozman says that’s not an effective way to make sure the market’s rules work for everyone. “Our bill gives CFTC exclusive jurisdiction over the digital commodities spot market,” he says. *********************************************************************************** Farm Credit System’s Income up 4% in First Half of 2022 The Farm Credit System reported that combined net income increased 3.5 percent to $1.8 billion and 3.6 percent to $3.6 billion for the first three and six months of 2022, respectively. That compares with net incomes of $1.7 billion and $3.4 billion at the same time in 2021. “The System reported another quarter of solid financial performance,” says Tracey McCabe, president and CEO of the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation. “Continued loan growth, sound credit quality, and solid capital levels position the System to support U.S. agriculture in the current volatile economic and geopolitical environment.” Net interest income increased $190 million or 7.8% to $2.6 billion for the second quarter of 2022 and $358 million or 7.4% to $5.2 billion for the six months ending June 30, 2022, as compared with the same periods of the prior year. The increase in net interest income primarily resulted from higher levels of average earning assets. *********************************************************************************** Dairy Sales See Double-Digit Growth in June Dairy department sales climbed by double digits in supermarkets across the country. Supermarket News says dairy category sales totaled just under $5.1 billion for the month, 16 percent higher year-over-year. The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association says in its June marketplace update that unit sales did drop 2.4 percent from last year. The IDDBA report says the consistency of the weekly sales levels, all at least $1.2 billion, is encouraging because it means demand is holding strong especially compared to pre-COVID levels. The biggest sales took place in the week leading up to Father’s day, with total sales of $1.3 billion. “Milk was easily the biggest seller in June at $1.3 billion,” the report says. “The next-biggest sellers were natural cheese and eggs, which moved ahead of yogurt with because of high inflation.” The average price per unit for eggs increased to $4.10, over 51 percent higher than in June 2021. *********************************************************************************** Long-Term Drought Continuing in Missouri River Basin While the Missouri River basin runoff improved over the past two months, it’s still not enough to overcome the long-term drought persisting in much of the basin. July runoff in the Missouri River basin above Sioux City, Iowa, was 3.2 million acre-feet, which is 98 percent of the average and 0.7 million acre-feet more than was forecast last month. This led to an annual runoff forecast of 20.6 MAF, which is 80 percent of the yearly average and 0.6 MAF higher than last month’s forecast. “As expected, reservoir inflows in July have been declining due to the warmer and drier conditions in the upper Missouri River Basin,” says John Remus, chief of the Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Per the July 1 System storage check, navigation support was increased slightly to 500 cubic feet per second above minimum-service levels.” Storage peaked July 1 at 52.1 MAF. *********************************************************************************** New Food Supply Threat From Lack of Rice A lack of rice could be the next big strain on the global food supply. Bloomberg says the challenge may come from a lack of rain in parts of India, which is, by far, the biggest rice exporter in the world. The drier weather has caused India’s rice planting area to contract to its smallest level in three years. The threat to India’s rice production comes when countries across the world are struggling with the soaring cost of food and runaway inflation. The world’s total planted area for rice has dropped by 13 percent this season because of a lack of rainfall. Traders fear diminished rice production will hurt India’s battle with inflation and trigger export restrictions. Billions of people around the world depend on rice and India accounts for 40 percent of the world’s rice trade. India’s government has already curbed exports of wheat and sugar to safeguard their food supply. *********************************************************************************** Next USDA Trade Mission heading to East Africa The USDA is accepting applications from U.S. exporters for a trade mission to Nairobi (Ny-ROW-bee), Kenya, and Zanzibar, Tanzania (Tan-zah-NEE-ah), from October 31-November 4. The mission offers U.S. agribusinesses the chance to unlock new opportunities in East and Central Africa, where strong economic growth is driving demand for imported food and farm products. Kenya is the economic, financial, and transportation hub for East and Central Africa. While in Nairobi, trade mission delegates will meet potential customers from across Sub-Saharan Africa. Then, they’ll head to Zanzibar, located in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania, a historic trading hub with a thriving tourism sector. “The Foreign Agricultural Service team looks forward to introducing U.S. exporters to the many business opportunities that exist in East and Central Africa,” says FAS Administrator Daniel Whitley. “We’ll arrange targeted business meetings, site visits, and other networking opportunities with potential importers, processors, distributors, and local officials.”

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday August 4, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims, the trade deficit for June and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. USDA will have more specific export information later Thursday morning and at 9:30 a.m., the Energy Department will report on natural gas in storage. Traders continue to monitor the weather and any news regarding Ukraine. Weather A frontal boundary moving through the Midwest is starting to stall out near the Ohio River. Scattered showers will continue along the front and could cause some flooding in Missouri and southern Illinois. Temperatures will be a little more seasonable in these areas, otherwise, the heat is continuing south of the front and returning to the Northern Plains as an upper-level ridge continues to dominate the overall pattern.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 3, 2022 |


Farmer Sentiment Rises in July The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer farmer sentiment index rose six points in July to a reading of 103. Producers were somewhat more optimistic about both their current and future economic conditions on their farms compared to June. Even though there was a slight increase in optimism, there’s still a lot of uncertainty in the agricultural economy. Key commodity prices, including wheat, corn, and soybeans all weakened during the month, and producers remain concerned over rising input prices and input availability. Forty-two percent of survey respondents said higher input prices were a big concern, 19 percent said lower crop prices, and 17 percent said rising interest rates. The Farm Financial Performance Index, primarily an indicator of income expectations in the year ahead, improved five points to a reading of 88 in June. However, 49 percent of the survey respondents said they expect their farm to be worse off financially a year from now. *********************************************************************************** Registration Open for the Federal Milk Marketing Order Forum The American Farm Bureau Federation is hosting an industry-wide forum on the Federal Milk Marketing Order on October 14-16 in Kansas City, Missouri. The forum was prompted by a call from Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to get as many people involved in dairy as possible in one room to discuss solutions to the Federal Milk Marketing Order shortfalls. The forum will include panels on various aspects of the Federal Milk Marketing Orders followed by roundtable discussions structured to spur conversation among all parts of the dairy sector but with a clear focus on farmers. “Meaningful changes to the FMMO system are long overdue,” says Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall. “Even before COVID-19 highlighted how volatile milk prices and outdated milk pricing and pooling provisions were harming dairy farmers, it was clear the FMMO system needs modernizing to address consolidation in processing, shifting consumer preferences, and fluctuating trade demands.” Go to fb.org for information. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Rice Growers Want Access to Cuba USA Rice and other industry leaders are pushing for the American government to get rid of trade barriers with Cuba and make it easier for U.S. rice exports to get to the island nation. Rice groups are members of the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, a group that supports improving agricultural trade between the U.S. and Canada. “USA Rice wants an administrative and legislative piecemeal approach to help ease the current restrictions on trade, travel, and financing, so that Cuba can grow its economy and become a reliable importer of American rice again,” says USA Rice Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs Peter Bachmann. Cuba is a major rice consumer and once was among the top markets for U.S. rice exports. USA Rice says Cuba has to bring in rice from Asian and South American countries. Cubans are struggling with food shortages and a lack of medicine, energy, and fuel. *********************************************************************************** USDA Undersecretary says Ag Can Be a Hero on Climate Change America’s farmers have an opportunity to be a hero in addressing climate change through improvements in productivity and climate-smart practices. However, Robert Bonnie, USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, says a successful climate program “has to work for agriculture.” Bonnie spoke at the International Sweetener Symposium on Monday. Thanks to strong farm policies, America’s sugarcane and sugarbeet farmers invest in new research, technologies, and techniques to boost their efficiency and protect the planet. Sugar farmers produce 16 percent more sugar today on 11 percent less land than 20 years ago. They’ve also increased yields by 30 percent while using fewer inputs. Bonnie says there’s so much diversity in agriculture that the approach to climate change can’t be one that dictates practices for low and high. “It has to be modern, and it has to be producer-led,” Bonnie says. “Farmers and ranchers should be able to choose what works best for them.” *********************************************************************************** National Chicken Council Reacts to FSIS Move on Salmonella in Frozen Products The National Chicken Council responded to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service plan to declare salmonella an adulterant in frozen, raw, breaded, stuffed chicken products. Dr. Ashley Peterson, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, says they recognize the special nature of the products that appear ready to eat but contain raw chicken. “The NCC and our member companies have invested millions of dollars and worked for over ten years to develop and refine the best practices to reduce Salmonella and protect public health,” Peterson says. The NCC points out that it's concerned about the precedent set by this abrupt shift in long-standing policy, which was made without supporting data for a product category associated with one outbreak since 2015. “We believe FSIS already has the ability to ensure the continued safety of these products,” Peterson says. “There’s no magic bullet for food safety, so we employ a multi-stage strategy.” *********************************************************************************** Land Prices Continue to Set New Records The sale prices for good cropland in rural America continue upward, reaching new high points in many states. Farmers National Company says the “record” sale prices continue to capture headlines, but there has generally been continued strength in the land market, with good cropland attracting the most attention from buyers. “The upcoming months will set the trend in land prices,” says Randy Dickhut (DICK-hoot), senior vice president of real estate operations at Farmers National. Recently, good cropland in Iowa sold above $25,000 per acre, $15,000 per acre in South Dakota, and $12,000 an acre in North Dakota. Further east, Illinois had land sales above $21,000 an acre, Indiana at $17,000 an acre, and Ohio has seen $16,000 per acre. Land sales in Nebraska were above $13,500 per acre, $14,500 in Missouri, and more than $8,000 in Kansas. Farmers National will be watching before and after this year’s harvest to gauge the future land market.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday August 3, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets There is a report of U.S. factory orders due out at 9 a.m. CDT, but it is for the month of June and pales by comparison to the manufacturing indices for July just released on Monday. At 9:30 a.m., the U.S. Energy Department's weekly report of energy inventories is due out and includes ethanol production. Traders will continue to keep a close watch on the weather forecasts and any news of more ships leaving Ukraine. OPEC and other oil producers meet Wednesday to decide output for September. Weather A ridge of high pressure continues to produce heat across much of the country on Wednesday. However, there is a front moving across the Upper Midwest this morning that is producing scattered showers and thunderstorms from Nebraska to Michigan. Those showers and thunderstorms may be severe as the front slides southeast later in the day from Missouri through Michigan. Behind the front, temperatures are not too cold, but are offering some relief from the heat and humidity that is building up ahead of it.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 2, 2022 |


Farm Lending and Interest Rates Rise in the Second Quarter Larger loans continued to boost lending activity in the second quarter of 2022 while farm loan interest rates edged higher. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says the volume of non-real estate agricultural loans grew steadily alongside an increase in the number and average size of loans. Interest rates remained historically low but continued to increase in recent quarters and on nearly all types of farm loans as benchmark rates continue rising. The average maturity of some types of loans, particularly for real estate, also increased during the quarter and was above recent historic averages. The Kansas City Fed says farm lending activity showed signs of rebounding from the pullback in recent years and could grow further in the coming months as the higher costs of many major inputs continue impacting farmers. Persistent pressure from higher production expenses could squeeze profit margins going forward and drive demand for credit higher. *********************************************************************************** 2021 Farm Production Expenses Surpassed $390 Billion In 2021, USDA says farm production expenses hit $392.9 billion, higher than the $366.2 billion in 2020. That’s a 7.3 percent rise from 2020 to 2021. The four biggest expenditures totaled $189.4 billion, just over 48 percent of all expenses last year. Those four are feed at 16 percent, farm services at 11 percent, livestock, poultry, and related expenses at 10 percent, and labor at 9.4 percent. The total fuel expense was $12.9 billion on 2021. Diesel is the largest sub-component and totaled $8.4 billion in expenditures, accounting for 65 percent of the total fuel outlay. Diesel expenditures were 18 percent higher than in 2020. Gasoline expenses totaled $2.4 billion, 22 percent higher than the previous year. LP gas expenses rose to $1.4 billion in 2021, an 11 percent jump from 2020. Crop farm expenditures were $207.6 billion, up 6.2 percent, and livestock farm expenditures increased to $185.3 billion, up 8.5 percent in 2021. *********************************************************************************** USA Takes Action to Prevent Salmonella in Poultry Products The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced it will declare Salmonella as an adulterant in breaded and stuffed raw chicken products. “Food safety is at the heart of everything,” says Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This is an important first step in launching a broader initiative to reduce Salmonella illnesses associated with poultry in the U.S.” By declaring Salmonella an adulterant in these products, FSIS will be able to ensure highly contaminated products that could make people sick aren’t sold to consumers. Since 1988, breaded and stuffed raw chicken products have been associated with up to 14 outbreaks and approximately 200 illnesses. Those products include frozen chicken cordon bleu or chicken Kiev. They appeared to be cooked but were only heat treated to set the batter or breading. The poultry was still raw. These products will be adulterated when exceeding a small contamination threshold and be subject to regulatory action. *********************************************************************************** Sorghum Producers Remind Others to Comment on EPA Atrazine Proposal The National Sorghum Producers says the Environmental Protection Agency is taking “another swing” at atrazine. They say the regulatory agency disregarded sound science, transparency, and the regulatory framework in this proposal. The sorghum producers want farmers from all over the U.S. to join them in submitting comments and stopping the EPA from using regulatory tricks to drastically limit the use of a critical input for farmers. Atrazine is included in more than 90 herbicide products across the country and limiting atrazine will cause problems. Atrazine is used on 75 percent of U.S. sorghum acres, and the proposal would have drastic impacts on a large number of those acres. The proposal would significantly reduce application rates and require additional mitigation measures and reporting procedures. It also prohibits all aerial application and application when rain is in the forecast within 48 hours. USP wants the EPA to stick to the finalized 2020 atrazine registration. *********************************************************************************** Florida Congressman Wants Investigation into Chinese Land Purchases If Republicans take back a Congressional majority in November, Florida Representative Mike Waltz pledged that the House GOP would investigate the flow of Chinese money into the U.S. economy. Waltz tells Daily Mail that the steady encroachment not only poses a military threat but could also have wide-ranging impacts on the American economy. Recent reports have shown that Chinese companies are increasing their hold over key sectors of the U.S. economy by purchasing farmland and expanding their technology into rural areas. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are concerned about a Chinese company buying land in North Dakota for $2.6 million which is only 20 minutes from a key military base. Some of America’s most sensitive drone technology is stored at that base in North Dakota. “There’s the land concern near the base, but I think an even bigger concern is China investing in the U.S. food supply chain,” Waltz says. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Wheat Associated Promote Miller to Director of Programs U.S. Wheat Associates promoted Catherine Miller to Director of Programs. She joined USW in 2018 as the Programming and Planning Coordinator and shifted to Programs Coordinator in 2021. “Catherine has done a great job in managing many of USW’s domestic programs, and she excelled in helping USW transition to virtual programming when COVID-19 began,” says Erica Oakley, USW Vice President of Programs. In this role, Miller will lead program support for coordinating trade teams, short courses, and board teams with USW’s overseas offices and state wheat commissions. Miller also works closely with overseas staff to identify consultant needs and coordinate annual crop quality seminars. Miller will also continue supporting USW’s shift to more virtual programs, including taking an active role in conducting monthly webinars and crop updates. Miller joined the organization after graduating with honors from Auburn University in May 2017, earning a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business and economics.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday August 2, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets There are no significant reports on Tuesday's docket, but traders continue to keep close watch over the latest U.S. weather forecasts and news from Ukraine. Markets will digest Monday afternoon's new crop ratings from USDA and look forward to the announcement from the next OPEC meeting Wednesday. Weather Hot temperatures are spreading across the Plains, western Midwest and Delta on Tuesday with triple-digit heat being likely in a lot of areas. The heat will reduce soil moisture and stress crops and livestock. Precipitation will be limited across the Upper Midwest and Ohio Valley down into the Southeast.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 1, 2022 |


Ag Chair Introduces Livestock Legislation House Ag Committee Chair David Scott introduced the Small Family Farmer and Rancher Relief Act to help small farmers and ranchers in the cattle industry. “As I’ve said before, it’s a crisis in this nation that we’ve lost an average of 17,000 cattle ranchers per year,” Scott says. “The drivers of the loss are complex, and I applaud the efforts my colleagues have taken to try and improve the cattle industry.” He also says other efforts don’t have enough emphasis on direct help for America’s small farmers and ranchers. A key backbone of the bill helps smaller operators with financial assistance by strengthening the safety net. It includes offering an increased premium subsidy for small ranchers insuring a cattle herd of 100 head or less. It offers incentives for insurance agents to better market Livestock Risk Protection policies to smaller producers. The bill also creates opportunities to increase competition and new marketing opportunities. *********************************************************************************** Inflation Reduction Act Should Help Rural America Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the administration’s Inflation Reduction Act will have a meaningful impact on America’s rural and agriculture communities. “Agriculture is at the forefront of our fight against climate change,” he says. “From climate-smart agriculture to supporting healthy forests and conservation, to tax credits, to biofuels, infrastructure and beyond, this agreement gives USDA significant additional resources.” House Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says the act contains almost $40 billion to tackle the climate crisis, lower costs, and create good-paying jobs by investing in agriculture, forestry, and rural communities. Over $20 billion is set aside for the tools farmers and ranchers need to help address the climate. Those funds will help incentivize sustainable practices like optimizing fertilizer use and expanding cover crops. $14 billion will help lower costs for families and support good-paying clean energy jobs in rural communities. “It’s critical that Congress act quickly on this legislation,” Vilsack says. *********************************************************************************** New Lamb Market Monthly Report Will Help Producers The American Lamb Board announced the introduction of a new monthly lamb market summary to provide the industry with increased data and analysis. The board engaged the American Sheep Industry Association to prepare the monthly Lamb Market Summary. The report will include sheep and lamb slaughter, lamb imports, sheep and lamb prices, and a market forecast. An economic overview of the consumer market will also be included, which influences the food choices in the U.S. The July summary points out that “consumer prices continued to rise in June, with the Consumer Price Index posting a higher than expected 9.1 percent year-over-year increase. High fuel prices will likely push food costs higher. Consumers appear to be managing food price inflation for now, but expectations continue for more inflation, and an impending economic slowdown will challenge consumer demand. The Lamb Market Weekly Summary, USDA Market Reports, and year-in-review reports can be found at lambresourcecenter.com. *********************************************************************************** Wheat Quality Tour Estimates 49.1 Bushel Yield The Wheat Quality Council’s Tour through fields in North Dakota and Minnesota came up with a yield estimate of 49.1 bushels per acre. The durum estimate after the tour was 39 bushels an acre. Those figures were the highest levels since 2008. The yield estimate for spring wheat is higher than the USDA forecast of 47 bushels an acre that came out on July 12. For durum wheat, the tour result is a bit smaller than the USDA estimate of 40.3 bushels. Almost 50 people took part in the wheat tour, with many coming from the wheat, milling, and baking industries and USDA officials. Last Thursday, scouts stopped at several fields along the North Dakota-Minnesota border and sampled on both sides. The spring wheat weighted average that day, including the Minnesota fields, was 53.1 bushels. Participants assessed a total of 267 spring wheat and 35 durum fields, mostly in North Dakota. *********************************************************************************** Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Water Resources Development Act Last Thursday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Water Resources Development Act by a vote of 93-1. The legislation contains a provision pushed for by the American Soybean Association. That provision would permanently adjust the cost-share ratio for Inland Waterways Trust Fund projects from the current 65 percent general revenues-35 percent IWTF funds to 75 percent general revenue-25 percent IWTF. Cost share allocation changes for inland waterways projects often reduce overall project costs and allow projects to be completed faster. That allows communities and industries to realize the economic benefits of a project more quickly. In June, the House passed its version of WRDA by a vote of 384-37. That bill didn’t include the same adjustment to cost-share allocations for IWTF projects. The two chambers will now begin conference negotiations to reconcile the difference between the two bills. The ASA says it will continue to advocate for the Senate version containing the adjustment. *********************************************************************************** Keeping Farm Dog Safe From Heat Stress Dogs aren’t proficient at sweating like humans are, and that makes them much more prone to overheating. Tony Hawkins, Valley Vet Supply Technical Services Veterinarian, says overweight, older, or out-of-shape dogs, or dogs with underlying health conditions, may be at greater risk than healthier dogs. Dogs suffering from heat stress may demonstrate excessive panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea. At that point, it’s critical that the animal gets veterinary care. Tips to keep dogs safe include never leaving dogs in parked cars that are turned off. In just 25 minutes, a car on a 73-degree day can reach 100 degrees inside. Also, plan those farm activities dogs can tag along for, such as checking fences, during the cooler times of the day. Hawkins says dogs aren’t good at stopping themselves when they get hot and just run themselves until they get overheated. Also, clip those dogs with long hair coats.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday August 1, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend and facing hotter temperatures this week, traders will check the latest forecasts and any new developments from Ukraine. Report of manufacturing activity around the world will come in overnight with ISM's U.S. index for July set for 9 a.m. CDT Monday. USDA's weekly report of grain export inspections is due out at 10 a.m., followed by the Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather A disturbance moving through the eastern Midwest and an old boundary from the weekend will combine to create scattered showers along and east of the Mississippi River on Monday. Some stronger storms will be possible near the Ohio River later in the day. Where showers are not occurring, heat will be increasing, with near triple-digit temperatures up and down the Plains, causing stress to both crops and animals.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 29, 2022 |


Administration Announces $401 Million for Rural Internet Access USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says the agency is investing $401 million to provide access to high-speed internet for 31,000 rural residents and businesses in 11 states. The funds come from the ReConnect Program and an award through the USDA’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. “Connectivity is critical to economic success in rural America,” Vilsack says. “The internet is vital to our growth and continues to act as a catalyst for our prosperity.” The secretary also said from the farm to the school, from households to international markets, connectivity drives “positive change.” USDA will support internet investments in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, and Texas. The Department also says it will make more investments for rural high-speed internet later this summer, including ReConnect Program funding from the bipartisan infrastructure law, which provides $65 billion to expand affordable high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S. *********************************************************************************** Senators Introduce the Farmland Security Act Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and Chuck Grassley of Iowa introduced the Farmland Security Act to increase scrutiny over foreign investments into America’s agricultural land. The legislation would make sure that Congress can address the impacts of foreign investments on family farms, rural communities, and the domestic food supply. “This bipartisan legislation will provide the tools we need to protect the longevity of American family farm operations for generations to come,” Baldwin says. Current reports show that foreign-owned agricultural acreage has nearly doubled in the past ten years. One of the provisions in the act would require the Ag Secretary to report to Congress on foreign investments in agricultural land, including the impact foreign ownership has on family farms, rural communities, and the domestic food supply. “Foreign buyers, especially those backed by governments like China, purchasing farmland in the U.S. raises serious national security concerns that the people need to know about,” Grassley says. *********************************************************************************** Bunge Loses $59 Million to Ukraine Conflict Bunge profits rose 15 percent during the second quarter of 2022. However, the global farm commodities company didn’t reach Wall Street expectations and the share price dropped five percent as a result. The company raised its full-year profit forecast and talked about plans to spend $3.3 billion on future investments and expenditures during the next few years. Bunge attributed a $59 million net loss for the quarter in its agribusiness segment because of the war in Ukraine. CEO Gregory Heckman says it will be a slow process for shippers to move commodities out of Ukraine and into the global markets. The company’s results come amid backed-up supply chains and strong demand for food and fuel driving inflation to its highest level in decades. Bunge’s rising operating costs offset higher demand and tighter supplies of commodity grain crops. Transportation and ongoing COVID-19 issues continue to drag down the world’s grain sector. *********************************************************************************** NCBA’s Farm Bill Priorities The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association released its priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill. Those priorities were based on producer input at the association’s Summer Business Meeting in Reno, Nevada. “Our annual meetings are the cornerstone of NCBA’s grassroots policy process,” says NCBA President Don Schiefelbein. NCBA Farm Bill priorities include protecting animal health through programs that guard against the spread of foreign animal diseases such as the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Clinic. They want the new farm bill to strengthen risk management programs that provide producers with added protection against weather events and price declines. The NCBA wants the bill to promote voluntary conservation programs that provide support to producers when they implement conservation practices free from government mandates. They say the new farm bill should also support disaster recovery programs that help producers return to normal operations following adverse weather, predator attacks, or extreme weather conditions like drought or wildfire. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Grains Council Elects New Chairman The delegates of the U.S. Grains Council elected Josh Miller as Chairman of its Board of Directors during the Board of Delegates Meeting in California. “It’s important to me to learn as much as I possibly can,” Miller said during incoming remarks. Miller is a farmer from Indiana and came to the meeting representing the Indiana Corn Marketing Council. “I also want to learn as much as I can about how what I do affects the whole world and how my efforts create a global ripple that will sustain those who need what I grow the most,” he added. Miller is a fifth-generation farmer from Indiana and produces corn and soybeans, primarily as a 100 percent no-till row crop operation. He was elected to the Council’s officer rotation in 2019. Previously, Miller was a finance officer for Lockheed Martin, a contracting officer for the U.S. government, and a U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant. *********************************************************************************** Protecting Horses Against West Nile Virus Since 1999, more than 25,000 cases of West Nile Virus encephalitis have been reported in horses, according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners. “When you talk about West Nile Virus, you’re talking about the Culex (KOO-lex) mosquito,” says Dr. Justin Talley, Department Head for Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University. “The biggest challenge is that in addition to feeding on horses, they also feed on birds, which is why they’re good at transmitting the virus into horses.” The number of cases is difficult to predict every year and will vary based on bird populations. You will see more mosquitoes in late summer or the fall, so the chances can improve greatly from the summer. Moving air plays a big part in mosquito control. “Get the air moving around horses because mosquitoes are weak fliers,” Talley says. “Don’t forget vaccinations and good barn keeping. Remove standing water and clean a horse’s water trough.”

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 29, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets U.S. personal incomes and spending for June are due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday, along with the employment cost index for the second quarter. At 9 a.m., the University of Michigan's final index of U.S. consumer sentiment for July will be released. Traders will keep close watch on the latest weather forecasts and any news regarding Ukraine. Weather A front is settling across southern areas of the country on Friday, bringing scattered showers from Colorado east to the Carolinas. Flooding may occur in some areas, but drought in the Southern Plains and Delta will find some relief. Temperatures dip a little bit less extreme south of the front for most areas, but heat continues to be very high in the West, especially in the Pacific Northwest.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday July 28, 2022 |


Next Generation Fuels Act Introduced in House, Senate Legislation called the Next Generation Fuels Act was introduced this week in both the Senate and House of Representatives. It aims to leverage higher-octane fuels to improve engine efficiency and performance. Allowing the sale of fuels with greater octane levels would increase the amount of ethanol that can get utilized in the fuel supply, which in turn would lower prices at the pump. Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst introduced it in the Senate, while Illinois Representative Cheri Bustos and the entire Iowa delegation introduced it to the House. “Unstable gas prices have left many families, and especially rural families, with a lot of budget uncertainty,” says Grassley. “This would ramp up the use of homegrown fuel at stations across the country, making Americans less reliant on foreign oil and less vulnerable to OPEC tactics.” Ernst echoed those sentiments, noting that America should be turning to its own abundant domestic fuel production. *********************************************************************************** Ag Groups React to the Next Generation Fuels Act Some of the nation’s largest agricultural organizations applauded the introduction of the Next Generation Fuels Act in both chambers of Congress this week. National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington says it’s a step forward for the nation’s consumers. “In recent months, consumers have been reminded that we need choices at the pump, and the Next Generation Fuels Act would diversify our fuel supply.” National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says the legislation supports usage of higher-level blends of ethanol, something NFU has long championed. “Higher level blends of ethanol are good for farmers, good for the planet, and good for American pocketbooks,” Larew says. Geoff Cooper of the Renewable Fuels Association says, “This summer’s geopolitical instability and record-high gas prices underscore the need for an immediate energy solution for American families.” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says, “It’s a clear roadmap for delivering cleaner, more affordable options to American drivers.” *********************************************************************************** Survey says Consumers are Relying on Chicken Despite Inflation Research presented at the 2022 Chicken Marketing Summit shows that U.S. consumers are still buying chicken. The survey showed that while consumers average rating for their current financial situation is midway between “poor” and “excellent,” 87 percent are buying the same amount or more of fresh chicken compared to six months ago. Chicken continues to be the healthy choice and best value for the money. During the past six months, 99 percent of those surveyed say they eat meals made with fresh chicken more than once a month while 88 percent do so more than once a week. U.S. consumers plan to buy more chicken than other types of protein in the year ahead. Chicken buyers cite nutrition, value, and versatility as the top reasons for consuming more chicken. Chicken is almost inflation-proof as USDA says Americans, on average, will eat a record 98.3 pounds of chicken per person this year. *********************************************************************************** AFT Releases Policy Priorities for 2023 Farm Bill American Farmland Trust released its 2023 Farm Bill advocacy platform this week. It’s a series of policy recommendations focused on supporting farmers and ranchers in protecting their land from development, combating climate change, and enabling a diverse new generation of farmers to better access land and build businesses. “The farm bill, which is passed once every five years, is the single most influential piece of federal legislation in food and agriculture,” says AFT president and CEO John Piotti (Pee-AHT-tee). “Our policy recommendations, developed with input from producers and experts across the country, will help ensure that the 2023 Farm Bill sets agriculture on a path towards a more resilient, profitable, and equitable future.” AFT research has found that 11 million acres of agricultural land were paved over, fragmented, and converted to uses that jeopardize agriculture between 2011-2016. An additional loss of 18.4 million acres were expected by 2040 without additional policy actions. *********************************************************************************** NCBA Backs Food and Energy Security Act The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association announced it supports the Food and Energy Security Act introduced by Senator John Thune of South Dakota. The bill would require federal regulators to disclose how proposed rules would impact food and energy prices. “The Biden administration proposed a massive climate disclosure rule that will create new reporting burdens for every farm, ranch, and small business in the country,” says NCBA Environmental Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart. “NCBA supports this legislation because rules like the emissions disclosure mandate from the Securities and Exchange Commission add a costly burden to cattle producers, rural communities, and consumers across the country.” The bill would also prohibit federal regulators from implementing any rule that would increase food or energy prices if inflation is higher than 4.5 percent. Since the beginning of 2022, inflation has consistently been over seven percent, with the inflation rate hitting a forty-year high of 9.1 percent in June. *********************************************************************************** Soybean Checkoff Leaders Approve Investments to Increase Demand The farmer-leaders of the United Soybean Board recently finished their summer board meeting in Michigan and approved a budget of $123 million for program work beginning in October. They set investments in research, education, and promotion to add value to U.S. soybeans and build resilience, differentiation, and reputation. The eight investment portfolios align with USB’s new vision of delivering sustainable soy solutions to every life, every day. “Our thinking, planning, and work as a board has become a much more deliberate and idea-driven process, challenging our board members to think big,” says USB Chair and New York farmer Ralph Lott. “Each portfolio works together to create demand for U.S. soybeans across the entire global soy value chain.” He also says that USB has shifted from “project takers” to “portfolio makers,” and the result is more strategic thinking. USB says U.S. soybeans are preferred worldwide, and farmers are seeing strong ROI on their dollars.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday July 28, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly jobless claims, and updates of second-quarter U.S. GDP and the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Energy Department's weekly report of natural gas storage is due out at 9:30 a.m., given extra attention by this week's news Russia is cutting gas supplies to Europe. Traders will keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts and any news regarding Ukraine. Weather A pair of fronts are combining across the southern Corn Belt on Thursday and producing scattered showers and thunderstorms from Colorado to the Mid-Atlantic throughout the day. Moderate to heavy rain is expected and some areas of flooding will be possible. South of the fronts, temperatures again will be hot in Texas and Oklahoma east to the Mississippi River, though not as extreme as earlier in the week. The Pacific Northwest will be the hottest spot in the country today with temperatures well above normal.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday July 27, 2022 |


Poultry Producers Settle Claims on Unfair Worker Treatment Three of the biggest poultry processors in the U.S. will settle claims by the Justice Department over their alleged efforts to work together to drive down employee compensation. Reuters said Cargill, Sanderson Farms, and Wayne Farms agreed to pay a combined $84 million in restitution to workers harmed by their alleged information sharing in order to settle civil antitrust lawsuits. The Antitrust Division of the DOJ said in a statement that through a “brazen scheme” to exchange wage and benefit information, these producers stifled competition and harmed a generation of plant workers who face demanding and sometimes dangerous conditions to earn a living. The settlement was filed on Monday in a Maryland District Court shortly after the lawsuits got filed. Wayne Farms says the settlement shows the company’s commitment to its workers and farmers. Cargill admitted no wrongdoing but said it settled with the Justice Department to avoid further litigation. *********************************************************************************** USDA Says Rising Food Prices Could Ease in 2023 The all-items Consumer Price Index increased 1.4 percent from May to June and is 9.1 percent higher than in June of last year. USDA once again raised its consumer food price inflation forecast from 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent for 2022. In their first forecast for next year, USDA says inflation will slow to a range between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent. That’s more in line with the 20-year historical average increase for consumer food prices, which is 2.4 percent per year. The 8.5-9.5 percent rise between 2021 and 2022 is the biggest increase in overall food price inflation since 1979 when prices rose 11 percent. The biggest increase was in the fats and oils category, now forecast to rise 16.5-17.5 percent this year compared to 2021. Poultry, dairy, and cereals-bakery goods are other categories with large price increases. Food at home price is now forecast at 11 percent higher in 2022. *********************************************************************************** Risk Management Programs Critical for Dairy Success The National Milk Producers Federation commended farmers from its member cooperatives who are speaking up for dairy’s needs during farm bill listening sessions held by members of Congress. “From sustainability and trade to providing an adequate safety net to producers of all sizes, dairy farmer voices are critical to crafting federal farm programs that serve the entire nation,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We commend the farmers who own our member cooperatives for sharing their insights.” During a listening session in Minnesota, Steve Schlangen, chair of Associated Milk Producers, Inc., emphasized the value of the Dairy Margin Coverage Program that was created in the 2018 Farm Bill. Schlangen urged the committee to strengthen the program by carrying the Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage update over into the next farm bill to compensate farmers for modest production increases that have taken place since the program formula was created in 2014. *********************************************************************************** USDA Starts Issuing Payments for Spot Market Hog Pandemic The USDA is increasing the amount of funding available for the Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program and expects to issue approximately $62.8 million in assistance payments to producers this week. SMHPP assists eligible producers who sold hogs through a spot market sale between April 16 and September 1 in 2020. “In order to provide more targeted support to hog producers affected by COVID-19, FSA was able to increase funding for SMHPP to provide full payments instead of applying a payment factor,” says FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “We’re happy to be able to provide more equitable assistance for hog producers hit hard by the pandemic.” Terry Wolters, president of the National Pork Producers Council, says they appreciate FSA’s commitment assisting those pork producers hit by the economic disruptions. “Producers forced into spot market hog sales are still challenged by those market disruptions, so this will help in the recovery,” he says. *********************************************************************************** Farmfest Offering Livestreamed Forums on Farm Bill, Ag Outlook, and More National farm and ranch leaders will be in Minnesota for Farmfest on August 2-4 at the Gilfillan Estates near Morgan, Minnesota. They’ll be discussing agricultural topics like the farm bill, the agricultural outlook for the year ahead, and many others. The feature forum will be Tuesday, August 2, at 1:15 pm Central Time, when the primary focus will be on the key topics getting considered as Congress develops the 2023 Farm Bill. Wednesday’s forum schedule starts at 8:30 am and will feature grain marketing, weather, ag policy, crop, and livestock experts sharing perspectives on the year ahead. A Women in Agriculture event will conclude with the presentation of the Farmfest Woman Farmer of the Year on Thursday. “In-person attendees and those tuning in on Livestream will benefit from the insights shared by our lineup of presenters,” says Melissa Sanders Carroll of IDEAg (Idea Ag). For a full schedule and to see the Livestream events, go to Farmfest.com. *********************************************************************************** Cattle Industry Business Meeting This Week in Reno, Nevada More than 600 leaders in the cattle industry are at the Summer Business Meeting in Reno, Nevada, this week and providing direction for the industry’s important programs. The event includes meetings of cattlemen and women representing the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, American National CattleWomen, and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. “These meetings give us a great opportunity to engage with one another,” says NCBA President Don Schiefelbein (SHEEF-ell-byne). “I appreciate the time and effort producers commit to coming together to strengthen our industry.” Producers will discuss current developments, work on initiatives developed at Convention, and make plans for the upcoming fiscal year. Other highlights include Sam’s Club executives sharing their knowledge of working on the consumer-facing side of the beef industry. The next time cattle producers come together will be at the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show on February 1-3 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday July 27, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets At 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, the U.S. Commerce Department will release its report on durable goods orders for June, expected to show a decline on the month. An index of pending U.S. home sales is due out at 9 a.m., followed by the Energy Department's weekly inventory report at 9:30 a.m., including ethanol production. At 1 p.m., the long-awaited announcement from the Federal Reserve will be out with many anticipating a 0.75% hike in the federal funds target rate. Weather A stalled front across the southern Midwest has been active over the last few days, bringing heavy rain and some flooding. This front stays active Wednesday and another front moving through the Midwest will start to combine with the western end of the front in the Central Plains later Wednesday. Widespread scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected near the southern front, with more isolated showers for the northern Midwest. Cooler temperatures are found north of the front but the heat continues across the Southern Plains and Delta. Heat is also present in the Pacific Northwest for the next several days, stressing spring wheat.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday July 26, 2022 |


Growth Energy, EPA Reach Agreement on 2023 Biofuel RVOs Growth Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement on the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2023. Last week, the two groups submitted a consent decree agreement to the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The agreement requires EPA to propose the 2023 renewable volume fuel requirements no later than November 16, 2022, and then finalize the requirements no later than June 14, 2023. “The agreement is an important milestone in setting the pace for growth as we usher in a new era of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “The agreement avoids the uncertainty of continued litigation and ensures the certainty of the 2023 RFS requirements.” The EPA is required to coordinate with the Energy Department and the USDA to set renewable fuel volume requirements through rulemaking, taking into consideration six statutory factors, including environmental, economic, and energy security. The court is expected to approve the agreement. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Cattle Inventory Down Two Percent The Cattle Report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says U.S. farms contained 98.8 million head of cattle and calves as of July 1. Of the 98.8 million head of inventory, all cows and heifers that have calved total 39.8 million. There were 30.4 million beef cows in the U.S. as of July 1, two percent lower than 2021. The number of U.S. milk cows dropped to 94.5 million. The U.S. calf crop was estimated at 34.6 million head, one percent lower than in 2021. The number of U.S. Cattle on Feed is slightly higher than last year. The cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the U.S. for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.3 million on July 1. That inventory level was slightly higher than July 1, 2021. The inventory included 6.9 million steers and steer calves, down one percent from last year. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Gasoline Prices Continue to Fall The average price of regular gasoline in the U.S. dropped 32 cents during the past two weeks to an average of $4.54 a gallon. Fuel industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says that the continued decline is coming at the same time crude oil costs continue to fall. Lundberg says, “Further drops at U.S. pumps are likely as the cuts in the wholesale gasoline price continues down to street level.” While the average price at the pump is down 55 cents during the past six weeks, it’s still $1.32 higher than the price a year ago at this time. The Associated Press says the highest average price in the nation for regular-grade gas was in Los Angeles at $5.65 a gallon. The lowest average price at the pump was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at $3.90 a gallon. Diesel prices dropped 22 cents in two weeks to $5.55 a gallon. *********************************************************************************** FFA Leaders Gathering at the New Century Farmer Conference Forty-five FFA members from around the country are gathering in Iowa to talk about how agriculture will play a pivotal role in their future during the New Century Farmer conference. The conference is a chance for FFA members intending to remain in production agriculture to work on future plans for success. “This program is important because it helps us continue growing the next generation of leaders who will not only change the world but continue to provide food, fiber, and resources for future generations,” said Allie Ellis, associate director of the National FFA Alumni & Supporters. “We’re excited to offer this opportunity to learn and grow together while expanding their networking pool.” During the week, participants will visit with producers around the state, learn from industry leaders, see innovative agricultural technology, and network with others who also plan to stay in production agriculture. Students from 22 states will make the trip to Iowa. *********************************************************************************** USDA Investing in On-Farm Conservation Trials The USDA says it will invest $25 million this year in the Conservation Innovation Grants On-Farm Innovation Trials Program. Through CIG, partners work to address the nation’s water quality, water quantity, air quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat challenges, all while improving agricultural operations. The on-farm component of the program supports widespread adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches in partnership with agricultural producers. This year’s funding priorities are climate-smart agricultural solutions, irrigation water management, nutrient management, and soil health. “Through science and innovation, we can develop solutions to tackle the climate crisis, conserve water, protect soil, and create opportunities for our producers,” says Terry Cosby, Natural Resources Conservation Chief. Applications for On-Farm Trials are being accepted through September 20, 2022. Private entities whose primary business is related to agriculture, nongovernmental organizations with experience working with agricultural producers, and non-federal government agencies are eligible to apply. More information is available at grants.gov. *********************************************************************************** Dairy Checkoff Hires Sustainability Leader Dairy Management, Inc. hired Lori Captain as the executive vice president of global sustainability strategy, science, and industry affairs. Captain comes to DMI after serving more than 20 years working at Corteva Agriscience and its predecessor DuPont, most recently as chief of staff, external affairs, and counsel to the CEO. She’s also worked at Syngenta and has significant experience in sustainability, corporate communications, media relations, policy, and engagement strategies. She’ll apply that experience with DMI to help advance U.S. dairy’s vision, guiding environmental science while building support for the 2050 Environmental Stewardship Goals. “Lori Captain will be a global industry ambassador representing our sustainability strategy and progress,” says Barbara O’Brien, president and CEO of DMI. “The dairy industry has been a sustainability leader for decades,” says Captain. “I’m honored and excited to join DMI and help farmers improve their sustainability footprint in a way that’s economically viable and helps builds their business.”

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday July 26, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets At 9 a.m. CDT Tuesday, there will be reports on U.S. new home sales in June and an index of U.S. consumer confidence for July. This is also another busy week of earnings reports and the Federal Reserve will begin its two-day meeting with a rate hike of 0.75% expected on Wednesday. Traders will keep a close watch on weather, Russia's latest moves and anything pertaining to outside markets. Weather A front stalled out from southern Kansas through the Ohio Valley remains active with scattered showers on Tuesday. Some of these showers have already been heavy early this morning from Missouri into southern Indiana. A second front moving through the Northern Plains will bring showers to the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Minnesota, offering some relief to a few drier areas in that region. South of the fronts, heat continues to be significant for the Southern Plains into the Delta and also in the Pacific Northwest.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday July 25, 2022 |


Deal Signed to Export Grain from Ukraine Officials from Russia and Ukraine signed a deal Friday to reopen grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Reuters says the deal should help ease the global food crisis. Officials from the United Nations expect the agreement will be fully operational in a few weeks and restore shipments to pre-war levels of five million tons per month. The deal will allow Ukraine to export the 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural products that have been stuck in the Black Sea ports due to Russia’s invasion. “A deal allowing grain to leave the Black Sea ports is nothing short of lifesaving for people across the world who are struggling to feed their families,” says Red Cross Director-General Robert Mardini. He also notes that prices for food staples have risen 187 percent in Sudan, 86 percent in Syria, 60 percent in Yemen, and 54 percent in Ethiopia over the past six months. *********************************************************************************** NCGA Call-To-Action to Protect Atrazine The National Corn Growers Association launched a call-to-action asking advocates to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in response to the agency’s announcement that they are revising the registration for atrazine. The EPA says it’s amending the registration of this well-studied herbicide that allows farmers to do more with less. The new level of concern for atrazine will vastly reduce the herbicide’s effectiveness and hinder farmers’ ability to utilize a critical tool. “Corn growers know the value of atrazine, and it’s time again to tell the EPA how valuable this product is to our operations,” says NCGA President Chris Edgington. “In 2016, we came together to submit more than 10,000 comments to the agency, and we need that same momentum again.” NCGA points out that since it first came onto the market, atrazine has allowed farmers to increase their conservation tillage practices. Conservation tillage is a key to carbon-smart farming practices. *********************************************************************************** Advocates Claim Deere Right-to-Repair May Violate Clean Air Act Consumer advocates claim that John Deere may be violating the Clean Air Act by limiting repairs on the emission control systems of its machines. Such repairs are only authorized to certified John Deere dealers. Politico says the Clean Air Act requires companies to provide the necessary information, including software, to repair emission control systems in vehicles. Companies are required to confirm they’re providing the information in certification filings with the Environmental Protection Agency every year. The advocates claim that by denying the necessary parts and information for independent repair, the tractor manufacturer is violating the law. However, the company has said they restrict access to the emissions control systems because farmers could delete the software, which Deere says would also be a violation of the Clean Air Act. Deere says when emissions systems break down, farmers might view deletion as an easier option. Deere is named in 17 class-action lawsuits over repairs. *********************************************************************************** USDA Helps Schools and Childcare Providers Deal with Rising Food Costs The USDA announced an increase in funding to help schools continue to serve healthy meals this coming school year and provided financial relief for schools and childcare providers. The reimbursement schools will get for each meal served will increase by 68 cents per free or reduced-price lunch and 32 cents per free or reduced-price breakfast. The increase supports school and childcare providers dealing with rising food costs. “The boost in reimbursements will help provide financial relief for schools so they can continue serving high-quality meals to students amid higher food costs and continuing supply chain challenges,” says Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition, and consumer services. “USDA is fully committed to using every resource in its toolbelt to ensure kids get the healthy meals they need to grow, learn, and thrive.” The USDA will provide an additional $2 billion for schools to purchase domestic food for their meal programs. *********************************************************************************** Iowa Lifts HPAI Influenza Quarantine Restrictions The Iowa Department of Agriculture released the last commercial Iowa poultry farm from highly pathogenic avian influenza quarantine restrictions. Those restrictions prohibited moving poultry or poultry products on or off the affected premises and were lifted after the farm cleared all of the testing protocols and quarantine requirements. “This important milestone allows impacted farmers to turn the page from responding to the outbreak to repopulating flocks and returning to turkey and poultry production,” says Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig. “Moving forward, we’ll work with our partners to assess this year’s response to ensure that we’re even more prepared for any potential disease challenges in the future.” Gretta Irwin, executive director of the Iowa Turkey Association, says lifting the last commercial site quarantined in Iowa is great news. “In 2022, we had nine HPAI turkey cases instead of the 71 in 2015, which shows how far we’ve come in battling the disease,” she says. *********************************************************************************** June Egg Production Drops Three Percent, Milk Up Slightly The USDA says America’s egg production totaled 8.67 billion during June, a three percent drop from last year. Production included 7:39 billion table eggs and 1.28 billion hatching eggs. Of the hatching eggs, 1.19 billion were broilers and 89.4 million were egg-type. The average number of egg layers totaled 366 million in June, down four percent from last year. June egg production per 100 layers was 2,367 eggs, two percent higher than June 2021. Milk production in the 24 major dairy states during June totaled 18.1 billion pounds, up .3 percent from June 2021. Production per cow in the 24 states averaged 2,031 pounds in June, 20 pounds above the same time last year. The number of milk cows on farms was 8.93 million head, 65,000 less than June 2021, but 4,000 head more than in May 2022. Milk Production between April and June hit 57.9 billion pounds, down .5 percent from 2021.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday July 25, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders are looking close at this week's rain chances and will keep close track of actual rainfall amounts before a drier forecast returns in August. USDA's weekly report of grain export inspections is set for 10 a.m. CDT Monday, followed by the Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Traders will also be watching outside markets with another rate hike expected from the Fed on Wednesday. Weather Two cold fronts are working through the Corn Belt on Monday. Across the south, widespread moderate to heavy rain is forecast while more scattered showers are moving into the Northern Plains. Rain may be heavy for flooding, even in drought areas across the southern Corn Belt. Temperatures are also much cooler behind the fronts, reducing stress for row crops and wheat. Meanwhile, heat continues south of the fronts in the Southern Plains and Delta, and is building in the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures and dryness will increase stress on spring wheat.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 22, 2022 |


Ethanol Production Rises After Six Consecutive Weekly Declines The Energy Information Administration says U.S. ethanol output increased for the first time in six weeks while inventories dropped slightly. During the week ending on July 15, production rose to an average of 1.03 million barrels a day. The EIA report says that’s up from just over one million barrels a day during the previous week, the first gain since June 10. The Midwest produces more ethanol than any other part of the U.S. and saw its output jump to an average of 973,000 barrels a day from 944,000 barrels a week earlier. Gulf Coast output climbed to an average of 26,000 barrels a day, up from 23,000 the prior week. That’s where all of the gains took place as the Rocky Mountain region stayed steady at 15,000 barrels a day, and the West Coast output held at 9,000 barrels a day for the eighth-straight week. Inventories dropped slightly to 23.55 million barrels. *********************************************************************************** House Democrats Introduce Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill House Democrats introduced a bill that would reauthorize child nutrition programs. Those programs include school meals, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (WIC), and a number of smaller programs. The Hagstrom Report says child nutrition programs haven’t gotten reauthorized since 2010’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. The School Nutrition Association, which represents school foodservice directors and companies that make the food, says it’s expecting a markup on the legislation next week. Prospects for reauthorization are uncertain as Democrats and Republicans have had differences over the nutritional requirements in the 2010 bill. The USDA also made it easier for children to get free school meals and for mothers and infants to use the WIC program. The reauthorization bill would make some of those policies permanent. Republicans are expected to question or even oppose those policies. The Senate Ag Committee, which has jurisdiction over child nutrition in the Senate, hasn’t released its own bill. *********************************************************************************** Farm Service Agency Updates Livestock Indemnity Payments for Smaller Calves The Farm Service Agency made changes to its payment rates under the Livestock Indemnity Program. The agency changed rates for calves under 250 pounds and will now value them at the same level as non-adult cattle weighing between 250 and 399 pounds. FSA also increased payment rates for calves under 400 pounds. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association had written FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux and praised the changes. The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota says the April winter storms that hit North Dakota left cattle producers with extreme losses, most of which were in cattle under 250 pounds. LIP payment rate is set at 75 percent of the fair market value. The payments have gotten updated to use the same price as the 251-399 pound livestock. The rate is now set at $474.38 a head for cattle weighing less than 250 pounds. The previous payment rate for calves under 250 pounds was $175. *********************************************************************************** American Lamb Board Working on Strategic Planning The American Lamb Board last released a strategic plan in 2018. The world has changed since then, so the Board is developing a new strategic plan, noting that it faces dynamics that the industry has previously never faced. “Instability in the economy, the economic viability of sheep production, consumer uncertainty, supply chain issues, and increasing pressure from imports are critical issues,” says ALB Chair Peter Camino (Ka-MEE-no). “We are determined to find ways for the U.S. Lamb Checkoff to help our industry through our role in promotion, research, and producer outreach.” The current plan expires in 2022 and prioritizes increasing the quality and consistency of American Lamb and regaining market share from imports. “We need to give consumers more reasons to desire and ask for U.S. lamb even though we are premium prices,” Camino says. “The past four years show that we’ve made progress in many areas, but we need to push harder and farther.” *********************************************************************************** Biden, Xi Will Talk Soon on Tariffs, Trade, and Taiwan Plans are in place for President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet by the end of the month as tensions increase over trade commitments, tariffs, and Taiwan. The two leaders last spoke on a call four months ago, and the new call would come as the administration considers cutting import duties on Chinese goods to help reduce inflation pressures on American consumers. Reuters says rising inflation has prompted the look at possible tariff relief. That relief may include cutting or dropping the Section 301 tariffs imposed by former President Trump on approximately $370 billion in Chinese imports. Sources told Reuters that the administration is considering whether to pair a removal of at least some of the tariffs with a new investigation into China’s industrial subsidies and its efforts to dominate key economic sectors. The U.S. says high-level engagement is needed to stabilize what’s been a difficult relationship between the countries. *********************************************************************************** Prices for Cereal Products Rose 11 Percent During First Half of 2022 Consumer prices for cereal products as measured by the Consumer Price Index rose about 11 percent from January through June of 2022 compared to the same time last year. It’s the largest year-over-year increase during those six months since 1981. The USDA says the rise in consumer prices for cereal products tracks with a more substantial increase in the price of wheat. The Kansas City Wheat Market most closely reflects the prices that mills pay for wheat, and cash wheat prices were up 63 percent from the same period last year. The heightened volatility follows a historically typical pattern. Price changes in commodity markets tend to be relatively more extreme than the changes in consumer prices. Generally, commodity prices make up a small portion of the value of these cereal products because of the level of transformation and transportation that these products go through while moving through the value chain.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 22, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets There are no significant reports out Friday morning, but traders will be watching the latest weather forecast and for any news regarding an agreement to allow grain shipments out of Ukraine. At 2 p.m. CDT, USDA will release its semi-annual cattle inventory report, the on-feed report for July and monthly cold storage report. Beef cow numbers in the inventory report will likely get the most attention. Weather A disturbance moving through the Corn Belt will produce some areas of showers and thunderstorms on Friday. Storms will be mostly isolated, but there could be a few patches where storms are stronger or severe. Showers will also occur in the Southeast. Between the two areas, temperatures will be increasing again, with heat and humidity making for some dangerous conditions for both humans and livestock for

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday July 21, 2022 |


NCGA: Federal Crop Insurance Still a Top Priority for Farmers Congress is continuing its review of the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill as it prepares to debate and reauthorize the farm bill next year. A National Corn Growers Association leader testified before the House Ag Committee that federal crop insurance is essential to farming and has to get protected from harmful budget cuts. Tom Haag of Minnesota is the First Vice President of the NCGA. “Federal crop insurance is a major pillar of risk management for the vast majority of corn growers,” he said during testimony. “Simply put, the public-private partnership of crop insurance works and plays a significant role for agriculture in the wake of natural disasters.” During the development, passage, and implementation of the last farm bill, both the House and Senate Ag Committees defeated attacks on the program and found ways to strengthen the federal crop insurance program. Haag says NCGA will provide farm bill recommendations in the months ahead. *********************************************************************************** NPPC Applauds U.S.-Philippine Swine Fever Project The National Pork Producers Council is applauding a new joint effort to address the challenges of African Swine Fever. The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service joined with leaders from the Philippine Department of Agriculture and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to announce the new project. It’s titled “Capacity building in risk assessment to support safe international trade of U.S. pork producers in the Philippines.” NPPC President Terry Wolters of Minnesota says, “Creating international partnerships provides further safeguards to keep American agriculture safe from foreign animal disease. That helps U.S. pork producers to continue providing customers in both countries with safe and affordable pork.” The Philippines has had ongoing ASF outbreaks and is seeking better ways to control the virus and the subsequent food price inflation. NPPC worked with the Philippine embassy in Washington, D.C., to ascertain the needs of the Philippine government and the country’s producers to help them better manage ASF outbreaks. *********************************************************************************** Bipartisan Letter to EPA Asks Agency to Support Advanced Biofuel Production Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, both members of the Senate Ag Committee, wrote a letter with 22 colleagues to the Environmental Protection Agency about biofuels. The letter asks EPA Administrator Michael Regan to support higher amounts of biomass-based biodiesel and other advanced biofuels in the upcoming 2023 and 2024 Renewable Volume Obligations. “Advanced biofuels have a critical role in addressing some of the economic challenges we face today,” Grassley says in the letter. The senators also say that the production and use of advanced biofuels benefit the economy and the environment in many ways. For example, the production process involves utilizing resources that would otherwise be of no use, including surplus vegetable oils, recycled cooking oils, and animal fats. Production of clean-burning, homegrown biofuels supports 13 percent of the value of U.S. soybeans. Laboratory estimates say biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 74 percent compared to regular diesel. *********************************************************************************** Gas Prices Down 10 Percent from June Peak The national average price for a gallon of gas is below $4.50 for the first time in two months. The Washington Post says that may offer some relief for Americans struggling to make ends meet due to runaway inflation. Triple A says the national average was $4.495 on Tuesday, a ten percent drop from the June high point of more than $5 a gallon. A gallon of diesel dropped 31 cents over the last month, now at $5.51 on Tuesday. At least 35 states across the country have at least one retailer selling gas for under $4 a gallon. The fuel-tracking app GasBuddy says the lowest price this week was found in Virginia, where at least two stations are selling their gas at $3.25 a gallon. The turnaround in prices has taken industry analysts by surprise. Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy says, “We see prices drop like this maybe twice a century. “ *********************************************************************************** Sorghum Added to USDA Food Buying Guide The USDA recently added sorghum to its Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs, the primary resource used by school foodservice directors to build menus that comply with nutrition requirements. The move represents a major step forward for Sorghum, a nutrient-rich, high-protein, gluten-free grain. “The inclusion of sorghum in the Food Buying Guide is a monumental win for sorghum producers as we continue looking for new ways to market our crop,” says Norma Ritz Johnson, executive director for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. “This move is pivotal in our efforts to increase its visibility and ease of use among foodservice professionals.” She also says the industry is excited to deliver its nutritious whole grain to the plates of American schoolchildren. As of July 1, a new USDA requirement stated that at least 80 percent of the weekly grains in school lunch menus must be whole-grain rich, something sorghum can provide. *********************************************************************************** Ag Groups Support the “Beagle Brigade” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association joined a coalition of agricultural organizations in calling for passage of the Beagle Brigade Act of 2022. The bill would authorize the National Detector Dog Training Center, which trains canines who are nicknamed the “Beagle Brigade.” Allison Rivera, NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs, says the Beagle Brigade is crucial for preventing foreign animal diseases, invasive species, and pests from entering the country. “To continue the success of the Beagle Brigade’s program, we’re urging Congress to provide specific authorization for the National Detector Dog Training Center so canine teams can continue to provide robust inspections at U.S. ports of entry,” Rivera says. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say over 116 agricultural canine teams provide screenings at border crossings, airports, cruise terminals, cargo warehouses, and mail facilities. Brigade members play a vital role in preventing the introduction of diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine Fever, and many others.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday July 21, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor, followed by the Conference Board's index of U.S. leading indicators at 9 a.m. and the Energy Department's weekly report of natural gas storage at 9:30 a.m. Traders will keep close watch on the latest weather forecasts and watch to see if Russia restores gas shipments to Germany. The European Central Bank is expected to raise its interest rate by a half-percent. Weather A frontal boundary continues to push south and east across the country, though it is hard to call it a cold front with temperatures so high in many areas even north of this front. The front will be the focus for thunderstorm development, however, and some severe storms will be possible across the Southeast and up the Eastern Seaboard. To the northwest, temperatures are above-normal for most of the country except up along and across the Canadian border. There could be some pop-up showers at times through the rest of the Plains and Corn Belt, but most areas should stay dry today, increasing stress for drier areas of the country.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday July 20, 2022 |


Ag Land Market Will Be Active During the Fall Early indications are suggesting that land auction activity will be good both before and after the harvest in 2022. Farmers National Company says land sales typically slow during the spring and early summer. However, the rate of late summer and fall auctions getting scheduled with Farmers National Company is picking up rapidly. The overall number of sales and amount of land sold from now through the end of the year likely won’t equal the very active land market at the end of 2021. But sales activity will more than likely exceed what was seen during the slower land market years from 2015 to 2020. FNC says people are moving ahead with sales because of the historically high land prices currently in the market. Another factor is the level of uncertainty in a number of factors that influence land values, including inflation. Sellers worry about how far and how quickly interest rates will rise. *********************************************************************************** Family Farms Still Driving Dairy Industry The U.S. dairy industry says the “decline of the family farm” and the “rise of the corporate farm” are not accurate descriptions of American agriculture. While the number of dairy farms declined, it has not at all diminished the dominance of family-run dairies. Smaller family farms often grow to accommodate additional family members coming into the operation. Of the estimated 39,442 farms of all sizes with dairy cows, USDA data says more than 38,200 were family-operated. That’s a total of 97 percent of dairies, a high number that’s not moving despite any consolidation. For example, the number of farms with dairy cattle was over 48,000 in 2016, but the family-farm percentage that year was 97.3, a remarkably consistent number. The average size of a U.S. dairy farm has grown from 50 cows in 1990 to about 300 today. Even though they’re larger, the family farm is still the bedrock of American dairy farming. *********************************************************************************** AFT Hires Soil and Climate Experts to Increase Impact Capacity American Farmland Trust expanded its national “Farmers Combat Climate Change Initiative” team. New team members include Dr. Bonnie Michelle McGill as Senior Climate and Soil Health Scientist and Dr. Rachel Seman-Varner as Senior Soil Health and Biochar Scientist. Through the work of its climate initiative, AFT commits to making U.S. agriculture climate-neutral or better by promoting the widespread adoption of regenerative farming practices that rebuild soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce emissions. McGill will lead climate solutions related to program modeling, data analysis, and other research efforts advancing climate-smart practice adoption and support advocacy and communications. Seman-Varner will advance the science and implementation of high-level regenerative soil health management systems and provide technical support for policy advocacy. She will also advance AFT’s leadership on how to integrate and improve biochar and other innovative natural climate solutions into soil health management systems. The two new additions say complex problems need multi-faceted solutions. *********************************************************************************** American Fruit Grower’s Survey Shows Serious Labor Concerns The American Fruit Growers held its annual State of the Industry survey. Labor was a big topic in the survey, and one-third of the respondents say it’s not an issue for them, at least not yet. Growing Produce says they typically have a stable team of employees, and in 20 percent of those cases, it includes family members. For the remaining two-thirds of the survey responders, available labor is a huge challenge. A California apple grower told Growing Produce, “In California, we’re limited to a 40-hour workweek. They’re also considering reducing it to four days a week and raising the minimum wage to $15.50 an hour.” A citrus grower from Florida says it’s “virtually impossible” to find excellent farm labor. Just two in 10 survey responders currently use the H-2A program that authorizes lawful admission into the U.S. for temporary, non-immigrant workers to do agricultural labor or provide seasonal services. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Soy Farmers to Help Battle Child Malnutrition Worldwide The U.S. Agency for International Development announced $1.3 billion in additional critical assistance to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Those funds include $200 million for purchasing a product called Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic-Food. RUTF is an energy-dense medical food paste made of soy, peanuts, powdered milk, vegetable oil, sugar, and multivitamins. It’s one of the world’s most effective tools to help severely malnourished children. America is one of the world’s largest and most cost-efficient producers of RUTFs, but U.S. farmers have the capacity to do more. “U.S. soybean growers are proud of the role they play in global food security,” says American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle. “We welcome the opportunity to provide more protein to feed those in need around the world, and we’re thankful for the much-needed investments in RUTFs.” Last spring, the ASA asked Congress for $200 million in appropriations to purchase RUTFs and double the global supply to reach more malnourished children. *********************************************************************************** “Rock the Crop” Sweepstakes Deadline Approaching Firestone Ag is partnering with country music star Dillon Carmichael to celebrate U.S. agriculture with its second annual Rock the Crop Concert Sweepstakes. U.S. farmers and ranchers must enter by July 25 for a chance to win a private, on-farm concert with Dillon Carmichael or tickets to one of his upcoming concerts. Firestone Ag says it’s proud to champion hard-working family farmers, and eligible entrants must live and work in the contiguous U.S. and be at least 21 years old. “I’m thrilled to continue this partnership with Firestone and have such a unique opportunity to personally celebrate America’s farmers,” Carmichael says. “My latest album is all about small-town USA, which is common for country music and a testament to my upbringing and our many fans.” Matt Frank, Firestone’s marketing product manager, says the last few years have been very challenging for agriculture workers, so they’re excited to thank one lucky farmer or rancher.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday July 20, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. existing home sales is set for 9 a.m. CDT, followed by the Energy Department's weekly report of energy inventories at 9:30 a.m., a report which includes ethanol production. Traders will continue to keep a close watch on the latest weather forecast and any news regarding Ukraine. Weather A system moving through the Great Lakes is expected to fire off scattered thunderstorms along its cold front from Michigan to Kentucky Wednesday afternoon, some of which may be severe. More limited showers will be possible along the rest of the front from Tennessee back through Oklahoma. Some showers will also be found across the Southeast while most of the rest of the country is dry. Heat continues to be a major factor today, with high heat and humidity ahead of this from across the South into the Northeast.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday July 19, 2022 |


International Trade Commission Rejects Fertilizer Duties in Win for Farmers The U.S. International Trade Commission Monday ruled against imposing tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers imported from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. The decision comes after CF Industries filed a petition with ITC in late 2021, requesting that the commission place tariffs on urea ammonium nitrate used in liquid fertilizers. Shortages and prices have since increased exponentially. National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington says, "This comes as a welcome relief," adding, "We have been sounding the alarms and telling the ITC commissioners that tariffs will drive up input prices to even more unaffordable levels for farmers." American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle says the ruling "will provide much-needed relief from tariffs for U.S. soybean growers and farmers across the country." Few inputs have exhibited more price inflation than UAN, which has experienced a high price increase due largely due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Last month, agriculture groups asked ITC to take into consideration that price pressure experienced by commodity farmers has cascading effects that reverberate through the farm economy. *********************************************************************************** Report: China Largest Global Funder of Agricultural R&D While public agricultural research and development funding in the United States has trended downward in recent decades, several other major trading partners have increased their funding. USDA’s Economic Research Service reported Monday that China leads the world in agricultural research and development funding. The European Union's expenditures have grown since 2000, as have the expenditures in India and Brazil. However, none experienced as rapid an increase as China, which became the largest funder of agricultural R&D after 2011, surpassing the European Union. By 2015, the last year for which the Economic Research Service has full data, China was spending more than $10 billion annually on agricultural R&D. That level of spending was roughly twice the U.S. expenditures in 2015 and nearly quintuple that of China's own R&D spending in 2000. With China as a major importer of U.S. agricultural goods and Brazil a competitor to the U.S. in the global corn and soybean markets, these developments could impact U.S. export competitiveness. *********************************************************************************** FAS Administrator Whitley Kicks Off Philippines Trade Mission Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley arrived in Manila Monday to launch a USDA trade mission. The trade mission seeks to foster stronger ties and build economic partnerships between the United States and the Philippines. Whitley is joined by representatives from 29 U.S. agribusinesses and farm organizations and ten state agriculture departments interested in exploring export opportunities in the Philippines. Whitley says, "I'm confident the next few days will produce mutually beneficial results to help expand trade, increase collaboration on key issues impacting agriculture in both our countries, and ultimately strengthen Philippine food security." This week, local staff from the FAS office in Manila will host business meetings between U.S. trade mission delegates and local companies seeking to import American food and farm products. The trade mission itinerary also includes three memoranda of understanding signing ceremonies, including one to launch a USDA-funded program to help combat African Swine Fever in the Philippines. *********************************************************************************** Vilsack to Address Western Governors’ Association Annual Conference Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Idaho for a series of events next week, including addressing the Western Governors' Association Annual Conference. The events are related to the Biden administration efforts to build climate resilience and recover from the impact of wildfires. USDA says Vilsack will visit a U.S. Forest Service tree nursery in Boise, Idaho, on July 25, and announce USDA efforts on climate mitigation and significant investments in reforestation and wildfire risk reduction funded in part by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. On July 26, Vilsack will deliver a keynote address at the Western Governors' Association Annual Conference. In his address, he will speak about challenges facing western communities and how state and federal governments can partner to address these challenges. Before his keynote, Secretary Vilsack will participate in a press conference with the governors in attendance, where he will discuss Bipartisan Infrastructure Law programs that will help communities reduce risk and build resilience against wildfire. *********************************************************************************** Agriculture, Business Organizations Oppose Tax Increases The National Pork Producers Council last week joined 191 agriculture and business organizations voicing opposition to two key changes to the tax code that may become part of a budget reconciliation bill. Media reports suggest Senate lawmakers want for non-corporate taxpayers to expand the current 3.8 percent Net Investment Income Tax to all non-wage income and expand and extend the “excess business loss limitation.” Both provisions were included in the $1.6 trillion budget reconciliation package of mostly social welfare and environmental spending approved by the House last fall. For pass-through entities such as most pork operations, the increase would directly impact the bottom line, limiting deductions of excess business losses would reduce the ability of farm operations to recover from bad years, according to NPPC. In a letter last month, the groups wrote, “In the face of a possible recession, 40-year high inflation, unprecedented supply-chain challenges, and chronic labor shortages, raising taxes on small, individually, and family-owned businesses is the wrong approach and should be rejected.” *********************************************************************************** Overwhelming Interest in USDA Climate-Smart Commodities Opportunity The Department of Agriculture says the second funding pool through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity received over 600 applications from over 400 groups. While USDA is in the process of calculating the total requested amount for the second funding pool, the overall interest in the opportunity already exceeds more than $18 billion. Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Robert Bonnie, says, “The results of the second funding pool clearly demonstrate the strong demand in the U.S. agriculture and forestry industry for solutions that expand markets for American producers." The second funding pool, which closed on Friday, June 10, included proposals from $250,000 to $5 million that emphasize the enrollment of small and/or underserved producers, and/or monitoring, reporting and verification activities developed at minority-serving institutions. First-round proposals requested more than $18 billion and offered to match more than $8 billion in nonfederal dollars. The submissions are currently being reviewed, and selections are anticipated later this summer.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday July 19, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets A report on June U.S. housing starts will be out at 7:30 a.m. CDT and is the only significant report of the day. Traders will continue to keep watch over the latest weather forecasts and be on the lookout for an update on last week's meeting in Turkey regarding the passage of grain shipments out of Ukraine. Weather A system is skirting along the Canadian border Tuesday, bringing scattered showers and thunderstorms near the border and potential for some severe storms in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Stronger winds are developing on the backside of the system in the Northern Plains as well. But heat continues to be the big story of the week with high heat south of the influence of that system across the South. Soil moisture continues to decline in these areas.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday July 18, 2022 |


CoBank Report Details Current and Future Ag Economic Conditions A number of factors are sending up red flags about slowing economic activity and a potential oncoming recession. A CoBank report says inflation is the largest red flag, and the Fed is ready to raise rates until it believes inflation has been controlled. “Warehouse and inventory costs are still rising at near-peak levels, and transportation costs are rising at a much higher rate than before COVID-19,” says Dan Kowalski, vice president of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange. “Grain rail car availability and prices were at multi-year lows and highs respectively, in the second quarter.” Shifting economic sentiments have brought ag and energy commodity prices down from their peaks. Grain prices in the second quarter remained volatile, but grain and oilseed prices should push higher because of tight global commodity supplies, especially wheat and soybeans. There are challenges ahead because of dry July weather, and Asian-made crop protection chemicals will continue in short supply. *********************************************************************************** NMPF Supports the “Formula Act,” Wants Production Boost The National Milk Producers Federation supports bipartisan House legislation that will encourage additional infant formula supply imports to temporarily ease short-term shortfalls in supplies. However, the organization says boosting longer-term domestic production to ensure safe and secure infant supplies in the future is necessary. The “Formula Act” in the House would waive U.S. tariffs on infant formula imports through the end of this year to ensure that the domestic market has the needed formula supplies. The tariff reduction would help the U.S. domestic market recover from an acute processing capacity crisis that created the national shortage of infant formula. “The U.S. has experienced a highly unusual shortage of infant formula for much of this year,” says Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “It’s a crisis that’s dragged on way too long but appears to be improving.” The legislation will address short-term challenges while not creating a permanent dependence on foreign supplies. *********************************************************************************** NCGA Corn Congress Meeting Addresses Crop Input Costs, Availability U.S. farmers are working to help feed the world and fill a void in food production left by the war in Ukraine. Corn grower leaders unanimously passed a measure calling on the White House to maintain grower access to inputs. The measure says the “ability to address the crises facing our world today in a sustainable manner cannot be achieved without fair access to the inputs necessary to raise a crop each year, including pesticides, fertilizer, and biotech seeds.” The unanimous vote comes after the Environmental Protection Agency revised its atrazine registration, a move that could limit access to a critical crop protection tool which has been tested and proven safe for use. The move also comes after the Supreme Court recently refused to hear a case from California regarding glyphosate, which leaves a ruling in place that says glyphosate causes cancer. Farmers worry about a state-by-state patchwork of regulations in the future. *********************************************************************************** “Flash Drought” Emerging in Central, Eastern U.S. While the western U.S. sees water getting scarcer every day, extremely dry conditions are getting worse in central and eastern states. The U.S. Drought Monitor says a “flash drought” has developed in parts of the South and Northeast, including Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. CNN says a flash drought is caused by the rapid intensification of a drought due to a combination of unusually high temperatures, sunshine, and wind. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says flash drought can cause extensive damage to agriculture, economies, and ecosystems. Extreme heat has covered the Southern Plains for a couple of weeks, and more is in the forecast. That’s made the ongoing drought much worse. Roughly 94 percent of Texas was in some form of drought last week, the largest area since 2013, and over 21 percent of the state is in exceptional drought. Oklahoma is also experiencing its hottest summer in several years. *********************************************************************************** Removing Barriers to Meet Growing Demand for Food The American Farm Bureau is calling on USDA to take steps to make sure American farmers continue to have access to crucial fertilizer supplies. The organization submitted comments on USDA’s “Request for Information on Access to Fertilizer.” AFBF says many factors are combining to create shortages and drive up fertilizer costs. “America’s farmers are getting called on to feed both America’s families and families overseas as war and shortages take their toll on international neighbors,” says AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “We need long-term solutions.” The organization’s recommendations include assistance for farmers to expand on-site farm fertilizer storage capacity to help them manage costs year-round. They want the EPA to reform its review processes that create barriers to domestic fertilizer production. AFB also wants modernized weight restrictions for trucks to help reduce the number that’s needed to transport goods and to enact rail reforms to help promote competition, fairer rates, and reliable service. *********************************************************************************** Grain Exports Keeping Pace with Prior Marketing Year U.S. grain exports in-all-forms totaled 96 million metric tons during the first nine months of the current marketing year. The exports to 145 countries are just under the total at the same point in the previous marketing year. Increased grain exports to Mexico, Canada, and Colombia helped to offset year-to-date losses in China and Japan. Those five markets account for almost 70 percent of the grains-in-all-forms commodity exports. “These five markets are very important to overall grain-in-all-forms exports,” says U.S. Grains Council Vice President Cary Sifferath. “Strong exports of corn, DDGS, and ethanol mean Canada is now the third-largest market after Mexico and China.” Mexico surpassed China month-over-month to become the top market for U.S. grains-in-all-forms exports totaling 21 million metric tons during the first nine months of the 2022-2023 marketing year. China is the second largest GIAF export market, with exports of 20 million metric tons during the same period.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday July 18, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will check the latest forecasts and news, including wanting to know if Ukraine and Russia can agree to allow exports out of Ukraine. USDA's weekly report of grain export inspections is due out at 10 a.m. CDT, followed by USDA's monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry outlook at 1 p.m. and Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather A disturbance from the weekend continues to produce some showers from the Delta into the Northeast on Monday with some limited heavy rain potential in these areas. A strong disturbance is moving along the U.S.-Canada border as well and is already starting to spark severe thunderstorms in northern Montana. Areas on both sides of the border will see widespread precipitation but also severe weather today into tomorrow. Heavy rain in the Canadian Prairies will help to ease or eliminate drought for the remaining areas of southern Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan. Heat will take over where showers do not, especially in the Plains, sapping soil moisture and causing stress to crops and livestock.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 15, 2022 |


U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership Launches U.S. trade Representative Katherine Tai Thursday announced the launch of the United States-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership. Tai met virtually with representatives from Kenya, and they identified initial issues where the United States and Kenya will develop an ambitious roadmap for enhanced cooperation. The United States and Kenya will consider measures to facilitate agricultural trade and enhance transparency and understanding of the application of science- and risk-based Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures. The two sides share an interest in fostering sustainable agricultural practices, as well as creating an enabling environment for innovative agricultural technologies that would help achieve food security goals, increase farm productivity, and improve farmer livelihoods, while addressing climate change concerns. Meanwhile, USTR and the European Union held the fifth meeting of the Joint Committee established under the U.S.-EU Agreement on Prudential Measures Regarding Insurance and Reinsurance. Both sides acknowledged progress made toward full implementation of the Agreement. *********************************************************************************** House Ag Chair Announces Bill to Support Small Cattle Farmers House Agriculture Chairman David Scott announced the intention to introduce a bill to help small family farmers and ranchers and address the national crisis in our nation’s beef supply chain. Scott says, “What has been missing from the conversation is help for the very beginning of our food supply chain, which is our nation’s small family farmers and ranchers.” The bill creates a new program that strengthens the federal safety net and makes insurance products work better for small cattle farmers and ranchers, both in terms of coverage and accessibility. The second pillar establishes a grant program at USDA to help small farmers and ranchers and producer-owned cooperatives to undertake innovative business initiatives. By developing more direct-to-consumer and direct-to-institution markets, the legislation will give small farmers and ranchers more control over where they sell their cattle or meat products and provide them with opportunities to add value to their products and increase their profitability, according to Scott. *********************************************************************************** Republican Lawmakers Demand Biden Relax Import Duties on Fertilizer Republican lawmakers demand the Biden administration waive import duties on fertilizer from Morocco and Trinidad and Tobago. The Biden administration has placed duties on fertilizer imports of phosphate fertilizer products from Morocco and is working on new duties on urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer from Trinidad and Tobago. Led by Senator Roger Marshall and Representative Tracey Mann of Kansas, a group of Republicans made the demand in a letter to President Biden. The letter states, “The bottom line is that fertilizer is critical to national security and national defense.” In June, President Biden, using his emergency authority, issued a proclamation titled “Declaration of Emergency and Authorization for Temporary Extensions of Time and Duty-Free Importation of Solar Cells and Modules from Southeast Asia.” The decision waived countervailing duties and anti-dumping duties for solar panels. President Biden’s emergency justifications for this proclamation are also applicable to fertilizer, according to the letter, which directly impacts food prices more than any emergency concerning solar panels. *********************************************************************************** Ag Lawmakers Call on EPA to Cease Politicization of Crop Protection Tools The top Republicans on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees call on the Environmental Protection Agency to "cease politicization of crop protection tools. Representative Glenn "GT" Thompson of Pennsylvania and Senator John Boozman of Arkansas penned a letter to the EPA this week “about the concerning trend of disregarding scientifically-sound, risk-based regulatory processes, and unilaterally denying access to a range of crop protection tools.” Russia’s war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves through the global food system resulting in increased energy prices, fertilizer cost spikes and shortages, and worsening food shortages in developing countries. As the world faces an emerging food crisis due to this conflict, the lawmakers say, “our policies should be focused on supporting American production instead of creating further burden and ambiguity for our farmers and ranchers.” The letter follows a previous effort last year calling on the EPA to rescind its decision to revoke all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos and ensure future actions related to crop protection tools are consistent with the science-based, regulatory process. *********************************************************************************** AEF Announces Agriculture Interoperability Network Project Team The Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation Thursday announced the formation of a project team to develop the new Agriculture Interoperability Network. The team will be creating guidelines for data formats to simplify data sharing for end users, growers and operators. The project team is made up of approximately 60 participants from various AEF member companies from different corners of the globe. AEF members will be able to use the network to make sure their data flows through this whole network. AEF Vice Chairman Andrew Olliver says, “The ability to manage the farm more effectively revolves around the ease of getting all of the data into the best location for reporting and analysis, and to derive insights for future operations.” The network will be a concerted and non-discriminatory governed network that streamlines peer–to-peer interfaces between platforms. Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation is scheduled to introduce the network in November 2023. *********************************************************************************** Grassley Receives President’s Award from National Corn Growers Association The National Corn Growers Association awarded Senator Chuck Grassley the organization' President Award for his leadership and commitment to advocating for corn growers and agriculture. The President's Award is the most prestigious recognition by NCGA and was presented to Grassley during NCGA's Corn Congress events in Washington, D.C. The Iowa Republican says, “I am honored and humbled to receive this lifetime achievement award.” Grassley, one of only two farmers in the Senate, is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. NCGA President Chris Edgington of Iowa adds, “we would not have secured the policy successes we have over the years were it not for the contributions of the senior senator from Iowa.” Grassley serves on several committees, including the Senate Agricultural Committee. A lifelong Iowan, Grassley was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980. NCGA’s President’s Award is given annually to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn growers and agriculture.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 15, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. retail sales in June is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT, followed by the Federal Reserve's report on U.S. industrial production at 8:15 a.m. and the University of Michigan's index of U.S. consumer sentiment at 9 a.m. Traders will continue to split attention between the latest weather forecasts and the larger economic news with a view toward the next Fed meeting near the end of this month. Weather A weak disturbance moving through the Midwest is causing showers Friday. The scattered showers are bringing light to moderate amounts, but not everywhere is going to get hit and showers will die out as they move through the eastern sections of the Midwest tonight. Scattered showers will continue in the Southeast again today. Heat will continue where showers do not occur, causing stress for pollinating corn and worsening or expanding drought in the Plains.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday July 14, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets After reporting a 9.1% gain in annual consumer prices in June, the U.S. Labor Department will report on producer prices at 7:30 a.m. CDT, Thursday -- the same time USDA's weekly export sales report, weekly U.S. jobless claims and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor are all released. The U.S. Energy Department reports on natural gas in storage at 9:30 a.m. Traders will continue to watch split screens, juggling attention between the latest weather forecasts and happenings in outside markets. Weather Heat is spreading from the West into more of the Plains Thursday as a ridge is starting to take over North America. The increased heat will lead to some showers and thunderstorms in the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies today that could be severe. Old fronts across the Southeast will continue daily showers and thunderstorms in that region as well.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday July 14, 2022 |


Consumer Price Index Increases The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 1.3 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 1.0 percent in May. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 9.1 percent before seasonal adjustment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the increase was broad-based, with the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food being the largest contributors. The all-items index increased 9.1 percent for the 12 months ending June, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1981. The food index increased 1.0 percent in June, following a 1.2-percent increase in May. The index for food at home also rose 1.0 percent in June, the sixth consecutive increase of at least 1.0 percent in that index. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose in June. The index for other food at home rose 1.8 percent, with sharp increases in the indexes for butter and for sugar and sweets. *********************************************************************************** USDA Invests $14M to Support Agricultural Workforce Training for Underserved Communities The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced more than $14 billion in agricultural workforce training for underserved communities. USDA says the funding will increase the resilience of the U.S. meat and poultry processing sector. The investment is part of the American Rescue Plan to strengthen the nation’s food supply chain by promoting fair and competitive agricultural markets. Funding is available through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Request for Applications process to eligible universities. Eligible applicants include qualified Centers of Excellence at 1890 Land-grant Universities, 1994 Land-grant Tribal Colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian institutions, and participants in the Resident Instruction Grants Program for Institutions of Higher Education in Insular Areas. Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics, who also serves as USDA’s chief scientist, says, “These investments provide critical support to our higher education partners to increase rural prosperity and economic sustainability of food systems in underserved agricultural communities.” *********************************************************************************** FAS Administrator Whitley to Lead Philippines Trade Mission Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Daniel Whitley will lead a delegation of representatives from 29 U.S. agribusinesses and farm organizations to Manila, Philippines, July 18-21. The delegation is part of a Department of Agriculture-sponsored trade mission. The Philippines is the eighth-largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, averaging $3.1 billion annually during the last five years. Whitley says, “The Philippines is an excellent market for U.S. farm and food products, and we look forward to introducing a diverse group of companies and organizations to new export opportunities there.” Participants will engage directly with potential buyers, receive in-depth market briefs from FAS and industry trade experts, and participate in site visits. Whitley will be joined by Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen, Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman, South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Secretary Hunter Roberts and Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matthew Lohr, among others. *********************************************************************************** DeLauro, Durbin Introduce Food Safety Administration Act Two Democrats Wednesday Introduced the Food Safety Administration Act to establish the Food Safety Administration. The administration would be a single food safety agency responsible for keeping the food safe for market. Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced the legislation with Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. The Food Safety Administration Act would establish the Food Safety Administration under the Department of Health and Human Services by incorporating the existing food programs within the Food and Drug Administration into a separate agency: the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center for Veterinary Medicine, and the Office of Regulatory Affairs. Representative DeLauro says, "Look no further than the recent infant formula crisis to understand the need to create a single food safety agency, led by a food policy expert, to ensure the safety of products that go to market." The legislation is endorsed by the Center for Food Safety, Consumer Reports, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth and others. *********************************************************************************** Clean Fuels Highlights Job Creation and Economic Benefits in Letter to President Biden Clean Fuels Alliance America wrote to President Joe Biden Wednesday and other administration officials to highlight the biodiesel and renewable diesel industry’s contribution to job growth. The letter asks the administration to support tax policy that encourages continued investments, capacity expansion, and additional job creation. The letter states, “The clean fuels industry increased production during 2021, making an essential contribution to the nation’s fuel supply,” adding, “Our industry plans to continue increasing production this year.” The recent United States Energy and Employment Report 2022 shows that the clean fuels industry added jobs in 2021 at a rate of 6.7 percent and anticipates continued job growth of 5.8 percent in manufacturing during 2022. Additionally, a recent study from the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Service showing that U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel production generated a four percent decrease in the price of diesel fuel in 2021 – a saving of $0.22 a gallon at current fuel prices. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Import Value Outpaces Volume Growth In fiscal year 2021, the value of U.S. fruit and vegetable imports rose to a record level. That record is projected to rise another nine percent in FY 2022, October–September, to $42.6 billion, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. Import volumes are also expected to grow three percent in 2022 to 29.4 million metric tons. This would further extend the trend seen from 2000 to 2021, during which the volume of U.S. fruit and vegetable imports increased 124 percent while the inflation-adjusted value of those imports increased 208 percent. The shift indicates that, on a per volume basis, imported fruits and vegetable products are priced higher than they were 20 years ago as growth in the value of these imports has exceeded growth in volume. Steadily increasing unit prices for imported fresh fruits and vegetables, up from $753 per metric ton in 2000 to $1,192 in 2021, have contributed significantly to the observed trend.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday July 13, 2022 |


USDA Expands Crop Insurance for Double Crop Systems The Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced an expansion of crop insurance availability for double-crop practices. To reduce the risk of raising two crops on the same land in one year – a practice known as double cropping - USDA's Risk Management Agency is expanding double-crop insurance opportunities in over 1,500 counties where double cropping is viable. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined President Joe Biden at an Illinois farm in May to announce a series of actions to help farmers. Vilsack says, “Today, USDA is making good on one of those commitments and making it easier to plant double crops and sharing some of the financial risk.” For soybeans, double-crop coverage will be expanded to or streamlined in at least 681 counties. For grain sorghum, double-crop coverage will be expanded to or streamlined in at least 870 counties. The coverage expansion was guided by extensive outreach to nearly 70 grower groups covering 28 states. *********************************************************************************** USDA Releases July WASDE Report USDA released the July World Agriculture Supply and Demand report Tuesday. This month’s 2022/23 U.S. corn outlook calls for larger supplies and higher ending stocks. Corn beginning stocks were raised 25 million bushels, based on reduced feed and residual use for 2021/22 as indicated in the June 30 Grain Stocks report. The season-average farm price received by producers was lowered 10 cents to $6.65 per bushel. Oilseed production for 2022/23 is projected at 132.7 million tons, down 3.9 million from last month. Soybean production is projected at 4.5 billion bushels, down 135 million on lower harvested area. Harvested area, forecast at 87.5 million acres in the June 30 Acreage report, is down 2.6 million from last month. The season-average soybean price is forecasted at $14.40 per bushel, down $0.30 from last month. The outlook for 2022/23 U.S. wheat this month forecasts larger supplies, domestic use, exports, and ending stocks. The projected season-average price declined $0.25 per bushel to $10.50. *********************************************************************************** USDA Accepts More than 3.1 Million Acres in Grassland CRP Signup The Department of Agriculture is accepting offers for more than 3.1 million through this year's Conservation Reserve Program Grassland Signup, the highest in history. The program allows producers and landowners to continue grazing and haying practices while protecting grasslands and promoting plant and animal biodiversity and conservation. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, "This year's record-breaking Grassland CRP signup demonstrates the continued success and value of investments in voluntary, producer-led, working lands conservation programs." Nationwide, this year's Grassland CRP signup surpassed last year's 2.5 million acres by 22 percent. So far this year, producers have enrolled two million acres through the General Signup, and more than 464,000 acres have been submitted through the Continuous CRP Signup. This means about 5.6 million acres are entering CRP in 2023, surpassing the 3.9 million acres expiring this year. Producers can still make an offer to participate in CRP through the Continuous CRP Signup by contacting the FSA at their local USDA Service Center. *********************************************************************************** House Ag Committee Leaders Launch Online Farm Bill Feedback Form Leadership of the House Agriculture Committee this week announced an online form to gather farmer feedback for consideration in the next farm bill. House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott and Ranking Member Glenn "GT" Thompson announced the form for farmers and ranchers to submit their feedback and ideas for the 2023 Farm Bill. Chairman Scott says, “This is a chance to hear directly from farmers, ranchers and foresters across the nation.” Ranking Member Thompson adds, “Hearing directly from farm country about what’s working and what’s not is the only way to ensure we craft a bill that meets the needs of rural America.” In addition to the feedback gathered online, the House Agriculture Committee will continue to conduct hearings in Washington, DC and hold listening sessions across the country to gather input as we prepare for the 2023 Farm Bill. The online form is available on the House Ag Committee website. *********************************************************************************** Meat Industry Leaders Strengthen Collaboration on Food Security The North American Meat Institute's Executive Board voted unanimously late Friday to designate food security as a non-competitive issue. Announces Tuesday, the action, according to the organization, strengthens industry-wide efforts to end hunger and ensure families in need have access to nutrient-dense meat. NAMI President and CEO Julie Anna Potts says, "Declaring food security a non-competitive issue will allow the Meat Institute and its members to freely share best practices." Potts says the action is especially important as the industry prepares to support the September 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. Through the Protein PACT for the People, Animals and Climate of tomorrow, the Meat Institute has committed to fill the protein gap by 2025. The Meat Institute has also established a Food Security Committee to bring members together to facilitate discussion, information-sharing, and problem-solving related to charitable giving, hunger relief and food security. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Residents Consumed Less Ice Cream in 2020 than in 2000 U.S. residents are scooping less of their favorite frozen treats than two decades ago. USDA’s Economic Research Service Tuesday reported that in 2020, the United States consumed about 21 pounds per person of frozen dairy products—about five pounds per capita less than in 2000. Consumption of regular ice cream in 2020 was estimated at 12.7 pounds per person, a decrease of about 3.4 pounds from 2000. At 6.9 pounds, per capita consumption of low-fat and nonfat ice cream was about the same in 2020 as in 2000. Consumption of other frozen dairy products, which include frozen yogurt, sherbet, and other frozen dairy products, decreased from 3.4 pounds to 1.6 pounds per person in the same period. This trend in frozen dairy products is in line with a decline in consumption of total caloric sweeteners per capita from 149.0 pounds in 2000 to 122.5 pounds per capita in 2020, reflecting shifting preferences among consumers.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday July 13, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department will release its consumer price index for June at 7:30 a.m. CDT, a big concern for investors with ramifications for Fed policy. At 9:30 a.m., the Energy Department will have its weekly report of energy inventories, including ethanol production. At 1 p.m., the Fed's Beige Book be scoured for any clues about interest rates, the same time the U.S. Treasury reports on the federal budget for June. Weather A cold front moving into the Southeast will combine with an old one left over from the weekend to produce widespread showers and thunderstorms on Wednesday. Most of the rest of the country will be quiet, though a front will start to move through the Canadian Prairies and Montana later in the day which will be the focus for thunderstorm development as well. Heat in the West and around Texas will continue for another day.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday July 12, 2022 |


May Beef Exports Set New Records, Pork Exports Rise U.S. beef exports set new volume and value records in May, topping $1 billion for the fourth time in 2022. The exports reached just over 135,000 metric tons, up one percent from the previous high in May 2021. Export value climbed 20 percent to $1.09 billion, breaking the March 2022 record. For January through May, beef exports were four percent higher than last year at 613,200 metric tons, valued at $5.14 billion. “Keeping the $1 billion-a-month pace is remarkable, especially given the economic challenges like a stronger dollar and the logistical challenges of the supply chain,” says U.S. Meat Export Federation president and CEO Dan Halstrom. May pork exports were the strongest in volume and value so far during 2022. May pork exports were 224,600 metric tons, down 21 percent from the large total last year. However, that was the highest monthly volume since November. Export value was $665 million, also the highest since November. *********************************************************************************** Gas Prices See Biggest One-Day Drop Since 2008 Gas prices dropped last week by the largest one-day amount in over ten years. Auto club Triple-A says the average prices at U.S. pumps fell 3.1 cents per gallon on Friday, the largest one-time decrease since 2008. Despite the recent drop in gas prices, they’re still roughly $1.60 higher than last year. Ten states still have prices over $5 a gallon, and California is above $6 a gallon. Late last week, Bloomberg said supplies remain tight for fuel. U.S. total gasoline stocks are at their lowest seasonal level in seven years, even though refiners on the Gulf Coast and East Coast have been running at almost maximum capacity. East Coast supplies are particularly vulnerable, and they’re at the lowest seasonal level on record since the government started collecting data in 1993. Gas prices are a major contributor to inflation and will be a significant issue in the upcoming U.S. elections. *********************************************************************************** Farm Family Living Expenses A study by the Kansas Farm Management Association shows that farm family living expenses jumped 14 percent higher last year to an average of $82,000. It’s significantly higher than the previous high of $74,000 in 2014 and the largest yearly change since 2000. Agricultural Economic Insights says tight farm margins starting in 2014 made farmers tighten their belts, and overall, producers benefited from an economy that had extremely low inflation rates through the 2010s. The rising costs in 2021 could be attributed to broad inflation in the economy, as well as profitable conditions in farming. At least some of the 14 percent increase could be seen as a recovery after the three percent contraction in family living expenses in 2020. AEI says the combination of inflationary price pressure and an improved farm economy resulted in significantly higher living expenses for farms, and many farmers will need to update their projections for 2022 and beyond. *********************************************************************************** Poultry Executives Not Guilty of Price-Fixing Five executives in the poultry industry were found not guilty of a price-fixing conspiracy between 2012 and 2019. The Denver Post says the verdict is a defeat for prosecutors and happened after two mistrials. Jurors acquitted the current and former CEOs of Pilgrim’s Pride, a former Pilgrim’s Pride vice president, and the president and vice president of Claxton Poultry. Criminal trials of industry executives are unusual. The three trials happened as rising meat prices added fuel to soaring inflation. The Department of Justice hoped to succeed in the third trial by narrowing the defendants in previous cases from 10 to five in the third attempt. “Although we are disappointed in the verdict, we will continue to vigorously enforce the antitrust laws, especially when it comes to price-fixing schemes affecting food,” the DOJ says in a statement. A lawyer for one of the defendants says the case “should never have been brought.” *********************************************************************************** Safeguarding Midwest Lands That Grow Food Smart growth and investment in Midwest downtowns and main streets have to occur now to secure the land that grows our food. That conclusion is from American Farmland Trust, which released a report called “Farms Under Threat 2040: Choosing an Abundant Future.” The report’s research shows that by 2040, more than three million acres, or nearly 5,000 square miles of farmland, may be lost to urban and low-density conversion across the Midwest. Six Midwestern states made the top ten list of the number of farmland acres getting converted to urban development by 2040. Those states include Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. The report shows the loss will disproportionately affect smaller farms that often service local markets with fresh products. Many of those smaller farms also tend to bring new farmers into the profession and are instrumental in getting through the supply chain disruptions hitting grocery stores around the nation. *********************************************************************************** USDA Helping Issue Child Food Benefits for Summer The USDA is partnering with states and territories across the country to work with urgency to provide food benefits for the summer months to eligible children. As of July 8, 27 states and territories, including Puerto Rico, are set up to provide these benefits to an estimated 13 million children. “For far too long, millions of families have struggled to keep their kids fed and healthy during the summer while schools are out,” says Cindy Long, administrator of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service. “Child food benefits can bridge the gap and help families provide the nourishment their children deserve. They can also help American families cope with the rising cost of food.” Children are eligible for this temporary nutrition benefit called P-EBT if they get free or reduced-price meals during the school year. Children six and under are also eligible if they live in a household receiving SNAP benefits.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday July 12, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets Traders will be watching the latest weather forecasts, but will likely be cautious ahead of USDA's WASDE and Crop Production reports, both due out at 11 a.m. CDT. Outside markets also remain a concern after the September U.S. dollar index hit a new high Monday. Weather A cold front is sagging through the Central Plains and pushing through the East Coast on Tuesday. Some showers and thunderstorms will be possible with that feature. An old front remains active near the Gulf Coast as well with additional showers and thunderstorms there. Both fronts will make for a more active day south of the Ohio River. South of the first front, temperatures will continue to be hot across Texas and the adjoining states.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday July 11, 2022 |


One Hundred Groups Call for Swift Confirmation of New Chief Ag Negotiator A coalition of almost 100 American food and agriculture organizations called for the prompt confirmation of Doug McKalip as the Chief Agriculture Negotiator in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. In the letter to the U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee, the groups highlighted McKalip’s deep knowledge of the food and agriculture industry and his institutional, regulatory, and trade experience. The groups also note that McKalip has the experience necessary to tackle some of the most pressing trade policy issues the industry is facing. “Doug McKalip is an excellent nominee for the critical role of Chief Agricultural Negotiator, especially as the U.S. needs to increase global trade and secure greater market access for U.S. products,” says John Bode, President and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association. The group of associations that sent the letter endorsing McKalip includes much of the food and agricultural sector that’s responsible for about one-fifth of the country’s economic activity. *********************************************************************************** World Food Prices Fall in June World food prices fell for a third straight month in June. However, the United Nation’s food agency says those prices are close to record levels set in March. The Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index tracks the most globally-traded food commodities, and the index averaged 154.2 in June. That’s down from 157.9 in May. Despite the drop, the June index was over 23 percent higher than at the same time last year. The FAO’s Chief Economist says the factors that drove global prices higher in the first place are still in play. In the cereal supply and demand estimates, the FAO raised its global production estimate to 2.79 billion tons, still six percent lower than in 2021. The cereal index dropped 4.1 percent from May but was still almost 28 percent higher than last year. The vegetable oil price index fell 7.6 percent while the meat index rose 1.7 percent. *********************************************************************************** NCBA to Announce Environmental Stewardship Winner on July 26 The 2021 national winner of the Environmental Stewardship Program will be announced during the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Reno, Nevada, July 25-27. The award was established by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in 1991. It identifies outstanding land stewards in the cattle industry. Every year, seven families are recognized with regional Environmental Stewardship awards, with one getting honored as the national winner. “Cattle producers across the country work tirelessly to conserve natural resources for future generations,” says NCBA President Don Schiefelbein. “I’m glad we can honor the nation’s top cattle operators for their environmental conservation efforts.” The most recent winner was Beatty Canyon Ranch of Colorado in 2020. The Environmental Stewardship Award Program is sponsored by companies and federal agencies that share the cattle industry’s commitment to caring for the environment and protecting natural resources. Sponsors include Corteva, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, McDonald’s, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. *********************************************************************************** Dairy Industry Speaks Out at Farm Bill Listening Session Dairy producers from several National Milk Producers Federation cooperatives urged Congress to create greater opportunities as they write the next farm bill. The dairy farmers are looking for opportunities to promote environmental stewardship, promote exports, and want Congress to craft farm bill programs that aid dairy farmers of all sizes in all regions. Melvin Medeiros of Laton, California, and Joey Fernandes of Tulare, California, spoke during a listening session held by California Representative Jim Costa. “From water issues, to trade, to sustainability, to providing an adequate safety net for producers of all sizes, the farmers who own our member cooperatives are critical to conversations that affect all of agriculture in the next farm bill and beyond,” says NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “We commend our California dairy farmers for sharing their insights and thank Representative Costa for making sure that dairy’s voice gets heard as the next farm bill begins taking shape.” *********************************************************************************** Smithfield Settles Price-Fixing Lawsuit for $42 Million Smithfield Foods will pay $42 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the meatpacker of conspiring to fix pork prices. CBS News says lawyers began notifying companies like restaurants and caterers of the settlement. Smithfield previously settled with a different group of pork buyers for $83 million. Meatpacker JBS agreed to pay the restaurants and caterers an additional $12.75 million in the same pork lawsuit. Earlier this year, JBS had already agreed to pay $52.5 million to settle a similar price-fixing lawsuit over beef. Neither Smithfield nor JBS admitted to any wrongdoing as part of those settlements, and officials at Smithfield headquarters wouldn’t comment on the settlement. Other price-fixing lawsuits have also been filed against national chicken producers, with almost $200 million in settlements already approved in price-fixing cases to date. Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the country’s biggest chicken producers, was fined $107 million for price fixing in February 2021. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Ag Groups Note Passing of Former Japanese Prime Minister Japan’s longest-serving leader and former prime minister, Shinzo Abe (AH-bay), died after being shot at a political campaign event last week. The U.S. Grains Council commented on his passing as a great loss for the country. “Prime Minister Abe was a leader in many ways, including growing trade between the U.S. and Japan,” says USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. ‘He continued the long, close friendship between the U.S. and Japan that goes back even farther than the first office we opened in Japan in 1961.” U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom says his organization is deeply saddened by the death of Abe. “In addition to being a strong and reliable ally of the U.S., he was a true champion for free trade,” Halstrom says, “especially his leadership in advancing the U.S.-Japan agreement, which was a major victory for American agriculture.” Halstrom also called Abe “courageous and relentless.”

| Rural Advocate News | Monday July 11, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, there will be plenty of attention on the latest weather forecasts as more of the corn crop reaches or nears pollination stage. Outside market news also continues to make investors nervous and will be monitored. USDA's weekly report of grain export inspections is due out at 10 a.m. CDT, followed by Crop Progress at 3 p.m. Traders may be a little cautious ahead of Tuesday's WASDE and Crop Production reports. Weather A cold front that went through the Northern Plains over the weekend will continue to push through the northern tier of the country on Monday. The front will produce scattered showers and thunderstorms, some of which may be strong to severe. Heat will continue south of the front in the Plains, putting stress on drier areas but allowing good conditions for winter wheat harvest. The Southeast will continue to see more scattered showers and thunderstorms due to an old front.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 8, 2022 |


USDA Highlights Importance of Innovation at G20 Meeting The U.S. Department of Agriculture underscored the importance of agricultural research and development at the G20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists this week. Research and development is critical in tackling the challenges of global food security and climate change, according to USDA, which called on G20 members to support the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate. USDA’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, led the U.S. delegation to the meeting, where agricultural science leaders from around the world convened to discuss global challenges facing agriculture and to align both national and global research and development priorities. Jacobs-Young says, “Ambitious investment in climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation will help create a surge of solutions.” Jacobs-Young also highlighted the United States’ leadership role in the global Coalition for Sustainable Productivity Growth, as well as the United States continued focus on innovative technologies and approaches to reduce food loss and waste in the agricultural supply chain. *********************************************************************************** Drought Conditions Found in Much of the U.S. The latest Drought Monitor shows much of the U.S. is dealing with dry conditions. All but 16 percent of the West region is in some form of drought, with 28 percent considered D3-D4, the worst drought classifications. Another 16 percent of the South region is drought-free, with 23 percent in D3-D4. Meanwhile, 67 percent of the High Plains region faces drought conditions, along with 50 percent of the Midwest region. Finally, 63 percent of the Southeast region is in drought, along with 36 percent of the Northeast region. Short-term drought continued to rapidly expand across the Ohio, Tennessee, and Middle Mississippi Valleys along with parts of the Corn Belt in the last week. Thunderstorms brought locally heavy rainfall and drought relief to parts of the central to northern Great Plains. However, temperatures averaged above normal throughout the Great Plains. A tropical disturbance in the western Gulf of Mexico and a trough of low pressure resulted in heavy rainfall and improving drought conditions to southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. *********************************************************************************** US, Canada, Announce Dispute Settlement on Trade in Solar Products The United States and Canada Thursday announced a memorandum of understanding to settle a dispute on trade of solar products under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The MOU promotes greater North American solar supply integration and reaffirms both countries’ commitment to prohibit imports of solar products produced in whole or in part with forced or compulsory labor, according to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. The MOU also contains a mechanism to ensure that solar product imports from Canada do not undermine the existing U.S. safeguard measure on imports of solar products. Ambassador Katherine Tai says, “Reaching this settlement with Canada will promote greater deployment of solar energy in the United States using products from one of our closest allies.” The U.S. imposed the solar safeguard measure during the Trump Administration. This year, a USMCA panel issued its report, finding that the prior Administration’s decision to include imports from Canada in the solar safeguard measure was inconsistent with certain USMCA rules. *********************************************************************************** USDA: Adult Obesity Increased During Pandemic USDA’s Economic Research Service reports behavior changes during the pandemic exacerbated an already existing adult obesity epidemic. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in 2020, studies using limited online surveys found evidence of weight gain among U.S. adults. However, because the pandemic surveys did not represent the overall U.S. adult population, findings derived from them did not fully show how much obesity rates changed for adults during the pandemic. The study found that, compared with a pre-pandemic baseline period, adult obesity prevalence was three percent higher over the period from March 13, 2020, to March 18, 2021, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings also showed statistically significant changes in each of the four obesity-related behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participation in exercise rose 4.4 percent, and people slept 1.5 percent longer. Meanwhile, the number of days in the period of a month in which alcohol was consumed was 2.7 percent higher, and cigarette smoking dropped by four percent. *********************************************************************************** Farm Bureau Foundation Awards Nearly $9,500 in Ag Literacy Grants The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture awarded $9,400 in grants to recognize agricultural literacy programs of ten state and county Farm Bureaus. The grants are funded through the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program, which acknowledges communities that are engaging with students on the fundamental role of agriculture in the everyday lives of all Americans. Daniel Meloy, Foundation Executive Director, says, “Agricultural literacy programs like the ones selected for grants are inspiring students to understand where their food comes from.” State and county Farm Bureaus may apply for $1,000 grants in support of education programs for grades K-12 in order to initiate new ag literacy programs or expand existing programs. Organizations and schools can work with local Farm Bureaus to apply for the grants, which are available on a competitive basis. Grants are awarded twice a year, in the spring and fall. The list of grant winners is available at agfoundation.org. *********************************************************************************** Last Call for Lamb Summit Registration With the American Lamb Summit just a month away, and only a few seats remaining, anyone wanting to attend should register in the next few days. The Lamb Summit begins Monday, August 8, in East Lansing, Michigan. Sessions focus on industry challenges and opportunities, competitor analysis, eating quality of lamb, including a taste panel, carcass quality evaluation and yield cutting demos, and accelerated lambing. August 9 sessions will feature hands-on learning about meat and muscle biology, genetics and meat quality, ultrasounding to determine meat quality, feed composition’s influence on carcass composition, industry environmental sustainability, plus insights into the non-traditional and direct-to-consumer markets. The 2022 American Lamb Summit, sponsored by Premier 1 Supplies and the American Lamb Board, strives to inspire the next level of change and collaboration among all segments of the US Lamb industry to improve competitiveness, product quality and productivity through increased use of the most efficient, progressive management tools. Complete information is available at LambSummit.com.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 8, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday, the same time the Labor Department will report on nonfarm payrolls and the U.S. unemployment rate for June. Traders will continue to closely watch the latest weather forecasts and any news related to the economy and interest rates. A report on U.S. consumer credit in May is due out at 2 p.m. CDT. Weather Moderate to locally heavy rain with a threat of flooding is in store for the central and eastern Midwest Friday. Northern and central crop areas have received some beneficial moisture in storms during the past week. Meanwhile, the southern Midwest, Delta and southeast Plains will be stressfully hot and dry. Heat index values will exceed 110 Fahrenheit in many locales of the southern U.S.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday July 7, 2022 |


UN Report: Global Hunger Increasing A new report released Tuesday from the United Nations shows the number of people affected by hunger globally rose to nearly 830 million in 2021, providing fresh evidence that the world is moving in reverse. The UN report says the world is moving in the opposite direction from the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms, by 2030. The report represents an increase of about 46 million since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world’s economy into a downward spiral, and 150 million more since 2019. As many as 828 million people were affected by hunger in 2021, 46 million people more from a year earlier and 150 million more from 2019. After remaining relatively unchanged since 2015, the proportion of people affected by hunger jumped in 2020 and continued to rise in 2021, to 9.8 percent of the world population, according to the report. *********************************************************************************** Americans Increasingly Blame Supply Chain for Inflation Consumers are shifting the blame for inflation from the pandemic to supply chain issues, according to a recent poll by the Consumer Brands Association. The poll also showed that most Americans say inflation is hitting their household budgets and that tackling supply chain problems will positively affect inflation. The poll of 1,000 adults in mid-June found 72 percent of respondents said that increased grocery prices were having a very significant or somewhat significant impact on their household budgets. Only 22 percent said it was having a not very significant impact, and just six percent said it was having no impact. The frustration with higher prices has led to a notable shift in American attitudes about what is to blame for grocery inflation. The increase in supply chain costs and constraints as a source of blame for inflation coincides with an uptick in the interest of tackling supply chain problems as a means to ease inflation. *********************************************************************************** Increased June Runoff Not Enough for Missouri River Basin Drought Despite improved runoff in June, water conservation measures will continue for the second half of the navigation flow support season, based on the July 1 Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System storage. June runoff in the Missouri River basin above Sioux City, Iowa, was 5.2 million-acre-feet, 94 percent of average. The updated 2022 runoff forecast is 20-million-acre feet, 78 percent of average and 1.7-million-acre-feet higher than last month’s forecast. June runoff into Garrison was 110 percent of average. John Remus of the Army Corps of Engineers says, “Heavy rain in mid-June on the upper Yellowstone River, coincided with mountain snowmelt increasing inflows into Garrison reservoir.” However, due to the ongoing drought and the amount of water stored in the reservoir system, water conservation measures will likely continue through the remainder of 2022 and into 2023. Officials say releases from Gavins Point will likely be at a minimum rate of 12,000 cubic feet per second. *********************************************************************************** Rice Industry Welcomes Consultations Regarding India Trade Distortion The United States and other World Trade Organization Members are initiating consultations with India on their trade-distorting rice subsidies. Current WTO rules allow governments to subsidize up to ten percent of the value of commodity production. However, the Indian government continues to subsidize more than half of the value of production for several commodities, including rice and wheat. India's lack of rule-following has reshaped global agricultural production and trade channels, according to Representative Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican. Crawford says, “This announcement is a long overdue step in the right direction in combatting bad actors like India and its rice subsidies to give our nation’s agriculture producers a level playing field.” USA Rice Chair Bobby Hanks says, “India makes up nearly half of global rice trade and much of its exported rice benefits from the government-established floor price, and then exported at low prices, distorting trade.” Australia, Canada, Japan, Paraguay, Thailand and Uruguay joined the U.S. in the effort. *********************************************************************************** Farm Credit Mid-America and Farm Credit Midsouth to Merge Two U.S. Farm Credit organizations recently announced the intent to merge. The Farm Credit Mid-American and Farm Credit Midsouth merger would create Farm Credit Mid-America. Dane Coomer, Farm Credit Midsouth board chairman, says, “We are excited about the possibility of this merger because the two associations share notable similarities and unique strengths.” Andrew Wilson, Farm Credit Mid-America board chairman, echoed his comments. Farm Credit Midsouth is located in the Mississippi River Delta just west of Memphis and headquartered in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Dan Wagner, current president and CEO of Farm Credit Mid-America, will continue to serve in that role with Louisville, Kentucky as the headquarters. Farm Credit Midsouth’s CEO, James McJunkins, previously announced his plan to retire at the end of February 2023. Combining the associations would yield approximately $36 billion in owned and managed assets, with nearly 1,650 team members serving more than 137,000 customers in 391 counties across six states. *********************************************************************************** Farmers Received Smaller Share of Price for Fresh Tomatoes in 2021 The farm share of the retail price of fresh, field-grown tomatoes—the ratio of what farmers received to what consumers paid—fell from 43 percent in 2020 to 36 percent in 2021. While the national, monthly average price of such tomatoes at grocery stores fell 11 cents to $1.85 per pound in 2021, the monthly average price received by farmers simultaneously fell 16 cents to $0.56 per pound. As part of calculating the farm share, USDA’s Economic Research Service assumes that farmers supply a little less than 1.2 pounds of fresh tomatoes for each pound sold at retail, as 15 percent of the fresh tomatoes shipped to grocery stores is lost through spoilage or is otherwise damaged. Farm prices for tomatoes were lower in 2021 as U.S. domestic production of all types of fresh-market tomatoes rose 1.3 percent. This came despite a four percent decline in overall fresh vegetable production caused partly by extreme heat in growing regions.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday July 7, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department's weekly report of jobless claims is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT, the same time as the Census Bureau releases the trade deficit for May. USDA will release more specific export data from the Census Bureau later Thursday morning. The U.S. Energy Department releases natural gas storage at 9:30 a.m., followed by energy inventories and ethanol production at 10:00 a.m. USDA's weekly export sales report will be out Friday morning, due to this week's holiday schedule. Weather Thursday brings another day with widespread shower and thunderstorm potential for northern and central crop areas, with locally heavy rain and benefit to crops. Southern areas will be dry and hot, especially in the Southern Plains. Crop and livestock stress continues.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday July 6, 2022 |


Farmer Optimism Remains Weak The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer continued lower in June, down two points to a reading of 97. The barometer’s Index of Future Expectations also dropped, falling five points to a reading of 95, the lowest level since 2016. Producers were slightly more optimistic about their current conditions. The Index of Current Conditions rose five points to 99, but rising input costs and uncertainty about the future continue to weigh on farmer sentiment. Many producers in the survey said they’re concerned about the ongoing rise in production costs and volatile commodity prices, two factors that could lead to a production cost-income squeeze in 2023. The Farm Financial Performance Index, which deals with income expectations in the current year, rose two points in June to 83. However, that’s still the lowest level for the index during the past two years. Input prices and availability continue to be the top concerns for U.S. producers. *********************************************************************************** Proposed Changes on Using Atrazine The Environmental Protection Agency released proposed changes to the agency’s September 2020 atrazine interim decision. The Scoop says the proposal includes five changes to atrazine labels to lower runoff from farm fields. The agency wants to prohibit application when soils are saturated or above field capacity. The proposal would also prohibit application within 48 hours of a forecasted rain or storm event. The agency also wants to prohibit aerial applications of all formulations. The proposal would restrict annual application rates to two pounds of active ingredient or less per acre per year or less for applications to sorghum, field corn, and sweet corn. An additional “picklist” to labels requires growers to select a combination of application rate reductions and-or runoff control measures when using atrazine in certain watersheds. The EPA says the picklist method is intended to help growers select runoff control practices that are the least burdensome to them. *********************************************************************************** U.S., China Talk Trump Tariffs Senior U.S. and Chinese officials discussed U.S. economic sanctions amid reports that the White House is considering rolling back some of the levies imposed by the previous administration. During a call on Tuesday morning, China’s Vice Premier told U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin that lifting tariffs and sanctions and the fair treatment of Chinese enterprises are areas of concern for the Southeast Asian nation. Bloomberg says the administration called the talks candid and substantive. However, the secretary mentioned several issues that concerned the U.S., including the impact of Russia’s war against Ukraine on the global economy and China’s unfair, non-market economic practices. The discussion happened as President Biden may roll back some of the American tariffs on Chinese imports worth hundreds of billions of dollars, possibly this week. As inflation increases in America, economic experts expect the administration will ease the taxes to help lower the costs of everyday items. *********************************************************************************** West Coast Port Labor Contract Expires Negotiations will continue on a new labor contract for the more than 22,000 workers at U.S. West Coast ports. Reuters says industry leaders and the White House are watching the high-stakes talks closely. The agreement will include 29 Pacific Coast ports from California up to Washington state, ports that bring in up to 40 percent of America’s imports. The Pacific Maritime Association employer group and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said in a joint statement that cargo will keep moving at the ports until an agreement can get reached. However, Pete Tirschwell of S&P Global Market Intelligence says, “When the contract expired, so did the ‘no strike’ clause.” More than 150 business groups asked President Biden to push for a swift resolution. Agriculture groups and others business organizations are watching the negotiations with concern after the last West Coast port labor contract negotiations broke down in 2015 after nine months. *********************************************************************************** New Tool Assesses Corn Rootworm Risk The National Corn Growers Association is introducing a new tool for growers looking to find out their risk for Corn Rootworm. The new Corn Rootworm Risk Tool gives farmers the chance to enter historical data and current management data, along with corn rootworm intensity, to determine the potential risk for developing resistance to valuable Bt traits. Using the information that’s submitted by the farmer or technical advisor, the tool gives growers a low-, medium-, or high-risk level and summarizes the appropriate best management practices for each scenario. The predictive tool is a helpful resource that’s not designed to replace conversations with technical advisors on what practices or strategies to employ. The ultimate objective is to suppress corn rootworm populations and assist farmers in maintaining the effectiveness of important tools like Bt corn. For more information or assess the potential risk of resistance, go to btrisk.iwilltakeaction.com. For additional best management practices, go to iwilltakeaction.com/insects. *********************************************************************************** California Company Intends to Build First Sugar Cane Ethanol Plant A California company intends to build the first ethanol plant in America powered by sugar cane. California Ethanol and Power intends to construct a $650 million plant on 160 acres. The plant is part of a $1.1 billion project that includes agreements with local farmers to grow sugar cane for the ethanol plant. The company also will have an agreement in place with a top farming cooperative to market the ethanol. L.A. Business Journal says if the company gets enough financing, the plan is to have the plant running by late 2025, producing about 68 million gallons of ethanol every year. The plant will also generate byproducts like 49 megawatts of electricity and about 740 million gallons of biomethane that can be used to heat businesses and homes. The plant will also produce about 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide gas that the company will capture and sell to other companies needing CO2 emission offsets.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday July 6, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets Traders keep a close watch on the latest weather forecasts this time of year and will be digesting Tuesday afternoon's Crop Progress report from USDA. At 1 p.m. CDT, Fed watchers will be able to read minutes from the most recent Open Market Committee meeting, likely full of hawkish comments. Many of this week's reports are shifted forward one day, due to the holiday schedule. Weather Showers and thunderstorms continue in the forecast for northern and central crop areas Wednesday. The storms in general will offer beneficial rainfall for crops. Meanwhile, stressful heat remains in effect over southern crop areas, notably in th

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday July 5, 2022 |


EPA Revising Atrazine Registration The National Corn Growers Association is concerned about a move by the Environmental Protection Agency that could restrict access to a critical crop protection tool. The EPA says it’s revising its registration for atrazine, a well-studied herbicide essential to farming. “We’re disappointed by this,” says NCGA President Chris Edgington. “We can feed and fuel the world and fight climate change, but we can’t do these things without modern farming tools, and atrazine is a critical tool for farming.” The new labeling requirements will impose difficult new restrictions and mitigation measures on the herbicide, limiting how much product farmers can use. The latest development marks a step backward in EPA’s commitment to transparency and using the best available science. However, Edgington says that EPA listened to growers’ requests and agreed to additional scientific review. NCGA will continue working with EPA through the entire process, which now enters a 60-day comment period. *********************************************************************************** Applications Open for Young Leader Program Young people passionate about agriculture and ready to become leaders are invited to apply for the next class in the ASA Corteva Agriscience Young Leader Program. The program is sponsored by the American Soybean Association and Corteva. It’s a two-phase educational program for actively farming individuals and couples passionate about agriculture. Phase 1 takes place November 29-December 1 in Johnston, Iowa, while Phase 2 is March 7-11, 2023, at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida. “As a member of the Class of 2009, I can tell you that this program is important and has had a real impact on not only the soybean industry but all of agriculture,” says ASA President Brad Doyle. Individual soybean growers and couples are encouraged to apply for the program, which focuses on leadership and communication, agriculture trends and information, and developing a strong and connected network. For more information, growers can go to soygrowers.com. *********************************************************************************** Wheat Growers List 2023 Farm Bill Priorities The National Association of Wheat Growers shared their priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill. As lawmakers continue putting the next farm bill together, wheat growers will be advocating for these priorities on Capitol Hill. The priorities include protecting crop insurance to ensure growers have a strong and reliable safety net assists wheat growers when it’s needed during disasters. They also want to support financial and technical assistance provided through voluntary conservation programs. The wheat growers want an increase in the reference price for wheat in Title 1 to help cover the cost of production more accurately. They also favor enhancing USDA’s market access and development programs to enhance trade. “The farm bill addresses many programs that are critical for wheat growers, and we look forward to actively engaging in the farm bill reauthorization process,” says NAWG President Nicole Berg. “Sharing our priorities is the first step in the reauthorization process.” *********************************************************************************** NMPF: Prioritize Food Access at Hunger Conference The National Milk Producers Federation led eleven national agriculture, anti-hunger, nutrition, and medical groups in a virtual listening session with the White House on food access. The White House is holding its Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in September, and the groups want officials to place a high priority on accessing affordable, diverse, and nutritious foods. The NMPF organized the session to offer the White House expertise and real-world experience from a wide range of organizations on how important increased access to food and a diverse range of food choices are to fight nutrition insecurity and improve nutrition-related health. The event is part of the broader effort to provide input to the White House as officials put together a new strategy to end hunger and increase healthy eating and physical activity among Americans by 2030. Officials say the White House plans to release its new strategy during the September conference. *********************************************************************************** Nominations Open for Farm Dog of the Year Contest Farmers are invited to submit their nominations for the 2023 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, which is co-sponsored by Purina. It’s the fifth annual contest, which celebrates farm dogs and the many ways they support farmers and ranchers in producing nutritious food for families and their pets across America. The nomination deadline has been extended to July 15. The grand prize winner will get a year’s worth of Purina dog food and $5,000 in prize money. The winner also gets recognized during an award ceremony at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in January 2023. Up for four regional runners-up will each win $1,000 in prize money. The 2023 Farm Dog of the Year will also get featured in a professionally-produced video. Farm dog owners must be members of the Farm Bureau to enter their dogs in the competition. For more information, prospective contest entrants can go to fb.org. *********************************************************************************** Bill Would Keep U.S. Ag from Exploitation New York Representative Elise Stefanik and other House Republicans introduced legislation that would prevent adversarial countries from acquiring American companies amid global food shortages. Stefanik says food security is national security, and she’s proud to stand against our foreign adversaries as they attempt to exploit potential vulnerabilities and assert control over America’s agricultural industry. The bill would specifically prevent countries like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea from being allowed to buy American agricultural companies, citing them as “prohibited.” It also lists biotechnology and agriculture as critical infrastructure. “Adversarial nations like China continue to threaten our homeland, using tactics like buying American agriculture companies and stealing agricultural research to undermine our economy,” Stefanik says. Fox News says the food security issue is a global problem because of the war in Ukraine, which has led to global food shortages. Republicans say Russia is using food manipulation as a weapon in its invasion of Ukraine.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday July 5, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets Back from the three-day weekend, trading in U.S. grain and livestock futures will resume at 8:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday. Traders will be checking the latest weather forecasts and observable rain amounts from the weekend. A report on May U.S. factory orders is due out at 9:00 a.m. CDT, followed by USDA's weekly export inspections at 10 a.m. CDT. USDA's Crop Progress report is set for 3 p.m. CDT, with attention on the latest good-to-excellent crop ratings. Weather Tuesday features scattered thunderstorms from the Northern Plains to eastern Midwest with some benefit to crops. Meanwhile, stressful hot and dry conditions are in store for the remainder of the Plains, Midwest, Delta and Southeast.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 1, 2022 |


USDA Releases Planted Acreage and Grain Stocks Reports The USDA’s Acreage Report shows farmers have planted 89.9 million acres of corn, down four percent from last year. Soybean planted area for 2022 is estimated at 88.3 million acres, one percent higher than last year. The all-wheat planted area is estimated to be 47.1 million acres, one percent higher than last year. If realized, this represents the fifth-lowest all wheat planted area since records began in 1919. The 2022 winter wheat planted area is 34 million acres, one percent higher than 2021. Because of planting delays in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, the acreage numbers will be updated in August. Corn stocks, in all positions, totaled 4.35 billion bushels on June 1, up six percent from last year. Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 971 million bushels, up 26 percent from last year. Old crop-all wheat in all positions totaled 660 million bushels, 22 percent lower than 2021. *********************************************************************************** Court of International Trade Looking Into High Fertilizer Prices The Court of International Trade is considering an appeal against the U.S. International Trade Commission’s decision to place duties on phosphorous fertilizers from Morocco and Russia. The National Corn Growers Association says that’s put fertilizer companies under scrutiny this week. “We’ve been sounding the alarm for a long time and telling officials these tariffs are hurting farmers,” says NCGA President Chris Edgington. “We finally have seen results as a judge with the Court of International Trade began asking tough questions about the assertions made by fertilizer companies.” The appeal comes after the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission ruled last year in favor of a petition by U.S.-based Mosaic to impose duties on phosphorous fertilizers imported from Russia and Morocco. Mosaic claimed the imports were unfairly subsidized and undercutting prices in the U.S. Decisions from the ITC and the Court of International Trade are expected later this summer. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Biofuel Groups Applaud Canada Clean Fuel Regulations The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, and the Renewable Fuels Association applauded Canada for its finalized Clean Fuel Regulations. Those regulations are an initiative to reduce the lifecycle carbon intensity of fuel and energy used in Canada. That will help Canada achieve more than 20 million tons of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The Canadian Clean Fuel Regulations will rely heavily on the use of low-carbon biofuels like ethanol. The program will include an average of 15 percent ethanol in gasoline by 2030. The groups issued a release commending Canada as a global leader because of its plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector through higher blends of biofuels. The groups say the Clean Fuel Regulations in Canada set the country on a path toward better air quality, energy security, and carbon mitigation by moving to achievable goals like 15 percent ethanol in all gasoline by 2030. *********************************************************************************** Additional Steps to Strengthen Child Nutrition Programs USDA will provide nearly $1 billion in additional funding to help schools purchase American-grown food for their meal programs. The agency also says the recent signing of the Keep Kids Fed Act equips schools, summer meal sites, and childcare programs with extra resources so they can continue serving children through the 2022-2023 school year. Both moves are a response to the significant challenges child nutrition program operators continue to face, such as high food costs and supply chain disruptions. The $943 million boost from the department is getting provided through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation. Funds will be distributed by state agencies to schools across the country to help them buy domestically-grown foods for their meal programs. This assistance builds on the $1 billion in Supply Chain Assistance funds USDA allocated in December 2021, which states can use this year as well as the next to provide schools with funding for commodity purchases. *********************************************************************************** TFI Appreciates Congressional Letter on Rail Service Issues The Fertilizer Institute’s President and CEO, Corey Rosenbusch, praised the bipartisan congressional letter sent this week to the Surface Transportation Board regarding poor railroad service. The letter outlined the negative impact the poor service is having on the fertilizer industry and the overall agricultural sector. “With over half of all fertilizer moving by rail, we are grateful for the 51 lawmakers who brought the issue of inconsistent rail service to the Surface Transportation Board’s attention,” says Rosenbusch. Fertilizer shipments heavily rely on railroads to reach farmers, but imposed restrictions, along with skeleton crews and railroad-led initiatives such as precision-scheduled railroading have forced fertilizer shipping reductions and potential delays. “With the world leaning on U.S. farmers more than ever before to feed the growing population, fertilizer must get to farmers in a timely manner and crops harvests also need to get to their destinations promptly, including the kitchen table,” Rosenbusch adds. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Hog Inventory Down One Percent The U.S. hog herd totaled 72.5 million hogs and pigs on farms across the country, down one percent from June 2021. The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report shows that number is down slightly from the March 1 report. Other findings in the report from the National Ag Statistics Service show of the 72.5 million hogs and pigs, 66.4 million were market hogs, and 6.17 million were kept for breeding. Between March and May, 32.9 million hogs were weaned on U.S. farms, a one percent drop from the same time last year. During that same timeframe, producers weaned an average of 11 pigs per litter. Hog producers intend to have 3.02 million sows farrow between June and August and 3.01 million sows between September and November. Iowa has the largest inventory among the states at 23 million head. Minnesota was second at 8.4 million head. North Carolina was third with 8.2 million.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday July 1, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets On the first day of July and ahead of a three-day weekend, the Institute of Supply Management's U.S. index of manufacturing is due out at 9 a.m. CDT, the only significant report of the day. Traders will be keenly watching the latest weather forecasts, including developing chances for rain in the Corn Belt. Weather Showers and thunderstorms are in store for portions of the western Plains, Midwest and across the Southeast Friday. Rainfall will combine with seasonal temperatures to favor pollinating corn and flowering soybeans. Stressful heat and dryness will continue to be noted in the southern Plains.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 30, 2022 |


AFT: Smarter Land Use Planning is Urgently Needed Smart growth and investment in America's downtowns and main streets must occur now to secure the land that grows our food, according to American Farmland Trust. The organization Wednesday released its new report, Farms Under Threat 2040: Choosing an Abundant Future and the accompanying web mapping tool. AFT research shows Americans are paving over agricultural land at a rapid pace. From 2001-16, the nation lost or compromised 2,000 acres of farmland and ranchland every day. The report shows the U.S. is on track to convert 18 million acres of farmland and ranchland from 2016-40—an area the size of South Carolina. And it could get worse. If rural sprawl accelerates, America could squander one million acres of agricultural land every year and over 24 million by 2040. But if Americans choose a better path—embrace smart growth and minimize sprawl—they can save up to 13.5 million acres of the nation’s farmland. Find the full report at farmland.org. *********************************************************************************** House Lawmakers Introduce American Port Access Privileges Act Two California Democrats Wednesday introduced the American Port Access Privileges Act in the House of Representatives. John Garamendi and Jim Costa say the bill follows up on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act. Representative Costa says, “We need to remove bottlenecks and mitigate congestion at our ports to carry out American exports.” The legislation would ensure fair trade for U.S. businesses and keep hard-won foreign markets accessible to agricultural exporters by codifying the current preferences for military, Jones Act, and other U.S.-flagged vessels in place at many major American ports. Additionally, the legislation would establish a secondary berthing preference for ocean-going commercial vessels servicing multiple ports in the United States, and ensure that the new preferential berthing would never interfere with U.S. Coast Guard orders for commercial vessels, port safety or collective bargaining agreements for port workers. The legislation is endorsed by the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, National Milk Producers Federation, and the California Farm Bureau Federation. *********************************************************************************** Vilsack Announces Bioproduct Pilot Program The Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a new pilot program to support the development of biobased products. Specifically, USDA is looking for products that have lower carbon footprints and increase the use of renewable agricultural materials, creating new revenue streams for farmers. The $10 million investment is part of the larger Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the program while visiting Iowa. Vilsack says, “This pilot program is a critical part of USDA’s commitment to enhancing the circular economy and providing additional revenue streams for farmers.” The program will help farmers take field residues and waste products and turn them into value-added products that create wealth and drive economic development in rural areas. Under this program, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture can award up to $10 million divided among the highest-rated applications that include eligible universities and private-sector partners. Program information can be found on the NIFA website. *********************************************************************************** House Ag Member Davis Loses Primary Election A familiar face on the House Agriculture Committee lost in a primary election this week. Illinois Republican Representative Rodney Davis lost his reelection bid to Trump-backed Representative Mary Miller. Davis had represented Illinois' 13th Congressional District since 2013, and Miller had represented the 15th Congressional District since 2021. The districts were merged during a redistricting effort following the 2020 Census results and includes 35 central Illinois counties. The 52-year-old Davis served five terms representing the 13th District. Miller will face Democrat Paul Lange in the November general election. Former President Donald Trump held a campaign rally with Miller last weekend in Quincy, Illinois. In a statement, Davis says, “I’m proud of the work our team has done for our constituents since 2013,” adding, “We have delivered countless conservative policy solutions from historic tax cuts, student loan relief, farm programs, and investing in our transportation system.” Davis was endorsed by the Illinois Farm Bureau. *********************************************************************************** USDA Announces New Features for Market News App The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced additional commodities and features are available on the free USDA Market News App. The App provides producers and others along the supply chain with instant access to market information about conventional and organic products. Version 2.0 includes access to three additional commodity areas – Cotton and Tobacco, Dairy and Specialty Crops, as well as the ability to filter searches to see reports by Commodity Area and Market Type, the ability to add reports to Favorites and Subscriptions by Commodity Area and Market Type, an improved way to manage subscriptions and a calendar feature that provides access to previously released reports. USDA launched the first version of its free Market News app in February 2022, with access to about 800 livestock, poultry, and grain market reports. The USDA Market News app is available in both iOS and Android versions and may be downloaded through the Apple and Google Play stores. *********************************************************************************** USDA: Cost of a Home-grilled Cheeseburger up 21 Cents From 2021 Home-grilled cheeseburgers, a summer cookout staple, will cost consumers more this Independence Day weekend. USDA’s Economic Research Service says the ingredients for a home-prepared 1/4-pound cheeseburger totaled $2.07 per burger, with ground beef making up the largest cost at $1.20. This represents an increase of 11.3 percent compared to the $1.86 it cost to produce the same cheeseburger in 2021. Ground beef prices increased 16.9 percent and accounted for 17 cents of the increase between 2021 and 2022. Cheddar cheese and bread costs each rose about one cent per burger from 2021 to 2022. Iceberg lettuce prices rose the most, by 23.3 percent, but the relatively small proportion it contributes to the total cost of a burger means it added just two cents to the total. The American Farm Bureau Federation earlier this week also released its summer marketbasket survey, showing the cost of a July 4th cookout is 17 percent higher than a year ago.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 30, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly report of export sales is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT, along with weekly U.S. jobless claims, reports on U.S. personal incomes and consumer spending and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The U.S. Energy Department's weekly update of natural gas storage is due out at 9:30 a.m., followed by USDA's Acreage and June 1 Grain Stocks reports at 11 a.m. -- two reports that have a history of being market-movers. Weather Two fronts, one north and one south, will produce scattered showers across both regions on Thursday. Areas in the middle of the country will see seasonably warm temperatures and dry conditions, good weather for wheat harvest. Cooler conditions are found across the north and into Canada, where the better conditions for developing crops are found.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 29, 2022 |


Survey Reveals Americans Want Clearer Product Labeling of Plant-Based ‘Chicken’ The National Chicken Council Tuesday announced findings from a recent national survey of Americans regarding consumer attitudes about chicken and plant-based ‘chicken’ alternatives. Survey participants included individuals who consume meat and animal products, along with flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans. The results indicate the majority of Americans want clearer product labeling and separate shopping sections for plant-based products. NCC Senior Vice President of Communications, Tom Super, says, “This study shows there is overwhelming support for clearer packaging and separate store placement for imitation ‘chicken,’ and that the term ‘chicken’ should be reserved only for food products made from the actual animals.” One in five Americans reported that they accidentally purchased the plant-based product, believing it to be real chicken. Survey results also indicate that consumers, including those who eat plant-based ‘chicken,’ prefer authentic chicken for taste, affordability and cooking versatility. And, four in five Americans want plant-based options to clearly be labeled. *********************************************************************************** Supreme Court Rejects R-CALF Lawsuit The Supreme Court this week denied R-CALF’s lawsuit against 13 state beef councils and the Beef Checkoff. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the ruling effectively ends “yet another R-CALF attack on the Beef Checkoff and prevents the activist attorneys at Public Justice, from further diverting Checkoff and beef industry resources.” NCBA intervened in the lawsuit in its early days to help defend state beef councils from R-CALF, “who falsely attacked state beef councils.” NCBA says multiple court decisions rejected these allegations and reaffirmed the work and direction of the Beef Checkoff and those who guide it. NCBA CEO Colin Woodall says, “The Supreme Court’s rejection of R-CALF’s petition confirms the Beef Checkoff, and its overseers, are adhering to the letter and spirit of the laws that protect and guide producer investments in the program.” In the lawsuit, R-Calf claimed state beef checkoff organizations are private corporations and use half of the beef checkoff collection to fund private speech. *********************************************************************************** Wheat Industry Comments on Conclusion of FDA Study of Drought Tolerant Wheat The Food and Drug Administration recently concluded it has no further questions regarding the safety of drought-tolerant HB4 wheat developed by Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp. In response, U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers issued a joint statement this week. The groups say the finding by the FDA is not an approval for this or any other transgenic wheat to be planted for commercial sale in the United States. To date, the HB4 wheat has been approved for commercial production within a closed system in Argentina only. The trait has been approved for human consumption by regulators in Brazil in the form of flour, and in Australia, New Zealand and now in the United States. Bioceres recently announced it will seek approval to plant HB4 wheat in Australia, but it has not announced plans to commercialize it in the United States. The statement says, "The U.S. wheat industry recognizes the benefits and value that can be created through the prudent application of modern biotechnology." *********************************************************************************** Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative Unveils Milk Pricing Reform Priorities Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, stressed flexibility and fairness in announcing its priorities for reforming the federal milk pricing system this week. Edge CEO Tim Trotter says, “Edge is intently focused on strengthening the relationship between farmers and processors in a way that increases transparency, fairness and competition.” Differences across the Federal Milk Marketing Orders require added flexibility to meet their respective needs, and current markets driving milk outside the FMMO system point to a need for a standard set of "contracting principles" to build a more fair and equitable pricing system, according to trotter. Edge has researched, listened to members and engaged with industry leaders and other stakeholders from across the country for more than a year, including coordinating a multistate task force. Under the flexibility priority, Edge’s proposal accounts for differences in product mixes across the country. The cooperative says more regional flexibility would benefit all dairy farmers. *********************************************************************************** Recycling Used Beer Yeast for Environmental Protection Brewer's yeast used to make beer is typically discarded once it's no longer needed. Sometimes, though, the leftover yeast is mixed into livestock feed as a source of protein and vitamins. Now, there may be even more reason to continue this practice, according to findings by a team of scientists with the Agricultural Research Service. Laboratory results suggest that using leftover brewer's yeast as a feed additive may benefit the environment by helping cows belch less methane into the air as a greenhouse gas that contributes to global climate change. Although spent brewer's yeast is sometimes used as a livestock feed additive, further cow feeding trials are necessary to fully assess its potential to reduce methane and ammonia on a farm scale, according to the researchers. Those results should give a better idea of the yeast's potential role as part of a larger, integrated approach to making animal agriculture more environmentally sustainable. *********************************************************************************** Goodyear Announces New Sustainable Soy-Based Tires The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company recently announced that two lines of its commercial tires are now made with a renewable soybean oil compound. The Goodyear Metro Miler G152 and G652 tires for transit buses, along with the popular Endurance WHA waste haul tire, are now made with soybean oil, which replaces a portion of the petroleum-based materials used in their production. Both the Metro Miler tires and the Endurance WHA waste haul tire continue to deliver high-performance benefits. The new soy-biobased tires build on the soy checkoff’s research investment and longstanding partnership with the global tire company. United Soybean Board Chair Ralph Lott says, “These big tires are another exciting way to deliver sustainable soy to more lives, every day.” Goodyear has a long-term goal to fully replace petroleum-derived oils in its products by 2040. This commitment, according to USB, drives additional demand for U.S. soy products, grown sustainably by U.S. soybean farmers.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 29, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets Wednesday's reports start with an update of first-quarter U.S. GDP at 7:30 a.m. CDT. Fed officials will be speaking throughout the day at a banking conference in Europe and may scare investors, at times. At 9:30 a.m., the U.S. Energy Department will issue two weeks of inventory data, including ethanol production after encountering technical problems last week. USDA's quarterly Hogs and Pigs report is due out at 2 p.m. Weather A frontal boundary across the north will see a storm system riding along it on Wednesday, producing scattered showers and thunderstorms, some of which may be severe in the Northern Plains. A brief burst of heat is occurring ahead of the front today in the Northern and Central Plains, but temperatures across the rest of the country are much more seasonable. Meanwhile, a stalled front from the weekend continues to produce scattered showers in the Southeast and along the Gulf Coast. We also continue to watch a disturbance in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico for tropical development. It may become a short-lived tropical system before reaching the Texas coastline on Thursday.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday June 28, 2022 |


Consumers Paying more for Independence Day Cookout U.S. consumers will pay $69.68 for their favorite Independence Day cookout foods, based on a new American Farm Bureau Federation marketbasket survey. The average cost of a summer cookout for ten people breaks down to less than $7 per person. The overall cost for the cookout is up 17 percent or about $10 from last year, due to ongoing supply chain disruptions, inflation and the war in Ukraine. Survey results showed the retail price for two pounds of ground beef at $11.12, up 36 percent from last year, the largest year-to-year price increase in the survey. Several other foods in the survey, including chicken breasts, pork chops, potato salad, fresh-squeezed lemonade, pork and beans, hamburger buns and cookies, also increased in price. One bright spot for consumers is the average retail price for strawberries, which declined by 86 cents compared to a year ago. Sliced cheese and potato chips also dropped in price, 48 cents and 22 cents, respectively. *********************************************************************************** Farm Bureau Names New Executive Vice President The American Farm Bureau Federation announced Joby Young as the organization's next Executive Vice President late last week. Young will take the role in mid-July following the retirement of Dale Moore. Joby will serve in a chief of staff role at AFBF. It's a familiar role for Young, who previously served in the same capacity at USDA and in Congress. AFBF President Zippy Duvall says, “The Farm Bureau family will be well-served by his strong leadership skills.” Young says he looks forward to starting in the new role, adding, "I'm honored to join the talented team at the American Farm Bureau Federation." Young is currently a partner at Horizons Global Solutions LLC, a consulting firm where he advises clients in the food and agriculture sectors. Young previously served as Chief of Staff in various USDA offices and mission areas, before becoming the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary. *********************************************************************************** U.S., Taiwan, Hold First Trade Meeting Trade officials from the U.S. and Taiwan met Monday for the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. U.S. Deputy Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi says, "This initiative will unlock market opportunities, promote innovation and create inclusive economic growth for our workers and businesses." The trade officials reaffirmed their shared interest in developing and deepening trade and promoting innovation. They also discussed the development of an ambitious roadmap for negotiations to reach agreements with high-standard commitments and economically meaningful outcomes. The commitments will cover several trade areas, including trade facilitation, regulatory practices, agriculture, anti-corruption, small- and medium-sized enterprises, digital trade, labor, environment, standards, state-owned enterprises, and non-market policies and practices. The trade officials also held roundtable conversations with several groups of U.S. and Taiwan stakeholders. Members of Congress and labor and business leaders also shared their views on ways the United States and Taiwan can jointly advance trade policies. *********************************************************************************** Guide Outlines Steps to Take When Pesticide Drift Occurs The University of Illinois Extension has a pesticide drift guide available for farmers. The new guide helps producers and gardeners know what to do if pesticide drift is suspected. Damage can occur when pesticide drifts from its intended location onto adjacent fields and landscapes. Drift happens when pesticide spray particles and vapors escape from the intended target area. University of Illinois Extension weed science specialist Michelle Wiesbrook says, “The most common type of pesticide misuse is pesticide drift, and when it occurs, emotions can run high while seeking answers." There are two ways pesticides can be carried downwind to non-target areas: vapor drift and particle drift. Both types of drift should be considered when making an application, and steps should be taken to minimize their occurrence. The new free guide provides more information on drift and serves as a navigation tool for those faced with potential drift injury challenges. Read the guide at go.illinois.edu/drift. *********************************************************************************** BASF Donates $50,000 to Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund Program BASF Agricultural Solutions North America will donate $50,000 to The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund's Seed A Legacy pollinator habitat program. The donation is part of BASF's annual Living Acres #MonarchChallenge initiative. The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund will use BASF's donation to expand its Seed A Legacy pollinator habitat program with the goal of restoring high-quality pollinator habitat with free or reduced-cost seed to landowners across 12 Midwest states. Since its inception in 2015, the Monarch Challenge has resulted in the planting of 110,000 milkweed seedlings and the creation of more than 67,000 pollinator habitats. The fund works with landowners, conservationists, scientists, and other partners to build healthy and sustainable pollinator habitat with maximum benefits. Through the Seed A Legacy Habitat Program, each project receives free or heavily discounted pollinator seed mixes and the guidance to prepare, establish, and maintain the project for a minimum of five years. *********************************************************************************** Fuel Prices Decline for Second Straight Week The national average gas price declined for the second straight week, down 8.8 cents to $4.48 a gallon Monday. The national average is up 28.3 cents from a month ago and $1.79 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price declined 2.7 cents in the last week, to $5.79 per gallon. Gas Buddy's Patrick De Haan says, “gas prices have continued to fall for the second straight week as the price of oil has faltered, ushering in the drop we’re seeing.” De Haan says prices could fall again this week, even ahead of the Independence Day holiday weekend. However, any sudden jolts to supply could quickly cause a turnaround, and the risk remains that when the peak of hurricane season arrives, prices could spike again. According to GasBuddy, U.S. retail gasoline demand rose last week, up 1.6 percent compared to the prior week. U.S. crude inventories remain 14 percent below the five-year average.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday June 28, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets Traders will continue to keep a close watch on the latest weather forecasts and even though there haven't been any export sale announcements lately, will check at 8 a.m. for possible news from USDA. An index on U.S. consumer confidence is due out at 9 a.m. CDT Tuesday. Grains are mostly higher early Tuesday, but may turn quiet ahead of Thursday's Acreage and Grain Stocks reports. Weather A cold front from the weekend has settled into the far South and Southeast where pop up showers will be likely. Another front is moving south out of Canada into the North-Central U.S. where more showers will be possible for the rest of the week as the front waffles around for the next several days. Showers will unfortunately be somewhat spotty and dryness is popping up in places around the region that could use a good soaking.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday June 27, 2022 |


NCGA Applauds Ruling on Imported Fertilizers The U.S. Department of Commerce made a final determination last week on imported fertilizers and unfair subsidies. The department found that urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer exported to America was subsidized and sold at less than normal value in the U.S. market during its period of investigation. The National Corn Growers Association says it’s an important step in the process, but the ruling won’t on its own lead to the placement of duties on nitrogen fertilizers shipped into the country. The final stage in the process is expected later this summer when the International Trade Commission makes a final ruling. “Placing tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers will land yet another blow to farmers, who are already dealing with a host of challenges,” says Brooke Appleton, NCGA vice president of public policy. “Farmers can’t farm with one hand tied behind their backs, and these actions getting pushed by fertilizer companies will tie their hands.” *********************************************************************************** White House Meets with Refiners on High Pump Prices but No Solutions Yet U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm recently expressed interest in possibly lifting smog-fighting gasoline rules to help fight high gas prices at the nation’s pumps. The secretary also backed off a plan to ban fuel exports during a wide-ranging meeting with refiners. Reuters says tensions are high between President Biden and oil refiners. The two sides departed from the meeting far apart on possible solutions. Industry sources familiar with the meeting say both sides will continue talking. Biden has recently been critical of oil industry CEOs for pulling in huge profits from a supply crunch made worse by Russia invading Ukraine. The White House is unhappy with the refining industry’s move to idle about one million barrels per day of production capacity since 2020. Administration officials say the companies need to use those profits to restart plants and help fill the supply gap. Refiners say investing in reopening plants carries significant financial risks. *********************************************************************************** International Grains Council Boosts Production Outlook The International Grains Council raised its outlook for total global grain production in the 2022-2023 marketing year, while also increasing its forecast for ending stockpiles. Wheat and coarse grain production are now forecast at 2.255 billion metric tons, up from the May prediction of 2.251 billion. Ending stockpiles are forecast at 583 million metric tons. Wheat output is pegged at 769 million metric tons, unchanged from a month ago. Inventories are projected at 273 million tons, up from 271 million in May. Corn production is now expected to be 1.19 billion metric tons, up from the previous prediction of 1.184 billion. The IGC’s inventory forecast rose from 269 million tons last month to 271 million this month. The soybean production outlook rose to 390 million metric tons from 387 million in the last forecast. However, carryover stocks dropped from 58 million tons last month to 56 million in the new forecast. *********************************************************************************** Keep Kids Fed Act Passed in Both Chambers of Congress The House and Senate each passed the Keep Kids Fed Act last week, but the bill had to return to the House because the Senate version was slightly different. The Hagstrom Report says the House passed the Senate’s version of the bill that requires the re-establishment of the reduced price category that Rand Paul of Kentucky insisted on including in the Senate version. The agreement between the leaders of each committee in charge of school meals originally merged the reduced price and free meal categories into one free meal category for the upcoming school year. The legislation also provides $3 billion in additional funding for the school meals program, with offsets coming from rescissions from the Agriculture Department and Small Business Administration programs. Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow says, “Schools and parents can rest easy knowing that help is on the way so kids can continue getting school and summer meals.” *********************************************************************************** Sustainable Oils Facility Opens New Facility for Renewable Diesel Production Sustainable Oils opened a new state-of-the-art facility in Great Falls, Montana, last week. The facility works with over 100 U.S. farmers to grow camelina (cam-eh-LEE-nah), a plant used by their parent company Global Clean Energy to produce ultra-low carbon renewable fuels. Renewable diesel produced from camelina is a drop-in replacement for traditional diesel, but with fewer contaminants and far fewer emissions. The company says camelina has the potential to receive the lowest carbon intensity score of all the available feedstocks on the market today. Sustainable Oils specializes in the breeding, research, and marketing of camelina. They contract directly with farmers in the Northern Plains, High Plains, and Pacific Northwest to grow the camelina that will ultimately get used to create renewable fuel at Global Clean Energy’s refinery in Bakersfield, California. The company looks forward to enhancing economic opportunities for rural communities while producing some of the lowest-carbon renewable fuels in the world. *********************************************************************************** Application Period Open for Conservation Legacy Awards Farmers have a chance to share the story of how conservation is part of their farm operations and get recognized with a Conservation Legacy Award. All U.S. soybean farmers are eligible to win the award, sponsored by the American Soybean Association, the United Soybean Board, the Soybean Checkoff, and several others. The award recognizes farm management practices of soybean farmers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable. The selection process is divided into four regions, including the Midwest, Upper Midwest, Northeast, and South. One farmer from each region will be recognized at the Commodity Classic and one will be the award recipient. Some of the eligible practices include reduced tillage, cover crops, and improving energy efficiency or water quality. Winners get an expense-paid trip for two to the Commodity Classic on March 9-11, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. Winners also get recognition at the ASA Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic. Find out more details at soygrowers.com.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday June 27, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, a report on U.S. durable goods orders for May is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Monday, followed by a May pending home sales index at 9 a.m. USDA's weekly grain export inspections is due out at 10 a.m. with traders interested to see if soybean shipments can pick up. At 3 p.m., USDA's Crop Progress report will be out with updates of the latest crop condition ratings. Weather A cold front that swept through the country over the weekend is slowing down and will stall across the South on Monday. Periods of showers will form along the front through the week. Much more seasonable temperatures have filled in behind the front, eliminating the extreme heat of the last couple of weeks. While scattered showers and cooler temperatures that came with the front will reduce stress in some areas, there are pockets of dryness continuing to build in the heartland of the country.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday June 24, 2022 |


USTR Says Tariffs Give U.S. “Leverage” on China The U.S. has tariffs in place on over $300 billion worth of Chinese imports. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai says those duties give the U.S. significant leverage on China, making them useful when negotiating with the Asian nation. Bloomberg says a debate is ongoing among members of the Biden administration on whether to keep those tariffs in place for the time being. “The China tariffs, in my view, are a significant piece of leverage, and a trade negotiator never walks away from leverage,” Tai said during Senate testimony. Biden recently said he’s in the process of deciding on whether to remove any of the duties first put in place by President Trump in 2018. Tai also points out that removing the tariffs would have a limited impact on the rapid rise in inflation. Earlier this month, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a reduction in duties may help bring down prices. *********************************************************************************** Iowa State University Report Says No Price Gouging on Fertilizer A report from Iowa State University says fertilizer prices are four times higher than they were in 2020. While crop prices have doubled during the same period, higher fertilizer prices are contributing to rising costs in farm country. Iowa’s Attorney General requested the ISU report in February while questioning the justification of higher prices. Yahoo News says the six economists who wrote the report found no conclusive evidence that fertilizer companies are artificially inflating prices. The 58-page report says price increases are tied several factors, like supply chain disruptions, disease outbreaks, and many other factors. “We aren’t saying there’s no market manipulation at all,” says Chad Hart, an ISU economist. “We just can’t tease out if it was one of the components.” The ISU Center for Agricultural and Rural Development says researchers need more data to determine if companies are raising prices far beyond the level needed to offset rising costs. *********************************************************************************** Some G-7 Leaders to Push for Temporary Waivers on Biofuel Mandates Leaders from the G-7 countries will meet on Sunday, and biofuel mandates will be among the discussion topics. Officials from Germany, Britain, and other G-7 members will push for temporary waivers on biofuel mandates to combat rapidly rising food prices. Reuters says the food crisis sparked by the Ukraine war has led to a food versus fuel debate among certain G-7 countries. Some policymakers are asking to ease mandates for blending biofuels into gasoline and diesel to increase the supply of global grain and vegetable oil. A British government official told Reuters, ”We’re quite keen to look at the issue of biofuel mandates to ensure that crops are prioritized for food consumption and not necessarily for use in fuels.” It’s not known ahead of the meeting on Sunday if there is enough support to temporarily waive biofuel mandates among the G-7 members. Talks are said to be in the preliminary stages. *********************************************************************************** North American-Owned Grain Terminals Hit in Ukraine Two grain terminals owned by companies in North America were hit by a Russian attack in Ukraine. The University of Illinois’ farm policy news website says Canadian agribusiness Viterra, and U.S. grain trader Bunge said they had a grain terminal hit on Wednesday. Viterra reported that it had a terminal on fire. While there were no casualties, Viterra did say one employee was injured at the plant, which had been closed since Russia’s invasion began. The attack on Wednesday is also the second time Bunge has been targeted. Ukraine’s grain exports have dropped significantly from last year. During the first 22 days of June, exports were down 48 percent from 2021 at 907,000 tons. Russia is preventing shipments from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, trapping thousands of tons of grain in the country. Experts say setting up alternative export routes won’t be sufficient enough quantities to keep up with global food demand. *********************************************************************************** Smithfield Foods Ranked on LinkedIn’s List of Top Companies Smithfield Foods was named to LinkedIn’s Top Companies: Industry Edition List. Smithfield is ranked as one of the best workplaces for professionals to grow their careers in nine U.S. industries, including financial services, retail and consumer goods, and several others. “We take pride in being an industry leader at Smithfield and are honored that LinkedIn recognized our ongoing efforts to be an employer of choice,” says Keira Lombardo, chief administrative officer with Smithfield. “Our people are our greatest asset. Supporting our team members and their career growth continues to be a top priority for our company.” The LinkedIn platform’s Top Companies: Industry Edition List is designed to celebrate people and companies with more than 500 employees that are making an impact in the professional world. The platform’s methodology assesses data driving insight into company attributes, like professionals’ ability to advance, skills growth, company stability, external opportunity, company affinity, and others. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Domestic Honey Production Falls and Imports Rise U.S. honey production has dropped by 1.4 percent per year during the past three decades, while honey imports have grown by 7.6 percent every year, so imports have been filling the domestic supply deficit. Imports have exceeded domestic honey production since 2005 and accounted for 74 percent of U.S. honey supplies in 2021. The top three foreign suppliers are India, Vietnam, and Argentina, and together they supply more than 71 percent of the total imports. Honey imports grew as domestic consumption of honey and honey-sweetened products increased. The expansion reached an all-time high last year when domestic production was at its lowest volume since 1991. During 2021, production in all three of the major honey-producing states, including North Dakota, South Dakota, and California, were 25 percent below 1991 levels, while production in the rest of the U.S. declined by almost half during the same period. Shrinking market production was mainly due to decreased honey production per colony.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday June 24, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT, followed by the University of Michigan's final estimate of U.S. consumer sentiment in June. At 2 p.m. CDT, USDA releases its June 1 estimate of cattle on feed with Dow Jones analysts looking for a 1.5% increase from a year ago. As usual, weather and outside markets will also get their fair share of attention. Weather Temperatures are increasing across much of the eastern half of the country Friday ahead of a storm system building in the Canadian Prairies and Northern Plains. That system will produce widespread showers and thunderstorms across the North-Central U.S. and Canada Friday into Saturday with the front continuing to track southeast through the rest of the weekend and early next week. While heat builds ahead of the front, it will fall off significantly behind it with temperatures below normal for a couple of days. Rainfall amounts will be spotty but could be heavy in localized areas.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 23, 2022 |


Biden Proposes Federal Gas Tax Holiday President Joe Biden Wednesday called on Congress and states to provide direct relief to consumers facing increased gas and diesel prices. The price of gas is up dramatically around the world, and by almost $2 per gallon in America, the White House says, “since Putin began amassing troops on the border of Ukraine.” The federal government charges an 18-cent tax per gallon of gasoline and a 24-cent tax per gallon of diesel. Those taxes fund highways and public transportation, through the Highway Trust Fund. But with gas prices near $5 a gallon on average across the country, President Biden is calling on Congress to suspend the gas tax for three months – until the end of September – to give Americans a little extra breathing room as they “deal with the effects of Putin’s war in Ukraine.” The President is also calling on Congress to ensure that a gas tax holiday has no negative effect on the Highway Trust Fund. *********************************************************************************** Senate Ag Committee Passes Meat Packing Special Investigator Act The Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday passed the bipartisan Meat Packing Special Investigator Act. The legislation will address anticompetitive practices in the meat and poultry industries. Senator Chuck Grassley says, “With the passage of this bill, my years-long beef with Big Cattle is one step closer to being settled.” The legislation would create the Office of the Special Investigator for Competition Matters within USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Division. The special investigator will have a team of investigators, with subpoena power, dedicated to preventing and addressing anticompetitive practices in the meat and poultry industries and enforcing antitrust laws. The committee also passed the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane responded, “creating a duplicative, bureaucratic new special investigator role is the wrong approach.” National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says the committee action “is a welcome move towards boosting enforcement of competition laws that get to the bottom of abusive market practices.” *********************************************************************************** Dairy Farmer Calls for FMMO Update During Farm Bill Hearing A dairy farmer told lawmakers this week the next farm bill needs milk pricing improvements. Seventh-generation Pennsylvania dairy farmer Lolly Lesher, a member of Dairy Farmers of America, testified on behalf of the cooperative and the National Milk Producers Federation during a congressional review of dairy provisions in the Farm Bill. Lesher highlighted the need for improvements to the Federal Milk Marketing Order system, as evidenced by the heavy revenue losses incurred by dairy farmers nationwide from a milk pricing change made in the previous farm bill. She says, “The change made to the Class I mover combined with the government’s heavy cheese purchases cost dairy farmers over $750 million in revenue in the last six months of 2020 alone.” The dairy industry is seeking consensus on a range of FMMO improvements, including the Class I mover, that can be taken to USDA for consideration in a federal order hearing. *********************************************************************************** NPPC Welcomes Biden Administration Siding with Farmers on Prop 12 The National Pork Producers Council welcomed a Supreme Court brief filed by the Biden administration in favor of ag groups regarding California’s Proposition 12. The state law seeks to ban the sale of pork from pigs that do not meet the state’s arbitrary production standards, including pork from pigs raised on farms outside of California. NPPC assistant vice president and general counsel Michael Formica says, “We commend the Biden administration for taking action to stop ill-considered ballot initiatives like California’s Proposition 12.” In a joint brief to the Supreme Court filed earlier this month, NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation argued Proposition 12 violates the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause, which restricts states from regulating commerce outside their borders. The brief states that Proposition 12 “will require massive and costly changes across the entire $26-billion-a-year hog farming industry. And it inescapably projects California’s policy choices into every other state, a number of which expressly permit their farmers to house sows in ways inconsistent with Proposition 12.” *********************************************************************************** Clean Fuels Outlines Industry’s Beneficial Impact on Fuel Prices Clean Fuels Alliance America Wednesday touted the benefits of biodiesel when it comes to the price at the pump to President Joe Biden and leaders in Congress. In a letter to the president and lawmakers, the organization says U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel producers are working to extend fuel supplies and provide relief at the pump to American families. The letter expresses appreciation for the administration’s recent actions to grow Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel and provide additional infrastructure grants to improve consumer access to biodiesel. The letter states, “Our partners in the agriculture industry are investing more than $4 billion to expand the supply of renewable oils for both food and clean fuels.” The letter further highlights a recent study from the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Service showing that U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel production generates a four percent decrease in the price of diesel fuel. *********************************************************************************** Honey Imports Continue to Rise, Offsetting Declining U.S. Production U.S. imports of honey continue to rise as U.S. production declines. New data from USDA Economic Research Service shows imports have exceeded domestic honey production since 2005 and accounted for 74 percent of total U.S. honey supplies in 2021. Over the last 30 years, U.S. honey production has declined by around 1.4 percent per year, while honey imports have grown by 7.6 percent per year, filling the domestic supply deficit. The top three foreign suppliers—India, Vietnam, and Argentina—supply more than 71 percent of imported honey. Honey imports have expanded with rising domestic consumption of honey and honey-sweetened products. This expansion reached an all-time high in 2021, when domestic production was at the lowest volume since 1991. In 2021, production in all three major honey-producing States—North Dakota, South Dakota, and California—were 25 percent lower than their 1991 levels, while production in the rest of the states declined by almost half during the same period.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 23, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department reports on weekly jobless claims at 7:30 a.m. CDT, the same time the U.S. Drought Monitor will be updated. At 9:30 a.m., the Energy Department's weekly inventory report, including ethanol production will be out, followed by USDA's monthly cold storage report at 2 p.m. CDT. Grain traders continue to inspect the latest weather forecasts and will keep an eye on outside markets and further Fed comments. Weather A section of an old front remains around Kansas that will be active with showers and thunderstorms on Thursday. Heat is advancing northward through the Plains and may bring some isolated showers to the Northern Plains. The heat comes ahead of the next system that is building in the Canadian Prairies. The far south remains hot with heat advisories and warnings still in place.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 22, 2022 |


Number of U.S. Farms Continues Slow Decline New data released Tuesday from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows the number of U.S. farms continues to decline slowly. After peaking at 6.8 million farms in 1935, the number of U.S. farms and ranches fell sharply through the early 1970s. Rapidly falling farm numbers in the mid-20th century reflected the growing productivity of agriculture and increased nonfarm employment opportunities. Since then, the number of U.S. farms has continued to decline, but much more slowly. In 2021, there were 2.01 million U.S. farms, down from 2.20 million in 2007. With 895 million acres of farmland nationwide in 2021, the average farm size was 445 acres, only slightly greater than the 440 acres recorded in the early 1970s. Meanwhile, technological developments in agriculture have influenced changes in the farm sector. Innovations have enabled continuing output growth without adding much to inputs. As a result, total farm output nearly tripled between 1948 and 2019. *********************************************************************************** Growers Disappointed Supreme Court Decides Not to Hear Glyphosate Case Agriculture groups expressed disappointment regarding a Supreme Court decision denying consideration of the case Monsanto v. Hardeman, which pertains to state glyphosate health warnings. A coalition of groups issued a joint statement regarding the decision Tuesday, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and National Cotton Council. The joint statement claims, “We are disappointed the Supreme Court has decided not to hear this case, which has significant implications for our global food supply and science-based regulation.” On May 23, the groups sent a letter signed by 54 agricultural groups to President Biden urging him to withdraw a Solicitor General’s brief submitted to the Supreme Court advising against taking up the case. The Solicitor General’s brief argues federal pesticide registration and labeling requirements do not preclude states from imposing additional labeling requirements, even if those requirements run counter to federal findings. *********************************************************************************** Rural Bankers Expecting Recession Rural bankers say they anticipate a U.S. recession, according to the latest Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index. The region's overall reading for June slumped to 49.8, its lowest level since September 2020, and down from May's 57.7. The index ranges between 0 and 100, with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral. Approximately 92.9 percent of rural bankers surveyed rate the likelihood of a U.S. recession above 50 percent. Only 7.1 percent rated a recession probability below 50 percent. However, on average, bank CEOs expect net farm income for grain farmers to be 12.6 percent above 2021 levels. The region's farmland price index for June advanced to 76.8 from May's 72.0, marking the 21st straight month that the index has moved above growth neutral. The June farm equipment-sales index climbed to 71.4 from May's healthy 66.9. This was the 19th straight month that the index has advanced above growth neutral. *********************************************************************************** USDA Trade Mission Underway in London U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh (Bro-NAW) arrived Tuesday in London to launch a USDA agribusiness trade mission to the United Kingdom. Bronaugh is joined by a delegation of representatives from U.S. agribusinesses, farm organizations and state departments of agriculture, who are interested in exploring export opportunities in the United Kingdom. Bronaugh says, “The United Kingdom is a valued trading partner whose consumers demand the best quality products at a competitive price,” adding, “I’m excited for mission participants to engage with potential customers for their world-class agricultural products.” In 2021, the United Kingdom imported $1.9 billion of U.S. agricultural products, according to USDA. Trade mission participants engage directly with potential customers, receive in-depth market briefings, and participate in site visits. The USDA-sponsored trade mission to the United Kingdom is one of four international trade missions Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced in March. The United Kingdom trade mission concludes later this week. *********************************************************************************** USDA Announces Awards for Dairy Innovation Initiatives The Department of Agriculture this week announced $80 million in awards under the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives. The awards support processing capacity expansion, on-farm improvements, and technical assistance services to producers. The funds are being awarded non-competitively to the four current Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives at the California State University Fresno, the University of Tennessee, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, and the University of Wisconsin. Additionally, USDA announced $22.9 million through a Request for Applications for funding provided by fiscal year 2022 appropriations to support the same Initiatives. The awards were made possible by supplemental funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, says, "The Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives have proven to be an invaluable resource for dairy farmers and businesses because of their ability to provide targeted resources and funding through sub-awards at the local and regional level, maximizing impact." *********************************************************************************** Canada Cattlemen Oppose Warning Labels on Ground Beef Canadian Cattle producers are raising concerns with Health Canada’s proposed regulations to put a front-of-package warning label on ground beef. The proposal from Health Canada is part of several changes to Canada's Food and Drug Regulations. The changes would require the usage of warning labels for foods high in sodium, sugar or saturated fat. If Health Canada moves forward with the proposed regulation, Canada will be the only country in the world to put a warning label on ground beef. This move would likely impact consumer confidence and be damaging to Quebec and other beef producers across the country. Approximately 90 percent of Canadians eat ground beef weekly, and adding a warning label on ground beef would send the wrong signal to Canadian consumers, according to the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Philippe Alain, CCA board member from Quebec, says, “The proposed policy change by Health Canada is misguided and will mislead consumers.”

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 22, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets Traders will continue to watch the latest weather forecasts, check for any export sales, while keeping an eye on Ukraine and outside markets. There are no significant reports out Wednesday and the Energy Department's weekly energy inventories will be out Thursday morning, due to this week's holiday schedule. Weather A cold front continues to move eastward across the Midwest on Wednesday with scattered showers from Kansas eastward through the Ohio Valley. Storms farther east could be strong to severe. Heavy rain also continues in the southern Rockies for the next few days, sometimes leaking into the High Plains as well, but overall showers are light. Heat continues south of the front for another day with heat advisories posted in spots from the Southern Plains to the Southeast and even ahead of the front in the Ohio Valley.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday June 21, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets Back from a three-day weekend, traders will catch up on the latest weather forecasts, news from Ukraine and anything affecting outside markets. A report on U.S. existing home sales for May is due out at 9 a.m. CDT Tuesday, followed by USDA's weekly grain export inspections at 10 a.m. At 3 p.m., USDA's Crop Progress report will give an update on crop conditions and winter wheat harvest progress. Weather Heat that has built back into much of the country over the long holiday weekend continues across the South and eastern Midwest on Tuesday. A cold front pushing through the Midwest and into the Central Plains will bring temperatures down a few degrees. While it will have a few showers, they will be more limited today than what occurred in the Northern Plains on Monday.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday June 20, 2022 |


Red Meat Exports Add Value to Corn and Soybean Producers Record-level red meat exports of 18.7 billion dollars in 2021 had a major impact on the corn and soybean industries. An independent study by the Juday Group quantified the returns that red meat exports brought to corn and soybean producers in 2021 nationally and at state levels. Key findings from the 2021 export data showed that beef and pork exports accounted for 537 million bushels of corn usage, equating to 2.94 billion dollars. Pork exports accounted for 99.3 million bushels of soybean usage nationwide or the equivalent of 2.36 million metric tons of soybean meal worth 1.3 billion dollars. Beef and pork exports accounted for 3.4 million tons of DDGS usage, equating to 716 million dollars. “Beef and pork exports drive value directly back to the farm, and this study helps confirm the return on investment for all corn and soybean producers,” says U.S. Meat Export Federation Chair-elect and Iowa producer Dean Meyer. *********************************************************************************** Growers Frustrated with EPA Regarding Pesticide Impacts American farmers are again at odds with the Environmental Protection Agency over the Endangered Species Act. The final EPA biological evaluations of neonicotinoids (Nee-oh-ni-KOH-ti-noids) and their impacts on endangered species are overly conservative and don’t use all available data. Grower groups like the American Soybean Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation are concerned the evaluations drastically overstate the impact of the pesticides on endangered species and their habitats. The groups say the evaluations for several neonicotinoid pesticides don’t incorporate scientific and commercial data that could have provided a more realistic picture of the potential impacts of the chemistries on different species. The groups pointed out the shortcomings during the public comment period, but EPA doubled down on the final evaluations. “Growers have, time-and-again, pointed EPA to real-world data to improve their endangered species assessments,” says American Soybean Association President Brad Doyle. “The agency has again chosen to disregard the data.” *********************************************************************************** Ag Groups Support the Ocean Shipping Reform Act Ag groups positively reacted to President Biden signing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which will address the supply chain and shipping port issues hampering U.S. exports. “Exports add significantly to the bottom line of each producer,” says National Pork Producers Council President-Elect Scott Hayes. “More assurances that exports get safely to their destination is a big win for agriculture.” American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall personally spoke to President Biden last week about the legislation. “Addressing congestion at our ports and creating greater accountability for shipping companies is a positive step,” Duvall says. The National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council both applauded the bill getting signed into law. “We’re asking the Federal Maritime Commission to implement these rules quickly and begin to conduct the new oversight to end the unfair practices that have impeded American dairy products from efficiently getting to their overseas customers,” says NMPF President Jim Mulhern. *********************************************************************************** USDA Receives Overwhelming Interest in Climate-Smart Commodities The USDA says the second funding pool through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity received over 600 applications from more than 400 groups. While USDA is calculating the final numbers, the overall interest in the opportunity already exceeds more than $18 billion. “The results of the second funding pool clearly demonstrate the strong demand in the U.S. agriculture and forestry industry for solutions that expand markets for American producers and forest landowners, particularly those that are small or historically underserved,” says USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie. “The second round of funding received significantly more applications than the first, and we’re looking forward to going through the large pool of applications.” The second funding pool was designed to support proposals between $250,000 and $5 million that emphasize the enrollment of small and-or underserved producers. The proposals could also include monitoring, reporting, and verifying activities developed at minority-serving institutions. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Dairy Industry Signs MOU to Continue Sustainability Commitment The USDA and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue working toward the dairy industry’s 2050 environmental stewardship goals. The MOU also addresses growing consumer demand for food produced in a way that’s good for the planet. The MOU extends and builds upon a pact originally signed in 2008. “In renewing this agreement with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, USDA is recommitting to our vital work with dairy farmers to reduce methane emissions and improve the sustainability of their operations,” says USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewell Bronaugh (bro-NAW). “We’ve seen tremendous interest in the production of climate-smart commodities, and the dairy industry is on the leading edge of that effort. The MOU builds on that effort” The Innovation Center’s 2050 environmental stewardship goals include achieving GHG neutrality, optimizing water use while maximizing recycling, and improving water quality by optimizing utilization of manure and nutrients. *********************************************************************************** Cattle Industry Fighting SEC Climate Rule The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association filed comments on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s controversial greenhouse gas disclosure rule. The rule would require publicly-traded companies to disclose their direct, energy-electricity consumption, and supply chain emissions, creating a burden on cattle producers who supply beef to publicly-traded processors, restaurants, and retailers. “With cattle producers facing record inflation, rising input costs, and labor shortages, another bureaucratic rule is a burden we cannot afford,” says NCBA President Don Schiefelbein. “Policymakers should be focused on lowering costs and solving real problems facing agriculture, not creating more complex rules that require a team of lawyers to understand.” While the proposal is aimed at public companies, it would place a burden on cattle producers who supply beef to public entities. The federal government has also acknowledged that accurately calculating emissions on the farm or ranch level is impossible. EPA and USDA metrics are already calculated and should satisfy federal regulators.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday June 17, 2022 |


Mixed Reaction to House Passage of Special Investigator Bill The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association expressed strong disappointment after the House of Representatives passed the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act. Their disappointment is because the bill incorporates the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act. NCBA VP of Government Affairs Ethan Lane says Congress is focused on political posturing through the Special Investigator Bill. NCBA says the investigator position will duplicate the work already being done by other federal agencies. House Ag Chair David Scott says the bill will ensure fair competition in the meat and poultry sectors, increase options at the pump, and provide support to America’s ag sector and food supply chain. The bill will permanently lift barriers to year-round sales of E15, something Growth Energy says would enable more access to a lower-cost, lower-emission option for hardworking families. “We’ve recently seen E15 deliver savings approaching 60 cents per gallon in some parts of the country,” says CEO Emily Skor. *********************************************************************************** House GOP Bill Targets Biden Ag Policies House Ag Committee Ranking Member Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania introduced a bill this week that Fox News says would “strike back” at several of the administration’s agricultural policies. It would also strike down a recently-proposed rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission that could potentially harm small farms. Thompson is introducing the bill with more than 20 cosponsors during a time when America is dealing with significant inflation, especially in food prices. The bill has several provisions that Thompson says would help in many ways, including rescinding the SEC Scope Three reporting rule. The rule requires public companies to report information like it’s carbon emissions but also from sources up and down their supply chains. Thompson’s bill also includes several provisions relating to fertilizer, including reinstating the National Environmental Policy Act of 2020, which would streamline mineral extraction for fertilizer production. The bill also reinstates the Trump-era Waters of the U.S. rule. *********************************************************************************** Eggs Costing $12 Per Dozen is “Unrealistic” There’s no question a highly-contagious bird flu outbreak is reducing the size of the U.S. chicken flock and driving up the cost of eggs nationwide. Some social media claims say USDA predicts eggs will be $12 per dozen by this fall. Jennifer Smits, director of communications for the USDA’s Economic Research Service, says that USDA isn’t predicting eggs will be $12 per dozen later this year. Smith points out in USA Today that while the ERS does predict and follow agriculture and food trends, they don’t forecast specific retail egg prices. As of June 10, Federal Reserve economic data says the average price of a dozen Grade A large eggs in the U.S. was $2.86, and prices are predicted to dip to $1.70 per dozen in the fourth quarter of 2022. The inconsistent supply of eggs is driving up the cost this year, while overall food prices are 9.4 percent higher than 2021. *********************************************************************************** Arkansas Signs Major Pact with Israel Israel, which has recently become a world leader in agricultural technology, signed a major economic pact with Arkansas. The two will share their research and technology, especially for agriculture, and that will broaden a trade relationship that’s already worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Trade between them last year reached more than $100 million dollars. Both sides have also benefited from agricultural and scientific research grants worth more than $400,000 since their partnership started in 2017. The Washington Free Beacon says a 2019 review of one agricultural grant between the two sides shows an economic partnership during the past four decades that’s added billions to the U.S. economy. Though much of Israel is desert and lacks water, the country has learned to grow some of the highest-yielding agricultural products, including tomatoes and cow’s milk. Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, adding approximately $16 billion to the state’s economy every year. *********************************************************************************** Brazil Expecting Large Second-Corn Crop Despite Weather Concerns Brazil’s second corn crop, called the safrina crop, is predicted to produce 3.4 billion bushels during the 2021-2022 crop season. Farmdoc from the University of Illinois says that’s 45 percent higher than the 2.4 billion harvested last year when drought hit Brazil. A harvest of 3.4 billion bushels this year would set a record. Data from Conab says the country may produce a historic crop even though April and May were drier than normal. The overall harvest of the second-corn crop is less than 10 percent complete. This year’s second-corn harvest began in Mato Grosso (MAH-toe GRAHS-so), the largest corn producer in Brazil, which accounts for almost half of the country’s production. Approximately 16 percent of the corn harvest in Mato Grosso is complete as of June 10, and yields are expected to be around 97.5 bushels an acre. Parana, the second-largest corn producer, currently has 80 percent of its fields in good condition. *********************************************************************************** FSA Accepting Nominations for County Committees The USDA’s Farm Service Agency is now accepting nominations for local county committee members. County committee members make important decisions about how federal farm programs get administered on a local level. All of the nomination forms for the 2022 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by August 1. “it’s a priority for USDA to integrate equity into its decision-making and policymaking,” says FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “That starts with our local county committees.” He also says they’re looking for enthusiastic, diverse leaders willing to serve other agricultural producers. Ag producers who participate or cooperate in a USDA program and reside in the Local Administrative Area that’s up for election can be nominated for candidacy. A cooperating producer is someone who has provided information about their farming or ranching operations to FSA, even if they haven’t applied for or received program benefits. Nationwide, 7,000 people serve on various county committees.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday June 17, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets The Federal Reserve's report on industrial production in May is due out at 8:15 a.m. CDT Friday, followed by the Conference Board's U.S. index of leading indicators at 9 a.m. Traders will remain attuned to the latest weather forecasts, any news of an export sale, updates from Ukraine and the stock market. U.S. futures markets close at their normal times Friday and open next at 7 p.m. CDT Monday, allowing for a new national holiday, Juneteenth. Weather A frontal boundary became active over Missouri and Illinois Thursday night. Thunderstorm clusters are strong early Friday morning and pushing southeast into the Tennessee Valley. We will likely see that continuing through to the Southeast throughout the day and may remain strong. Cool temperatures are building north of this cluster and front across the eastern Midwest. But heat is starting to build back across the Northern Plains, becoming very hot over the weekend.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 16, 2022 |


Other Food Sectors Welcome Ocean Shipping Reform Act Agriculture groups responded positively to the passing of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, along with industry representatives from the food and restaurant sectors. President Joe Biden was slated to sign the legislation into law Thursday (this) afternoon. The legislation should help address long-standing and systemic port disruptions impacting costs throughout the supply chain. Sean Kennedy of the National Restaurant Association says, “After months of advocating with our supply chain partners for these changes, we hope modernization of the Ocean Shipping Act will help reduce shipping costs and improve supply chain challenges.” Tom Madrecki with the Consumer Brands Association adds, “Decisive policy action is critical to combatting supply chain challenges as the consumer packaged goods industry continues to grapple with unprecedented production and shipping costs.” The association contends that the pandemic and subsequent disruptions highlighted the fragility of the complex supply chain system, the need to modernize decades-old ocean regulations, and unfair practices that hurt American manufacturers, farmers and consumers. *********************************************************************************** Farmers Union Urges Congressional Support Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act In a letter to Congress Wednesday, National Farmers Union expressed support for the Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act and urged Members to support the bill. The legislation, NFU says, will provide fairness to farmers, lower prices for consumers, and fight back against decades of consolidation in agriculture. House lawmakers are considering the legislative package Thursday (today). National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says, “Farmers Union members are in strong support of bolstering USDA’s ability to investigate consolidation in the livestock industry.” The legislation would create a special investigator’s office at the Department of Agriculture to explore the issue. However, that issue has House Republicans and Democrats divided on the legislation. National Farmers Union also supports the provisions to expand processing capacity that will offer ranchers more opportunities to get their products to their communities. Another provision of the bill would make year-round E-15 sales permanent, also supported by NFU. *********************************************************************************** APHIS Announces New Resources Aimed at Preventing ASF Spread USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wednesday announced new efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of African swine fever in the United States. Through a campaign called Protect Our Pigs, APHIS will support pork producers, veterinarians, and pig owners with information and resources to help safeguard the swine population and the pork industry. APHIS is deploying a variety of outreach efforts to support these critical stakeholders. The new Protect Our Pigs page on the APHIS website will house materials such as downloadable fact sheets and posters, instructional videos, shareable social media graphics, a new interactive biosecurity guide, and offer the latest disease updates. Dr. Jack Shere, Associate Administrator at APHIS, says, “USDA is working every day to stop this disease from breaching our borders and the Protect Our Pigs campaign is just one of many ways we are doing that.” African swine fever is estimated to cost the U.S. $50 billion over ten years, if detected. *********************************************************************************** Vilsack Traveling to New Hampshire Friday Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will visit New Hampshire Friday to tout work by the Biden Administration to transform the nation’s food system. Vilsack will join Senator Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire Democrat, at Brookdale Fruit Farm, a local family-owned and operated farm. The farm is one of the state's largest retail, pick-your-own, and wholesale growers of fruits and vegetables. USDA says the event will underscore its commitment to increase competition, bolster access to healthy, affordable food, ensure growers and workers receive a greater share of the food dollar, and advance equity as well as climate resilience and mitigation. In addition, Vilsack will make an announcement to help reduce costs for farmers and support local economies by providing funding to cut regulatory costs and increase market opportunities for farmers. That action, USDA says, will help build fair and transparent food systems rooted in local and regional production and create jobs. *********************************************************************************** Bronaugh to Lead United Kingdom Trade Mission Representatives from 37 U.S. agribusinesses and farm organizations will join Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Jewel Bronaugh for an agribusiness trade mission to London, June 22-24. Participants will engage directly with foreign buyers, receive in-depth market briefs from the Foreign Agricultural Service and industry trade experts, and participate in site visits. Bronaugh says, “I’m very excited to lead a delegation to the United Kingdom, one of our top trading partners,” adding, “The United Kingdom presents strong marketing opportunities for many U.S. consumer-oriented products.” U.S. agricultural exports to the United Kingdom totaled $1.9 billion in 2021. In addition to representatives from the following companies and organizations, Bronaugh will be joined by officials from the Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin departments of agriculture. The USDA-sponsored trade mission to the U.K. is one of four international trade missions Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced in March. *********************************************************************************** Argentina Not Likely to Increase Wheat Exports It appears Argentina won’t be able to capitalize on the interruption of wheat supplies from the Black Sea, according to AgriCensus, a London-based Price Reporting Agency. The agency says weather, inflation and political uncertainty all combine to be detrimental to wheat exports for the nation. Argentine farmers face dry conditions with the second consecutive La Nina and worries of a third consecutive event. Initial estimates have the 2022/23 crop size at 20.5 million metric tons, down from the previous crop year’s record high of 22.4 million metric tons, with further cuts possible. Argentine farmers are reportedly cutting wheat acres in favor of barley, which is cheaper to grow. Input costs are another factor, as one analyst tells the agency, "This year there are going to be less hectares planted with wheat and less use in fertilizers this season." And the Argentine government has imposed a series of protective measures to tackle ever-rising domestic inflation levels in the country.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 16, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is set for Thursday at 7:30 a.m. CDT, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims, U.S. housing starts in May and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. At 9:30 a.m., the U.S. Energy Department releases its weekly report of natural gas storage and at 2 p.m., USDA's monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report will be released. Weather A front that has been working across the northern tier of the country over the past few days will continue to shift through the eastern Midwest on Thursday. The tail end of it has stalled across Nebraska and Kansas. Both sections of the front will be active today, with potential for severe storms. The front marks the difference between a mild north and hot south for Thursday. Strong winds that flowed across the Northern Plains on Wednesday continue across the northern Midwest on Thursday, though not quite as strong.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 15, 2022 |


Farm Groups Welcome Passage of Ocean Shipping Reform Act The House of Representatives Monday sent the Ocean Shipping Reform Act to President Biden for signature. Agriculture groups responded positively, heralding the legislation that improves the oversight of ocean shipping. The bill will address many maritime disruptions obstructing the import and export of U.S. products at American ports over the past several years. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says, “I was pleased to team up with President Biden to urge passage and look forward to him quickly signing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.” U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom welcomed the passage, saying, “This legislation takes important steps forward in improving the shipping services available to U.S. exporters.” American Feed Industry Association CEO Constance Cullman adds, “passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act signals a course correction that will enable our industry to continue providing these essential goods to the global marketplace in a timely, cost-efficient way.” *********************************************************************************** USDA Extends Comment Period on Fertilizer Supply Chain Issues The Department of Agriculture Tuesday extended the comment deadline regarding its “Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns” Federal Register notice. Published in the Federal Register in March, the previous deadlines for comments were May 16, and June 15, 2022. USDA extended the comment deadline another month to July 15, 2022. Andy Green, USDA's Senior Advisor for Fair and Competitive Markets, says the new deadline allows "commenters to provide additional feedback regarding the role of capacity expansion and related strategies to directly enhance competition in the fertilizer market." Through the effort, USDA is seeking information on what obstacles exist to financing and developing new fertilizer capacity, expanding fertilizer manufacturing, and what other threats the fertilizer sector faces. In March, USDA announced plans for a $250 million investment in grants to support additional fertilizer production for farmers to address rising costs and spur competition. Fertilizer prices have more than doubled since last year. *********************************************************************************** Rep. Sharice Davids Assigned to House Ag Committee The House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee recommended Representative Sharice Davids to join the House Agriculture Committee this week. The Kansas Democrat says, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve Kansans on the Agriculture Committee, especially as we gear up to consider the next Farm Bill.” Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts says, “I know Representative Davids will be a strong voice on the committee for her constituents and Kansas agriculture” for the remainder of the current session of Congress. House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott says, “I am pleased to welcome her voice to our Committee.” Davids continues to serve as Vice-Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and on the Small Business Committee, chairing the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access. The recommendation now goes to the full Democratic Caucus for approval. If approved, Davids will join Kansas Republican Representative Tracey Mann on the Committee. *********************************************************************************** Federal Government Primary Funder of US Ag Research The Federal Government provides 64 percent of public agricultural research and development funding in the United States. USDA’s Economic Research Service released new data on ag research Tuesday. The data shows state governments and non-governmental sources, including funds generated by universities, account for the other 36 percent of funds for public agricultural R&D. Federal funds are delivered via external grants to universities and other cooperating institutions, and through appropriations to USDA agencies. Most of the federal funding for agricultural research performed by non-Federal institutions is managed by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. NIFA allocates the funds through grants to land grant and minority-serving institutions and through competitive grants open to all universities. Of the $1.6 billion in agricultural research by USDA research agencies, about $165 million was allocated to cooperative research agreements with universities. The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies are also important funders of agricultural research and development. *********************************************************************************** USDA Strengthens Partnerships with 1890s Universities Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Dr. Paul Jones, Chair of the 1890s Presidents Council, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to reaffirm and strengthen their ongoing relationship. The 1890s Presidents Council is an organization comprised of presidents and chancellors of historically Black colleges and universities. The MOU also establishes a new 1890 Task Force that will inject energy into USDA's efforts to collaborate with 1890s institutions in the food, agriculture and forestry sectors. The MOU signing followed discussions between USDA leadership and the 1890s Presidents Council as part of continued engagement and discussions with higher education associations to enhance USDA partnerships and investments with Minority-Serving Institutions. Secretary Vilsack states, "This signing reinforces USDA's commitment to our partners at the 1890s institutions." The 1890 Land-Grant institutions were established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890. USDA has a long history of investing in and supporting the nation's 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, which have been leaders in scientific innovation. *********************************************************************************** ASTA Releases Cover Crop, Conservation Resource The American Seed Trade Association released an updated tool for farmers and landowners this week. ASTA updated a guide that helps farmers easily locate and contact professional seed suppliers for quality environmental, conservation, and cover crop seed. The interactive Conservation, Environmental, and Cover Crop Seed Resource Guide allows buyers to find lists of specific seed types by geographic location to support production and sustainability goals. ASTA President & CEO Andy LaVigne says, “Professionally produced and processed seed is designed to help farmers achieve success through managing the use of the right seed, at the right place, at the right time.” Professionally produced seeds are selected, harvested, cleaned, analyzed, processed, packaged for performance, and tested for purity and germination. Those steps, LaVigne says, “helps ensure you get the best quality seed to meet your production and sustainability goals.” You can find the resource on the ASTA website, betterseed.org.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 15, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets A report on U.S. retail sales in May is set for Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. CDT. The U.S. Energy Department releases its weekly report of energy inventories, including ethanol production at 9:30 a.m. The latest weather forecasts remain important to traders and everyone is leery of outside market influences with the Federal Reserve's announcement and expected rate hike due out at 1 p.m. CDT Wednesday. Weather A front moving across the North-Central U.S. continues to produce areas of showers and thunderstorms. On Wednesday, storms will be concentrated in the Upper Midwest and may be strong to severe from Iowa into Wisconsin and adjacent areas of Minnesota and Illinois. All hazards will be possible and some significant damage may be possible. Additional thunderstorms will pop up in the Southeast later today with a threat for severe weather as well. Heat continues south and east of the front, hastening crop growth. Behind the front, temperatures are much cooler but winds are picking up and will be breezy across the Northern Plains.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday June 14, 2022 |


AFBF and NPPC Tell Supreme Court Proposition 12 is Unconstitutional The American Farm Bureau Federation and National Pork Producers Council filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12. The state law seeks to ban the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet the state’s arbitrary production standards, even if the pork was raised on farms outside of California. AFBF and NPPC argue Proposition 12 violates the constitution’s Commerce Clause, which restricts states from regulating commerce outside their borders. The brief states Proposition 12 “will require massive and costly changes across the entire $26-billion-a-year industry. And it inescapably projects California’s policy choices into every other State, a number of which expressly permit their farmers to house sows in ways inconsistent with Proposition 12.” NPPC and AFBF assert Proposition 12 unconstitutionally regulates commerce outside of California, governs activity outside of California’s borders and beyond its police powers, and imposes substantial burdens on out-of-state farmers and their customers. *********************************************************************************** Consumers Spend More on Food Away From Home in 2021 Consumers in the United States returned to pre-pandemic trends, purchasing more food away from home than food purchases intended for consumption at home. USDA’s Economic Research Service released the data Monday, which shows food away from home spending increased 21.1 percent in 2021 from the previous year. Food at home spending also increased, up four percent in 2021. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, real total food expenditures fell 6.6 percent from 2019. U.S. consumers’ food-spending patterns changed as efforts were made to limit the spread of COVID-19, which included stay-at-home orders. Food away from home spending decreased by 15.8 percent in 2020, while food at home spending increased by 3.9 percent. In 2021, real total food expenditures increased 12.2 percent from 2020. USDA describes food at home as food intended for off-premise consumption from retailers, and food away from home as food consumed at outlets such as restaurants or cafeterias. *********************************************************************************** Clean Fuels Applauds Chevron on Completion Acquiring Renewable Energy Group Clean Fuels Alliance America CEO Donnell Rehagen welcomed news Monday that Chevron finalized its acquisition of Renewable Energy Group, a longtime Clean Fuels Alliance America member. As the acquisition is finalized, Chad Stone of Renewable Energy Group will continue to lead the Clean Fuels Governing Board as chair. Rehagen says, “This is a meaningful acquisition for our industry and for Clean Fuels for many reasons.” The company was one of the first to build a biodiesel plant in the United States. With 11 biorefineries in the U.S. and Europe and more than half a billion gallons of production of biodiesel and renewable diesel, Renewable Energy Group is also one of Clean Fuels’ largest members in terms of fuel production. California-based Chevron has steadily grown its clean fuels business, actively marketing its Renewable Diesel Blend at the pump in California. Renewable Energy Group will remain headquartered in Ames, Iowa, and will focus on growing Chevron's portfolio of lower-carbon fuels. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Ag Tractor, Combine Sales Fall Below Five-Year Average in May 2022 U.S. tractor and combine monthly unit sales in May 2022 fell below the five-year average for the first time since March 2020, while Canadian sales remained above the line. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers released the monthly data last week, which shows U.S. total farm tractor sales fell 14.5 percent for the month of May compared to 2021, and U.S. combine sales for the month declined 12.7 percent to 315 units sold. Total farm tractor sales and combine sales are both down 14.2 percent year-to-date. In Canada, unit sales fell 11.3 percent, and combine sales fell 28.4 percent. Year-to-date farm tractor unit sales are down 8.6 percent in Canada, while harvesters are down 28.1 percent. AEM’s Curt Blades says, “Supply chain remains the primary issue in the ag equipment market right now.” Blades points out another thing to keep in mind, especially when comparing numbers year-over-year, is 2021 sales were significantly above historic trends. *********************************************************************************** FFA Members Prepare for Careers in Plant Systems Pathways This summer, 45 FFA members from across the country will arrive in St. Louis, Missouri, to explore careers in the plant industry. It’s all part of the Next Gen Conference offered by the National FFA Organization. The conference, which began in 2020, focuses on pathways from animal systems to biotechnology systems members might be interested in. The inaugural conference was held in February 2020 and put on hold for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the event, members will access new ideas, trends and opportunities that will connect them directly with industry leaders during the conference. The conference is designed specifically to give FFA members hands-on, industry-relevant experience. Members will also explore diverse plant operations around St. Louis and learn how to plan for their future careers. An FFA spokesperson says, “This year’s conference will help us cultivate future leaders in the plant systems pathway through a week of experiential learning, relevant education and networking.” *********************************************************************************** Gas Prices Surge Take National Average Above $5/Gallon The nation's average gas price climbed for the eighth straight week, jumping 15.7 cents from a week ago to $5.01 per gallon. The national average is up 57.1 cents from a month ago and $1.94 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price increased 13.8 cents in the last week and stands at $5.77 per gallon. Last week saw the national average reaching the $5 per gallon mark, with the most common gas price at $4.99 per gallon, up 50 cents from last week. GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan says, “For now, the upward momentum may slow down, but we are still just one potential jolt to supply away from heading even higher.” De Haan adds, “Should the rise in price finally start to slow demand’s rise, we could see some breathing room, but for now, it seems like Americans are proving resilient to record highs.”

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday June 14, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department will report on producer prices for May at 7:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday, one day before the Federal Reserve is expected to raise the federal funds target by a half-percent or possibly more. Traders will continue to keep close watch on the latest weather forecasts and any news regarding Ukraine with winter wheat harvest season approaching. Weather Heat has built in across a large area of the country east of the Rockies, but a cold front that is moving through the Northern Plains will bring temperatures down across northern areas through the week. On Tuesday, that front moves through Nebraska and the Upper Midwest. Thunderstorms have been active since last night across the Dakotas and continue this morning, getting into northwest Minnesota as well. More thunderstorms are expected to develop this evening and overnight along the front in Nebraska, Iowa, and southern Minnesota and could be severe with strong winds and large hail.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday June 13, 2022 |


Smithfield Foods Closing Plant in California Smithfield Foods says it will stop all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California, in early 2023 due to the rising cost of doing business in the state. At the same time, the company will align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in the western region. The company will shrink the size of its sow herd in Utah and is looking at options to exit its farms in Arizona and California. Smithfield harvests only company-owned hogs in Vernon. “We are grateful to our team members in the Western region for their dedication and invaluable contributions to our mission,” says Smithfield Chief Operating Officer Brady Stewart. “We are committed to providing financial and other transition assistance to employees impacted by this difficult decision.” The transition options for employees include relocation options to other company facilities and farms and retention incentives to ensure the business stays in operation until next year. *********************************************************************************** Dairy Leader Wants More Congressional Focus on Trade Sheryl Meshke (MESH-key), CEO of Associated Milk Producers Incorporated, told a Senate subcommittee that the government must pursue expanded trade opportunities. The U.S. dairy industry is asking Congress to pursue additional market access opportunities and address export supply-chain delays so that the U.S. dairy industry can keep up with its global competitors. Meshke serves on the board of directors for the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “In pursuing exports, the U.S dairy industry faces experienced and well-established competitors who’ve been very active with free trade agreements,” Meshke said in testimony before the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade. She says the global playing field is slowly tilting against the U.S. due to competitors’ trade agreements with key dairy import markets. U.S. trade negotiators should also look for more access to priority markets like Southeast Asia, Japan, China, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom. *********************************************************************************** Corn Yield Unchanged in June WASDE Report The June World Ag Supply and Demand Estimate report is calling for a U.S. corn planted area and yield forecast unchanged from May. This month’s 2022-2023 corn outlook is for larger beginning stocks, slightly higher use, and increased ending stocks. USDA will release its survey-based Acreage report on June 30. Corn’s season-average farm price is unchanged at $6.75 a bushel. The soybean supply and use projections include lower beginning and ending stocks and higher prices. Soybean export projections are raised 30 million bushels to 2.17 billion, reflecting strong export sales and reduced Brazilian exports. Soybean ending stocks are projected to be 280 million bushels, down 30 million from last month. The soybean season-average price is forecast at $14.70 a bushel, 30 cents higher than last month. The wheat outlook is for increased supplies, unchanged domestic use and exports, and higher stocks. All-wheat production is forecast at 1.7 billion bushels, with the season-average price unchanged at $10.75 a bushel. *********************************************************************************** Growth Energy Testifies on Advanced Clean Cars Regulation Growth Energy Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley (BLY-lee) testified last week before the California Air Resources Board. He spoke to the board in response to its proposed Advanced Clean Cars II Regulation. The proposal set a goal of 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035. During his testimony, Bliley encouraged CARB to develop clear policies reflecting the reality that liquid fuels will continue to play an important role in the transportation sector for decades. “In the existing light-duty fleet, higher bioethanol blends like E15 and E85 can get immediately deployed to achieve immediate GHG reductions, reduce harmful air toxics, and reduce consumer costs at the pump,” says Bliley. “Additionally, greater use of E85 will promote even further reductions in GHG and toxic emissions, as well as lower consumer costs because it sells for nearly $2 less per gallon than gasoline.” Consumers are facing record-high gas prices at the pump. *********************************************************************************** NCGA Celebrates June Dairy Month June is National Dairy Month, and the National Corn Growers Association is celebrating the occasion by focusing on the relationship between the corn and dairy industries. Dairy cattle consume 30 percent of the dried distiller’s grains with solubles that are a co-product of producing ethanol. In 2021, DDGs used 1.05 billion bushels of corn. The NCGA engages with the dairy industry through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which recently hosted the 2022 Dairy Sustainability Alliance Spring Meeting in Illinois. NCGA’s Market Development Manager Michael Granche (GRAHN-chay) attended the conference and says it was great to take part in the high-energy conversations. “I enjoyed talking about sustainability in the dairy industry,” Granche says. “Now that it’s National Dairy Month, it’s a great time to celebrate all the hard work that goes into producing all the delicious dairy products we enjoy.” NCGA also says there are currently 93 million dairy cows in the U.S. *********************************************************************************** 2022 “Rock the Crop” Concert Sweepstakes Underway Firestone Ag kicked off the 2022 Rock the Crop Concert Sweepstakes with Nashville-based country music artist Dillon Carmichael. The sweepstakes event is billed as a celebration of U.S. agriculture. Building on a successful giveaway of a private concert last year, the farm tire manufacturer and the musician are collaborating again to unite music and agriculture in honor of America’s hard-working farmers and ranchers. “The past couple of years have been especially challenging for agriculture workers, so we’re excited to have Dillon Carmichael back on board to join us in thanking one lucky farmer or rancher with a private concert,” says Matt Frank, Firestone marketing product manager. Indiana farmer Carey Garwood won the inaugural concert in 2021. This year’s winner will host that private concert with Carmichael on their farm or ranch. “I’m thrilled to continue this partnership with Firestone and to have such a unique opportunity to personally celebrate America’s farmers,” Carmichael says.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday June 13, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will be examining the latest weather forecasts, especially as the outlook turned hotter late last week. Friday's WASDE estimates may still have some influence on trading and at 10 a.m. CDT, USDA's weekly report of grain export inspections will get attention, especially for soybeans where shipments have been lacking. At 3 p.m., USDA's Crop Progress report will include soybean and spring wheat crop conditions for the first time this season. Weather Heat advisories and warnings cover much of the country east of the Rockies over the next couple of days ahead of a storm system building in the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies. This storm is bringing a warm front north through the North-Central U.S. with scattered showers and thunderstorms Monday morning. A cluster of these storms around southern Minnesota may last through the morning and become a line of severe storms across Iowa and Wisconsin and points southeast through Ohio later in the day. There is a significant risk of wind damage from these storms.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday June 10, 2022 |


Biden Nominates McKalip to Ag Trade Post President Biden will nominate Doug McKalip as the U.S. Trade Representative’s next chief agricultural negotiator. McKalip is a longtime USDA advisor and expert in agriculture and trade. The nominee has served as the senior advisor to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack on trade, national security, and animal and plant health regulations since March 2021. Reuters says U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai calls McKalip a highly-qualified nominee with decades of experience in public service. “His institutional knowledge of USDA spans multiple administrations, from leading different offices to serving as a trusted adviser to Secretary Vilsack,” Tai says, “and he will help us continue the close collaboration between our agencies that’s enabled a lot of success.” The chief ag negotiator directs USTR’s negotiations aimed at boosting U.S. farm exports, such as the recent agreement allowing more American beef exports to flow into Japan. McKalip is in year 28 of working with the USDA. *********************************************************************************** Groups, Officials React Positively to McKalip Nomination Many of agriculture’s leading groups and officials are reacting positively to the expected nomination of Doug McKalip to be the chief agricultural negotiator with the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. McKalip has been a key agriculture policy official for three decades, and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says that makes him a great choice for the post. The U.S. Grains Council says McKalip will be able to use his strong background in farm and trade policy and his knowledge of biotechnology to advance U.S. global trade priorities. American Soybean Association CEO Stephen Censky says, “Doug understands the challenges facing agriculture, and we’re glad to have his expertise added to the USTR team.” Brian Kuehl of Farmers for Free Trade says McKalip is “well prepared for fighting for the needs of our nation’s farm and food interests.” The National Corn Growers Association is also pleased to see this nomination in place, as is the National Milk Producers Federation. *********************************************************************************** Commodity Classic Names New Show Director Commodity Classic announced that Maureen Feck is the new Show Director and begins her new position on July 1. She comes to Commodity Classic from the True Value Company, where she was the Senior Director of Meetings and Events. In her prior role, Feck worked in the hardware and tools industry and grew attendance in bi-annual, city-wide conventions by 18 percent over two years. She developed events that are strategically focused on creating positive experiences for the people in attendance. Feck brings more than 15 years of hands-on event, communications, and management experience. She’ll play an integral role in the continued growth and innovation of agriculture’s premier trade and educational show. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in communications from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Her first Commodity Classic in the new role is scheduled for March 9-11, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. For more information on the event, go to commodityclassic.com. *********************************************************************************** Another Billion-Dollar Month for Beef Exports The U.S. Meat Export Federation says U.S. beef exports maintained a remarkable pace in April, surpassing $1 billion for the third time in 2022. Beef exports totaled just over 124,400 metric tons in April, three percent higher than last year and the fifth-largest total on record, Export values soared 33 percent higher than last year to $1.05 billion. That trails only the record $1.07 billion total from March. “Global demand for U.S. beef continues to overcome enormous obstacles like inflationary pressures, logistical challenges, and recent lockdowns in China,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. April pork exports totaled 212,800 metric tons, 21 percent less than the large volume reported last year. Pork export value dropped 20 percent from a year ago to just over $600 million. Exports to top destination Mexico continue to run strong while a sharp decline in Chinese demand weighs on the market. April lamb exports increased 37 percent from 2021. *********************************************************************************** USDA Releases Poultry Tournament Rule The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service released its long-awaited proposed changes to regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act regarding the U.S. poultry industry. The changes include a list of disclosures and information live poultry dealers must furnish to poultry growers and sellers with whom the dealers make poultry-growing arrangements. “The proposal would establish additional disclosure requirements in connection with the use of poultry grower ranking systems to live poultry dealers to determine settlement payments for poultry growers,” says AMS. “The proposals are intended to promote transparency in poultry production contracting and give poultry growers and prospective poultry growers relevant information to help them make business decisions.” The Hagstrom Report says comments on the rule and other information collection aspects of it must get received by August 8. A National Chicken Council spokesman says the group is still evaluating the rule and its potential impact on the industry, but they will comment on the proposal. *********************************************************************************** Minnesota Farm is New U.S. Wheat Associates Chair Rhonda Larson of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, started her term as Chair of the U.S. Wheat Associates Board of Directors on June 8 at the group’s annual meeting in Bend, Oregon. Michael Peters of Oklahoma is the new Vice-Chair, Clark Hamilton is the Secretary-Treasurer, and Darren Padget will serve for one year as the Past Chair. USW is the market development organization for the U.S. wheat industry. “I want to thank the entire wheat family for their support,” Larson said to the board of directors. “We heard a lot here about the challenges we face, but with your help, I look forward to representing wheat farmers in overseas markets.” She will represent growers at the World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, June 12-15. Larson has been a board member of the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council for 17 years, serving as chair from 2010 to 2012.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday June 10, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets The U.S. Labor Department's consumer price index for May is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday and could shake up outside markets, followed by the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index at 9 a.m. USDA's June WASDE and Crop Production reports at 11 a.m. don't normally shake prices up much but will add to the conversation of trying to get a handle on the bullish demand prices have been hinting at. Traders will also be watching the latest weather forecasts with talk of hotter U.S. temperatures on the way. Weather A cluster of thunderstorms that built across Oklahoma Thursday night will continue to trek east-southeast through the Delta on Friday. Risks for damaging wind gusts are rather high with the cluster and could bring some damage to the region. Lighter showers and thunderstorms will work across the Midwest throughout the day while it dries out in the Central and Southern Plains after a week of high activity.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 9, 2022 |


NPPC Sets a Pathway for Change The National Pork Producers Council announced the culmination of a strategic planning and repositioning effort that will help shape the future of the next generation of pork producers. Under the direction of new leadership, NPPC unveiled a new brand identity to symbolize the organization’s transformation and focus on driving growth in the U.S. pork industry. With the food-production landscape changing and increasing complexity of issues facing U.S. pork producers, a task force of industry leaders developed a five-year strategic plan to ensure focus on the top priorities of NPPC stakeholders. “It’s never been more important to plan for our future,” says NPPC CEO Bryan Humphries. “The task force identified trade, foreign animal disease, labor, and preserving producers’ freedom to operate as priority advocacy issues for NPPC.” The new logo reinforces NPPC’s mission as the unified global voice for the U.S. pork industry in Washington, D.C., across the country, and in the global marketplace. *********************************************************************************** Crop Insurance Options for Producers Considering Double-Cropping The USDA wants to remind producers that options are available for them to insure double-crop soybeans, grain sorghum, and other crops where the practice isn’t allowed. Producers in counties where the Following Another Crop practice isn’t allowed may be able to request coverage through their insurance agent under a couple of conditions: If they plant soybeans and other crops after wheat or other small grains, or if producers in some areas work soybeans into wheat using a relay-cropping practice. It’s important to remember that requests have to get submitted to crop insurance agents by July 15. In addition to these 2022 crop year options, the Risk Management Agency is actively working with stakeholders to identify areas to expand double-cropping coverage for the 2023 crop year. This initiative may include expanding where the FAC practice is allowed permanently or considering other flexibilities and expanding where written agreements are allowed. *********************************************************************************** Senate Confirms Jacobs-Young as USDA Undersecretary The Senate confirmed Chavonda Jacobs-Young as the USDA’s new Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics. The vote was 95-4. In a floor statement before the vote, Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow called Jacobs-Young extremely qualified and says she’ll be the first woman of color to serve in the USDA’s highest scientific post. The Hagstrom Report says Stabenow also thanked Ranking Member John Boozman (BOZE-man) for his help in advancing the nomination. Jacobs-Young has served as administrator of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service since February 2014. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association congratulated Jacobs-Young after the confirmation vote took place. “The research, economics, and education arm of USDA provides data and analysis that’s crucial to cattle producers around the country as they make business decisions and monitor new scientific developments,” says Ethan Lane, NCBA’s Vice President for Government Affairs. “We look forward to working closely with Dr. Jacobs-Young and her team.” *********************************************************************************** Barchart Cuts U.S. Production and Yield Forecasts for Corn and Soybeans Barchart announced its initial 2022 yield and production forecasts for America’s 2022 corn and soybean crops. The numbers are lower than USDA’s projected figures from the May WASDE report. The organization says it’s thrilled to provide commodity professionals with their estimates for U.S. corn and soybeans. The initial Barchart end-of-season forecast shows U.S. corn production at 14.2 billion bushels with a yield of 174 bushels an acre. That compares to USDA’s prediction of 14.5 billion bushels and a yield of 177 bushels an acre. The end-of-season soybean production is forecast at 4.4 billion bushels with a yield of 49.5 bushels per acre. This compares to a USDA forecast of 4.6 billion bushels and a 51.5 bushel per acre yield. “This has been somewhat of an unprecedented year for the commodity markets,” says Barchart CEO Mark Haraburda (Har-ah-BURR-dah). “We provide producers with as much information as possible for their marketing decisions.” *********************************************************************************** Pork Board Elects New Officers The National Pork Board elected new officers to lead the 15 producer-directors representing 60,000 American pig farmers who pay into the National Pork Checkoff. The checkoff is a program that funds research, promotion, and education efforts for the benefit of the whole pork industry. Indiana pork producer Heather Hill was elected to serve as president of the National Pork Board for the 2022-2023 term. “Real Pork is about real farmers leading efforts to ensure the public understands our product is Real Nutritious and Real Sustainable,” says Hill. The new president owns a 600-sow farrow-to-finish operation in Indiana with her husband and his parents. The family farm also grows corn, soybeans, and wheat. “We will deliver real results to help protect producer freedom to operate and promote continuity of business should a foreign animal disease like African Swine Fever threaten the U.S. herd,” Hill adds. Bob Ruth of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is the new Vice-President. *********************************************************************************** Fields of Corn Photo Contest is Open The National Corn Growers Association’s “Fields-of-Corn” photo contest is now open and accepting entries for the 2022 event. The contest began in 2014 and has seen almost 3,000 pictures submitted across various categories. The NCGA added a new category this year called Farm Babies. “Our winners in last year’s contest knocked it out of the park,” says NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “I can’t wait to see what gets entered this year. Other popular categories include growing field corn and the farm family lifestyle, just to name a few.” A total of 26 cash prizes will get awarded. The photo with the most Facebook likes will win a $500 grand prize and first, second, and third-place awards will be given in each of eight categories. A panel of judges will select a Grand Prize winner who will get $500. For more information or to submit photos, go to fields-of-corn.com.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 9, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales are due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The U.S. Energy Department releases its weekly report on natural gas storage at 9:30 a.m. Traders continue to keep a close watch on the latest weather forecasts and any news regarding Ukraine. Weather In the non-stop active pattern that has been moving across the country since the weekend, another disturbance will move into the Central Plains Thursday, producing scattered showers and thunderstorms. Severe weather looks likely from Nebraska to Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, areas that have already had bouts of severe weather this week. The rain that comes with the storms will be important though, as the region will start to become less active this weekend.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 8, 2022 |


Farmer Sentiment Plummets as Production Costs Skyrocket The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer plummeted in May to a reading of just 99, the weakest reading since April 2020. The May 2022 barometer reading marked just the ninth time since data collection began in fall 2015 that the overall measure of farmer sentiment fell below 100. Agricultural producers’ perceptions regarding current conditions on their farms, as well as their future expectations, both weakened this month. The Index of Current Conditions fell 26 points to a reading of 94, while the Index of Future Expectations declined 21 points to 101 in May. Notably, this month saw a rise in the percentage of respondents who feel their farm is worse off financially now than a year earlier, an indication that escalating production costs are troubling producers. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer sentiment index is calculated each month from 400 U.S. agricultural producers’ responses to a telephone survey. This month’s survey was conducted from May 16-20, 2022. *********************************************************************************** EIA Expects Continued High Energy Prices Through 2023 The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that a variety of U.S. energy prices will remain historically high through 2023. The outlook includes oil, natural gas, coal, and electricity, as seen in EIA’s June 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook Tuesday. EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis says, "Although we expect the current upward pressure on energy prices to lessen, high energy prices will likely remain prevalent in the United States this year and next." EIA forecasts that high natural gas and coal prices will result in an increased share of renewables in U.S. generation, largely offset by a decline in coal's share. The natural gas share is forecast to decline over the next two years, although at a slower rate than coal. EIA says the Brent crude oil price will average $108 per barrel during the second half of 2022, as tight global inventories and significant geopolitical uncertainties continue to put upward pressure on crude oil prices despite an increase in production to pre-pandemic levels. *********************************************************************************** Farmers National Company: Land Prices up 20% The stronger land prices of late 2021 continued higher through the first half of 2022. After a calm period at the start of the year with prices steady, prices took another jump up as a result of the outbreak of war in Ukraine and ongoing inflation fears. Farmers saw higher commodity prices, and investors wanted a low-risk inflation hedging investment, which together propelled the competition for good cropland. Prices for good quality cropland are up 20 percent in some areas since the first of the year. Randy Dickhut of Farmers National Company says, “Good land that was selling for around $16,000 last fall sold for $19,000 to $21,500 per acre at company auctions in March.” The question of the moment is, will land prices go even higher? Dickhut adds, “With current land prices at heightened levels, most of the supporting factors remain in place at this time to keep values steady to firmer for the next six months.” *********************************************************************************** Cattle Producers Share WOTUS Perspective at EPA Roundtable Cattle producers voiced their concerns with the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers' ongoing Waters of the U.S. rulemaking this week. The Kansas Livestock Association hosted one of ten roundtable events for the EPA and Army Corps Monday. NCBA Environmental Counsel Mary-Thomas Hart says, “To be successful in their operations, cattle producers need a clear, limited WOTUS definition that finally provides much-needed certainty after years of shifting rules.” In July 2021, the EPA announced that rather than facilitate public engagement—the typical course of action for major rulemakings—the agency would instead ask private organizations to entirely plan and propose a roundtable with stakeholders. In addition to the roundtables, NCBA has engaged on WOTUS by submitting technical comments on the proposed phase one WOTUS rule and filing an amicus brief in the case Sackett v. EPA, a challenge to the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act. NCBA has called for the EPA to pause WOTUS rulemaking until the case is decided. *********************************************************************************** General Mills Invests $3 Million to Scale Eco-Harvest by ESMC General Mills and Ecosystem Services Market Consortium Tuesday announced a multi-year roadmap to scale Eco-Harvest. The market program by ESMC recognizes and rewards farmers for beneficial environmental outcomes from regenerative agriculture. The roadmap focuses on priority regions in the U.S. and Canada where General Mills sources its key ingredients, like wheat, oat, corn, and dairy. The initial $3 million investment from General Mills includes an ESMC grant to support the launch and development of Eco-Harvest and funds to scale regional programs. Eco-Harvest is a voluntary market program that generates and sells credits for increased soil carbon, reduced greenhouse gases, and improved water quality. The credits represent verified environmental benefits created within agricultural value chains resulting from approved farm practice changes. Eco-Harvest supports General Mills’ commitments to advance regenerative agriculture on one million acres by 2030, reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 30 percent by 2030, and ultimately achieve net zero emissions by 2050. *********************************************************************************** USDA: School Foods Offer Richest Source of Dairy in Children’s Diets USDA’s Economic Research Service Tuesday released new data showing schools are the richest source of dairy in children’s diets. The data comes from 2017-2018, for children between two and 19 years old. These foods provided an average of 1.99 cups of dairy products per 1,000 calories consumed each day. Food sources are comprised of foods prepared at home and foods prepared away from home, including foods from restaurants, fast food establishments, and schools. The dairy foods group, as defined by USDA dietary guidance, is a major source of calcium and includes milk, cheese, yogurt, lactose-free milk, and fortified soy milk. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–25, recommend individuals two years and older should consume two or three cups of dairy per day, depending on age and calorie level of dietary pattern. Although no age group meets this recommendation, children come the closest, with school foods making an important contribution.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 8, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets Traders continue to keep an eye on the latest weather forecasts, will pause at 8 a.m. to see if USDA has an export sales announcement and right or wrong, may pay attention to talk from Russia's meeting with Turkey Wednesday, regarding Russia's proposal to escort ships out of Ukrainian ports. At 9:30 a.m. CDT, the U.S. Energy Department will release its weekly inventory report, including ethanol production. Weather Continuing the pattern of active weather this week, more widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected on Wednesday. The heavier hit areas should be in the Midwest, Southern Plains, and Delta. Mostly dry weather sets up for a day in the Northern Plains, which will help the Red River Valley dry out even more. Texas will remain dry as well with continued hot temperatures where storms do not occur across the north and west. As has been the case all week, the active weather should lead to areas of severe weather.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday June 7, 2022 |


Thompson, Boozman Call on White House to Withdraw Brief in Roundup Case Republican lawmakers want the Biden Administration to withdraw its brief before the Supreme Court in a case involving the Environmental Protection Agency's federal registration authority of Roundup. John Boozman of Arkansas, the top Republican on the Senate Ag Committee, and Glenn GT Thompson, the top Republican on the House Ag Committee, penned the request in a letter Monday. The Republican leaders question the White House's rationale for filing the brief based on a "change in administration" and seek answers as to why the Solicitor General modified its long-standing position that EPA maintains federal preemption authority on all crop protection tools without consulting the relevant agency subject matter experts. The lawmakers write, “Such a reversal coupled with the lack of consultation with subject matter experts is incredibly concerning.” If the Ninth Circuit's decision is left in place, the lawmakers say growers will lose a critical tool from their toolbox, and EPA’s registration process would evolve into a state-by-state patchwork. *********************************************************************************** Poll Finds Majority of Voters Support U.S. Aquaculture Industry Stronger America Through Seafood announced Monday that a majority of voters support establishing a U.S. aquaculture industry to increase sustainable seafood production. A survey by the organization found that two-thirds of voters would feel more favorable towards a member of Congress who established pathways for offshore aquaculture. Among voters, 84 percent support establishing a clear, predictable pathway for U.S. aquaculture when learning many American companies build aquaculture operations abroad, and 86 percent believe it’s important to expand U.S. aquaculture when learning the U.S. imports most of its seafood. In response, Sarah Brenholt of the organization says, “Now is the time for Congress to act and put in place federal policies that would establish an aquaculture industry in U.S. federal waters.” Stronger America Through Seafood supports the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act. The bill would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to harmonize the permitting system for offshore aquaculture for farms in federal waters. *********************************************************************************** Genetically Modified Corn Does Not Damage Non-Target Organisms A new major meta-analysis has found that Bt corn does not damage non-target organisms. The results published Monday by USDA's Agricultural Research Service found genetically modified Bt corn has little impact on non-target insects and other organisms, especially compared to growing conventional corn. Bt corn is corn that has been genetically modified so that it produces proteins to control corn borers, corn rootworms and other major pests of corn. The first Bt corn was approved in 1996, and critics have been suggesting that it also can destroy beneficial insects or other non-targeted organisms. The study gathered hundreds of individual studies published between 1997 to 2020 that have looked at whether growing Bt corn changed the environmental abundance of non-target animals. Bt corn represents a highly selective pest control technology with relatively few negative consequences for non-target invertebrates, especially when compared with the use of broad-spectrum insecticides for managing Bt-targeted pests, according to the scientists. *********************************************************************************** USDA Announces Urban Agriculture Investments The Department of Agriculture last week announced $43 million in grants and cooperative agreements to help deliver key USDA programs to urban producers. Specifically, USDA is investing $10.2 million in new cooperative agreements to expand compost and food waste reduction efforts and $14.2 million in new grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. Additionally, $18.7 million will fund 75 grant proposals from the 2021 application cycle, which was oversubscribed. Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Terry Cosby says, “These projects will help for urban farmers create new, more affordable, and better local market options.” USDA’s Farm Service Agency is also standing up six more urban county committees, which help deliver farm loans, disaster assistance, safety net and conservation programs. FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux adds, “These new urban county committees will work to encourage and promote urban agriculture and address areas such as food and program access, community engagement and food security.” *********************************************************************************** FFA Members Head to Washington, D.C. to Develop Leadership Skills For more than fifty years, FFA members from across the country converge in Washington, D.C., in the summer. After a two-year delay, the Washington Leadership Conference is back. The annual conference begins June 7(today). More than 2,000 students are registered for the 2022 Washington Leadership Conference, the second-largest student experience the National FFA Organization hosts each year. FFA members can attend the conference during one of seven weeks through July 30. They will spend the week under the guidance of professionals, counselors and FFA staff. In workshops, seminars and small groups, members will focus on identifying and developing their personal strengths and goals while undergoing comprehensive leadership training that will help them guide their local FFA chapters. The capstone of the event will be a civic engagement activity where participants apply what they have learned to a hands-on activity. Members will also analyze the needs of their communities and develop wide-ranging and high-impact community service initiatives. *********************************************************************************** Gas Prices Spike on Tighter Supplies The nation's average gas price increased for the seventh straight week, surging 26.0 cents from a week ago to $4.85 per gallon. The national average is up 56.0 cents from a month ago and $1.81 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average diesel price increased 11.5 cents in the last week and stands at $5.62 per gallon. GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan says, “It now appears not if, but when, we’ll hit that psychologically critical $5 national average.” Gasoline inventories continue to decline even with demand softening due to high prices, a culmination of less refining capacity and strong consumption. Nine states have average gas prices above the $5 per gallon mark, with more set to join in the days and weeks ahead. Diesel prices also stand at a record high, which pushes prices of most goods higher. With China’s economy now largely fully reopen, oil demand is likely to rise further.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday June 7, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets At 7:30 a.m. CDT Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau releases the trade deficit for April and also supplies export details that USDA will publish later Tuesday morning. A report on U.S. consumer credit for April is set for release at 2 p.m. Traders will keep watch on the latest weather forecasts and any news of an export sale or updates from Ukraine. Weather A few disturbances are moving through the country this week, leading to widespread areas of showers that continue Tuesday. Some severe weather will be possible as well, particularly in the Central Plains. Not everywhere will get the showers. The Red River Valley in the Northern Plains will continue to see favorable dry conditions to perhaps allow for more planting. Texas will be mostly hot and dry for the next several days, though some showers may get into the northern Panhandle.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday June 6, 2022 |


EPA Issues Final RVOs for 2020-2022 The Environmental Protection Agency issued the final Renewable Volume Obligations for 2020, 2021, and 2022 last week. The agency lowered conventional ethanol volumes to 12.5 billion gallons for 2020, advance biofuel to 4.63 billion, and cellulosic to 510 million. The rule also sets conventional ethanol at 13.79 billion gallons in 2021 and 15 billion in 2022. In a move sure to please the ethanol industry, the rule adds a supplemental 250 million gallons that was illegally waived in the 2016 RVO and denies 72 pending small refinery exemption requests. The EPA announcement also provides important guidance to limit the abuse of small refinery exemptions in the future. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the 15 billion gallons in 2022 is a move that sets a baseline for strong future biofuel blending levels. “These moves will set the direction of total and advanced renewable fuel volumes for 2023 and beyond,” Skor says. *********************************************************************************** World Food Prices Drop in May World food prices dropped in May, the second-straight monthly decrease after hitting a record high in March. The U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization says while overall prices dipped, the cost of cereals and meat both rose during May. The Food Price Index tracks the most globally-traded food commodities and averaged 157.4 points last month after hitting 158.3 in April. While the average did drop month-to-month, the May index was still 22 percent higher than in 2021. In the cereal supply and demand estimates, the FAO says it expects global cereal production would drop in the 2022-2023 season for the first time in four years after record production last year. The cereal price index climbed 2.2 percent, with wheat posting a 5.6 percent month-on-month gain. The dairy, sugar, and vegetable oil price indices all fell in May, but the meat index edged up to an all-time high level. Vegetable oil dropped 3.5 percent from April. *********************************************************************************** Farm Real Estate Debt Builds in First Quarter Farm real estate debt at commercial banks grew modestly in the first quarter, while production loans remained steady. The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank says alongside soaring farmland values, real estate loan balances increased at the fastest pace in four years and drove an increase in the overall amount of agricultural lending. Following a sharp pullback over the last two years, non-real estate lending was stable from a year ago. Farm loan performance also continued to improve, but performance at agricultural banks remained limited by compressed net interest margins and a glut of liquidity. The farm economy remained strong alongside decade-high commodity prices that continued to support farm finances. Many producers have benefited immensely from strong cash balances, but credit needs may rise as higher input costs weigh on profit margins. Farm lending accelerated in recent months alongside an increase in the size of operating loans. Many bankers expect loan demand to continue climbing. *********************************************************************************** NCBA Commends U.S.-Japan Beef Export Agreement The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association lauded the signing of an agreement between the U.S. and Japan to increase the Beef Safeguard Trigger level under a trade agreement between the two countries. Kent Bacus, NCBA senior director of international trade and market access, says the agreement underscores the importance of a mutually-beneficial relationship between U.S. cattle producers and Japanese consumers. “We are hopeful that the improved safeguard will provide greater certainty for all segments of the supply chain,” Bacus says. “We thank Ambassador Tai for her continued efforts to reduce trade barriers and expand export opportunities for American cattle producers.” In March 2021, Japan and the U.S. entered negotiations after record-setting beef exports triggered the safeguard provision in the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The increase in the Beef Safeguard Trigger will allow American producers to continue exporting high-quality beef to meet Japanese consumer demand. U.S. beef exports to Japan hit $2.3 billion in 2021. *********************************************************************************** NASCAR Reaches 20 Million Miles on Renewable Fuel NASCAR and official partner Growth Energy say a significant milestone got surpassed this weekend at the World-Wide Technology Raceway. NASCAR drivers have passed 20 million miles driven on Sunoco (Suh-KNOW-co) Green E15, a fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol. Growth Energy, the world’s largest trade association representing America’s biofuel producers and supporters, has been a partner with NASCAR since 2011. NASCAR’s reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent across its three national touring series while also increasing horsepower on the track. “We’re fortunate to have great partners like Growth Energy and Get Bioethanol who are dedicated to NASCAR and helping us minimize our impact on the environment,” says Michelle Byron, NASCAR’s vice president of partnership marketing. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says, “Twenty million NASCAR miles driven on Sunoco Green E15 is a significant milestone for our environment and NASCAR’s sustainability platform initiative. Cars have cut carbon emissions while boosting octane on the track.” *********************************************************************************** Cotton Trust Protocol Launches Streamline Enrollment The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol announced a new streamlined three-year grower enrollment for the 2022 through 2024 crops. The new process is designed to be quick, easy, and efficient, which allows a grower-member’s cotton to enter the supply chain sooner. Dr. Gary Adams, president of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, says they understand the high demands on a grower’s time and listened to producer feedback. “We implemented a more streamlined and efficient enrollment process,” Adams says. “We thank the growers who helped double participation in 2021.” As supply chain membership continues to increase, Adams says they need to collectively ensure there is enough participation in the program to meet demand and that the U.S. continues to be a leader in producing sustainable cotton for markets around the world. Under the new process, Adams says growers should be able to complete all the requirements in one sitting. Data in the program remains secure and confidential.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday June 6, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will check the latest weather developments and forecasts for the week ahead. Any news of an export sale or updates from Ukraine will also be watched. At 10 a.m. CDT, USDA will have its weekly export inspections report, followed by Crop Progress at 3 p.m. Monday's Crop Progress report will have the first crop rating for corn and assessment of winter wheat harvest progress for the new seasons. Weather An area of heavier thunderstorms was moving through the Ozarks early Monday morning with more scattered activity in the Northern and Central Plains through the Midwest. This is all part of an active weather week as several small disturbances will move through the country, bringing scattered showers and thunderstorms and bouts of severe weather. The greatest severe threat on Monday is from western Kansas up through the Black Hills, though storms could also become stronger across the northern Delta and Mid-South if they can hold together through the morning.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday June 3, 2022 |


Wheat Growers: Consult USDA on Glyphosate Case Review The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to decide whether to review a case that threatens federal preemption in the regulation of crop protection technologies. The National Association of Wheat Growers is again asking the Biden administration to consult with the USDA on the policy changes and the far-reaching agriculture implications of the case. In May, the U.S. Solicitor General issued a brief urging the Court to deny review of a case involving glyphosate labeling, arguing that federal regulations don’t preclude states from making additional labeling requirements, even if those state requirements run counter to federal findings. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack confirmed USDA wasn’t consulted on the brief. “We believe it would be useful if the administration consults with USDA on the ramifications of a patchwork approach to crop protection products,” says NAWG President Nicole Berg. Farmers would face decreased access to much-needed tools to produce food, fiber, and fuel safely and sustainably. *********************************************************************************** Census of Agriculture Sign-Up Deadline Approaching Ag producers have until June 30 to sign up to receive the 2022 Census of Agriculture. The National Agricultural Statistics Service will mail ag census survey codes for responding securely online to every known U.S. producer in November. Hard copy questions will be mailed in December. The ag census has been conducted for more than 180 years and remains the only source of comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. It includes operations of all sizes and in all locations. “The Census of Agriculture is a collective voice that tells the story and value of American agriculture,” says Barbara Rater, NASS Census and Survey Division Director. “The data influences actions and informs policy and program decisions that directly impact producers, their operations, and everyone they touch, which is all of us.” That’s why NASS wants every producer to participate in the census. For more information, producers can go nass.usda.gov/AgCensus. *********************************************************************************** Groups Respond to USDA Plan for Transforming Food System American Farmland Trust responded positively to USDA’s plan for transforming the U.S. food system. “American Farmland Trust has been a strong advocate for increased business technical assistance to farm and food businesses and organized an effort last year with the Agricultural Viability Alliance to encourage USDA to do more in this space,” says AFT President and CEO John Piotti (Pee-OT-tee). “We are pleased that USDA heeded the call from 50 members of Congress and over 110 organizations asking for this kind of assistance.” National Farmers Union President Rob Larew was in attendance when Ag Secretary Vilsack announced the plan, and Larew says it’s a great step towards a more secure food supply chain and a fair agricultural economy. “Today’s announcement about how the USDA will work to transform the food system is a great step towards those ends,” Larew says. “NFU will work together with USDA to help move this transformative process ahead.” *********************************************************************************** Philippine Government Temporarily Lowers Import Tariff on Corn The Philippines recently announced a decision to lower restrictive corn import tariffs on corn from outside Southeast Asian countries from 35 percent to five percent. The U.S. Grains Council says that’s potentially good news for U.S. corn exporters. “The U.S. and Philippines agricultural industries have enjoyed a strong relationship for a very long time,” says USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand. “The Council is standing by and ready to help their government and industry fill in any raw material supply shortage the country is facing.” The Philippines’ feed industry relies heavily on feed wheat imports due to its history of high import tariffs on corn from outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The recent global wheat supply chain disruptions have had a disproportionately negative impact on Philippine input prices. “U.S. farmers have an abundant and sustainable corn crop ready to deploy when needed,” LeGrand adds. “We’ll be there to help in every way possible.” *********************************************************************************** National Sorghum Producers join RIPE Non-Profit Coalition Rural Investment to Protect our Environment, also known as RIPE, is a producer-led nonprofit coalition advancing a bipartisan climate policy plan that works for producers and the public. RIPE is proud to announce that the National Sorghum Producers have joined its steering committee. “For the RIPE100 policy proposal to become a reality, it needs the support of as many producers as possible,” says RIPE VP of Engagement and Government Relations Martin Barbre. “With National Sorghum Producers on board, we continue to diversify perspectives and bring new viewpoints to the conversation on how to best build a producer-led climate policy that will benefit farmers, ranchers, and the public.” Through payments of $100 per acre or animal unit, the RIPE100 plan would reward producers for the total public value of their conservation practices, including no-till, cover crops, nutrient management, and more. “We are excited to collaborate with RIPE,” says NSP Vice Chair Craig Meeker. *********************************************************************************** Administration Likely to Raise Ethanol Blending Volumes for 2021 Two sources close to the discussions told Reuters that the Biden administration is likely to raise ethanol blending mandates for 2021 above the figure it proposed last December. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed that refiners blend 13.32 billion gallons of ethanol into the fuel pool. The December proposal angered Farm Belt lawmakers and biofuel producers, who said the number was too low. The mandates are getting set for 2020-2022 retroactively because of disruptions from COVID-19. The sources also say that the administration isn’t looking at dramatic changes for 2020 or 2022. White House officials met to discuss the mandates and the political implications of the decision. The move could impact fuel and food prices in the middle of a 40-year peak in inflation rates. The rule is a long-time bone of contention between the oil and corn lobbies in Washington, D.C. Refiners claim the mandate requirements are costly and threaten their businesses.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday June 3, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday, the same time the Labor Department will release nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate for May. Traders remain interested in the latest weather forecasts, any news of an export sale and the latest reports from Ukraine. Weather A trough off the West Coast is sending pieces of energy into the Pacific Northwest and the Plains for Friday. Areas of showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop throughout the day, which may turn out to be severe in some cases for the High Plains. West Texas has the best chance for that later Friday though some moderate rain is moving through already Friday morning. The Atlantic Basin is likely to get its first tropical storm of the season as a low pressure center off the Yucatan Peninsula is nearing the criteria needed to call it one. Regardless, heavy rain is starting to move into Florida, which should see rounds of it through Saturday regardless of tropical classification.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 2, 2022 |


USDA Announces Framework for Shoring Up the Food Supply Chain The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced the framework to transform the food system and supply chain. The framework seeks to provide more options, increase access, and create new, more, and better markets for small and mid-size producers. The announcement builds on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions caused by Russia's war in Ukraine. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, USDA made significant investments through its Pandemic Assistance Program, providing immediate relief. As the pandemic evolved and Russia's war in Ukraine has caused supply chain disruptions, USDA says it has become clear we “cannot go back to the food system we had before.” USDA plans to build a more resilient food supply chain that provides more and better market options for consumers and producers while reducing carbon pollution. The framework also addresses marketplace dominance by creating new, more and better local market options. Further, USDA seeks to make nutritious food more accessible and affordable for consumers and emphasize equity through the framework. *********************************************************************************** Drought Resilience Interagency Working Group Releases Summary Report The Biden Administration Wednesday released the Drought Resilience Interagency Working Group’s Summary Report. The report outlines actions taken to date to improve drought-stricken communities' longer-term resilience to drought through financial and technical assistance. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “collaboration and coordination among federal agencies has increased in an effort to more effectively deploy resources and support during these intense, drought-stricken times.” The Department of Interior and the Department of Agriculture co-chair the working group, which was created under the White House’s National Climate Task Force. The Drought Resilience IWG agencies are working cooperatively in a whole-of-government manner, to address drought issues through existing programs and resources. There are many opportunities provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to provide critical funding to address water challenges, which includes drought. The Drought Resilience Interagency Working Group will facilitate coordination to deploy $13 billion in water-related investments, including $12.4 billion at the Department of Interior, and $918 million at USDA. *********************************************************************************** Lawmakers Request Full Funding for the PILT Program in Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Bill A bipartisan group of 30 Senators Wednesday urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund the Payments in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT program, for fiscal year 2023. The program provides payments to counties with non-taxable federal land within their borders to offset the lost property tax revenue. Led by Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet and Idaho Republican Mike Crapo, the lawmakers say the payments fund critical services in those counties. The Senators write, “we look forward to working with you to enact a fiscally responsible, long-term solution to fully fund PILT and eliminate the uncertainty that counties face each year.” Throughout the country, PILT provides critical resources to nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states. Counties have used these payments for more than 40 years to fund law enforcement, firefighting, emergency response, and other essential county services. As communities continue to contend with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the funding also supports communities’ recovery efforts. *********************************************************************************** American Drivers Reach 30 Billion Miles on E15 Growth Energy Wednesday announced drivers across the United States have logged 30 billion miles on the road using E15. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says, "as we kick off the summer driving season, this is a testament to the rising popularity of E15." In just the last few months, E15 has been a shield against skyrocketing fuel prices, saving drivers almost $0.60 per gallon in some areas. Growth Energy says ethanol is not only more affordable than imported oil, but it cuts climate emissions by 46 percent. Available at more than 2,600 gas stations across 31 states, E15 is approved for more than 96 percent of light duty vehicles, which account for 98 percent of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States. Even before the recent run-up in oil prices, it was estimated that nationwide access to E15 could save drivers $12.2 billion annually in fuel costs. E15 also offers a lower fuel volatility and smog-forming potential than standard blends. *********************************************************************************** Registration Now Open for Export Exchange 2022 Registration opened this week for Export Exchange 2022, scheduled for October 12-14, 2022, in Minneapolis. The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and Renewable Fuels Association organize the biennial event. The groups expect to bring together 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products, including distiller’s dried grains with solubles, with approximately 300 U.S. suppliers and agribusiness representatives. In addition to networking opportunities, the event will focus on timely topics related to exports of U.S. corn, sorghum, barley, DDGS and related products. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says, “After two years of cancelled Export Exchanges due to the pandemic, we’re excited to welcome U.S. producers and international grain buyers to Minneapolis.” While the 2020 event was interrupted by COVID-19, reported sales associated with Export Exchange 2018 included approximately 1.3 million metric tons of grains and co-products worth $403 million traded either at the conference or immediately before or after. Registration is available online via www.exportexchange.org. *********************************************************************************** National FFA Organization Named Among the Top Workplaces in Indiana The National FFA Organization was recently named one of the top workplaces in central Indiana by The Indianapolis Star for the second year in a row. The recognition was based on a survey that employees took between October 2021 and February 2022. More than 500 employers participated in the program – ranging from small, medium and large employer categories. National FFA was one of 107 businesses selected based on the survey results. The anonymous survey asked questions about the work environment, leadership, culture, pay/benefits and more. The survey indicated employees at FFA were enthusiastically engaged enough to make the list of top workplaces. With an employee count of 99 at the time of the survey, the National FFA Organization is listed as a top workplace in the small-size category. Denise Weathersbe, FFA human resources director, says, “As the organization seeks to build the next generation of leaders, we are proud of our staff for continuing to live out those traits every day.”

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday June 2, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales will be released Friday, due to this week's holiday schedule, but weekly U.S. jobless claims and an update of the U.S. Drought Monitor are still on track for 7:30 a.m. CDT releases Thursday, along with a report on first-quarter U.S. productivity. At 9:30 a.m., the Energy Department's weekly report of natural gas storage is out, followed by weekly energy inventories at 11 a.m. Traders will stay up on the latest weather forecasts and watch for a possible export sales announcement at 8 a.m. Weather A front will continue to slowly move southeast through the country on Thursday. It will also be active with areas of showers and thunderstorms occurring from Texas to the Mid-Atlantic. Some of this rain will be heavy and could produce some flooding. Areas north of the front will remain dry, with drainage promoted in the wet areas around North Dakota and northwest Minnesota for another day.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 1, 2022 |


Both Sides Leave Table Amid Strike at CNH Industrial Both CNH Industrial and the United Auto Workers put out competing statements regarding their contract negotiations after reports said both sides left the bargaining table. In an email statement, CNH says, “After several meetings, the company presented the union with all all-encompassing, comprehensive document addressing the outstanding issues. Unfortunately, the union declined to meet or allow the company to explain its position and proposal.” The company also says the union wouldn’t allow its members to even view the proposal. The union statement says CNH Industrial entered the negotiations with what it called “principles of fear and intimidation,” and hoped to “starve out UAW members.” The UAW email says, “The company’s latest proposal falls short of our member’s bargaining agenda. Our bargainers are meeting with our members and communicating the areas of concern that remain unresolved.” The union says it’s proud of its members for displaying solidarity and support for the negotiating team throughout the process. *********************************************************************************** Ag Exports Supporting Over One Million Jobs The benefits of U.S. ag exports to the American economy far exceed the value of shipments alone. The production, processing, storage, transportation, and marketing of farm and food products headed for the export market support a large number of jobs throughout the U.S. The USDA’s Economic Research Service says in 2020, U.S. agricultural exports supported the equivalent of more than 1.13 million jobs on and off the farm. With U.S. ag exports valued at more than $150 billion in 2020, every $1 billion in exports creates 7,550 jobs. Farm activities generated by U.S. exports – mainly crop and livestock production – supported a total of 439,500 jobs. Those jobs included labor provided by farm operators and their family members, hired farmworkers, and contract workers. Off the farm, exports supported 423,900 total jobs in the services, trade, and transportation industries. Food processing activities created 162,000 jobs, while other manufacturing activities like canning, packaging, and bottling provided 107,000 jobs. *********************************************************************************** Billion-Dollar Livestock Facility Planned for Western South Dakota Plans are in development to construct a $1.1 Billion next-generation livestock processing facility in western South Dakota. The one-million-square-foot facility will process beef and include a specialty bison line. Kingsbury and Associates and Sirius Realty of Rapid City, South Dakota, are currently in the research and development phase of the project. “We aim to restore competition in American meant processing,” says Megan Kingsbury. “I’m a fifth-generation producer and know how difficult it is right now for us to be profitable. We want to fix that.” Cattle Business Weekly says they want to compete with the Big Four meatpacking giants and be that all-important second bidder in the cash market. The proposed facility will focus on bringing in and developing new technologies in robotics and artificial intelligence to make processing easier, safer, and more efficient. “We will focus on procuring American cattle and feeding American citizens affordable, high-quality protein,” Kingsbury adds. *********************************************************************************** Angus Foundation Raises Over $55,000 The Angus Foundation held its second annual Angus Day of Giving on May 17. The day resulted in over $55,000 to further its mission of supporting Angus youth, education, and research efforts. The event celebrates the day George Grant brought the first Angus bulls to Victoria, Kansas, in 1873. “We were amazed by the overwhelming generosity we saw from the Angus family for our second annual Angus Day of Giving,” says Jaclyn Upperman, the foundation’s executive director. “Our donors made it a day to celebrate the legacy of our breed, but also write the next chapter of the Angus story.” Gifts given on Angus Day support the Angus Fund, which helps support youth leadership through programs like the National Junior Angus Board, Leaders Engaged in Angus Development (LEAD) Conference, and the Raising the Bar Conference. Supporters also celebrated the momentous day in the breed’s history by sharing stories using #AngusDay on social media. *********************************************************************************** Soy Industry Buyers and Sellers Coming to U.S. Soy Connext The U.S. Soybean Export Council will bring buyers and sellers across the soybean industry together at the Soy Connext event on August 22-24 in San Diego, California. Soy Connext is formerly known as the U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange & Specialty Grains Conference. It’s poised to give international buyers and users of soy opportunities a chance to meet with American soy sellers, visit farms, and hear from the world’s foremost experts on trends shaping the global soy complex. “The unprecedented times we live in remind us of our responsibility to feed and nourish the world sustainably,” says USSEC CEO Jim Sutter. “Soy Connext helps international customers and U.S. soy farmers and industry make the right connections, hear and exchange perspectives on the latest trends, research, and data.” It also gives industry stakeholders the chance to ask the experts tough questions to help evolve their business strategy to deliver sustainable growth. *********************************************************************************** IndyCar Series Switching to 100 Percent Ethanol in 2023 The IndyCar racing series will switch to an entirely renewable fuel next year. IndyCar says that beginning in 2023, the race cars will be powered by a second-generation renewable ethanol racing fuel developed by Shell. “The fuel and lubricant and energy solutions developed through our strategic relationship with IndyCar and the Penske Corporation can ultimately help accelerate reduced carbon emissions from transport in many sectors of the economy,” says Carlos Maurer, an executive vice president with Shell. “Our motorsports technical alliances around the world provide a testing ground for fuel and lubricant technologies and products in demanding road conditions.” The manufacturing process for IndyCar’s ethanol will be less exotic than the low-carbon fuel Formula 1 is considering for 2026. The company says it will use sugarcane waste and other renewable feedstocks in its biofuel manufacturing process. The switch will enable at least 60 percent less carbon dioxide emissions when compared to fossil fuel gasoline.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday June 1, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets The Institute of Supply Management's U.S. index of manufacturing for May is due out at 9 a.m. CDT Wednesday, along with a report on U.S. construction spending for April. The Federal Reserve's Beige Book is scheduled for 1 p.m. Traders will stay up with the latest weather forecasts, watch for any export sales announcement and keep an eye on outside markets like crude oil and U.S. stocks. Weather A frontal boundary from West Texas to Lake Michigan is alight with showers and thunderstorms Wednesday morning. The front will slowly sag southward through the day and periods of showers developing along the front will draw in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The slow movement of the front and ample moisture will combine to create some heavy rainfall and potential flooding from West Texas through the southern Midwest. The Northern Plains get another dry day to allow for some drying.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday May 31, 2022 |


Deadline for USDA’s Climate-Smart Commodities Approaching The deadline for the USDA’s second round of funding for Climate-Smart Commodities is Friday, June 10. This funding pool is for partners proposing projects between $250,000 and $5 million. The proposals should emphasize the enrollment of small and-or underserved producers, and-or monitoring, reporting, and verification activities developed at minority-serving institutions. “We’re excited to see the many innovative projects designed to build new opportunities for these producers,” says USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie. “The sheer number of applications we’ve already received is a testament to the high interest in this opportunity.” The undersecretary also says, from the very beginning, they’ve ensured that this effort is inclusive across a broad cross-section of agriculture. “In this funding pool, we’re especially looking for innovative approaches that expand markets for small and historically underserved producers,” Bonnie adds. Information on how to apply, frequently asked questions, and additional information and resources are available at usda.gov. *********************************************************************************** Ag Groups Respond to New USDA’s Proposed Poultry Rules Ag groups responded to USDA’s proposed poultry marketing disclosure requirements and the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking under the Packers and Stockyards Act. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says his organization appreciates USDA working to create more transparency in the poultry industry. “Farmers deserve to know what they are getting into and understand how they are getting paid,” he says. “Making sure farmers have access to important information about their poultry company, inputs, stocking densities, and feed disruptions is good for everyone in the food value chain.” He says there are no easy answers and that AFB will review these proposals in detail. National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says poultry growers have endured an unfair contracting system for far too long. “All livestock producers continue facing heavily concentrated markets with insufficient protections from anti-competitive practices,” Larew says. “We’re happy with the first in a series of three rules that are being introduced.” *********************************************************************************** Japan Commits to Double Its Ethanol Demand President Biden made a trip to Japan recently, and during discussions with the Japanese prime minister, Japan committed to reducing its dependence on imported petroleum by 2030. That means they’re doubling their demand for ethanol, including sustainable aviation fuel and on-road fuel, possibly representing more export opportunities for the U.S. The U.S. Grains Council says America’s Ambassador Rahm Emanuel continually supported expanding ethanol use in Japan. “Expanding bioethanol use in Japan is a strategic goal of the Council,” says USGC Vice President Cary Sifferath. “Ambassador Emanuel and his team have been an essential partner for USGC to discuss the benefits of increased biofuels use to the Japanese consumer and a way for Japan to meet its carbon emissions goals.” USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand and Sifferath recently traveled to Tokyo, where ethanol was a major topic of discussion. Japan currently ranks as the fourth-largest market for U.S. ethanol during the 2021-2022 marketing year. *********************************************************************************** West Nile Virus Still a Threat to Horses Despite Drought While much of the western U.S. endures widespread drought, people may think mosquito season won’t be as intense. However, just because there’s no rain doesn’t mean there are no mosquitoes. “Some of the most significant West Nile outbreaks have happened without significant rainfall,” says Dr. Justin Talley, Head of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University. “Just because you don’t see water doesn’t mean there are no breeding areas around.” He shared four tips for protecting horses from West Nile Virus. The first is to vaccinate your horses. Number two is hanging high-powered livestock fans. Third, get rid of as much standing water as possible and clean the horses’ water sources once a week. The last is to minimize a horse’s exposure during mosquito feeding times at dusk and dawn. The disease can attack and inflame a horse’s nervous system and is spread by mosquitoes after feeding on infected birds and rodents. *********************************************************************************** Bill Would Prohibit China From Purchasing Ag Land in the U.S. Washington Representative Dan Newhouse recently introduced a bill aimed at preventing the Chinese government from purchasing public or private land in the U.S. The bill is called the Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act. The bill would also prevent the purchase of land by foreign nationals associated with the Government of China. Additionally, the legislation would prohibit the same associations from participating in any USDA programs except food safety inspections. “We hail from the greatest country in the world, and there is simply no reason we should be reliant on a communist country like China for our food supply,” Newhouse says. “If we cede responsibility of our food supply over to an adversarial nation, we could be forced into exporting food grown within our borders and meant for our own use.” China’s American agricultural land holdings have risen during the last decade to $2 billion worth of land. *********************************************************************************** Arkansas to Host Next Farm Bill Field Hearing Senate Ag Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman (BOZE-man) say the committee will hold a field hearing in Arkansas on Friday, June 17. The hearing is designed to get input from agricultural producers and stakeholders as the process of writing the next farm bill gets underway. “Our last farm bill passed with the most bipartisan support of all time,” Stabenow says. “At our first hearing in Michigan, we heard from farmers and others about how we can improve and strengthen this important legislation, grow our economy, and meet serious new challenges facing the country.” Arkansas Senator Boozman also says his state’s agricultural producers are proud to help feed and clothe the world. “It’s important to seek the input of our farmers and ranchers to strengthen and improve the policies affecting their operations,” Boozman says. Witnesses at the hearing will include agricultural producers, industry stakeholders, and rural community supporters.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday May 31, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets Back from the three-day weekend, traders will catch up on the latest weather happenings and any news, especially any updates from Ukraine. After an 8 a.m. CDT pause to see if USDA has an export sale announcement, there will be a report on U.S. consumer confidence for May at 9 a.m. and USDA's weekly report of grain export inspections at 10 a.m. Much attention will be given to planting progress updates in USDA's Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Weather A system or series of disturbances that had moved through the Northern Plains over the Memorial Day weekend culminated in a stronger storm system Monday. That system pushed a cold front from the Southern Plains into the Midwest. Showers and thunderstorms continue along that front Tuesday morning and there may be some severe storms from the Texas Panhandle into Michigan throughout the day.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday May 27, 2022 |


Administration Steps to Strengthen Food Supply Chains Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more support, resources, and new rules designed to strengthen the American food supply chains. The new actions will promote fair and competitive agricultural markets, prevent abuse of farmers by poultry processors, and make prices fairer for farmers and American consumers. One of those actions is a proposed rule under the Packers and Stockyards Act intended to protect poultry growers from unfair and deceptive practices in the meat and poultry industry. “Growers say the ‘tournament system’ of payment is ripe for abuse,” Vilsack says. USDA will also make $200 million available to provide financing to independent meat and poultry processors to start up or expand operations. Vilsack also announced another $25 million in investments for workforce training designed to create and expand upon good-paying jobs that can strengthen the meatpacking industry by attracting and retaining employees. USDA is also planning a complete review of its programs to ensure they promote competition. *********************************************************************************** New Chicken Regulations Are a “Solution Searching for a Problem” The USDA announced new regulations for the poultry industry that the National Chicken Council isn’t supporting. “This is a solution looking for a problem,” says Mike Brown, NCC President. “The last thing the administration should be doing is pushing increased regulations, red tape, and costs onto businesses at a time of record inflation and input costs.” The organization says this will do nothing to lower food prices, increase competition, or reduce inflation. “This will raise grocery bills for Americans and increase food insecurity,” Brown adds. The NCC says raising chickens under contract is one of the most reliable sources of income to help keep families on the farm. The contract provides income and insulation from market risks like feed costs, floods, and droughts. “It’s ironic that these regulations are getting proposed under the guise of promoting competition,” Brown says. “The performance-based structure of raising chickens is literally the definition of competition.” *********************************************************************************** Producers Can Request Voluntary CRP Termination The USDA will allow participants in the Conservation Reserve Program to request voluntary termination if they are in the final year of a CRP contract. They can make that request following the end of the primary nesting season for the fiscal year 2022. Participants approved for this one-time, voluntary termination don’t have to repay rental payments. It’s flexibility implemented this year to help mitigate the global food supply challenges caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other factors. “We’ve heard from many producers who want to better understand their options to help respond to global food needs,” says FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. Producers will be able to hay, graze, begin land-preparation activities, and plant a fall-seeded crop before October 1, 2022. In colder climates, this flexibility may allow for better establishing a winter wheat crop or better prepare the land for spring planting. FSA will mail letters explaining options to producers with expiring contracts. *********************************************************************************** Over 40 Groups Ask USTR for Tariff Relief A diverse group of more than 40 American food and agriculture leaders sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on tariffs. The groups are asking for the suspension, reduction, or elimination of tariffs to ease the burden of retaliatory tariffs on rural America. The letter was led by Farmers for Free Trade and came as the administration is working on a mandatory review of recently increased tariffs. Tariff changes are under review as part of the White House’s efforts to address inflation. “Tariff relief could not come at a more important time,” the letter says. “Rural America and small businesses are facing significant challenges due to the lingering impacts of COVID-19, logistical and supply chain disruptions, record inflation, and the increasing impact of the war in Ukraine.” The groups say removing tariffs on food and agriculture inputs and subsequent removal of burdensome retaliatory tariffs would provide immediate relief to U.S. food producers. *********************************************************************************** Strong Global Demand for Beef Facing Inflation Pressures The U.S. Meat Export Federation began its spring conference this week in San Antonio, Texas. USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom gave attendees a report on first-quarter red meat exports, which were impressive despite mounting economic and logistical challenges. He’s optimistic that 2022 results will be strong but cautioned that inflation pressures around the world are constricting consumer spending power. “To date, demand for U.S. red meat has been as strong as I’ve ever seen in all my years in the meat business and remarkably resilient,” Halstrom says. “But the question is at what point do these inflationary pressures start to constrict disposable income for the global consumer, and we see a crack in demand?” Red meat exports could potentially approach the $20 billion milestone this year. He also highlighted foodservice and retail trends that exploded during COVID-19 and are likely here to stay, such as grocery sales through e-commerce platforms. *********************************************************************************** Diary Industry Supports USDA Container Program for Ag Exports The National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council welcome the USDA plan to offer additional support to agricultural exporters through the Commodity Container Assistance Program. The initiative will provide funding from the Farm Service Agency to exporters to reduce the costs of sourcing containers at the Oakland and Seattle-Tacoma “pop-up” port locations. “We’ve been asking for relief from these ocean shipping challenges for two years,” says NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern. “While we continue to seek solutions from carriers and Congress, these steps demonstrate USDA understands the challenges. This should offer immediate relief for exporters.” The pop-up sites are intended to offer off-terminal locations for empty container storage, increase access for agricultural shippers to use them, and free up port terminal space for freight operations. The FSA payments will help cover the costs of moving the containers between ports and pop-up yards, as well as storage at the pop-up sites.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday May 27, 2022 |


Friday Watch List Markets At 7:30 a.m. CDT Friday, the Census Bureau will release personal income and consumer spending data for April. Traders will be watching the latest weather forecasts, checking for any updates of Russia's offer to allow food and grain out of Ukraine and will also watch for any news of an export sale. Trading volume could be lower heading into the Memorial Day weekend, possibly opening the door to strange happenings. Weather A system that has brought moderate to heavy rain throughout the week continues to slowly push eastward on Friday. Showers continue over the eastern Midwest through the East Coast. A system in the Pacific Northwest will push into the Northern Plains and Canadian Prairies later today, bringing scattered showers and shutting the door on the good drying conditions for North Dakota and eastern Prairies. Waves of showers will continue through the weekend into early next week.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday May 26, 2022 |


U.S. Dairy Supports U.S. Pursuit of Full Canadian USMCA Compliance The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council Wednesday applauded the Biden administration for its initiation of a second U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement dispute panel. The dispute panel focuses on Canada’s ongoing refusal to meet its USMCA dairy trade obligations. The first USMCA dispute panel launched by the U.S. government determined in January that Canada violated the agreement's dairy tariff-rate quota provisions. On May 16, Canada published its final revised USMCA dairy TRQ approach, which failed to fix its USMCA-violating practices. To address the additional problems Canada’s revised approach has raised and to defend the integrity of the agreement, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has brought an additional case. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says, “Canada continues to flout these trade commitments and plays games rather than meet its signed treaty commitments.” The dairy groups say Canada’s updated TRQ system continues to block key stakeholders in the Canadian food and agriculture sector from accessing the TRQs. *********************************************************************************** UK’s Kendamil in Talks to Export Infant Formula to U.S. Kendamil is in advanced discussions with the Food and Drug Administration to become the first international manufacturer to export significant quantities of infant formula to the United States. Kendamil is a brand of Kendal Nutricare, and is the only British-made infant formula. Kendamil offers organic and conventional cow formulas, along with goat formula, which would be a first in the U.S., where, unlike in Europe, no goat milk is today certified for sale to infants under one year old. Kendamil has been in discussions with the FDA for several weeks since news first broke of the formula shortages and the measures announced from the Biden Administration to bring international brands into the United States. Ross McMahon, CEO of Kendal Nutricare commented, "We have received the call for assistance from the FDA and Kendamil stands ready to act.” Kendal Nutricare expects to meet the needs of at least 150,000 U.S. households during the import period. *********************************************************************************** Soybean Farmers Share 2023 Farm Bill Priorities The American Soybean Association Wednesday shared the organization’s 2023 Farm Bill priorities. ASA President Brad Doyle, who grows soybeans in Arkansas, says, “Getting to this point has involved a thoughtful information-gathering process that began back in September 2021.” Priorities for ASA include improving the Title I farm safety net for soybeans, continuing the voluntary, incentive-based, flexible approach to conservation programs, investing into promotion of U.S. commodities globally, building biobased and biofuels opportunities, and ensuring broadband coverage is accessible throughout rural America. As the House and Senate Agriculture Committees lay the foundation for the 2023 Farm Bill, ASA hopes its initial priorities list will provide insight and assure soy growers' interests are considered as the farm bill process continues with hearings this year and legislative development next year. Doyle adds, “We wanted to assure as many farmer voices and soy states as possible were involved to make this a comprehensive list tailored to their needs.” *********************************************************************************** Study Examines Competitiveness of U.S. Inland Waterways The National Waterways Foundation released a study this week focused on the current state of the U.S. inland waterways system. The study found that the ability for the United States to maintain a position of strength depends on a regular assessment of infrastructure needs and multimodal development strategies. Two factors, in particular, the aging infrastructure and competition from other countries' inland waterway networks, pose a risk to the economic and national security advantage of the United States. Increased investment levels from the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act offer an opportunity to greatly enhance the reliability and usefulness of the U.S. inland waterways system. Clearing the backlog of U.S. projects is needed to bring some facilities into more modern practice. Waterways Foundation Chairman Matt Woodruff adds, “We must be alert to the investments being made in the waterways of other nations that can erode our advantage and, where necessary, invest to increase the efficiency of our system to stay ahead.” *********************************************************************************** More Farmers Adding Fall Cover Crops to Fields Cover crops are an increasingly popular management practice farmers use to provide seasonal living cover between their primary commodity cash crops. Farmers often plant cover crops in the fall to provide winter cover for soil that otherwise would be bare. Over the past decade, USDA’s Economic Research Service says fall cover crop adoption has grown in the United States. On fields growing corn for grain, 0.6 percent of the acreage used a fall cover crop before the 2010 crop. By 2016, 5.5 percent of corn-for-grain acreage had a fall cover, and by 2021, 7.9 percent of corn-for-grain acreage followed a fall cover crop. This represents a 44-percent increase in fall cover crop adoption on corn-for-grain fields between 2016 and 2021. The growth in adoption of cover crops on cotton fields is similar, with a 46-percent increase between 2015 and 2019. The average growth in cover crop adoption was similar for each target crop, as evident in the average year-over-year changes. *********************************************************************************** Co-ops Can Lead the Way for On-Farm Private Broadband As American agriculture grapples with scarce labor and increasing costs, one solution could lie in precision agriculture applications that can maximize output while reducing costs. Crop and livestock producers can supercharge operational efficiency with advanced precision technologies such as data analytics, connected equipment, robotics and automation. The lack of affordable, reliable broadband access in rural America, however, has hindered widespread adoption of precision ag technologies. That may be changing with the increasing availability of private wireless networks. CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange reports agricultural cooperatives are in an ideal position to work with communication companies to deliver carrier-grade, high-speed private wireless networks to their farmer members at costs that were unthinkable just a few years ago. CoBanks Kenneth Scott Zuckerberg says, “Offering these network solutions could be a new, reliable revenue source for U.S. farm supply cooperatives.” On the farm, private networks can help facilitate the collection, transmission, storage and computation of large amounts of data in real-time.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday May 26, 2022 |


Thursday Watch List Markets USDA's weekly export sales report is due out at 7:30 a.m. CDT, the same time as weekly U.S. jobless claims and updates of first quarter GDP and the U.S. Drought Monitor. A 9 a.m., there is a report on pending U.S. home sales for April, followed by the Energy Department's weekly natural gas storage report at 9:30 a.m. Traders will continue to examine the latest weather forecasts, news regarding Ukraine and any news of an export sale. Weather A system continues to slowly make its way eastward on Thursday. Areas of scattered showers and thunderstorms continue to press on east of the Mississippi River, with additional showers over Missouri as well. Areas of heavy rain and some severe weather will be possible. The Northern Plains has another dry day to allow for drainage and potentially additional planting in and around North Dakota before showers move back in Friday evening.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday May 25, 2022 |


USDA Invests $770 Million to Expand Market Opportunities for Rural Businesses Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday announced $770 million to help create better market opportunities for rural businesses. The investments include $640 million for 122 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities. Vilsack says the investments “demonstrate how USDA remains committed to helping people in rural America create new and better market opportunities. USDA is making a total of 154 investments through three programs specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. The funding will help rural America keep resources and wealth right at home through job training, business expansion and technical assistance. It will help companies hire more workers and reach new customers. It will open the door to new economic opportunities for communities and people who historically have lacked access to critical resources and financing. It will also help entrepreneurs and business cooperatives create jobs, grow businesses, and find new and better markets for their products. *********************************************************************************** Lawmakers Press Surface Transportation Board on Rail Disruptions A bipartisan group of Senators urges the Surface Transportation Board to ensure reliable, consistent rail service for American industries and shippers. Republicans Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, along with Democrat Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, made the request in a letter with 19 other colleagues. The lawmakers say, “We are very concerned over the significant rail service disruptions occurring throughout the U.S. freight rail network.” Further, the group says, “We urge the STB to examine all constructive options towards ensuring reliable, consistent rail service is available to shippers across the U.S.” The letter also outlines concerns and issues raised by customers and labor organizations during an STB hearing last month. Farmers and grain shippers report they are unable to get empty railcars, leading to significant delays in delivering commodities to energy producers forced to curtail production. The letter is supported by the National Grain and Feed Association, National Mining Association, American Chemistry Council and Growth Energy. *********************************************************************************** Dairy Sustainability Alliance Meeting Addresses Marketplace Opportunities Navigating social, environmental and economic issues facing dairy businesses in a world shifting from COVID-19 restrictions took center stage at the 2022 Dairy Sustainability Alliance Spring Meeting. The Dairy Sustainability Alliance is a multi-stakeholder initiative of the checkoff-founded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and includes more than 165 companies and organizations. More than 270 representatives of the dairy value chain organizations, including 25 dairy farmers, attended in person or virtually, last week. Many of the organizations have adopted the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment signaling support for farmers, cooperatives and processors who voluntarily advance sustainability leadership and transparently report progress. Dairy Management Inc. and Innovation Center CEO Barbara O’Brien says, “never has it been more urgent as we work to meet the growing demands and expectations of both customers and consumers around personal wellness, environmental sustainability and food security.” The event showcased many topics in dairy sustainability, highlighting the work of the alliance. *********************************************************************************** Bronaugh to Host Roundtable on Farmers’ Mental Health Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh (Bruh-NAW) travels to Wisconsin Friday to host a Roundtable on Farmers’ Mental Health. The event is part of the Department of Agriculture’s efforts in recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month. The Deputy Secretary will host the roundtable discussion with Senator Tammy Baldwin in Arlington, Wisconsin. From volatile market demand for their products to bad weather, farmers often face numerous challenges that can create or exacerbate stress, anxiety and trauma. USDA has worked to ensure that farmers and families in rural communities have access to the resources they need to address mental health challenges. In October, USDA announced an investment of nearly $25 million for 50 grants supporting Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network State Department of Agriculture projects, which connect farmers, ranchers, and others in agriculture-related jobs to stress assistance programs, which provide vital support, ranging from mental health and legal issues to family and youth stress. *********************************************************************************** Farm Bureau to Host ‘Farmers Saving Lives’ Virtual Event for Mental Health Month In recognition of May as Mental Health Month, the American Farm Bureau Federation will host a free virtual event, Farmers Saving Lives, on Tuesday, May 31, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. The live event will feature compelling stories from three Farm Bureau members who believe that advocating for mental health wellness is a way to save lives in rural and farming communities. Farmers, ranchers and their families are encouraged to attend via telephone, smartphone or tablet from planters, harvesters, greenhouses, dairy barns, farm trucks, classrooms and carpool lines. AFBF President Zippy Duvall says, “We’re holding this virtual event on the last day of Mental Health Month to remind everyone that our work does not stop on June 1 – it continues throughout the year.” According to AFBF national research polls, a strong majority of farmers and farmworkers say financial issues, farm or business problems and fear of losing the farm impact farmers’ mental health. You can register for the event online, and learn more at fb.org. *********************************************************************************** U.S. Wine Imports Reach Nearly $7.5 Billion in 2021 Growing consumption of wine in the U.S. has contributed to an increase in wine imports, from 127 million gallons in fiscal year 2000 to 456 million gallons in 2021, reaching nearly $7.5 billion in value. USDA’s Economic Research Service reports most wine imports come from the European Union, accounting for 75 percent of the total value and 50 percent of the volume. Specifically, the top two countries of origin, Italy and France, each supplied about $2.5 billion in wine imports in 2021, although the volume from Italy was more than twice that of France because of its lower average price. In 2020, imports from the EU temporarily decreased in response to a 25-percent U.S. tariff placed in late 2019 on French, German, Spanish, and English wine that was lifted in early 2021. While the United States is a net importer of wine, it exported $1.5 billion in 2021 to destinations including Canada, the United Kingdom, and Japan.

| Rural Advocate News | Wednesday May 25, 2022 |


Wednesday Watch List Markets At 7:30 a.m. CDT Wednesday, traders will catch the April report of U.S. durable goods orders and then pause at 8 a.m. to see if USDA has an export sale. The Energy Department's weekly report of energy inventories, including ethanol production is set for 9:30 a.m., followed by a recap of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting at 1 p.m. The latest weather forecasts remain important and the more hopeful among us await word of Russia's surrender. Weather A storm system that has brought moderate to heavy rainfall across the Central and Southern Plains earlier this week is spreading those showers eastward across the Mississippi River on Wednesday. More areas of moderate to heavy rain are expected and may cause some localized flooding and planting delays. Dryness in the Northern Plains will promote drying of soils and planting progress for the next couple of days.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday May 24, 2022 |


Farm Groups Welcome Indo-Pacific Economic Framework The Biden Administration Monday announced the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. The White House says the plan is a 21st century economic arrangement designed to tackle 21st-century economic challenges. Those challenges include the digital economy, ensuring secure and resilient supply chains, and major investments in clean energy. The plan will engage partners that facilitate agricultural trade through science-based decision-making and the adoption of sound, transparent regulatory practices. Agriculture groups welcomed the launch of the framework. U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Ryan LeGrand says the framework “is a new approach to trade negotiations that will hopefully still create the same positive, high-standard outcomes for U.S. farmers." American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says the framework "will help reduce barriers, improve the adoption of science-based standards and grow American agricultural exports." Krysta Harden, U.S. Dairy Export Council President and CEO, adds the framework “offers a chance for the United States to have a positive impact on the trading environment in a vital area of the world.” *********************************************************************************** Ag Groups Call For Withdrawal of Solicitor General’s Supreme Court Brief on Glyphosate In a letter to President Biden, 54 agricultural groups expressed concern with a recent amicus brief submitted by the U.S. Solicitor General to the Supreme Court. The brief advises the court against taking up a case regarding pesticide labels. The groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and major U.S. commodity organizations, called on the president to swiftly withdraw the brief. They warned the new policy would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the science-based regulatory process. The groups are worried the new policy, along with having environmental impacts, could ultimately hinder the ability of U.S. farmers to help meet growing global food needs intensified by the invasion of Ukraine. At question is whether California can require a cancer warning label for the popular herbicide glyphosate when thousands of studies, decades of scientific consensus, and numerous global regulatory bodies—including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—agree the herbicide is not a carcinogen. *********************************************************************************** Lack of Grain Exports Driving Global Hunger A global food crisis, already impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, is being driven to famine levels worldwide by the war in Ukraine and the resulting lack of grain exports. The United Nations Security Council last week heard from experts on the war's impact on global food security. David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program, stated, "When a nation that is the breadbasket of the world becomes a nation with the longest bread line of the world, we know we have a problem." Even before the Ukraine crisis, the world was already facing an unprecedented, perfect storm because of conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. And, price increases in major food crops have made an additional 400 million people food insecure over the last five months. Some experts warn the world only has ten weeks of wheat supply left. Ukraine and the Russian Federation together export 30 percent of global cereals and 67 percent of sunflower oil. *********************************************************************************** Retail Food Price Inflation Varies by Location New data from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows retail food price inflation varies by locality. From 2012 to 2021, increases in retail food prices ranged from an average of 2.4 percent a year in Honolulu, Hawaii, to 0.9 percent in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, area. Retail food includes food bought in grocery stores as opposed to restaurants. Differences in transportation costs and retail overhead expenses, such as labor and rent, can explain some of the variation among cities because retailers often pass local cost increases on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Differences in consumer preferences among cities for specific foods may help explain variation in inflation rates, as well. For example, a city whose residents strongly prefer foods with less price inflation, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, might experience lower food-at-home price inflation than a city whose residents buy more beef and veal. Across the United States, prices increased by an average of 1.4 percent a year over the ten-year period. *********************************************************************************** Lawmakers Raise Concerns about FDA Guidance for Plant-Based Beverages A group of lawmakers tell the White House there's "no reason" to start allowing regulation regarding plant-based beverages labeled as animal products. Senator Cory Booker, a Colorado Democrat, and Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, led the effort in a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The lawmakers say, “for decades, the FDA has declined to clarify standards for plant-based milks, even as other federal agencies have increasingly adopted plant-based milks and names into programs.” The letter highlighted a recent legal ruling that “found that the use of qualifying terms such as soy, almond or oat next to the term ‘milk’ mitigates against confusion regarding nutritional equivalency.” The letter also outlined that the “FDA has not previously asked producers to disclose other wide variations in nutritional components” - including among milks derived from different animals. However, label clarity has long-been a priority for U.S. dairy groups. The National Milk Producers Federation points out that the FDA's own standards define milk as an animal product. *********************************************************************************** Gas Prices Jump, Diesel Declines The national gas price increased for the fifth straight week, while diesel declined slightly. GasBuddy reports the average national gas price increased 11 cents last week to $4.57 per gallon, while diesel fell 1.7 cents to an average of $5.53 per gallon. GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan says, “Gasoline prices surged over the last week to new record highs, but have finally started to slow their rise with diesel also finally cooling off.” Still, with more Americans planning to hit the road for Memorial Day this year compared to last, prices will be over $1.50 per gallon higher than last year. Oil has seen slight upward moves as China lockdowns have eased, boosting demand for petroleum, while the start of the U.S. summer driving season is just days away, and could prevent oil from seeing any significant downturns. U.S. crude oil inventories fell 3.4 million barrels last week. U.S. retail gasoline demand saw a slight fall last week, down .6 percent from the prior week.

| Rural Advocate News | Tuesday May 24, 2022 |


Tuesday Watch List Markets Traders will pause at 8 a.m. CDT Tuesday to see if USDA has an export sales announcement and then notice the 9 a.m. report of April new home sales. The latest weather forecasts continue to get widespread attention as well as any news regarding Ukraine. Weather A storm system in the Southern Plains will bring areas of moderate to heavy rainfall on Tuesday, with additional showers to the southwestern Midwest, Delta, and Southeast as well. Heavy rain in parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas could cause some localized flooding. Dryness in the Northern Plains could lead to some better planting progress where areas have been too wet.

| Rural Advocate News | Monday May 23, 2022 |


Strong Farm Economy Continues to Support Credit Conditions Agricultural credit conditions improved in the first quarter of 2022, and farm real estate values continued to increase alongside strength in the American farm economy. Following a year of accelerating increases, the value of non-irrigated cropland across much of the country has soared through March of this year. The sharp growth in land values persisted despite a slight increase in farm loan interest rates. Farm loan repayment rates continued to increase, and credit conditions remained strong. The Kansas City Fed says the outlook for agricultural credit conditions remained optimistic alongside persistently strong commodity prices. However, many district lenders expect conditions to soften in the coming months alongside the pressure on profit margins from higher input costs and harsh drought conditions in large parts of rural America. Farm real estate markets also remain strong, but smaller profit margins or higher interest rates could limit gains in land value in the year ahead. *********************************************************************************** Feed Industry Association’s Board Advocates in Washington, D.C. The American Feed Industry Association’s Board of Directors recently held its annual spring meeting in Arlington, Virginia. As part of the meeting schedule, they spent time advocating for key industry priorities on Capitol Hill and conducted other official business, including approving new Board leadership and members. The 44 Board members met with elected officials in the House and Senate about improving the Food and Drug Administration’s animal food review program. They also talked about resolving ongoing supply chain and export issues that are hindering the industry’s ability to satisfy customers’ orders in a timely and cost-effective way. Board members also highlighted the industry’s work to provide solutions to national climate change priorities. “Our Board leadership impressed upon policymakers how removing key regulatory and trade barriers now will secure our industry’s ability to continue delivering feed, ingredients, and pet food to the marketplace into the future,” says AFIA President and CEO Constance Cullman. *********************************************************************************** Smart Farm Technology Open to Attacks by Hackers Experts say it’s important to realize that modern farm technology is vulnerable to attacks by hackers, which could leave the supply chain exposed to further risk. The University of Cambridge issued a report noting that automatic crop sprayers, drones, and robotic harvesters are susceptible to an attack. BBC says both the United Kingdom’s government and the FBI are warning that the cyber-attack threat is growing. John Deere says it’s working to fix any weak spots in its software. James Johnson, Deere’s chief information security officer, says the company has been working with several ethical hackers to find vulnerabilities. CNH Industrial is also working to improve its security posture. Benjamin Turner, chief operating officer at a British company called Agrimetrics, says, “Hacking into one tractor can upset a single farmer’s profitability. Hacking into a fleet of tractors can suddenly give you the power to affect yields in whole areas of a country.” *********************************************************************************** India Considers Allowing More Wheat Shipments India has a great deal of wheat sitting at ports because of a sudden ban on exports that prevented dealers from loading cargoes. Reuters says trade and government sources say that the Indian government is considering allowing traders to ship out some of that wheat. The Indian government banned wheat exports over a week ago because of a heatwave that hurt the country’s wheat output. The sudden prohibition on shipping wheat left 1.8 million tons of grain at India’s ports with nowhere to go. Last Tuesday, the government gave permission to ship grains awaiting customs clearance before they can get shipped out of the ports. However, traders are putting pressure on the government to further relax its restriction on grain shipments. A New Delhi-based grain dealer says, “Piecemeal relaxations are not going to help, and the government needs to resolve the issue in the next few days to avoid a chain of payment defaults.” *********************************************************************************** Hereford Association Researching Sustainable Genetics The American Hereford Association is partnering with Colorado State University on a research project regarding sustainable genetics. AHA executive vice president Jack Ward says individual cattle producers and the collective beef industry will continue to get asked to do more with less as it relates to environmental and economic sustainability. “That’s why we’re excited to begin this cooperative research agreement with Colorado State University,” Ward says. “It will leverage decades of AHA research and data collected by our members aimed at characterizing genetics associated with production efficiency, which plays a key role in environmental and economic sustainability.” More specifically, the research will enhance understanding of the genetic differences in seedstock relative to methane production and nitrogen excretion. As a genetic trait in cattle, methane emission appears to be moderately inheritable with modest-to-strong correlations to the economically relevant production traits. Direct emissions from the animal ag sector account for 3.8 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. *********************************************************************************** Growth Energy, EPA Reach Settlement on 2023 RVO Deadline Growth Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement on a deadline for issuing the 2023 Renewable Volume Obligations for blending ethanol into the fuel supply. The EPA is expected to file a notice in the Federal Register on Monday seeking comment on a proposed decree that would require the EPA propose the 2023 RVOs by no later than September 16, 2022. The agency would then finalize it no later than April 28, 2023. EPA’s notice comes after Growth Energy filed a notice of intent to sue and a complaint in federal district court after the EPA failed to set the RVOs by the Congressionally-mandated deadline. “Securing a deadline for the 2023 RVO is a significant victory in our mission to ensure certainty when it comes to biofuel blending says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, “especially as we face a new era of the RFS when volumes are set by EPA and not Congress,”

| Rural Advocate News | Monday May 23, 2022 |


Monday Watch List Markets Back from the weekend, traders will be checking the latest weather forecasts, news from Ukraine and pause at 8 a.m. CDT to see if USDA announces an export sale. The stock market will also get plenty of attention after major indices toyed with new one-year lows last week. USDA's weekly report of grain export inspections is due out at 10 a.m. CDT, followed by the Crop Progress report at 3 p.m. Canadian markets are closed Monday for Victoria Day. Weather A disturbance in the Southeast and a storm system developing in the Plains will make for some pretty wet conditions for a lot of the country on Monday. Both of these features slowly move east this week, keeping many areas wet and causing some planting delays. Moderate to heavy rainfall potential exists in the drought areas in the southwestern Plains. It is likely too late to help out wheat, but could benefit summer crops, especially corn and soybeans.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday May 20, 2022 |


Senate Legislation to Address Baby Formula Shortage Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman (BOZE-man) led a bipartisan group of senators who introduced legislation to address baby formula shortages. The bill is aimed at helping families who rely on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The Access to Baby Formula Act has a companion bill in the House. It would give USDA more flexibility during a crisis like the shortages currently facing the country. The flexibility would ensure that the brand or type of formula families can buy isn’t restricted by program rules, allowing families to purchase whatever is available in the store. Formula manufacturers would be required to have a plan in place to respond to shortages. “This is an extremely stressful time for parents who are looking high and low for baby formula,” Stabenow says. “Almost half of all babies born in the U.S. rely on the WIC program.” *********************************************************************************** Nutrien to Build World’s Largest Clean Ammonia Plant in Louisiana Nutrien says it is evaluating a site in Louisiana as the place to build the world’s biggest clean ammonia facility. The new plant would leverage low-cost natural gas, tidewater access to world markets, and high-quality carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure at its existing facility in Geismar, Louisiana. The goal would be to serve the growing demand in agriculture, industrial, and emerging energy markets. “Our commitment to developing and using both low-carbon and clean ammonia is prominent in our strategy to provide solutions that will help meet the world’s decarbonization goals while sustainably addressing global food insecurity,” says Ken Seitz, Nutrien’s Interim President and CEO. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 1.2 million metric tons of clean ammonia and capture at least 90 percent of its carbon emissions. That means the new facility will be able to permanently sequester more than 1.8 million metric tons of carbon in dedicated geological storage every year. *********************************************************************************** Kansas/Oklahoma Winter Wheat Tour Finding Lower Yields On Wednesday, scouts on the Wheat Quality Council’s 2022 winter wheat tour traveled from Colby to Wichita, Kansas, stopping in wheat fields along six different routes. The scouts surveyed 254 wheat fields throughout western, central, and southern Kansas and northern counties in Oklahoma. The wheat in Southwest Kansas looks rough because of drought, and South Central Kansas is struggling because of dryness. Wheat following corn generally had poor yields, while wheat on fallow had some of the higher yields. The calculated yield was 37 bushels per acre in Kansas. Chris Kirby from the Oklahoma Wheat Commission reported that the state’s production is estimated at 60 million bushels this year, down from 115 million last year. Wheat harvest on the southern border of Oklahoma began this week, and with temperatures expected well above 100 degrees, the harvest will move much faster. USDA estimates that Oklahoma will likely yield 25 bushels an acre, down from 39 last year. *********************************************************************************** U.N. Wants Ukraine’s Ports Opened for Grain Shipments The United Nations is talking with Russia about the possibility of opening up Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for grain shipments to get exported. Ukraine is one of the largest grain producers in the world and usually exports goods through its seaports. However, Russia controls the Black Sea ports, which has forced Ukraine to export by train or through its smaller ports along the Danube River. Reuters says that Russia responded to the U.N. appeal by saying that sanctions on Russia would have to get reviewed if it were to allow the ports to reopen. U.N. Food Chief David Beasley appealed directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying, “If you have any heart at all, please open these ports.” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister says the sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and EU are interfering with normal free trade, including food products like wheat, fertilizers, and many other goods. *********************************************************************************** NAMI Responds to “Special Investigator” Legislation The House Agriculture Committee voted to approve the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act, and the North American Meat Institute called it “redundant, wasteful, and costly.” Julianna Potts is CEO of NAMI, and she says, “The committee voted to approve the bill despite our opposition, along with the opposition from the country’s largest livestock producer organizations.” She also says USDA and the Justice Department already have the authorities the bill would grant, making this expansion of government bureaucracy with its required staff and offices “duplicative.” Her organization points out that the special investigator this bill would establish would feel emboldened and obligated to bring as many new cases as possible, warranted or not, to test the legal limits of the new rules. “The resulting legal uncertainty and market chaos will accelerate unpredictable changes in livestock and poultry marketing that will add costs to both producers and consumers during a time of high inflation,” Potts says. *********************************************************************************** More Cotton Growers Take Part in Cotton Trust Protocol During Year Two The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is designed to bring quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurements to the key sustainability metrics of U.S. cotton production. The good news is more growers took part during the 2021-2022 crop year than did during the program’s pilot. The initiative’s new vision is to set a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is the reality and continuous improvement in reducing the environmental footprint is the central goal. “During our second year, we doubled the number of U.S. cotton growers in the program with an estimated 1.1 million cotton acres enrolled,” says Dr. Gary Adams, president of the Cotton Trust Protocol. Virtually all of the top 100 global brands created lists of sustainable raw materials and publicly stated their sourcing will come from these lists over the next 5-10 years. The Trust Protocol was designed to meet and exceed the rigorous criteria for the lists.

| Rural Advocate News | Friday May 20, 2022 |


Friday Market Watch Markets USDA's cattle on-feed report for May 1 is the only significant report on Friday's docket and will be out at 2 p.m. CDT, well after the market close. Traders may be a little gun shy after Wednesday, keeping part of their attention on happenings in the stock market and other parts on the latest weather forecasts, any export sales news and events in Ukraine. Weather A strong cold front across the Upper Midwest and Central Plains will push southeast on Friday. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will follow the front and a few severe storms will be possible. Some heavier rain in spots will lead to some more planting delays. Cold air funneling in behind the front will lead to a mix of rain and snow in the Northern Plains and some accumulating snow in the Colorado foothills later today into Saturday. Frosts are expected across a wide area of the Plains overnight.

| Rural Advocate News | Thursday May 19, 2022 |


Study: Agricultural Export Programs Offer Excellent Returns A recent economic study indicates public-private U.S. agricultural export market development programs remain highly effective and generate a substantial return on investment. The study, welcomed by the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultura Exports, was conducted by IHS Markit and Texas A&M University. The researchers say MAP and FMD have accounted for 13.7 percent, or almost $648 billion, of all the revenue generated by U.S. agricultural exports between 1977 and 2019. In letters sent last month, members of the Coalition and additional organizations asked U.S. House and Senate agricultural appropriations subcommittee leadership to maintain funding of at least $200 million for the Market Access Program and $34.5 million for the Foreign Market Development program in fiscal year 2023. Citing strong competition for growing global food demand, the organizations said, “these modest investments are invaluable as we race to reclaim global export markets shut off during the pandemic and diversify markets amid war and geopolitical unrest.” *********************************************************************************** NCBA Condemns Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Wednesday condemned the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022, approved by the House Agriculture Committee. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane says the legislation was rushed through the legislative process “without consideration of the confusing bureaucratic mess it would create.” The special investigator bill would create a new position in the Department of Agriculture with prosecutorial and subpoena power. The North American Meat Institute agrees in a statement, adding, “USDA and the Department of Justice already have the authorities this bill would grant making this expansion of government bureaucracy.” However, National Farmers Union says the bill would increase enforcement of competition laws and boost USDA’s resources to investigate abusive market practices. NFU President Rob Larew says, “Greater enforcement of competition laws by USDA will better ensure America’s independent family farmers and ranchers have a chance to succeed in today's marketplace, now dominated by monopolies.” *********************************************************************************** Spanberger, Gonzalez, Introduce American Food Supply Chain Resiliency Act House lawmakers Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat, and Anthony Gonzalez, An Ohio Republican, introduced the American Food Supply Chain Resiliency Act this week. The bipartisan legislation seeks to strengthen supply chains across the agriculture industry and lower food costs for consumers. The bill would establish Supply Chain Regional Resource Centers through cooperative agreements with the Department of Agriculture. The centers would offer locally tailored coordination, technical assistance, and grants — leading to more resilient, diverse, and connected supply chains. USDA recently announced its intention through the Agricultural Marketing Service to create Regional Food Business Centers. The Spanberger-Gonzalez legislation would codify the centers, renaming them Supply Chain Regional Resource Centers. Under their legislation, these Centers would support supply chain coordination in their region, fund technical assistance providers to offer guidance to food businesses and farms, and provide small grants to entities looking to expand or start their operations in a certain region. *********************************************************************************** Food Away From Home Spending Dropped During Pandemic The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic saw the temporary closures of restaurants in the United States, prompting a decline in Food Away From Home Spending. Spending decreased at each of the nine types of food-away-from-home outlets measured in the USDA Economic Research Service’s Food Expenditure Series from 2019 to 2020. Although existing infrastructure, such as drive-through services, enabled limited-service restaurants to comply with pandemic safety measures, these establishments still saw a 6.7-percent decline in annual spending. Full-service restaurants, which accounted for more Food Away From Home spending than all other outlets from 1997 to 2019, experienced a decrease in spending of 31.7 percent in 2020. This was partly due to pandemic-related closures during some of the year. Hotels and motels, recreational places, and drinking establishments also experienced closures and capacity restrictions throughout much of 2020. Food spending fell 42.9 percent at hotels and motels, 37.7 percent at recreational places, and 40.7 percent at drinking places. *********************************************************************************** Wholesale Prices Show Another Big Increase The Consumer Brands Association cautioned that rising costs on manufacturers have not slowed and show no signs of doing so. Citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics last week, The April Producer Price Index showed an 11 percent year-over-year rise. For food specifically, wholesale prices rose 14.5 percent, showing the outsized impact consumer packaged goods companies are feeling. Consumer Brands President and CEO Geoff Freeman says, “This is the 14th straight month that we’ve seen wholesale prices push above the historical trend line.” Freeman adds, “The percentages may fluctuate month-to-month, but the story has remained the same — the cost to make and ship goods is out of control.” Since the pre-pandemic era, wholesale costs for the industry have increased 35 percent. The spike significantly impacts industry operations, as approximately 70 percent of CPG companies’ costs come from ingredients and energy. Further, key commodities showed