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agriculture

  • The Senate Agriculture Committee passed two bills on Wednesday dealing with the regulation of the cattle industry, an activist organization specializing in research about agricultural subsides reports that the government paid a record $41.6 billion in a variety of subsidies to farmers in 2020, double the amount they received in 2018, and reintroduction of wolves in Colorado remains a controversial topic with livestock producers.
  • The Gardner Food and Agricultural Policy Survey asks consumers about how food and agricultural issues affect them, inflation is pushing grocery prices up almost 12% in the past year, and while many farmers are concerned that the ag economy is in trouble, other farmers and investors remain bullish on farmland.
  • Cattle ranchers are getting squeezed by high costs of maintaining their herds while calf prices fall, the government continues to fund a variety of agriculture programs, United Nations officials warn that the war in Ukraine threatens a hunger crisis, and a farm in Ukraine takes in displaced animals.
  • Farmers in the Conservation Reserve Program will have an opportunity for a one-time voluntary termination in order to expand production, a brief history of government initiatives to encourage farmers to produce more crops, and the USDA is making $200 million available to create a new meat processing capacity expansion program.
  • A USDA Crop Progress report has rated half of the country's pasture and range conditions as poor, filling a tractor tank daily now costs some farmers $1,000, twice what it was a year ago, and the USDA addresses baby formula shortages and possible milk substitutes.
  • Fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to rattle commodity markets, the USDA cuts yield estimates on U.S. corn, avian influenza continues to impact chickens, turkeys, and other birds, Corn Belt agricultural land values are on the rise, the US Climate Prediction Center reports La Nina conditions are likely again this fall and upcoming winter, and the Russian military has stolen farm equipment from Ukraine that may be useless.
  • Cold, wet conditions delay corn and soybean planting in the Midwest, drought conditions intensify in the Four Corners, the USDA is projecting that food prices will rise up to 6% this year, satellites detect methane emissions from cows, the EPA issues an emergency waiver that allows summertime sales of gasoline blends with 15 percent ethanol, and the Biden administration proposes a $500 million program to encourage farmers to boost production of wheat, soybeans, rice, and other commodities.
  • The Biden Administration announced that millions of dollars will be given to rural communities in the U.S. over the next year, the FBI is warning agricultural cooperatives that ransomware attacks might be more likely during the current planting and harvest seasons, tire maker Bridgestone begins work developing a domestic supply of natural rubber using a shrub called guayule, and a look at the accuracy of weather forecasts.
  • Drought continues to challenge farmers and ranchers across the country, hay production in the U.S. may fall to its lowest level in a century, volatility in commodity markets begins to settle, and a new farm business index shows signs for optimism.
  • High fertilizer prices cause producers to rethink fertilizer requirements, how drought across the U.S. is affecting the cattle industry, and the conflict in the Ukraine is driving up the price of sunflower seeds and leaving thousands of acres of Ukrainian agricultural land without crops.