Dawn of August 31: Agriculture leaders hope for resilience of New Orleans export terminals | 2021-08-31
Soy Transportation Coalition executive director Mike Steenhoek said he expects resilience from New Orleans export terminals that withstood the hurricane, but he also pointed out that assessments of damage had to be done.
Most export facilities were able to resume operations quickly last year, despite an active hurricane season, Steenhoek said.
“We certainly hope something like this happens this year and doesn’t last longer. It really depends on the damage assessment that is currently underway, ”he said.
Steenhoek noted that the region accounts for 61% of soybean exports and 58% of corn exports.
Judge overturns Trump rule
Arizona federal judge highlighted the impacts of the Trump administration’s navigable waters protection rule on the southwest by deciding to rescind the rule on Monday.
US District Judge Rosemary Márquez noted that since the rule came into effect last year, more than 1,500 streams in Arizona and New Mexico have been considered “an ephemeral non-jurisdictional resource.” She has repeatedly cited concerns expressed by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers about the rule’s impacts on the country’s waters.
The Biden administration is collecting feedback on a new rule to replace last year’s version, but has yet to withdraw it. The government asked the court to dismiss the rule but allow it to remain in place. Arizona farm groups have stepped in to defend the NWPR.
The challenge was raised by tribes in Arizona and other states.
USDA Seeks Applications From Intermediary Lenders For Real Estate Program For New Heirs
Intermediate lenders can now apply for loans to participate in the USDA’s new Heir Property Loan program, the department said on Monday.
The USDA encourages co-ops, credit unions, and nonprofits to submit applications until Oct. 29 for competitive loans.
As part of the program, the Farm Service Agency will lend up to $ 5 million at 1% interest to eligible lenders, who will lend funds to heirs to help resolve title issues “by financing the purchase or sale. consolidation of land interests and the financing costs associated with an estate. plan, ”the FSA said.
Intermediate lenders should use the HPRP application form (FSA-2637) to apply.
Republicans demand responses from USDA ahead of reconciliation process
Leading Republicans on the House and Senate agriculture committees are calling on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to explain the increase in spending on nutrition assistance in response to unmet needs of producers.
“Despite trillions of federal spending related to COVID and hundreds of billions more spent on non-COVID programs, farmers, ranchers, foresters and rural communities across the United States remain vulnerable to the impacts of pandemic and volatile inflation, ”the letter from Sen John Boozman of Arkansas and Representative Glenn“ GT ”Thompson of Pennsylvania said.
Boozman and Thompson say they want answers before major House committees soon begin consideration of the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
WTO agrees to form panel on China’s grain quotas
The World Trade Organization on Monday accepted a Chinese request from a panel that will assess whether the country has adequately reformed its tariff rate quotas for imports of wheat, rice and corn, according to Geneva officials.
The United States continues to insist that China failed to make the necessary reforms after a WTO ruling in 2019, but the Chinese are firm in their disagreement.
The United States has responded, officials said, by pledging to suspend its WTO retaliation request against China for failing to reform the TRQ process.
“The United States has said it is ready to work with China to reach a resolution,” a Geneva official said.
Rabo Carbon Bank launches pilot program with five farms
Rabo Carbon Bank is launching a pilot program with five farms, which will be compensated for using regenerative agricultural practices to enrich the soils of their fields while capturing carbon from the air.
Based on Continuum Ag’s agronomic recommendations, each farm is committed to implementing a combination of practices to increase the carbon content of their soils. These practices may include little or no tillage; cover crops; planting “green” cash crops in living cover crops; more robust crop rotations; precision farming practices; and a transition to natural fertilizers.
Participating farms are located in North Carolina, Iowa and Arkansas and grow a variety of crops including broccoli, corn, cotton, peanuts, potatoes, rice, soybeans, sweet potatoes, tobacco, watermelons and wheat.
Rabo AgriFinance, a subsidiary of Rabobank, is facilitating the pilot program.
State agriculture departments vote on USDA’s $ 500 million plan to expand meat processing
The National Association of State Agriculture Departments submitted comments on USDA’s $ 500 million investment in expanding meat processing capacity, suggesting the department work with governments States to increase technical support to processors.
The organization – representing agriculture departments in all 50 states, 27 of which have their own meat and poultry inspection programs for small or very small establishments – wants the USDA to use the $ 500 million. dollars to devote more funds to offsetting employment costs, investing in workforce training programs and providing apprenticeship programs for small processing plants.
Additionally, NASDA’s public comments called on the USDA to look to “flexible funding structures” for Alaska, Hawaii and the four US territories outside the continent. The organization noted that the specialty crop and red meat industries in those states have not “received the same level of support and have been severely affected by the COVID-19 market and transportation disruptions.”
Florida again claims farm losses over Mexico
Florida has again released analysis showing that cheap Mexican fruits and vegetables continue to unfairly deprive American farmers of market share.
“Our Florida farmers are used to dealing with challenges – from hurricanes to invasive species – and they are used to competition,” said Nikki, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. Fried said in a statement Monday. “But they need quick and effective relief from the federal government to level the playing field, because at the moment we know that Mexico and others are not fighting fairly. “
Farmers in Florida and other states were stung in February when the International Trade Commission ruled that imported blueberries were not a “cause of substantial harm” to American growers.
Questions? Tips? Contact Bill Tomson at [email protected]