Dawn Jan 11: Vilsack: We will protect commodity program funds | 2022-01-11

The Biden administration is preparing to use the Commodity Credit Corp. account. USDA to fund a major new effort to develop markets for climate-smart agricultural products. But Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack promises that using the CCC will have no impact on the commodity program payments the USDA makes to farmers from the account each year.

Vilsack addressed the issue during his speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation on Monday and again at a press conference. When pressed by reporters for concerns that the administration’s climate plan could jeopardize farm program payments, Vilsack said, “I don’t see that risk.”

In his speech to AFBF, Vilsack said Farm Bureau chairman Zippy Duvall advised him before taking the stage to “make sure people understand and appreciate where the resources are coming from.”

“The resources for these demo pilots will come from Commodity Credit Corp., but they won’t come at the expense of everything we need to do to ensure the performance and implementation of Title I (the title). I want to be absolutely clear on this, ”Vilsack said.

Why is this important: The USDA can borrow a maximum of $ 30 billion to make payments from the CCC. The money is then refunded by Congress. The projects that USDA will fund are designed to test ways to produce and market a range of low-carbon agricultural products.

Economist: Increasing cash trade will not raise livestock prices

A prominent livestock economist says a Senate proposal to increase cash trading in the beef industry could cost feeders and packers about $ 50 per head.

The Senate bill would require mandated amounts of regional cash trading in the beef cattle industry, which the sponsors hope will lead to better price transparency and, in turn, give producers more leverage against the main slaughterhouses.

But Colorado State University economist Stephen Koontz told AFBF members that increased spot trading does not necessarily lead to greater price discovery, noting the changes on the markets that have taken place since 2016. “And by the way, price discovery doesn’t mean better prices, it means getting the right price faster,” he said.

Koontz, who provided analysis of the Senate bill to GOP staff on the Agriculture Committee, found that alternative marketing arrangements – which are currently used by many slaughterhouses to acquire livestock rather than trade spot – worth about $ 50 per head in efficiency to feeders and packers, a margin that any bill to reform the sector should catch up with.

“The underlying story is that having to trade spot will not allow you to better discover prices, and I have the science to back it up,” he said.

Looking forward: In Atlanta today, this will be one of the debated issues as AFBF members consider political resolutions.

SCOTUS refuses E15; Proposition 12 decision likely next week

Leading ethanol industry group Growth Energy has said it will continue to work to secure approval for year-round use of E15, following Supreme Court announcement Monday that she had rejected a petition from the biofuels group. Legislation has been introduced in the Senate to allow year-round use.

The High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking reconsideration of a federal appeals court ruling that the EPA did not have the power under the Clean Air Act to authorize the use of fuel .

“The Clean Air Act gives the EPA broad powers to pave the way for the expansion of E15 nationwide and year-round and to increase access to cleaner fuel for all Americans.” , said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Growth Energy will continue to explore all potential avenues to make unhindered access to E15 a reality.”

More from SCOTUS: The court delayed decisions on two petitions closely watched by the farming community: one filed by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation challenging Proposition 12 of the California Animal Housing Act, the another by landowners in Idaho who want the court to re-examine the scope of federal wetland regulations.

Both petitions will be considered at a conference on Friday, and decisions are expected to be announced next week.

ITC holds hearing to review lemon juice imports

The US International Trade Commission will meet next week to begin examining complaints that Brazilian and South African companies are shipping millions of dollars of lemon juice to US buyers at below market prices.

The hearing – scheduled for Jan. 20 – is the result of allegations by California-based juice company Ventura Coastal, which says it cannot compete with the growing amounts of imports from the two countries entering the artificially low price.

The hearing is only part of the initial investigative process. ITC’s final rulings on potential anti-dumping and countervailing duties are months away.

Two Brazilian states make rapid progress in soybean harvest

Farmers in major producing states of Mato Grosso and Paraná are on the ground harvesting Brazil’s first soybean crop this year, which is expected to be smaller than expected due to drought conditions.

Brazil on Thursday last week harvested 0.2% of this year’s soybeans, according to consultancy AgRural. It’s not much, but the harvest had not yet started at this time last year.

He said it. “We know that it must be voluntary and that it must be an incentive. It cannot be regulated. – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the department’s plan to fund projects to develop markets for climate-smart agricultural products.

Spencer Chase, Steve Davies, and Bill Tomson contributed to this report.

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