Market diversification is path to increased farm exports, say trade officials

U.S. food and ag exports are concentrated in four markets that generate nearly $6 of every $10 in sales, said two senior U.S. ag trade officials on Thursday. To expand sales volume, they said at a trade group meeting, new customers must be developed in countries that have been off the export radar in the past.

Sales of antibiotics for food animals up again, reports FDA

Drugmakers sold 24.6 million pounds of antibiotics for use in cattle, hogs, and poultry last year, up 4 percent from 2021 and the second increase in two years, said the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.

Today’s quick hits, December 8, 2023

Global crop yields rise: Corn, wheat, soybean, and rice yields per acre have improved at a steady or increasing rate since 1981, suggesting that production of the world’s most widely grown crops “has thus far been able to adapt to climate change impacts,” wrote four ag economists. (farmdoc …

House votes against ‘de facto EV mandate’

The Republican-controlled House voted, 221-197, to block a proposed EPA rule on tail-pipe emissions that could make electric vehicles the best-selling new cars and pickup trucks by 2032. The vote on Wednesday stood in contrast to the ongoing UN climate summit, where steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are under discussion.

‘I will not relent’ on farm bill demands, says Glenn Thompson

The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee insisted on a broad-scale reprogramming of agricultural funding as the price for agreement on the new farm bill on Wednesday. Chairman Glenn Thompson suggested $50 billion in cuts, mostly to climate change and public nutrition programs, earlier this fall to pay for larger spending on crop subsidies.

Today’s quick hits, Dec 7, 2023

Glyphosate lost punch quickly: Weeds began showing resistance to glyphosate in just two or three years after the herbicide was introduced alongside GMO crops, and within a decade they were 32 percent less responsive to the weedkiller, said researchers who recommend diversity in weed control …

Food makers say they will reduce methane emissions on dairy farms

Six major food companies, from General Mills to Danone, said at the UN climate summit that they will reduce their dairy methane emissions as part of a new alliance that includes a major U.S. environmental group. The Dairy Methane Action Alliance will require members to publicly disclose emissions within their dairy supply chains and implement a methane action plan.

House Agriculture chair has prostate cancer

Rep. Glenn Thompson, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, said on Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the second-most common cancer among men. “I will tackle this head-on,” he vowed in a statement.

Today’s quick hits, December 6, 2023

Teens in poultry plant: A California poultry processor and its owner agreed to pay $3.8 million in back wages, damages, and penalties for employing “children as young as 14 years old to debone poultry using sharp knives and operate power-driven lifts to move pallets.” (Department of Labor) …

Crop insurance reform could save billions of dollars — GAO

Congress could achieve significant savings in the crop insurance program by reducing guaranteed payments to insurers and requiring wealthy operators to pay more for taxpayer-subsidized coverage, said the Government Accountability Office on Monday. The reforms could save billions of dollars on a program estimated to cost $101 billion over the next decade.

Allow SNAP purchase of hot foods, say lawmakers

The new farm bill should allow the purchase of hot foods with food stamps, said a letter signed by one-fifth of U.S. senators and representatives. The prohibition on hot food, in place since SNAP was created, "is no longer an accurate reflection of American families' dietary or lifestyle needs," said the lawmakers in a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees.

Today’s quick hits, Dec. 5, 2023

White House veto threat: The so-called Choice in Automobile Retail Sales Act, which would prohibit the Biden administration from implementing aggressive emission standards for light and medium-duty vehicles, would limit the EPA’s rulemaking power and undermine the development of …

A cultural history of a controversial fruit

In FERN's latest story, produced in partnership with Switchyard magazine as part of a special food issue, Jori Lewis explores the complicated racial history of the watermelon in America, using her own life as the critical lens.

At COP28, 134 nations agree agriculture ‘must urgently … transform’

More than two-thirds of the nations in the world, representing 5.7 billion people and 70 percent of global food production, signed a declaration at the UN climate summit assigning agriculture and food systems a role in combatting global warming. It was the first such linkage of food and climate action and while it was applauded, the praise was salted with "show me" skepticism.

U.S. agencies unveil food waste prevention plan

EPA administrator Michael Regan announced a U.S. plan to reduce food waste and food loss at the UN climate summit, saying the issue "is one of the most impactful actions we can take to reduce climate pollution and build a circular economy."

Today’s quick hits, Dec. 4, 2023

Tax fertilizer to reduce runoff: Voluntary programs have been ineffective in reducing nitrate runoff, so Minnesota should increase its tax on fertilizer and expand a land set-aside program to protect wellheads for drinking water, said the head of a state House environment committee. …

Farm income this year will be second-highest ever, says USDA

U.S. net farm income will be a stronger-than-expected $151 billion this year, the second-highest total on record, estimated the Agriculture Department on Thursday. That’s roughly $10 billion higher than the August forecast and due chiefly to cost cutting by producers, aided by lower fertilizer, fuel, and feed prices.

Ag exports to dip 5 percent, trade deficit nearly doubles

U.S. farm exports will be the smallest in four years due to lower prices for wheat, corn, and cotton, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday. China would remain the No. 1 customer for food and ag products, with Mexico a close second.

 Click for More Articles