The effect of inflation on Pennsylvania’s agricultural sector has been to exacerbate already-existing problems, driving up costs and squeezing business owners.
Since March, the monthly consumer price index in Pennsylvania has averaged 8.4%. Large amounts of federal spending, along with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have meant rising prices from raw materials to food and consumer goods.
An Ohio group joined the fight against a California proposition that it believes imposes illegal regulations on the pork industry across the country.
The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based policy group, filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court recently in a case filed by the National Pork Producers Council that challenges California’s Proposition 12, saying it violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which restricts states from regulating commerce outside their borders.
Tennessee Representative David Kustoff (R-TN-08) joined a group of his Republican colleagues Wednesday in introducing H.R. 8069, the Reducing Farm Input Costs and Barriers to Domestic Production Act.
The Minnesota Senate passed legislation on Wednesday to expand access to broadband internet for residents throughout the state.
The bill, SF 4019, will send $210 million from the federal government to improve services in the state.
Spiking fertilizer prices spiking over the last two years is contributing to current rising food inflation, says Theresa Sisung, an industry relations specialist for the Michigan Farm Bureau.
Record 40-year-high inflation is biting into Michiganders’ budgets from more expensive cars, higher energy costs, and higher prices at the grocery store, and it’s no different for farmers who tend roughly 47,600 farms in the Wolverine state that house nearly 10 million acres of farmland.
The state of Wisconsin wants to stop paying people who win multiple prizes at multiple county or district fairs, but lawmakers in Madison say that could kill those local fairs.
Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, said they discovered a new rule from the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection last week that would limit state-paid premiums to winners at just one local fair. After the first first-prize, other local fairs would be 100% responsible for all prizes for that same winner.
“This means that if someone wins an award at the Elroy Fair, the Juneau County Fair would not be able to be reimbursed for the premium if they won at the Juneau County Fair,” Marklein explained.
Goods and services around the country are becoming increasingly more expensive, but farmers may be among the hardest hit as inflation, supply chain issues, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are expected to send food prices soaring even higher.
That impact is being felt by farmers around the country.
“The cost of fertilizer is up as much as 500% in some areas,” said Indiana Farm Bureau President Randy Kron. “It would be unbelievable if I hadn’t seen it for myself as I priced fertilizer for our farm in southern Indiana. Fertilizer is a global commodity and can be influenced by multiple market factors, including the situation in Ukraine, and all of these are helping to drive up costs.”
Farmers, agribusinesses, and agricultural leaders can learn about the significance of international trade on local agriculture production, markets, and economies at the 2022 Mid-South Agricultural Trade Conference on March 3, 2022, according to a press release by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.
Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that a shortage of fertilizer is causing farms in the developing world to fail, threatening food shortages and hunger. Ironically, the lead photo is of mounds of phosphate fertilizer in a Russian warehouse.
Modern synthetic fertilizers are typically made using natural gas or from phosphorous-bearing ores. The former provides the nitrogen that is critical to re-use of fields in commercial agriculture. They constitute more than half of all synthetic fertilizer production.
So what happens when oil and natural gas extraction are crippled in industrialized nations? One likely outcome is that the fertilizer manufacturing industry is also crippled, leaving both large commercial growers and smaller farms around the world starved of a key substance they need to grow food for hungry populations.
The Biden Administration announced Monday it will spend $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds to increase independent meat and poultry processing capacity.
The administration will invest $375 million on independent processing plant projects that fill a need for diversified processing capacity, spend up to $275 million in working with lenders to increase availability of loans, particularly to underserved communities, for independent processors, and spend $100 million to back private lenders investing in independently owned food processing and distribution infrastructure to move product through supply chain.
It will spend and additional $100 million to support training, safe workplaces and jobs in meat and poultry processing facilities, $100 million in reducing overtime and holiday inspection costs for small and very small processing plants, and $50 million to provide independent business owners and producers with technical assistance and research and development.
Hogs born Jan. 1, 2022, or later are subject to California’s Prop 12.
Some Iowa agricultural leaders have criticized the law, which prohibits the sale of pork from hogs that are the offspring of sows that were raised in pens with less than 24 square feet of usable floorspace per pig.
California accounts for about 15% of the U.S. pork market, the National Pork Producers Council said in a September news release. The NPPC is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine Prop 12’s constitutionality.
Experts are warning that the dual energy and supply chain crises could serve to significantly disrupt global crop production, potentially disrupting food supplies for poorer consumers in particular.
Those ongoing crises are helping to temporarily decrease the global supply of fertilizer, a critical component in much of world agriculture and one that allows farmers to grow considerable quantities of crops in much of the world’s soils.
The fertilizer shortage is “impacting food prices all over the world and it hits the wallets of many people,” Yara International Director Svein Tore Holsether told the BBC this week.
One of the most frequently raised arguments against capitalism is that it is the primary driver of environmental pollution and climate change. But if we compare Yale University’s ranking of countries with the highest environmental performance with the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, a very different correlation emerges.
For more than 20 years, Yale University has been publishing the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) and ranking countries according to their environmental health and ecosystem vitality. The EPI uses 32 performance indicators across eleven issue categories:
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) awarded $2.5 million in Michigan Industry Cluster Approach 3.0 (MICA 3.0) grants to business groups statewide to address labor shortages.
“These grants are putting Michiganders first by helping innovative employers in high-demand industries address talent shortages across Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Together, we can continue leading the future of agriculture, construction, IT, manufacturing, mobility, and so much more as we usher in a new era of prosperity for our families, communities, and small businesses.”
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Congressman Tim Burchett to the newsmakers line to discuss the gross spending bill recently passed by Congress and what it means for the American consumer.
Georgia farmers already weathering crop shortages from a deep freeze during the spring could face another challenge this harvest season, according to the Georgia Farm Bureau.
More than 10,000 John Deere workers are on strike at 14 plants across the nation, including in Grovetown, near Augusta. Farmers have reported having a hard time finding parts for tractors and planters, and the sale of some tractors is on hold amid negotiations between union workers and John Deere.
A spokesperson for United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), Brian Rothenberg, said Thursday negotiations with the company were “ongoing.” Workers are demanding more pay and better benefits. Some workers told Farm Journal Magazine the strike could go on until the end of the year. It is reportedly the largest private-sector strike in two years.
Wayne County has begun to build its new Agriculture (Ag) Center. The Ag Center will cost the county $1,238,000.00 after the amount was approved in a September Wayne County Commissions meeting.
The Ag center will be built within the Wayne County Industrial Park that has been used for hay production for more than 30 years. The Wayne County website, states that the center will “house the local UT Extension and Soil and Conservation offices, a 125-person training/meeting room, commercial kitchen, and a covered pavilion to provide outdoor classroom and event space. The grounds around the facility will be used for ag-related shows, demonstrations, and eventually, community gardens.”
Lawmakers in Madison are looking send a lot more of Wisconsin’s agricultural products around the globe.
The Joint Committee on Finance on Tuesday approved a $5 million, five-year plan that orders the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to come-up with a plan to increase ag exports in Wisconsin by 25%.
Virginia House District 10 is one of Republicans’ best chances to flip a House seat in the election; Republicans hope to retake the majority by winning a net six seats. The district includes part of Loudoun County, where the local school board has become a battleground and a national bellweather for the GOP’s new messaging on education. Statewide politicians have made repeated stops in the area, and GOP challenger Nick Clemente and Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke) have together raised over $2 million, placing the district number one among the 100 House seats for fundraising, according to The Virginia Public Access Project.
“I think Gooditis is probably the second most likely Democrat to lose in the House,” CNalysis Executive Director Chaz Nuttycombe said. “I think Nick Clemente is definitely the strongest recruit that the GOP has going up against the Democrats.”
Some of the world’s top emitters of methane haven’t signed a global effort to curb how much of the greenhouse gas is emitted by 2030.
The three countries – China, Russia and India – that produce the most methane emissions in the world haven’t signed onto the pact, which has been spearheaded by the U.S. and European Union ahead of a major United Nations climate conference. The nations that have signed the agreement represent nearly 30% of global methane emissions, the State Department said Monday.
The U.S. and EU unveiled the Global Methane Pledge on Sept. 18, which they said would be key in the global fight against climate change. The U.K., Italy, Mexico and Argentina were among the seven other countries that immediately signed the agreement last month.
President Joe Biden has proposed amending the inheritance tax, also known as the “death tax,” but farmers around the country are raising concerns about the plan.
In the American Families Plan introduced earlier this year, Biden proposed repealing the “step-up in basis” in tax law. The stepped-up basis is a tax provision that allows an heir to report the value of an asset at the time of inheriting it, essentially not paying gains taxes on how much the assets increased in value during the lifetime of the deceased. This allows heirs to avoid gains taxes altogether if they sell the inheritance immediately.
Under Biden’s change, heirs would be forced to pay taxes on the appreciation of the assets, potentially over the entire lifetime of the recently deceased relative.
China’s effort to unseat America as the world’s economic superpower has a new tactic: It has bought up more than 200,000 acres of U.S. farmland. And while there is bipartisan support for legislation to slow down Beijing’s acquisitions, Democrats have added a new wrinkle.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), who is leading the legislative charge, says congressional Democrats have removed all references to the communist government of China in an amendment to an agricultural spending bill that originally prevented the Chinese Communist Party’s purchase of American farmland.
Due to a severe statewide drought, Gov. Tim Walz sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, requesting assistance to aid Minnesota’s livestock producers by relieving the immediate impacts of drought on grazing land.
“Agriculture is the past, present, and future of Minnesota’s economy. We must do everything we can to address the challenges our farmers and ranchers are facing due to the severe drought conditions plaguing our state. That’s why I’m asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for assistance,” Walz said in a statement. “The USDA’s ongoing support of Minnesota’s agricultural industry is well-recognized across the state, and with their continued assistance, our livestock producers will have a brighter outlook as we endure these harsh conditions and look forward to a thriving future.”
Walz supported implementing a plan to allow emergency haying and grazing on eligible Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land counties experiencing Level D2 or greater drought conditions, reducing forage pressures on Minnesota’s livestock producers. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update on July 8 reported nearly 40% of Minnesota is suffering under Level D2 or greater drought conditions.
A federal judge in Tennessee has ruled in favor of a Tennessee farmer, granting an injunction against the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its effort to grant federal loan forgiveness to only “non-whites.”
The Southeastern Legal Foundation and the Mountain States Legal Foundation joined to represent Union City farmer Robert Holman as he challenges a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that allows for automatic loan forgiveness up to 120% of the federal loan for farmers or ranchers who are “socially disadvantaged,” which is defined as “Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic, or Asian, or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.”
The legal ruling estimated while there was not a cap on the amount of loans that could be granted, $3.8 billion had been allocated to the program and, without an injunction, those funds might be gone before the case is resolved.
Two dairy farms in Arizona soon will be producing more than milk.
Renewable energy company Avolta has begun construction on a renewable gas project in Buckeye that will turn the tons of manure produced daily from the more than 25,000 Holstein dairy cows at Buttermilk farms into biogas.
The manure will be sealed underground and “digested” until methane can be created and extracted. The gas is processed and pumped into a nearby Southwest Gas pipeline, providing the farms with an additional revenue stream and keeping the methane gas out of the atmosphere.
A federal judge in Florida temporarily halted President Joe Biden’s $4 billion debt relief program exclusively for farmers of color, saying in a Wednesday order that the program was racially discriminatory.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard sided with Scott Wynn, a Florida-based white farmer who sued to block the program in May. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) program was originally passed in March as part of Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, with the intention of providing relief to “socially disadvantaged farmers.”
“Section 1005’s rigid, categorical, race-based qualification for relief is the antithesis of flexibility,” Howard wrote. “The debt relief provision applies strictly on racial grounds irrespective of any other factor.”
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Nestle USA and Cargill could not be sued for alleged human rights abuses that occurred overseas.
The plaintiffs, six Mali citizens enslaved as children on Ivory Coast cocoa farms supplying the food giants, sued Nestle and Cargill for damages, alleging the companies had aided and profited from child labor. The court ruled the corporations could not be sued for the overseas abuses.
“Nearly all the conduct they allege aided and abetted forced labor—providing training, equipment, and cash to overseas farmers—occurred in the Ivory Coast,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion.
In a housing market booming across the country, Clarksville stands out.
A recent National Association of Realtors report shows that while the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin metro area is one of the largest growing markets in the country, it is Clarksville that ranks as the fifth-fastest growing housing market in the U.S. in terms of new housing permits.
Clarksville’s growth coincides with a jobs boom in Nashville, which is located less than an hour away, but it also has seen its own boom with the growth of small businesses and employers such as Hankook Tire.
A federal judge Thursday afternoon suspended a loan forgiveness program that issues relief to farmers and agricultural workers of color.
Judge William Griesbach of Wisconsin’s Eastern District handed down a temporary restraining order after the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit in April. The group alleged in its announcement that President Joe Biden’s relief program was unconstitutional and that white farmers should have been included in the loan program.
“The Court recognized that the federal government’s plan to condition and allocate benefits on the basis of race raises grave constitutional concerns and threatens our clients with irreparable harm, said Rick Esenberg, WILL’s president and general counsel, in a press release Thursday. “The Biden administration is radically undermining bedrock principles of equality under the law.”
A pair of Wisconsin farmers are part of a new lawsuit challenging President Biden’s race-based program for farm loan forgiveness.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the suit on behalf of Calumet County farmer Adam Faust and Crawford County farmer Christopher Baird, as well as clients in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Ohio. The suit claims the farm loan forgiveness program included in the American Rescue Plan discriminates because it is only open to farmers of color.
“President Joe Biden’s signature COVID-19 relief legislation signed in March, provides billions of dollars of debt relief to ‘socially disadvantaged’ farmers and ranchers,” WILL said in a statement about the case. “But the law’s definition of “socially disadvantaged” includes explicit racial classifications: farmers and ranchers must be Black or African American, American Indian or Alaskan native, Hispanic or Latino, or Asian American or Pacific Islander. Other farmers — white farmers, for example — are ineligible.”
Governor Ralph Northam announced newly-signed legislation Friday that will require approximately eight percent of model year 2025 vehicles sold in Virginia to be zero-emissions vehicles. HB 1965, introduced by Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico), adds Virginia to the list of states following California’s vehicle emissions standards, which are stricter than the federal standards Virginia currently follows.
The House will vote on two immigration bills this week as the numbers of migrant families and children detained at the southern border surges.
The first bill, dubbed the Dream and Promise Act (DPA) would provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, immigrants who have lived in the U.S. illegally since being brought as young children.
The second, the Farm Modernization Workforce Act (FMWA), would create a certified agricultural worker status and streamline the H-2A visa application process. President Joe Biden has also announced a sweeping immigration reform plan in addition to the two bills, though Republicans have labeled it a non-starter.
Cyrus Hall McCormick was born in 1809 on his father’s rural farm tucked between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in an America that was still developing “beyond the struggle for food.”
Continuous wet weather disrupted the spring planting season for Southern Illinois farmer Jim Raben, meaning he is anticipating a lean harvest this year.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Sunday proposed a sweeping agriculture and rural investment plan to break up big agriculture monopolies and shift farm subsidies toward small family farmers. “I think a farmer that produces the food we eat may be almost as important as some crook on Wall…
by Tim Pearce American farmers are sticking behind President Donald Trump despite a trade agenda that makes selling produce to foreign countries more difficult and less profitable, Bloomberg reported. The United States’s ongoing trade war with China is a primary concern for U.S. farmers that sell crops, especially soybeans, overseas. While Trump’s view…
Brandon Alexander would like to introduce you to Angus, the farmer of the future. He’s heavyset, weighing in at nearly 1,000 pounds, not to mention a bit slow. But he’s strong enough to hoist 800-pound pallets of maturing vegetables and can move them from place to place on his own.…