Thursday, May 26, 2022

Wednesday May 25 Ag News

 April Hired Workers Up 3 Percent; Wage Rate Increased 8 Percent from Previous Year

There were 630,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on the Nation's farms and ranches during the week of April 10-16, 2022, up 3 percent from the April 2021 reference week. Workers hired directly by farm operators numbered 507,000 during the week of January 9-15, 2022, up slightly from the January 2021 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $17.22 per hour during the April 2022 reference week, up 8 percent from the April 2021 reference week. Field workers received an average of $16.50 per hour, up 9 percent. Livestock workers earned $15.82 per hour, up 7 percent. The field
and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $16.27 per hour, was up 8 percent from the 2021 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 39.7 hours during the April 2022 reference week, down 3 percent from the hours worked during the April 2021 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $17.63 per hour during the January 2022 reference week, up 9 percent from the January 2021 reference week. Field workers received an average of $16.54 per hour, up 9 percent, while livestock workers earned $16.12 per hour, up 8 percent from a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $16.37 per hour, was up 9 percent from the January 2021 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 39.3 hours during the January 2022 reference week, down 2 percent from the hours worked during the January 2021 reference week.

Northern Plains - Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota.
32,000 workers - $17.63 Gross wage, all workers

Cornbelt II - Iowa, Missouri.
23,000 workers - $18.52 Gross wage, all workers

Scoular expands its Asia-Pacific footprint to Vietnam

U.S.-based Scoular, one of the leading feedstuffs, grains, and oilseeds distributors in Indonesia and Myanmar, is adding another market to its distribution footprint in the Asia-Pacific: Vietnam.

“Scoular is driven by growth, curiosity, and creating solutions for our customers,” said Adrian Gasparian, President of Scoular Asia. “We are excited to continue expanding our presence in the region. Scoular invests in ways that solve problems and add value for our customers and suppliers, and many of our customers already have a footprint in Vietnam.”

Vietnam, the 16th most populous country in the world, is a key importer of agricultural commodities with a large and growing market in that segment. Scoular has hired two employees in Vietnam and expects to employ up to 12 additional employees, including a country manager, within the coming months. Scoular leaders are meeting with customers in Vietnam this month to determine the best combination of assets and investments that will add value to their business. Gasparian said he anticipates imports and distribution to begin by the end of 2022.

Vietnam is Scoular’s latest example of geographic expansion in the Asia-Pacific over the last several
years, including:
• An expanded regional headquarters and trade office in Singapore.
• Soybean cleaning and distribution operations in Indonesia.
• Feedstuffs and grain distribution operations in Indonesia and Myanmar.
• A fishmeal facility in Myanmar to provide high-quality, consistent and quick delivery of marine proteins to Asian feed markets.

Secretary Naig Highlights Legislative Session Accomplishments Benefiting the Iowa Agriculture Community

Following the adjournment of the 2022 legislative session, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig issued the following statement congratulating state legislators on a successful session that saw major accomplishments for Iowa farmers and the agricultural community:

“The 2022 legislative session has been incredibly productive for Iowa’s agriculture community. I applaud Governor Reynolds and members of the Iowa House and Senate for prioritizing the needs of family farmers, our agribusinesses, and rural communities,” said Secretary Naig. “The Legislature addressed inflationary prices at the fuel pump by ensuring Iowans will have increased access to lower cost, cleaner burning biofuels over the next several years and cut taxes so hard-working families and small businesses can keep more of their money in their own pocket. They also passed bills that will grow markets for Iowa producers by launching an Iowa grown and raised marketing program and continued to invest in our small-town meat lockers.”

Below are some of the major legislative accomplishments from the 2022 session that benefit Iowa agriculture:
Biofuel Access and Infrastructure
House File 2128 ensures that more Iowans will have access to lower cost, clean burning E15 at the fuel pump. The Legislature also continued to make a significant investment in the state’s biofuel infrastructure to help fuel retailers around the state make the upgrades necessary to offer higher blends of ethanol to their customers.
Promoting Iowa Grown and Raised Products
House File 2581 establishes the Choose Iowa Promotional Program, an agricultural marketing program, to increase the visibility of Iowa grown and raised foods. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship will lead the program with plans to launch this fall.
Tax Relief for Farmers and Iowa Agriculture
House File 2317 resulted in generational tax reform that cuts taxes for all Iowans while doing so in a fiscally responsible manner. The tax package lowers the current tax rate for all Iowans to a flat rate of 3.9%, makes retirement income tax free, and includes provisions that will benefit Iowa farmers and the agriculture community.
Continued Efforts to Grow Iowa Meat Lockers
House File 2470 implements many of the recommendations of the Artisanal Butchery Task Force which was led by Secretary Naig in the fall of 2021. The Task Force recommended the creation of a one-year community college certificate program for artisanal butchery and addresses other challenges that Iowa meat processors identified related to financial and workforce training programs. The Legislature also provided $1 million in funding to help existing meat lockers upgrade their equipment and infrastructure.
Supporting the Mission of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
The Legislature continued to provide the resources that are necessary to help the Department achieve its goals to support Iowa’s agriculture community. The Legislature made key investments in the state’s foreign animal disease prevention, preparedness and response efforts to protect Iowa’s livestock industry and continued to make a significant investment in the state’s water quality and soil health initiatives.

Beef Quality Assurance Transportation Workshops begin June 14

Beef cattle transporters are receiving notice from major packers reminding them to renew their Beef Quality Assurance Transportation certificate. To help them renew or obtain new certification, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer BQAT trainings across northwest Iowa. Extension beef specialist Beth Doran is organizing these trainings.

“BQAT certification was initiated several years ago by major packers,” Doran said. “The packers require custom truckers and producers hauling cattle with their own semi or trailer to have a current BQAT card. The objectives are human safety, animal comfort and transportation protocols to help provide a high-quality product for the consumer.”

Trainings are scheduled for the following dates and locations, with preregistration required by calling the phone number listed for the site.
    June 14 – ISU Extension and Outreach Sac County office, 620 Park Ave., Sac City. RSVP to 712-662-7131.
    July 12 – ISU Extension and Outreach Clay County office, 110 W. 4th St., Spencer. RSVP to 712-262-2264.
    Aug. 9 – ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County office, 400 Central Ave. NW, Orange City. RSVP to 712-737-4230.
    Nov. 29 – ISU Extension and Outreach Cherokee County office, 209 Centennial Dr., Cherokee. RSVP to 712-225-6196.

All workshops are from 1-3 p.m. and are free to attend. Participants should preregister two days in advance of the workshop they plan to attend.

For those unable to attend a training, BQAT is also available online. For more information, contact Doran at 712-737-4230 or email

Soybean Farmers Share 2023 Farm Bill Priorities

The American Soybean Association is excited to share soy’s 2023 Farm Bill priorities. As the House and Senate Agriculture Committees lay the foundation for this pivotal legislation, ASA hopes its initial priorities list will provide insight and assure soy growers’ interests are considered as the farm bill process continues with hearings this year and legislative development next year.

ASA President Brad Doyle, who grows soybeans in Arkansas, said, “Getting to this point has involved a thoughtful information-gathering process that began back in September 2021. We wanted to assure as many farmer voices and soy states as possible were involved to make this a comprehensive list tailored to their needs. We look forward to sharing with our congressional leaders as a helpful resource and reminder that ASA is available to assist with the farm bill reauthorization process.”

The document contains a general needs assessment and topical break-outs, including farm safety net, conservation, trade, energy, rural development, research and nutrition.

Among the priorities included:
• Improving the Title I farm safety net for soybeans
• Continuing the voluntary, incentive-based, flexible approach to conservation programs
• Investing into promotion of U.S. commodities globally
• Building biobased and biofuels opportunities
• Ensuring broadband coverage is accessible throughout rural America

ASA’s steps for determining its farm bill principles began internally with education sessions for farmers serving on the ASA Board of Directors and soy state affiliates to hear more about the various titles included in the farm bill. ASA then worked in conjunction with allied soy groups United Soybean Board and U.S. Soybean Export Council to distribute a widespread survey to farmers. Finally, ASA hosted a series of 12 listening sessions, by both titles and geographic regions, in which farmers and states could share input – or follow up by comments submitted to ASA staff. These priorities will be refined into more specific requests by early 2023.

U.S. Dairy Supports U.S. Government’s Pursuit of Full Canadian USMCA Compliance


The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today applauded the Biden administration for its initiation of a second U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) dispute panel concerning Canada’s ongoing refusal to meet its USMCA dairy trade obligations.

The first USMCA dispute panel launched by the U.S. government determined in January that Canada was in violation of the agreement’s dairy tariff-rate quota (TRQ) provisions. On May 16, Canada published as final its revised USMCA dairy TRQ approach, which failed to fix its USMCA-violating practices. To address the additional problems Canada’s revised approach has raised and to defend the integrity of the agreement, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has brought an additional case.

“Prime Minister Trudeau regularly pledges Canada supports a rules-based global order built on cooperation and partnership, yet Canada continues to flout these trade commitments and plays games rather than meet its signed treaty commitments,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Dairy farmers appreciate USTR’s continued dedication to aggressively pursuing the full market access expansion into the Canadian market that USMCA was intended to deliver. At the same time, given Canada’s history of persistent violations and the high likelihood Ottawa will once again disregard its USMCA obligations, USTR and USDA must be prepared to deploy the strongest-possible retaliatory measures envisioned under the USMCA should this ‘whack-a-mole’ approach continue. Canada’s actions must have consequences.”

“USTR and USDA have shown dogged determination to uphold USMCA despite Ottawa’s clear refusal to engage in real reform to come into compliance with the agreement,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “Dairy farmers and processors appreciate the clear bipartisan commitment from both the Administration and Congress for enforcing the USMCA and insisting on getting the full export benefits the United States so painstakingly negotiated. If we allow Canada to simply ignore its clear obligations, it will set a dangerous and damaging precedent for future trade disputes that will reach far beyond the millions of jobs supported by the American dairy industry.”

Canada’s updated TRQ system continues to block key stakeholders in the Canadian food and agriculture sector, including retailers, from accessing the TRQs, using an allocation method that provides inequitable advantages to Canadian dairy processors, and fails to employ good regulatory practices to encourage effective use of the TRQs allocated to a given company.

Fertilizer Price Moves Minor, But Mixed, Compared to April

For the first time in several months, retail fertilizer prices were mixed, according to prices tracked by DTN for the third week of May 2022. A few were slightly higher, a few were slightly lower and one fertilizer was unchanged in price compared to last month.

Four fertilizers' prices were higher compared to last month, but none were up a substantial amount. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more. DAP had an average price of $1,059/ton (all-time high), MAP $1,083/ton (all-time high), UAN28 $634/ton and UAN32 $731/ton (all-time high).

Three fertilizers were slightly less expensive compared to last month but nothing noteworthy. Potash had an average price of $878/ton, urea $993/ton and anhydrous $1,529/ton.

10-34-0 had an average price of $906/ton, unchanged from last month.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $1.08/lb.N, anhydrous $0.93/lb.N, UAN28 $1.13/lb.N and UAN32 $1.14/lb.N.

Most fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in price than one year earlier. 10-34-0 is 46% more expensive, MAP is 53% higher, DAP is 65% more expensive, UAN28 is 75% higher, UAN32 is 80% more expensive, urea is 91% is higher, potash is 100% higher and anhydrous is 113% more expensive compared to last year.

Weekly Ethanol Production for 5/20/2022

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending May 20, ethanol production climbed 2.3% to 1.014 million b/d, equivalent to 42.59 million gallons daily. Production was 0.3% more than the same week last year and 4.5% above the five-year average for the week. The four-week average ethanol production volume increased 1.3% to 991,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 15.19 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks thinned by 0.3% to 23.7 million barrels. However, stocks were 24.9% higher than a year ago and 9.0% above the five-year average. Inventories were higher across all regions except the Midwest (PADD 2), which saw a low for the year, and the Rocky Mountains (PADD 4).
The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, declined 2.5% to 8.80 million b/d (134.87 bg annualized). Demand was 7.2% less than a year ago and 3.6% below the five-year average.

In contrast, refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol rose 0.4% to 915,000 b/d, equivalent to 14.03 bg annualized and the largest volume since August 2021. Net inputs were 1.0% more than a year ago and 2.6% above the five-year average.

There were zero imports of ethanol recorded after 36,000 b/d hit the books the prior week. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of March 2022.)

USDA Announces Signup for the Commodity Container Assistance Program

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin accepting applications for the Commodity Container Assistance Program (CCAP) which currently includes a partnership with the Port of Oakland in California and the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), which is a marine cargo operating partnership between the Port of Seattle and the Port of Tacoma in Washington State. Ongoing market disruptions have created logistical challenges associated with the availability and flow of shipping containers to transport agricultural commodities, which has prevented or delayed American-grown agricultural commodities from reaching their markets.  

“Both the Port of Oakland and the NWSA in Seattle have been identified as key gateways for American-grown agricultural commodities, and each has experienced significant challenges with the flow of containerized agricultural commodities and products,” Secretary Vilsack said. “While USDA’s per-container reimbursements will not cover the full cost of moving and storing shipping containers, the assistance provided will help ensure American-grown agricultural products can once again efficiently move through supply chains to reach global markets.”  

Port of Oakland  

Fewer shipping containers have been made available for U.S. agricultural commodities as ocean carriers have circumvented traditional marketing channels and rushed containers back to be exported empty and, as a result, many of these carriers have suspended service to the Port of Oakland.   

The Howard Terminal “pop up” site in the Port of Oakland will provide space to prepare empty containers. Agricultural companies and cooperatives will have easier access to these containers, which they can fill with commodities, which will help restore shipping services to agricultural commodities while relieving congestion.   

For the Port of Oakland, the Agricultural Marketing Service covered 60% of the start-up costs for the “pop up” site and under CCAP the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is providing a $125 per container payment to partially assist agricultural commodity owners for the additional logistical expenses associated with picking up empty shipping containers to be filled with agricultural commodities and products at the Port of Oakland. Under CCAP FSA will also provide payments of $200 per dry container and $400 per refrigerated, or reefer, container to help cover additional logistical costs associated with moving the shipping container twice, first to the preposition site and then to the terminal loading the vessel, along with the cost of temporary storage.  

Northwest Seaport Alliance  

Congestion-induced impacts to vessel schedules and prioritization of returning containers empty to Asia have significantly raised barriers for exporting agricultural commodities in containers, resulting in lost markets and disappointed customers. The Northwest Seaport Alliance has seen a nearly 30% decline in the export of agricultural commodities in the last six months of 2021 and the ratio of loaded versus empty container exports has shifted to predominately empty containers since May 2021.  

In Seattle, a 49-acre existing near-dock facility “pop up” site will be used to accept either dry agricultural or refrigerated, or reefer, containers for temporary storage at NWSA in Seattle to reduce operational hurdles and costs so containers can more quickly be loaded on ships at the export terminals.   

For the NWSA, under CCAP FSA will provide payments of $200 per dry container and $400 per reefer container to help cover the additional logistical costs of moving the container twice, first to the preposition site and then to the terminal loading the vessel, along with the cost of temporary storage. The NWSA “pop-up” site itself does not require USDA cost-share assistance as this site already has handling equipment and reefer plugs.   

U.S. Dairy Supports New USDA Container Program for Ag Exports

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today welcomed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement to offer additional support to American agriculture exporters through the new Commodity Container Assistance Program (CCAP). The initiative will provide funding from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to exporters to reduce the costs of sourcing containers at the Oakland and Seattle-Tacoma ‘pop-up’ port locations.

“Dairy producers and other agriculture exporters have been clamoring for relief from these ocean shipping challenges for nearly two years,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “While we continue to seek solutions from the carriers and from Congress, these steps by USDA demonstrate their understanding of our industry’s challenges. We feel they are positive, focused investments that will offer immediate relief to our dairy exporting cooperatives.”

“We are grateful to see Secretary Vilsack and USDA taking a leadership role in addressing these port and ocean freight challenges that dairy producers are facing. I am impressed with the speed and innovative approach with which USDA has moved this pop-up concept into operation,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “We will continue working with USDA and its interagency partners in pursuing solutions to the supply chain challenges that impact the bottom line of dairy exporters and the U.S. workers and foreign consumers who rely upon American dairy exports.”

As port terminal operations have become congested and ocean carriers have prioritized shipping empty containers back to Asia from west coast ports, agriculture exporters have struggled to obtain containers from the carriers, to secure reliable vessel bookings, and to overcome obstacles to delivering goods to the ports to meet vessel departures timelines. The pop-up sites are intended to offer off-terminal locations for empty container storage, increasing access for agriculture shippers to use them and freeing up port terminal space for freight operations. At the pop-up sites, exporters can transload their commodities into the containers (both dry and reefer) and store them on property until the vessel booking earliest return dates are announced, enabling more efficient drayage delivery to the ports. The FSA’s payments will help to cover the costs of moving the containers between the ports and the pop-up yards, as well as the storage at the pop-up site.

NMPF and USDEC are working with USDA to identify key port locations, including at inland terminals, to replicate the pop-up initiative.  

May 2022 Dairy Market Report Now Available

Robust growth of both domestic consumption and exports of all cheese have been bright spots in the overall U.S. dairy situation. Milk prices reached their highest-ever monthly level during March, as measured by the U.S. average all-milk price, and the total export volume of all dairy products recovered markedly that month from the relative doldrums of the prior three months. However, record- or near-record levels of the cost of virtually all inputs needed to produce milk are tempering the gains on farmer balance sheets. Meanwhile, retail price inflation has been accelerating for several dairy product categories, including fluid milk and butter, which are significantly outpacing consumer price increases for all food and beverages as well as the overall rate of inflation. Price inflation for cheese and frozen dairy products continues to be relatively subdued, by comparison.

Read the full report here:

NFU Concerned with Solicitor General's Crop Protection Brief

In a letter to President Biden sent today, NFU expressed concern with an amicus brief submitted by the U.S. Solicitor General to the Supreme Court on the labeling of glyphosate and regulation of crop protection products. The letter calls for the brief to be withdrawn and for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be consulted on the implications of the position taken in the brief.

"The position taken by the Solicitor General undermines the United States' science-based regulatory approach to crop protection products," wrote NFU President Rob Larew. "It may decrease farmers' access to products that are essential to their operations."

The brief argues federal pesticide registration and labeling requirements do not keep states from imposing additional requirements, even if those requirements contradict federal findings.

"This new policy could create an unworkable patchwork of state labeling requirements and runs counter to the science-based regulation farmers rely on to access safe and effective products for their operations," Larew added.

Statistics Canada Releases April Crush Data

The April canola crush was reported at 706,762 metric tons, falling for the fifth time in six months, while still the fifth-largest monthly crush over the nine months of this crop year. This volume was down 21.6% from the same month in 2020-21 and down 17.1% from the three-year average for this month.

At the same time, this volume is above the 669,347 mt needed this month to stay on track to reach the April Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada crush demand forecast of 8.5 million metric tons, while AAFC has since reduced this forecast by 200,000 mt to 8.3 mmt in its May forecast.

Based on the April crush demand forecast of 8.5 mmt, roughly 657,000 mt/month of crush is needed for each of the final three months or last quarter of the 2021-22 crop year. When using AAFC's May revised forecast of 8.3 mmt crushed this crop year, this amount falls to roughly 590,208 mt needed to be crushed during each of the three remaining months. While the demand exists, the limiting factor will be the inventories remaining on farm.

The cumulative crush during nine months is reported at 6.529 mmt, down 17.8% from the same period last year. This is the lowest volume crushed during the first three-quarters of the crop year in six years. At the same time, this pace remains ahead of the steady pace needed to reach the April demand forecast of 8.5 mmt.

Canada's soybean crush was reported at 172,251 mt in April, the largest monthly crush in 23 months. Cumulative crush during eight months of this crop year total 1.258 mmt, up 9.7% from the same period last crop year while equal to the three-year average. The pace of crush remains slightly ahead of the pace needed to reach the current 1.8 mmt export forecast set by AAFC.

Buy American and The Domestic Beef producer

Taylor H. Haynes M.D., Vice-President, The Organization For Competitive Markets

The “Product of the USA” label in supermarket meat cases disguises inferior foreign meat products.

Domestic manufacturers were promised an aggressive Buy American agenda. The Beef and Pork producers were among the most hopeful. These domestic producers are the ONLY ones who are prohibited from specifically labeling their products.

The “big 4” meat packers have a chokehold on the industry. They control about 85% of the meat packed in the USA. This is a demonstrated food security issue. They have been driving up retail prices while choking domestic producers for decades.

With much fanfare, the Biden Administration entered the fray. They would facilitate the proliferation of medium and small meatpacking plants. It seemed like the solution. Well, stand-alone meatpacking cannot turn out a volume of product needed to be effective competition without being part of a complete supply system. A complete system consists of livestock producers, feeding/finishing operators and retail marketing outlets. Thus, there will be billions spent with little chance of producing effective competition.

Enter Congress. Recently the House and Senate Agricultural committees held hearings on the “problem.” Caveat, invited for testimony was one lone producer and testimony from the organization that has openly opposed labeling domestic beef and pork while promoting deceptive labeling. This organization (The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA)) also is the principal recipient of Beef Checkoff funds. A recent sample audit found gross misappropriation of checkoff funds. There was NO meaningful action taken by the USDA.

Is this all just election year theater?  There was the OFF act in the 116th Congress (Opportunity for Fairness in Farming ). This bill would have instituted the investigation of all commodity checkoff programs, but was vehemently opposed by the NCBA. The NCBA claims 33,000 members, this is less than 5% of the remaining producers. Therefore, they do NOT represent the “majority” of the producers. The 117th Congress now has an OFF act (Off Fossil Fuels Act). Coincidence or subterfuge?

Meanwhile back at the ranch. With the present cacophony of empty election year theater where is the domestic Beef industry?

Investigation of the Beef Checkoff program is needed at this time because the referendum promised when the checkoff began never happened.

It should be clear that a “cattle” trade association (NCBA) that disagrees with the OFF Act does NOT represent cattle producers!

The beef checkoff is a one dollar per head sold assessment paid by those selling cattle. Note, selling live cattle is not the same business as selling beef!

Producers mostly sell at cattle auction markets. Backgrounders and feed lots are the principal purchasers. The purchasers need to purchase our feeders at the best price they can get. We producers need the highest price we can get. Competition for our feeders should make for a fair market for all. In the past 25 years, 82,964 feedlots have gone out of business. Most of these were small to medium sized, family-owned operations. This loss decreased competition for producers’ cattle. This caused downward pressure on prices received by producers. However, the consumers are paying record high prices at the supermarkets.

The “beef industry” begins with the meat packers and culminates with the retail outlets. Some meat packers have been allowed to own feedlots in violation of the Packers and Stockyards Act. This ownership allows the packers to manipulate the cash market and depress the prices received by independent feeders. The price depression and decreased competition at the auction houses, are reflected in the lower prices received by the producers.

The checkoff dollar has been used by subterfuge to support lobbying by the NCBA which opposes the mandatory Country of Origin labeling of beef and pork products.

Meat packers and retail outlets don’t pay the checkoff fee. Have you ever seen a television commercial for live cattle? Why not?

The purpose was to increase per capita beef consumption in the USA. Theoretically, this would increase cattle sales and improve the lot for our domestic producers and the entire chain, in addition to stabilizing prices to the consumer.

Let’s look at the results.

The beef-checkoff was included in the 1985 Farm Bill, which was instituted in 1988. The per capita beef consumption in the USA was 97 pounds. In 2020 beef consumption decreased to 88 pounds. In1988 the USA beef cow herd was about 87 million mother cows. In 2020 the number decreased to 31 million mother cows. Domestic beef cattle operations numbered about 930,000 in 1990 and declined to 730,000 in 2017.

People are eating less beef per person. However, the domestic beef production is 20-30% less than the total amount of beef consumed. This reflects the growth in the population of the United States of America. The gap is filled with imported beef. Thus, the emphasis on beef exports as an indicator of market health is misleading if not downright dishonest. Based on domestic production, beef exported as product of the USA can’t be all domestically produced. Some, if not most, of this export is beef imported and repackaged as product of the USA.

The NCBA uses checkoff dollars to lobby against Country of Origin Labeling of all beef products. This is despite the history of one of the “Big Four” meat packers, exporting contaminated beef from their home country.  It is well known in business circles that branding is a cornerstone of marketing. Like FORD, GMC, Tesla and Mercedes.

It has been stated by some that the checkoff is working as intended. If that’s true, then it was intended to drive the domestic producer out of business. Clearly, we were misled from the inception of the beef checkoff program. If it were simply terminated, it would save the family cattle producer.

Data above is taken from USDA Economic Research Service and/or USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service reports, and therefore, is available to Congress and the Biden Administration.

The solutions are simple: Congress should 1) pass mandatory Country of Origin Labeling, 2) make the Beef Checkoff voluntary, and 3) Enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act. These three measures would stop the USA hemorrhaging domestic producers. That done, concentration can be dealt with in due course.

Aerial Applicators on Call and Ready for Duty

After a productive 2021 spraying season, the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) expects demand for aerial application services to be even greater this summer as farmers strive to protect their crops from yield-robbing weeds, disease and insect pests in an effort to bolster the global food supply.

NAAA conducted an industry survey toward the end of the 2021 spraying season. It found that 4 out of 5 aerial applicators flew the same or more hours and treated the same or more acres than they did in 2020, including 57% that treated more acres and 54% that flew more hours than the year before. Several signs point to aerial applicators being even busier this summer. Leading pesticide manufacturers recently informed NAAA that they believe fungicide applications could be 20% higher than in 2021 when 55 million acres of plant health products were sprayed. Furthermore, even with tight supplies and higher input costs, farmers will be counting on aerial applicators to help them maximize their crop output while commodity prices remain high.

Agricultural aviators treat 127 million acres of cropland in the United States each year. That doesn't include the 7.9 million acres of pasture and rangeland treated by agricultural aircraft annually. Aerial pest control for managers of forests, waterways and public health also adds to these many millions of acres--5.1 million acres of forestland and 5.2 million acres of mosquito and public health applications are treated annually.

When disease, weeds or insects threaten a crop or it needs nutrients or seeding, aerial application is the fastest and most economical way to aid farmers. It permits large areas to be treated rapidly, far faster than any other form of application. When wet soil conditions, rolling hills or dense vegetation prevent terrestrial equipment from treating an area, aerial application is often the only or most economical method for timely pesticide applications. Additionally, aerial application is conducive to higher crop yields since it does not disrupt the crop or cause soil compaction, improving soil health and the amount grown per acre.

Data from a Texas A&M University economics study calculated that the aerial application industry's value to farmers, input suppliers, processors and agricultural transportation and storage industries for corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans and rice production alone in the U.S. is about $37 billion annually. That figure is expected to grow substantially and in importance as food prices increase and food production becomes an issue of growing importance due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, supply and demand issues, and a growing global population.

"With everything going on in the world, including food supply issues, aerial application is going to be vital this year," NAAA CEO Andrew Moore said. "Because aerial applicators will be in such high demand, NAAA strongly advises farmers to schedule work with them in advance whenever possible."

America's aerial applicators are ready to assist farmers with timely applications. NAAA's "Find an Aerial Applicator" database helps farmers find them. The search tool is especially handy for farmers that don't already have an existing service relationship with an aerial application operation. At, users can conduct a radius search by city/state or zip code for distances ranging from zero to 25 miles away up to 250 miles away. All aerial application companies in the database are members of the NAAA and must abide by its Code of Conduct to operate in a manner that reflects the professionalism and ethical nature of the aerial application industry.

Farmers, ranchers, foresters, agricultural co-ops and crop advisors are encouraged to visit to find an aerial applicator near them.

NAAA represents the interests of the 1,560 aerial application industry owner/operators and 2,028 non-operator agricultural pilots throughout the United States licensed as commercial applicators that use aircraft to enhance the production of food, fiber and bioenergy; protect forestry; protect waterways, pastureland and ranchland from invasive species; and control health-threatening pests, including mosquitos and other insect pests that spread West Nile virus, Zika virus and other deadly diseases. Approximately 28% of crop protection product applications to commercial farmland are made aerially.

CNH Worker Strike Enters Fourth Week

Talks between United Auto Workers and Case New Holland Industrial were halted Thursday after a proposal from the company that included increased wages that would be largely offset by more costly health insurance.

"Neither side's talking," Nick Guernsey, president of UAW Local 807, told The Hawk Eye newspaper on Monday as the strike by about 430 unionized employees at CNHi's Burlington plant entered its fourth week. "The end of last week, we weren't gaining any traction and it just kind of got to a point where there's no sense of wasting anyone's time."

Guernsey and a Local 807 committee chairman traveled to Madison, Wisconsin, last week to meet with representatives of UAW International; UAW Local 180, which represents about 600 employees of CNHi's Racine, Wisconsin, plant; and Case as the parties resumed talks for the first time since the strike began at noon May 2.

Rebecca Fabian, a spokesperson for CNHi, said she could not comment about the negotiations and instead presented the company's official statement, which criticized the UAW for walking away from the bargaining table, as well as for not putting the proposal to a vote by its members.

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