Industry News | 12-12-2022

Farm Bill Should Protect, Maybe Strengthen, Crop Insurance Says Thompson

The incoming Republican chairman of the House Agriculture Committee said the new farm bill should protect the federally subsidized crop insurance program and “maybe we need to see about strengthening it.” In some cases, crop insurance could preclude the need for stopgap bailouts, said Pennsylvania Rep. Glenn Thompson in a congressional Western Caucus video. “There’s some things related to disaster relief that we can incorporate into crop insurance,” said Thompson. “I think that we be really helpful if we could.”
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ARS Releases First USDA Winter Peas for Food, Not Feed

USDA MiCa, USDA Dint and USDA Klondike, the first winter pea cultivars specifically developed to be used whole or as an ingredient in human food, have been released by the Agricultural Research Service. Winter or autumn-sown peas (Pisum sativum)—also called "black peas" or "field peas"—are annual legumes with excellent nitrogen-fixing abilities. They, and related pea species, originated in the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia. They should not be confused with cowpeas (Vigna unguiculata), which are also known as field peas, and usually grown in the southern states. Currently, winter peas are mostly grown in the Pacific Northwest as a cover crop to add nitrogen to farmers' fields, for domestic animal feed and to attract deer and other game species. They also are sometimes used in a crop rotation with winter wheat in semi-arid areas of the Pacific Northwest.
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Revised USDA Farm Income Forecast Sends Positive Signal on Farm Economy

USDA’s most recent Farm Sector Income Forecast, released Dec. 1, anticipates an increase in net farm income for 2022. U.S. net farm income, a broad measure of farm profitability, is currently forecast at $160.5 billion, up 13.8%, or $19.5 billion, from 2021’s $140.4 billion. This contrasts with both USDA’s original February estimates, which forecast a $5.4 billion (-4.5%) decline in net farm income, and  USDA’s September estimates, which forecast an increase of only $7.3 billion (5.3%). When adjusted for inflation, 2022 net farm income is expected to increase $10.7 billion (7.2%) from 2021 and be at the highest level since 1973. This is slightly more than 53% above the 20-year average of $104 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. The report also finds the largest increase in production expenses on record in both numerical and percentage terms, up nearly $70 billion across the farm economy (18.8%). It is worth noting the wide variation in individual farmer net returns in 2022.
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Cheese and Butter Price Increases Supporting More Milk Production

The USDA expects milk production to remain unchanged for the rest of this year and increase in 2023 because of higher output-per-cow and more cows. In its December supply and demand report, USDA increased butter and cheese prices because demand strength while whey and nonfat dry milk prices are unchanged.  Next year, the agency expects butter and cheese prices to increase because of continued demand, but nonfat dry milk and whey prices to decline because of global markets. This year, USDA is forecasting Class III and Class IV prices to increase because of better product prices.
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FFA Members Step Up to Give and Serve This Holiday Season

It’s the season to give back, and many FFA Chapters are doing just that. After all, FFA members embrace the idea of “Living to Serve” as part of their local, state and national organization. As a student-led organization, members will often take the opportunity this time of year to give others a hand up, whether through volunteering at food pantries, donating items to charities, or helping individual families by shopping for gifts. Read on to hear some of the heart-warming ways the organization is making a difference this year.
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