Highest U.S. farm income in eight years, but headwinds in 2022
Despite the disruptions of the pandemic, U.S. farm income, a broad measure of profits, will be the highest since 2013, thanks to strong corn, soybean, wheat, broiler, cattle, and hog prices this year, said the USDA on Wednesday. “It is primarily a price story,” said USDA economist Carrie Litkowski.
Military spending bill could help ease hunger among service members
As the Senate debates the National Defense Authorization Act, which funds the U.S. military, anti-hunger advocates say the bill would take an important first step toward addressing the long-standing problem of food insecurity among service members. The bill would boost the pay of the lowest-earning members of the military, giving them a so-called basic needs allowance to help cover the cost of food and other necessities.
As drought worsens, California will halt nearly all water deliveries in 2022
In response to the West’s historic drought, California officials warned on Wednesday that cities and farms won’t get any water from the State Water Project next year unless it’s an emergency. The unprecedented decision will affect 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland. Unless a rainy winter offers a reprieve, officials say the state’s urban residents should also brace for mandatory water cuts.
USDA allows more leeway on cover crops
Four months after it announced a temporary rule change, the USDA said on Wednesday that it would alter crop insurance rules permanently so farmers can hay, graze, or chop cover crops at any time and still be eligible for a full prevented planting payment.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Dicamba review: An EPA official said the agency is considering changes to its rules on the application of dicamba to balance complaints about crop damage from the herbicide with agriculture’s need for a “useful tool” against weeds. (Brownfield)
Brown joins Agriculture: House Democrats chose newly elected Ohio Rep. Shontel Brown, the successor to Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge, to serve on the House Agriculture and Oversight committees. (Brown)
Warning on methane: With less than a fifth of the world’s biggest livestock producers measuring methane emissions, there is “the growing sense in the market that cows are the new coal,” said an investor group whose members manage more than $45 trillion in assets. (Reuters)
Boozman promotes Keys: Chelsie Keys, a Senate Agriculture Committee staff member since 2015, was named policy director for the Republican senators on the committee by its senior Republican, Sen. John Boozman. (Senate Ag)
FDA lab rule: On Friday, as part of implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act, the FDA is scheduled to publish its Laboratory Accreditation for Analyses of Foods rule, which sets standards for labs that test food products for pathogens and other contaminants. (Federal Register)
New NPPC chief: Bryan Humphries, senior vice president of the National Pork Board, will begin work as chief executive of the National Pork Producers Council on Dec. 21, the group said. (NPPC)