Address imbalances in cattle market, say farm groups – May 18, 2021

Address imbalances in cattle market, say farm groups

In a joint statement on Monday, six farm groups called on the Justice Department to investigate the highly consolidated meatpacking industry and urged the development of “new independent, local and regional packers.” Ranch and farm groups have complained repeatedly during the pandemic that high beef prices in the grocery store have not translated into stronger prices for slaughter cattle.

Overseas, harvested land is expanding faster than in the U.S.

While U.S. farmers spent several years in the doldrums, agriculture in the rest of the world “appears to be in a sustained period of prosperity dating to the early 2000s,” said agricultural economist Carl Zulauf of Ohio State University. Growers overseas have steadily expanded the amount of land harvested for grains and oilseed since 2003, posing questions for U.S. farm income and for climate change programs.

Today’s Quick Hits

Perdue for chancellor: Former agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue, who abruptly relocated two USDA research agencies and tried to halve the budget of one of them, is in the running for the $524,000-a-year job of chancellor of the University System of Georgia, which includes three major research institutions. (Mother Jones)

CSA’s Black roots: The usual story is that community supported agriculture, in which people pay in advance for a season’s worth of food from a local farm, was inspired by European traditions. But Booker Whatley, a professor at Tuskegee University, advocated pick-your-own farms and “clientele membership clubs” for Black farmers decades earlier. (Modern Farmer)

China buys more: Exporters reported the sale of 1.7 million tonnes of U.S. corn for delivery to China during the marketing year that opens on Sept. 1; with the purchase, 6.8 million tonnes of new-crop corn is committed to China. (USDA)

Managed aquifer recharge: Wintertime flooding of farmland near communities, known as managed aquifer recharge, could ease the strain on shallow wells and drinking water supplies during droughts when water tables drop in the summer. (University of California)

Compost grants available: Local governments have until July 16 to apply for up to $2 million per project to host Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction pilot projects this year with the goal of diverting food waste from landfills and improving soil quality. (USDA)

More regulation, please: Some 81 percent of voters in northeastern Ohio want stronger regulation of large-scale feedlots, said a poll commissioned by Environmental Law and Policy Center. (Toledo Blade)

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