‘Spot market’ program aims pandemic aid at hog farmers – December 14, 2021

‘Spot market’ program aims pandemic aid at hog farmers

The government will send up to $50 million to hog farmers who were forced to sell hogs at pandemic-depressed prices on the spot market during the summer of 2020, said the Agriculture Department on Monday. The announcement came a month after the USDA said it was disbursing $270 million to contract growers of hogs and poultry through its Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

Food insecurity rose sharply among Native Americans during pandemic, report says

Nearly half of Native American and Alaska Native households experienced food insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the Native American Agriculture Fund, The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and the Food Research & Action Center. The report urged “putting Tribal governments in the driver’s seat of feeding people” to create a more resilient food system.

China is a big ag exporter as well as importer

In the past two decades, China has shifted from a net exporter of agricultural products, with a trade surplus of $2.3 billion, to the world’s largest importer, with a trade deficit of $100 billion, according to a review of Chinese membership in the World Trade Organization. The flood of imports obscures China’s position as the fourth largest ag exporter in the world, trailing the European Union, the United States and Brazil.

The collective future of American agriculture

Pandemic-driven shortages gave fresh relevance to co-ops, hubs and other forms of collective agriculture. Now, with a trust-buster in the White House and a current of defiance coursing through the workforce, this patchwork has a shot at becoming a viable alternative to Big Ag, FERN reports in our latest story, published by The Nation.

Today’s Quick Hits

Roundup appeal questions: In a sign of interest in the case, the Supreme Court asked the Justice Department for its views on the bellwether case that found Roundup herbicide was to blame for a California man’s cancer. (The Hill)

Production cost pressure: Strong commodity prices are being overwhelmed by rising production expenses and analysts “do not anticipate any significant pull-back in farm-level costs” before summer 2022, at the earliest. (CoBank)

Pandemic job losses: One out of every nine family farm households suffered an off-farm job loss or furlough due to the pandemic in 2020, according to the annual USDA report, “America’s diverse family farms.” (USDA)

Danone offers aid: In a letter to the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Danone said it would offer an additional six-month contract and a transition payment to 89 dairy farms in the Northeast and discuss “co-investment solutions” to systemic challenges to dairy production in the region. But it will terminate the contracts with the farmers by March 2023. (FERN’s Ag Insider)

Tornadoes hit ag: The deadly tornadoes that struck Kentucky destroyed poultry hatcheries, damaged grain elevators and feed mills, and ripped apart a farm equipment dealership. (Reuters)

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