U.S. dominance in ag export race is softening
The United States lost its place as the world’s largest wheat exporter a decade ago, and now its leadership in exports of corn, cotton and tree nuts is being challenged, said a new USDA report. “Changes in global patterns of production and agricultural markets affected U.S. export competitiveness during the last two decades,” said the Economic Research Service.
Beef and pork prices retreat while grocery prices climb
Grocery prices will rise 7.8 percent this year, three times the usual pace for food inflation albeit slower than in 2022, said USDA economists in the monthly Food Price Outlook.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Tulare Lake reclaims farmland: Tulare Lake was largely drained decades ago but reappeared this spring, swollen by runoff from the wettest winter in years, and has flooded 10,000 acres of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley of California. (Los Angeles Times)
Guidance on Dietary Statements: The FDA issued draft guidance to food manufacturers on how and when to use so-called Dietary Statements on food labels to ensure they promote good nutrition. (FDA)
Shut-down for meat startup: New Age Eats, one of the companies pursuing a place in the ‘cultivated’ meat industry, is shutting down after failing to secure necessary funding. (Ag Funder News)
Green methanol vs. pipeline: Jeff Bonar, chief executive of CapCO2, drove through Iowa and Illinois this month claiming his company’s green methanol is a better option than carbon pipelines. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
ON THE CALENDAR
The House will vote on HR1107, which would make it U.S. policy “to oppose the labeling or treatment of the People’s Republic of China as a developing country in any treaty or other international agreement,” said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise. Consideration will be under a House rule that limits debate to one hour, bars amendments and requires a two-thirds majority for passage.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is lead witness at the House Agriculture Committee hearing, 10 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth.
Former FDA deputy commissioner Frank Yiannis is lead witness at the House Oversight subcommittee hearing on the agency’s response to the infant formula crisis last year, 10 a.m. ET, 2247 Rayburn.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is lead witness at House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the proposed fiscal 2024 budget for the Interior Department, 10 a.m. ET, 2008 Rayburn.
House Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on the proposed fiscal 2024 budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, 1 p.m. ET, 2362A Rayburn.
EPA administrator Michael Regan is lead witness at the House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the proposed fiscal 2024 budget for the agency, 2 p.m. ET, 2008 Rayburn.
AGree Initiative holds a webinar on its paper, “How conservation practices influence agricultural economic returns,” 1 p.m. ET.
Kisaco Research holds Regenerative Agriculture and Food Systems Summit, through Wednesday, Chicago.
USDA releases State Stories, noon ET. Issued on or near the first Tuesday of each month, December-March, State Stories provides “an assessment of winter weather on crops, livestock, fruit trees; consideration for moisture, snow cover, temperatures and crop condition; and the effect of weather, insects, diseases, etc. on crops and livestock.”
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is lead witness at Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on proposed fiscal 2024 budget for USDA, 10 a.m. ET, 192 Hart.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is lead witness at Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on proposed fiscal 2024 budget for the Interior Department, 9:30 a.m. ET, 124 Dirksen.
The House Appropriations Committee holds an oversight hearing, “Addressing the challenges of rural America,” 10 a.m. ET, 2358C Rayburn. Witnesses include deputy assistant secretaries of Labor and Education.
House Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on the proposed fiscal 2024 budget for the Food and Drug Administration, 1 p.m. ET, 2362A Rayburn.
Former Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz is lead witness at Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing, “No company is above the law: The need to end illegal union busting at Starbucks,” 10 a.m. ET, G-50 Dirksen.
American Coalition for Ethanol holds D.C. Fly-in and Government Affairs Summit, through Thursday, Washington.
Farm Foundation, USDA and Virginia Tech hold a workshop, “Agricultural productivity growth: Measurement, drivers and climatic effects,” through Thursday, Arlington, Virginia.
WAFBA holds the annual NoCo Hemp Expo, through March 31, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
House Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on the proposed fiscal 2024 budget for the Agriculture Department, 9 a.m. ET, 2362A Rayburn.
Senate Agriculture subcommittee hearing, “Forestry in the farm bill: The importance of America’s forests,” 10:30 a.m. ET, 328A Russell.
U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai meets South Korea’s trade and labor ministers to “discuss shared priorities” ahead of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s visit to the United States in April and ongoing negotiations for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. South Korea is the fifth-largest market for U.S. farm exports.
USDA releases quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, 3 p.m. ET.
USDA releases annual Prospective Plantings and quarterly Grain Stocks reports, noon ET. In a Bloomberg survey, traders said they expect corn plantings to expand 3 percent, soybeans 1 percent and wheat 7 percent from 2022 levels. Cotton plantings would shrink 20 percent, according to traders. The Prospective Plantings report is based on a USDA survey of around 70,000 farmers during the first two weeks of March.
USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices report, 3 p.m. ET.
April Fool’s Day. By tradition a day to celebrate “practical pleasantries,” pranks and hoaxes. “Although the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery,” says History.com. One of the best hoaxes is the BBC spoof about the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. There’s also a not-to-be-believed account of rain ruining the marshmallow crop in North Carolina.