U.S. food prices insulated from warfare in Ukraine, says Vilsack
The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have, at most, a muted effect on U.S. food prices, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday. “We have tremendous (domestic) production capacity,” he told reporters attending the USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum.
World food security threatened by invasion of Ukraine
Global food supplies were put in jeopardy both directly and indirectly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said two analysts at the IFPRI think tank on Thursday. The war will constrict grain supplies in the short term, and it would disrupt the flow of fertilizer needed for crop production in many countries.
USDA says high input costs will dampen corn plantings
U.S. farmers will pare corn plantings by 1.5 percent and modestly increase soybean acreage this spring in the face of high input costs, projected the USDA on Thursday. High yields would bring the largest corn and soybean crops ever in America and pull down season-average prices for the two most widely planted U.S. crops.
Bird flu is found in seventh state
On Thursday, the Agriculture Department confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock in southwestern Michigan, the seventh state with the viral disease in a domestic flock in a little over two weeks.
Today’s Quick Hits
Fertilizer price probe: Sudden, sharp increases in fertilizer prices “warrant an analysis into the underlying causes,” said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, announcing a market study in cooperation with Iowa State University. (Iowa Attorney General)
Meat processing grants: Up to $215 million in grants, worker-training funds, and technical assistance is available to expand meat processing capacity and increase competition in the industry, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. (USDA)
Covid and food banks: Thirty-six percent of U.S. food banks switched to a drive-through distribution model during the pandemic, which required clients to have cars and eliminated food choice. (Choices)
Beavers transform tundra: The animals, once seldom seen in northwestern Alaska, are transforming the tundra with their dams, which create deeper and warmer ponds and new types of aquatic habitat. (High Country News)
Hog deadline extended: Hog producers will have an additional seven weeks, until April 15, to apply for coronavirus aid if they sold pigs for low prices on the cash market during the worst of the pandemic in 2020. (USDA)