War in Ukraine means higher U.S. farm costs
The largest U.S. farmers and ranchers say the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with its disruption of grain, oil and fertilizer shipping, will drive up their costs of production, according to a Purdue University poll released on Tuesday. The Ag Economy Barometer also showed big operators are tempering somewhat their expectations of soaring input prices.
Tenfold increase proposed for rural energy program
Congress should guarantee at least $500 million a year for USDA grants and loan guarantees to install renewable energy systems or improve energy efficiency on farms and small businesses in rural areas—10 times the current funding level, said an environmental group on Tuesday. House Agriculture chairman David Scott said mandatory funding levels for USDA energy programs would be considered as part of writing the 2023 farm bill.
Bird flu losses may be significantly less than 2014 -’15 epidemic, says Vilsack
U.S. poultry producers have strengthened their safeguards against disease, and the nation may see “significantly less” damage from this year’s outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday. The 2014-’15 bird flu epidemic killed more than 50 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, in domestic flocks and created spot shortages of eggs in grocery stores.
Big Tech’s food-delivery apps face a grassroots revolt
At the start of the pandemic, food delivery apps, including the ‘Big 3’ — Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash — were hailed as saviors, facilitating a takeout boom meant to keep restaurants and their staff working. But eateries were quickly confronted by a harsh reality: These Silicon Valley and Wall Street–backed firms, which together dominate 93 percent of the market share nationwide, are designed to scrape money out of local businesses. Now, in cities around the country, restaurant owners are forming local-delivery co-ops in an attempt to drive the third-party interlopers out.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
U.S. potatoes to Mexico: Mexico is expected to open its entire market to imports of U.S. potatoes for making chips and table consumption by May 15, announced the agriculture secretaries of both nations. (USDA)
Winter wheat rated poor: Due to drought, only 30 percent of the winter wheat crop was in good or excellent condition at the start of this week, compared to the five-year average of 53 percent. (USDA)
Brooks seeks Fortenberry seat: The Nebraska Democratic Party selected state senator Patty Brooks as its candidate in the June 28 special U.S. House election to fill out the term of Jeff Fortenberry, who resigned after being convicted of lying to the FBI. (WOWT-TV)
Big EU grain exports: EU grain exports could expand by 30 percent in the marketing year that opens on July 1 with a “very good” harvest expected for grains and oilseeds, cushioning “the impact on world markets of the expected lack of grain exports from Ukraine.” (European Commission)
‘Unnoticed’ hunger in Africa: One in four people in Africa suffer from hunger in “a disaster going largely unnoticed” while the world focuses on warfare in Ukraine, said the head of global operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross. (France 24)