Key policymakers continue to look for ways farm programs can help growers meet the rising cost of fertilizers and other inputs. Crop insurance industry consultant Alex Offerdahl told a House Ag subcommittee on Wednesday that one possibility is to make margin policies more attractive.
A Margin Protection Policy It has been available for some crops since 2016, but only about 6,000 are sold a year, largely due to cost, said Offerdahl, who is head of the crop insurance division at consultancy Watts and Associates.
Because the product is still considered experimental, the margin policy has a lower federal subsidy rate than conventional income products. Still, “there are tremendous opportunities to expand it nationally instead of just the core Midwestern states and a handful of crops,” Offerdahl said.
The policy is designed to protect farmers from increases in input costs as well as falls in commodity prices and yields.
Take notes: Pennsylvania Republican Glenn Thompson, who is in line to chair the House Farm Committee if Republicans win control of the House in November, asked Offerdahl about the product. Thompson regularly floats the idea of offering farmers some form of margin coverage.
Feed regulation draws Hill’s attention
The feed industry is pleased with a House amendment that would provide $8 million to the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine to speed approval of new feed ingredients. The arrangement was included in a package of spending bills passed by the House on Wednesday.
“On average, studies have shown that it takes three to five years for companies to get new ingredients through the FDA’s rigorous review process, preventing innovation from reaching farmers and ranchers in a timely manner.” American Food Industry Association President Constance Cullman said.
In the meantime: Leah Wilkinson, AFIA’s vice president for public policy and education, applauds Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, for pushing FDA Commissioner Robert Califf to approve feed ingredients that can reduce methane emissions from livestock.
“For years, we have asked Congress to increase funding for the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine as a way to ease the backlog of feed ingredients waiting to be reviewed,” Wilkinson said. “We know that beyond that, there is a plethora of innovative technologies to address our most pressing global challenges waiting to be reviewed as ingredients, not drugs, once some of the FDA’s regulatory procedural changes are made.” .
By the way: After the hearing, Califf said agricultural pulse he meant what he told Moran about taking a close look at how the FDA treats animal feed ingredient requestsemphatically noting that Moran is “not the only senator” interested in the issue.
He also said the “top-down” review of the agency’s human food program and the Center for Tobacco Products would begin in a matter of days, and that 60 business days should be enough time to complete it.
Food relief efforts hit by shipping costs
The UN World Food Program expects to pay an additional $900 million in food aid shipping costs this year, even as the agency struggles to find donors other than the United States to step up to address the global food crisis. That is the word of David Beasley, executive director of the WFP.
In some cases, WFP has had to ration food aid due to the cost of basic commodities. “We’ve had to take food from hungry children to give to hungry children,” he said.
One of the ways to deal with the costs of basic products is to offer people cash vouchers. Beasley told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the WFP is providing $2 billion in cash aid. That works in places like Ukraine, where there is a lot of food available, but also in some poor countries. The monetary aid “really helps local economies,” she said.
Take notes: Beasley warned senators that food shortages could worsen next year because farmers cannot access fertilizers.
House panel prepares for child nutrition reauthorization
The House Education and Labor Committee will pass a bill next week that would significantly increase access to meals for children.
Introduced Wednesday by House Education and Labor Chair Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Subcommittee Chair on Civil Rights and Human Services Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., the Healthy Foods Act, Healthy Kids would expand a community eligibility provision, allowing more school districts to provide free meals to all students. The bill would also increase the lunch reimbursement rate by 10 cents.
The bill would also add commodity assistance at a rate of 6 cents per meal, adjusted for inflation, to the School Breakfast Program.
But but but: There has been no similar move from the Senate Farm Committee to consider a CNR bill this year. That committee has jurisdiction over child nutrition programs in the Senate, but a committee aide says there haven’t been any discussions on the topic recently.
The Upper Colo states. River offer water plan to Reclamation
All four states in the upper Colorado River have submitted a plan to protect the water in the Colorado River to the Bureau of Reclamation. But specific reductions in water use are missing. Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming suggest such cuts should come from the Lower Basin states and Mexico.
“Our water users already experience chronic shortages under current conditions, resulting in uncompensated priority management, including cuts to numerous current enhanced rights in each of our states,” they write.
Farm groups rally behind Beagle Brigade Bill
Fifty-three farm groups are urging Congress to authorize the National Detector Dog Training Center, a proposed future training camp for the “Beagle Brigade.”
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., first proposed establishing a center for detection dogs in February with the Beagle Brigade Act. Groups calling for passage of the bill include the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Council of Pork Producers and the American Transportation Association.
she said it “This is a five-alarm emergency, and I have never seen a food safety crisis like this in my career.” – UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the global food crisis.
Correction: Daybreak’s Wednesday July 19 article on the proposed reduction in the pork check fee should have said that the vote for the reduction earlier this year was from National Pork Board delegates .
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