AG Rural News

The National Sheriff’s Association says high prices and record inflation are behind a recent uptick in rural thefts. Kiernan Donahue, a leader with the association, tells Brownfield as a result they are increasing patrols in rural areas. “A lot of these folks are hitting the rural areas because there’s not the presence of law enforcement that we have in our urban areas,” Donahue said. “They take advantage of that.” Donahue says suspects have been stealing copper wire from farms with pivot irrigation systems. ...
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Photo from President Biden’s Twitter account The U.S. Department of Agriculture is playing a vital role addressing the infant formula shortages caused by Abbott Nutrition’s voluntary recall. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Indianapolis on Sunday to meet the first shipment of formula brought to the U.S. under Operation Fly Formula. “We’re sending, through the Department of Defense, airplanes to Zürich Switzerland to pick up one and a half million containers of 8-ounces of formula each and bringing them to Indiana where they will then be distributed, based on FDA information, to locations where there are shortages,” he says. ...
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There continues to be a gap between rural and urban food security, according to the latest Purdue University Consumer Food Insights Report. Jayson Lusk is the director of the Purdue Center for Food Demand Analysis and Sustainability, “Rural households were more likely to be food insecure, meaning they had a hard time affording enough food to eat relative to urban households,” he says. “Going along with that, rural households also said that their overall satisfaction and happiness with their diets was lower than urban households.” Fourteen percent of all households and 23 percent of rural households are facing food insecurity. ...
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Former U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams continues to advocate for improved healthcare in rural areas. “I was really glad to be U.S. Surgeon General as someone from the Midwest, as someone who had grown up in a rural area, and as someone who could speak to the challenges that rural America faces as we’re dealing with some difficult health problems,” he says. “In the beginning we were really focused on the opioid epidemic, and I made sure we always had someone at the table who was from a rural community whether it was a provider or someone who has suffered with...
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Ag News

A livestock economist says there’s been a shift in the tone of the Cattle on Feed numbers. University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says the last several reports have been relatively bearish for the markets.  But that’s not the case this time around.  “Placements in May were 2.1% below year-ago levels,” he says.  “That actually falls outside the pre-report range.” He tells Brownfield this could be a change in trajectory moving forward.   ...
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A new agreement between the USDA and the Port of Houston will increase capacity for exporting chilled and frozen ag commodities. Travis Arp with the U.S. Meat Export Federation says the plans allow the USDA to lease additional chassis to fully utilize the port’s capacity for refrigerated containers. “There was a lot of increased volume of refrigerated containers going through the Port of Houston,” he said. “Houston was having issues with managing those containers as well as having the available chassis to move that product.” He tells Brownfield the Port of Houston is a major point of international trade for agriculture. ...
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The Senate Ag Committee has advanced two bills aimed at increasing competition and transparency in the markets.  The Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022 and the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022 will head to the full Senate for consideration.  Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley proposed an amendment to the Special Investigator Act, which passed unanimously, that would ensure the assigned investigator would be a senior-level USDA staff person and not a political appointee.  ...
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An ag real estate expert says the land market continues to thrive. Randy Dickhut with Farmers National Company tells Brownfield, “We’re seeing good quality crop land that is still steady. Some places it’s still somewhat stronger than it was even a few months ago.” But, he says value of lower quality land is dropping off. “It’s probably a little bit weaker with not as aggressive bidding on it,” he said. “It just stands to reason right now with not as much on the market and not as much to choose from.” Dickhut says farm incomes, interest rates, and inflation are some of the...
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