AG Rural News

A member of the House Agriculture Committee is encouraged by the latest round of broadband funding. Minnesota Democrat Angie Craig tells Brownfield precision agriculture has made it critical that farmers have access to high-speed internet. “That is one area where I am so proud we’re going to deliver $100 million to Minnesota in broadband funding on a bipartisan basis, which is pretty hard to come by in the town of Washington.” USDA recently announced it will award up to $150 million in loans, up to $300 million in loan-grant combinations, and $700 million in grants to bring high-speed internet to rural America. ...
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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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Ag News

The U.S. Trade Representative addressed fertilizer tariffs and Mexico’s GMO corn ban during a market development roundtable at a farm in central Iowa Thursday. Ambassador Katherine Tai says she understands farmer concerns about the high price of fertilizer caused in part by tariffs on phosphate imports from Morocco. “This is me saying this, knowing that it’s in the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department, but I think it’s reasonable for us to take a look at the health and functioning of the market here domestically in light of changes that have happened in the international context.” On Mexico’s proposed ban of GMO corn, Tai...
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The USDA says new crop corn and soybean export sales were strong during the week ending August 11th. Soybeans topped 1.3 million tons, mostly to China and unknown destinations, while corn came out at 750,000 tons, primarily to unknown destinations and Mexico. That might be a sign of the seasonal shift away from Brazilian corn and soybeans to U.S. supplies. Beef export sales did improve from the previous week, but pork fell and wheat sales hit a marketing year low. ...
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The head of USDA calls the Inflation Reduction Act historic legislation because of unprecedented investments in rural America. On a call with reporters Wednesday, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the bill provides his agency nearly $40 billion to improve rural communities. “It really is a once in a generation, once in a lifetime level of investment. We haven’t seen this level of investment, for example in conservation, since the Dust Bowl.” The Inflation Reduction Act includes $20 billion to fund climate smart agricultural practices. ...
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An ag economist expects volatility in the grain markets to continue into 2023. Dr. Dan O’Brien with KSU tells Brownfield despite a recent downturn in the markets, there’s good news. “We’re optimistic for prices relative to where we were a year or two ago,” he says. “We still have a lot of volatility figuring out how we land these markets coming off of fall harvest.” He says geopolitical conflicts and a La Nina weather pattern have contributed to tight ending stocks. ...
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