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ICYMI farm news highlights | Thursday, January 20, 2022

We’re nearly to the weekend and a variety of topics have been making news headlines. Check them out below in case you missed them throughout the day.

Competition in the meat industry

Meat prices soared by 14.8% during 2021, a part of overall food inflation of 6.3%.

Acknowledging that “we need to get inflation under control” as part of the economic recovery from the pandemic, President Biden says that the administration will inject competition into the highly consolidated meat industry to bring down prices at the grocery store.

Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter says, “Our country depends on competition to drive progress, innovation, and prosperity. We need to understand why so many industries have too few competitors, and to think carefully about how to ensure our merger enforcement tools are fit for purpose in the modern economy.”

Precision technology and data

Whether optimizing choice or placement of genetics, fertility, or biologicals, tools that help streamline efforts to manage and access this information will empower growers to be even more competitive and profitable. Arva, an artificial intelligence modeling company, and Augmenta, a precision ag technology company are partnering to help farmers reduce both the chemical load in soils and input costs, while improving the quality of produce and profitability.

Matt Rohlik, managing director for Arva says, “We have worked with Augmenta both on our farming operation and professionally as they scaled their business in the United States. Augmenta has an efficient and streamlined system for in-season nutrient management. Not only are they optimizing nutrient placement, but also creating carbon offsets through nutrient efficiency, providing additional value to growers and their trusted advisers.”

For nearly a decade, Jonathan Bickel of Precision Ag Solutions, has been buying, selling, and consigning precision ag equipment.

Based in Indiana, the used precision ag specialist offers six tips to consider before purchasing used ag technology. Use these tips to ensure you find the right value and quality of products.

First heavy snow of the year

A winter storm impacted areas from the Northern Plains to the Midwest, into the Southeast, and then up the East Coast the week of January 13-20, 2022, according to the Drought Monitor.

This storm ended a snow drought for much of the area. But, from the Missouri River west, there was very little precipitation for the week. Editor Mike McGinnis covers the weather news across the country in this online article, including the outlook for the next five to seven days.

Renewable energy in rural towns

Funding from the new Rural Energy Pilot Program will be targeted at communities that have been historically underserved by the government. “Priority points” will be given to projects that help communities recover from the pandemic, advance equity, and combat climate change.

Solar, wind, geothermal, micro-hydroelectric, and biomass/bioenergy are among the technologies eligible for funds, said the USDA.

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