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What is today's news | Thursday, January 27, 2022

While we're on the home-stretch of the week, take some time to catch up with the latest news.

The links below will help you get informed in case you've missed it.

Crops and Climate

Editor Bill Spiegel covers the new private label brand announced by Farmers Business Network.

It includes a new lineup of adjuvants and crop nutrition products under the label, “Farmers First."

The adjuvant business is a crowded one, but FBN believes the combination of new products that optimize crop protection and fertilizer efficiency, sourced from USA manufacturers and available through the FBN online store, are a good fit for farmers seeking to maximize crop input investment in 2022 and beyond.

Insurance payments to U.S. farmers for crops lost to droughts and flooding have risen more than threefold over the past 25 years, according to an analysis of federal data by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released on Thursday.

“As extreme weather has become more frequent, the climate crisis has already increased insurance payments and premium subsidies. These costs are expected to go up even more, as climate change causes even more unpredictable weather conditions," EWG said in the report.

The report reinforces concerns that insuring the nation’s crops will get more expensive.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has entered into a cooperative agreement with Polk County, the City of Des Moines, and Des Moines Water Works to help increase and expedite the amount of cover crops planted in the Des Moines and Raccoon River watersheds.

The goal of this project is to seed up to 40,000 acres of cover crops over the next four years in the Des Moines and Raccoon River watersheds. Iowa farmers and landowners have planted more than 2 million acres of cover crops in recent years.

The project is modeled after a similar program in the state of Kansas.

If governments encourage climate-smart farming, they would see an increase in agricultural productivity and a sizable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by agriculture, said a report by the World Bank and the IFPRI think tank on Wednesday.

“Agricultural policies and public support programs are ripe for change,” said Martien van Nieuwkoop, director of the World Bank’s Agriculture and Food Global Practice. “Policymakers are well placed to scrutinize and rethink current policies and programs to better benefit farmers, increase food security, build resilience in the face of climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Addressing the interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and diet-related disease will require coordinated action, systems thinking, and much more public funding, a panel of scientists, farmers, and advocates told Congress on Wednesday.

Senator Cory Booker says, “Generating cutting-edge science at the intersection of nutrition and sustainability is a critical priority for the nation.”

There is positive forward movement as the USDA and other federal agencies steer away from a siloed approach that addresses issues like nutrition, food production, and the environment separately to a more systematic approach.

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