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ICYMI farm news highlights | Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The week is just getting started, but there’s no shortage of news. In case you missed it, we’ve rounded up the top headlines to get you back up to speed.

Biofuels news

The Biden administration made a long-awaited announcement that proposed a reduction in the amount of biofuels that U.S. oil refiners have been required to blend into their fuel mix since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This marks President Joe Biden’s first major decision on the nation’s biofuel policy and will be seen as a bellwether of his support for the fuel blending law that is backed by farmers but opposed by oil refiners.

News from USDA

Critics of the highly concentrated meat industry have called for construction of more, and smaller, packing plants as a way to blunt the impact of disasters and speed the recovery, but a report from USDA’s Economic Research Service said regions with smaller plants did not recover faster, “revealing that physical capacity might not be the major characteristic” of resiliency.

To build resiliency into the food system, the Agriculture Department said on Monday it would award up to $400 million to state and tribal governments for purchases of locally grown food for emergency food assistance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently announced an initial investment of more than $1.2 million for a total investment of more than $5 million over four years for the USDA’s AgrAbility program.

Fertilizer for 2022

Higher input prices have XtremeAg farmers Matt Miles, Kelly Garrett, and Kevin Matthews thinking about different crop rotations and fertility plans for 2022. Miles estimates it will cost him an additional $180 an acre for nitrogen to grow corn in 2022 than it did in 2021 on his Arkansas farm.

In the past year, the cost for urea and diammonium phosphate have more than doubled. With no end in sight, some farmers are opting to use manure as they make fertilizer plans for the 2022 growing season.

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