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What is today’s news? | Friday, March 11, 2022

Have you read the latest fertilizer news or update on the spread of avian influenza?

These stories and more made the headlines today. In case you missed it, here is a roundup.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will support additional fertilizer production for American farmers to address rising costs, including the impact of Russia’s price hike on farmers, and spur competition.

USDA will make available $250 million through a new grant program this summer to support independent, innovative, and sustainable American fertilizer production.

Brazil on Friday launched a national fertilizer plan aimed at reducing its dependence on imports after the war in Ukraine and Western sanctions pushed up costs and threatened productivity in the Latin American farming powerhouse.

The plan underscores concern in Brazil, the world’s largest importer of fertilizers, about inputs for major export crops such as soybeans, corn, and sugarcane, which account for 73% of the nation’s fertilizer use.

Ukraine and Russia

Ukraine must sow as many crops as possible this spring, despite the Russian invasion, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Friday.

Ukraine is a major global producer and exporter of grain and vegetable oils, but officials and farmers expect a decline in the 2022 harvest and exports due to the war.

Global farm commodities trader Cargill Inc said on Friday it was scaling back its business activities in Russia and has stopped investments in the country, but would continue to operate “essential” food and animal feed facilities there.

Agriculture firms have been slower than oil companies and retailers to announce they are curtailing Russian operations.

Traders are trying to arrange the export of Ukrainian-origin grain by train through western Ukraine’s borders, but the export capacities are very limited, APK-Inform agriculture consultancy said on Friday.

Ukraine’s state-run railway operator said this week it was ready to organize agricultural exports by rail as a matter of urgency after closure of the country’s Black Sea ports because of the military invasion by Russia.

Crops Technology and Management

Editor Laurie Bedord writes about the latest model in Raven Industries’ autonomous power platform, OMNiPOWER 3200.

The new machine features added mechanical, functional, and aesthetic enhancements that improve efficiency and make autonomy more practical for producers.

Editor Gil Gullickson writes, “There’s another corn rootworm control option coming down the pike for corn farmers. Corteva Agriscience unveiled its Vorceed Enlist technology at this week’s Commodity Classic in New Orleans.”

Corteva officials say Vorceed Enlist is its next generation rootworm technology that builds upon its Qrome corn lineup that’s been on the market several years.

Over a 10-year period, conservation tillage became the most popular tillage practice on U.S. cropland, used on two-thirds of the land, said a USDA agency on Thursday.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service said the practice, which leaves crop residue on at least 30% of the soil surface to reduce erosion, had been adopted on 53.4 million acres by the mid-2010s.

Avian Influenza

Editor Madelyn Ostendorf has the latest on the spread of avian influenza.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial layer flock in Taylor County, Iowa.

“While this additional case of HPAI is not unexpected, we have prepared for this and are working closely with USDA and livestock producers to control and eradicate this disease from our state,” said Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig.

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