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What is today’s news? | Thursday, February 24, 2022

Today’s roundup features the latest from Russia and Ukraine, crop management news, and recent developments in the spread of avian influenza. Catch up here.

Russia and Ukraine

As President Biden and the NATO allies respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with sanctions against the Kremlin, residents in Ukraine are trying to stay calm. 

Inside the lines of war, things are changing by the minute. Successful Farming correspondent Iurii Mykhailov in Kiev, Ukraine, shares his insights into the Kyiv environment and what the residents are experiencing, plus its planting season, markets, and more.

Ukraine’s military has suspended commercial shipping at its ports after Russian forces invaded the country, an adviser to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff said, stoking fear of supply disruption from leading grain and oilseeds exporters.

Ukraine is a major exporter of corn (maize), much of it destined for China and the European Union. It also competes with Russia to supply wheat to major buyers such as Egypt and Turkey.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by land, air, and sea threatens to disrupt exports of commodities such as grains and oilseeds from both countries, while the prospect of toughened sanctions against Russia could disrupt energy and metals supplies.

Read this article for the details of Russia’s major commodity exports.

The Russian attack overnight on Ukraine will have a muted effect, if any, on U.S. food prices, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday.

“We have tremendous (domestic) production capacity,” Vilsack told reporters attending USDA’s annual Outlook Forum.

Crops

U.S. farmers will pare corn plantings by 1.5% and modestly increase soybean acreage this spring in the face of high input costs, projected the USDA on Thursday.

High yields would bring the largest corn and soybean crops ever in America and pull down season-average prices for the two most widely planted U.S. crops.

Editor Chelsea Dinterman writes of the partnership between CIBO Technologies, a science-based technology company, and Bushel, a company that provides software technology solutions for the agricultural industry, which will bring visibility to sustainable practices throughout the supply chain.

CIBO Carbon Bridge will provide pay-for-practice financial incentives for farmers transitioning to regenerative farming.

Andrea Basche, assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, presented results of field experiments and how changing your perspective about cover crops can boost the benefits.

She says treating cover crops like cash crops improves the effectiveness of nutrient cycling, water storage and infiltration, and weed suppression. The benefits of these can magnify the overall impact of cover crops and potentially increase cash crop yields.

Inari, the SEEDesign company, and InterGrain, a leading cereal breeding company in Australia, today announced a strategic collaboration to improve the yield potential of wheat, enhancing the crop’s long-term viability in the face of an increasingly variable climate.

While the announcement pertains to wheat in Australia, there could be impact on wheat varieties around the world.

Livestock and meatpacking

Editor Madelyn Ostendorf writes that Michigan reported its first case of avian influenza in a non-commercial, non-poultry flock in Kalamazoo County.

The USDA has quarantined the premises, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

The USDA announced it is making $215 million available to producers and meatpackers as grants and other support to expand meat and poultry processing options, strengthen the supply chain, and create opportunities in rural areas.

“For too long, ranchers and processors have seen the value and the opportunities they work so hard to create move away from the rural communities where they live and operate,” U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says.

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