Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 11.1

November 1, 2021


  • Big Picture Outlook
  • Thoughts from Team Torrey
  • The Week Ahead
  • A Quick Look Back

Big Picture Outlook

Social Spending Framework Announced

Last Thursday, the White House announced the framework of President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” social spending package. The price tag sits at $1.75 trillion, down from the original estimates of $3.5 trillion. The framework includes more funding addressing climate change than any law to date. The draft bill invests $105 billion in climate resilience activities and incentives to address extreme weather such as wildfires, drought and hurricanes, including forestry, wetlands and agriculture. The framework also includes $28 billion in conservation funding, including $25-per-acre annual payments to farmers for cover crops and increases to many of the farm bill conservation programs. Congress still needs to finalize legislative text for the framework, and progressives have signaled there will likely be the votes needed to get it across the finish line. House committee chairs have the weekend to offer revisions to the initial 1,684-page draft of Biden’s bill. A markup is not scheduled, but Democrats on the House Rules Committee plan to reconvene early this week to continue teeing up the bill for floor action.

Further Stalling on Infrastructure Vote

Last Thursday, a third attempt to vote on the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was abandoned as progressives firmly opposed doing so without deeper assurances on the larger social spending package. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team wanted to expedite that timeline by clearing the bipartisan infrastructure bill to give Biden a legislative victory as he left for Europe for a global climate change summit. A rare visit to the Capitol from President Biden did not sway Democrats to vote immediately on the infrastructure bill. With federal highway programs set to expire on Oct. 31, Democratic leaders voted Thursday night on a short-term extension through Dec. 3, which lawmakers passed handily on a bipartisan basis.

UN Climate Change Conference

Agriculture’s role in addressing climate change will be a special focus at the COP26 conference, which kicked off yesterday in Scotland. The international conference has a goal of getting the world on the path to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Nov. 5-6 are set aside for events around “nature and land-use.” Agriculture is a significant component in the increased commitments the United States and other countries are making to help meet the global goal. President Biden’s efforts with Congress would provide the funding, including for agriculture, that would help meet the new U.S. commitment to slash emissions in half by 2030. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be in Glasgow Nov. 4-6, accompanied by a small team of USDA staff, to showcase the Department’s efforts to address climate change. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and National Farmers Union President Rob Larew are also expected to speak at the conference this week.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, November 2

  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Subcommittee on Nutrition, Agricultural Research, and Specialty Crops holds a hearing to discuss to examine the state of nutrition in America 2021.

Wednesday, November 3

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing to discuss The Immediate Challenges to our Nation’s Food Supply Chain.

To see a full list of House and Senate Committee business, visit here.

A Quick Look Back

“Surge in U.S. ethanol production could use the exports to match” Reuters

“US Department of Labor Initiates Rulemaking to Protect Workers, Outdoors and Indoors, from Heat Hazards Amid Rising Temperatures” US Department of Labor

“USDA Announces Over $243 Million in Grants Awarded to Strengthen the Specialty Crop Industry” USDA

“Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on President Biden’s Framework for the Build Back Better Act” USDA

“USDA Announces Early Release of Select Commodity Tables for Agricultural Projections to 2031” USDA

“NIFA Invests Over $50M for Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development” National Institute of Food and Agriculture

“NIFA Invests Nearly $25M in Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network” National Institute of Food and Agriculture

“New ag trade education council formed” National Hog Farmer

“Ag Funding in President Biden’s Agenda” Progressive Farmer

“Senators ask to meet with White House on biofuels” Biodiesel Magazine

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