Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 2.28

February 28, 2022


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

Big Picture Outlook

Russia and Ukraine

Early last Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine. This operation is the biggest attack on a European state since World War II, prompting tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. President Biden announced sanctions targeting Russia’s economy, financial system, and access to cutting-edge technology. Putin ordered his country’s deterrence forces — including nuclear arms — onto their highest state of alert on Sunday, citing NATO leaders making “aggressive comments about our country.”  When asked about the possible impact at the USDA Ag Outlook Forum, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said one of his biggest immediate concerns is the possible impacts on fertilizer or other input supplies for farmers. Given the potential length of the conflict and impact on grain exports, U.S. commodities may be needed to fill supply gaps. Over the weekend, the U.S. and allies announced additional restrictive measures.


The Senate has passed a bill to fund the government through March 11, averting a partial government shutdown that would have otherwise occurred after midnight on Feb. 19. The final vote was 65 to 27, which included several Republicans voting for the bill. Republicans who voted against the bill raised concerns with increases in government spending and record-high inflation levels. Lawmakers are still working on an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government through September. It is expected that supplemental funding for defense and humanitarian needs related to the Ukraine could be considered as part of those negotiations.

Farm Bill

Activity related to the 2023 Farm Bill continues this week in the House with a hearing on Tuesday to discuss “Commodity Group Perspectives on Title 1.” During the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) 2022 Winter Policy Conference, the organization and its members set ten policy advocacy efforts toward the bill in specific areas. NASDA CEO Ted McKinney remarked, “The next Farm Bill must remain unified, securing a commitment to American agriculture and the critical food and nutritional assistance programs for those who need it most.”

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, March 1

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing on “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Commodity Group Perspectives on Title 1”
  • 9:00 PM EST: President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union

Wednesday, March 2 

  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutrition holds a nomination hearing to consider the following nominations to be Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission: The Honorable Christy Goldsmith Romero, Ms. Kristin N. Johnson, Mrs. Summer Kristine Mersinger, and Ms. Caroline D. Pham

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

A Quick Look Back

“Preparing for and Mitigating Foreign Influence Operations Targeting Critical Infrastructure” Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

“U.S. EPA Commits to Increasing Biofuel Use, Targets Not Yet Finalized” Reuters

“Plastic Pollution is Exploding While Policies to Address the Problem Remain Weak” The Hill

“President Biden and U.S. Department of Transportation Announce Historic New Funding to Strengthen Port Infrastructure and Supply Chain Resiliency” U.S. Department of Transportation

“EXCLUSIVE U.S.-UAE Push for Another $4 Billion in Farming Climate Change Investment” Reuters

“House Agriculture’s Scott Says Farm Bill Should Address Cannabis” Roll Call

“MacKenzie Scott Pledges $50 Million To 4-H Youth Programs” Forbes

“Study: Ethanol Industry Strongly Rebounded in 2021, Supported Over 400,000 Jobs” DRG News

“USDA Commits $215 Million to Enhance the American Food Supply Chain” USDA

“United States Advances Agricultural Innovation at Inaugural AIM for Climate Ministerial” USDA

“Biden Says U.S., Partners Working on Global Oil Reserve Release” Reuters

“Grains and Oilseeds Outlook for 2022” USDA

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