Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 3.14

March 14, 2022


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

Big Picture Outlook

Government Spending

On Thursday, Congress cleared a $1.5 trillion package to fund the federal government through September and to deliver $14 billion to help Ukraine. The Senate approved the over 2,700-page measure by a vote of 68-31 less than two days after the bill passed the House. The bill was signed by President Biden on Friday, avoiding a government shutdown before a midnight deadline. The overall package includes 25.125 billion in discretionary funding for food and agriculture programs.

Farm Bill

As conversations continue on the 2023 Farm Bill, the House Agriculture Committee held a hearing last Tuesday on “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Rural Development” with Under Secretary for Rural Development, Xochitl Torres Small. The conversation focused on expanding rural broadband through the Reconnect Program and strengthening the rural economy through infrastructure and stronger supply chains.

The House Agriculture Committee has a hearing  this Wednesday on “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: The Role of USDA Programs in Addressing Climate Change.” Stakeholders are expected to share their perspectives on the use of Federal programs to address climate change. Many are looking at how those efforts will be considered in the next Farm Bill.

Russia and Ukraine

As the war continues in Ukraine, there is increased focus on the impact on grain, fertilizer, and other commodity prices, further driving up food costs. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) issued an assessment Friday, estimating 20% to 30% of Ukraine’s winter wheat, corn, and sunflower crops may not be planted or go unharvested this year. Wheat prices would increase by 8.7% to 21.5%, depending on how much exports are reduced from Ukraine and Russia. Corn prices would rise by 8.2% to 19.5%. FAO said fertilizer prices would likely increase another 13% because of the war’s impact on the prices of crude oil and crops.  The organization cautioned countries against imposing export restrictions and supported efforts to keep trade in food and agriculture sectors open. The U.S. joined G7 counterparts in an Ag Ministers’ meeting on Friday and released a joint statement. The Ministers condemned the invasion and expressed shared commitment to safeguarding food security and nutrition, to strengthening supply chains, to avoiding export bans and other trade-restrictive measures, and to maintaining open and transparent markets. 

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, March 15

  • 10:00 AM: Senate Finance hearing to Examine the Promise and Challenge of Strategic Trade Engagement in the Indo-Pacific Region

Wednesday, March 16

  • 9:00 AM EST: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine will virtually address the United States Congress
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing on “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: The Role of USDA Programs in Addressing Climate Change”
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Environment holds a hearing on “Fighting Fire with Fire: Evaluating the Role of Forest Management in Reducing Catastrophic Wildfires”

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

A Quick Look Back

“USDA Announces $35 Million Funding Opportunity to Support Underserved and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers” USDA

“USDA Announces American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Investment to Benefit Underserved Farmers, Ranchers and Forest Landowners” USDA

“USDA Announces Plans for $250 Million Investment to Support Innovative American-made Fertilizer to give US Farmers more choices in the Marketplace” USDA

“22 U.S. States Back Stringent EPA Vehicle Emissions Rules” Reuters

“House Republicans Call for End to Vaccine Mandates for Foreign Truckers, Agricultural Workers at the Border” Fox News

“Congress Set to Cut Funds That Made School Meals Free” U.S News

“US Beef Industry Emerges from Biden’s Climate Pledges ‘Relatively Unscathed’” The Guardian

“World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” USDA

“Boozman Calls on USDA to Allow Flexibility to Counter Market Disruptions in Global Crop Markets Caused by Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine” Senator Boozman

“Focus Needed on Safety in Changing Food System, Say Reports” Food Safety News

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