Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 3.28

March 28, 2022


Contents

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

Big Picture Outlook

President’s FY2023 Budget

President Joe Biden released the FY 2023 budget proposal, totaling $5.8 trillion yesterday. The budget would provide $31.13 billion in discretionary spending for USDA for the next fiscal year, $2.6 billion more than fiscal year 2022 levels. The increase would earmark $1.8 billion for climate-related programs, including $300 million in new funding for loans to convert rural electric cooperatives to clean energy sources. The budget proposes an additional $10 million for oversight of the Packers and Stockyards Act to implement and enforce three new rules that will be issued by FY 2023. The Natural Resources Conservation Service would get slightly over $1 billion for conservation technical assistance for FY23, and an additional $600 billion will be provided to USDA’s ReConnect grant and loan program for broadband expansion. In a statement released by Secretary Vilsack, he said, “The President’s budget provides USDA with the tools needed to support a vibrant, revitalized, and prosperous rural America.”

Farm Bill

The House Agriculture Committee continues to hold hearings, gearing up for the farm bill process. The Committee has held hearings on the role of USDA programs in addressing climate change, rural development, Title 1, and conservation programs in recent weeks. The House Agriculture Subcommittees on Biotechnology, Horticulture Research and on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations will continue talks on the 2023 Farm Bill this week. Today, the hearing will focus on horticulture and urban agriculture. The Senate Ag Committee will kick off farm bill hearings in earnest this spring with field hearings in Michigan and Arkansas. Leadership indicated that after these field hearings, title by title farm bill hearings will take place in DC.

Ocean Shipping Reform

TheOcean Shipping Reform Act was voted out of the Senate Commerce Committee by a unanimous voice vote last Tuesday. This bill would prohibit ocean shippers from declining to haul U.S. products without reason, which has recently left agricultural exports stranded on the West Coast, among other changes. So far, the bipartisan legislation has support from 27 senators and over 100 organizations and is being co-led by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Thune (R-SD). It is expected to be considered as part of a larger China competition bill that the Senate is taking up.

Russia and Ukraine

Ukraine’s agriculture minister, Roman Leshchenko, resigned on Thursday, a month after Russia launched a war that has forced one of the world’s largest grain producers to halt the export of some farm products. Ukraine’s parliament announced that lawmakers voted to approve the appointment of senior lawmaker Mykola Solskyi as his replacement. On Friday, Solskyi said that Ukraine’s grain stocks for export amounted to $7.5 billion but did not say the volume of grains for export. He also said that global food prices would continue to rise if the situation in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion did not change.

Key agribusiness groups and the American Farm Bureau Federation have urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to allow holders of contracts under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which idles land, to plant crops on that land to increase supply during the Ukraine war. They also want to make sure that only “environmentally sensitive” land is enrolled following the CRP signup that ended on March 11.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, March 29

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research holds a hearing to discuss “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Horticulture and Urban Agriculture.”
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Budget Committee holds a hearing to discuss The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA holds a hearing to discuss “Oversight: Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

Thursday, March 31

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture holds a hearing to discuss “State of the CFTC.”

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

A Quick Look Back

“USDA Announces More Resources to Increase and Expand Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity” USDA

“Senate Agriculture Committee Advances CFTC Commissioner Nominees” Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

“Agribusiness Groups, Farm Bureau Urge Use of CRP Lands for Grain” The Fence Post

“Biden Will Announce Joint Action on Reducing European Reliance on Russia Oil and Gas –White House” Reuters

“Vegetable Oil Emissions Study Reveals Urgent Need for Greener Growing Solutions” Phys.Org

“Study Reveals Nutritional Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture Crops” Food Navigator

“Competition Bill Could Carry High-Skilled Immigration Changes” Roll Call

“How a Biofuel Crop Can Mitigate Climate Change” Phys.Org

“Commission Acts for Global Food Security and for Supporting EU Farmers and Consumers” European Commission

“As Sanctions Bite Russia, Fertilizer Shortage Imperils World Food Supply” Reuters

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