Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 4.25

April 25, 2022


Contents

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

Big Picture Outlook

Farm Bill   

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry is beginning its farm bill process with afield hearing in Lansing, Michigan on Friday, April 29 entitled “Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: 2023 Farm Bill Perspectives.” The chair of the committee, Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), is focused on hearing how Congress can “strengthen this important legislation, grow our economy, and build a stronger food supply chain .” Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) stated that “the needs of each region and each commodity must be balanced, which is why it is crucial that we hear directly from agricultural stakeholders from across the country.” Another field hearing is expected to take place in Arkansas in the coming months, followed by title-by-title farm bill hearings in Washington, D.C. The House Agriculture Committee is continuing with their farm billhearing process on Thursday with a review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Rail Service

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) will hold a hearing on Tuesday and Wednesday to solicit input from stakeholders on recent rail service issues, with all six Class I railroads scheduled to testify. Witnesses will also include several ag and food industry representatives, including NGFA, AFBF, TFI, Growth Energy, Corn Refiners, labor unions, and officials from, DOT, USDA and FMC. Members of the Agriculture Transportation Working Group STB last Thursday called for the board to address current rail service issues, voicing support for a public comment process on a petition that would allow rail customers to penalize railroads for inefficient use of private railcars, asking for additional data reporting requirements for rail lines, and urging the STB to finalize its proposed rule on competitive switching. On Friday, the STB proposed new rules that would allow rail shippers to more easily petition regulators to intervene in a time of emergency. They will be accepting public comments on the proposal until May 23, and it will likely be discussed during this week’s hearing.

Food Security

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and finance ministers from G7 and G20 nations to address the global food crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. During a panel, she warned countries to avoid imposing export restrictions on food related products to discourage any further rise in prices and urged world finance leaders to take decisive action in supporting international financial institutions as they seek to combat food insecurity. Secretary Yellen also expressed her commitment to international humanitarian aid by stating that “Even as we continue escalating our sanctions and other economic measures against Russia, we reiterate our commitment to authorizing essential humanitarian and related activities that benefit people around the world — ensuring the availability of basic foodstuffs and agricultural commodities.”

Waters of the United States 

Farm and conservation groups across the country along with 45 senators and 154 House members filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court challenging the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” in the Clean Water Act. The Supreme Court will review the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in properly upholding the federal government’s test of what is considered Waters of the U.S. It is expected that the case will be argued this summer.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, April 26

  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry holds ahearing to review S. 4030, the Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022, and S.3870, the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022

Wednesday, April 27

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture Committee holds a hearing to discuss “An Examination of Price Discrepancies, Transparency, and Alleged Unfair Practices in Cattle Markets”
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies holds a hearing to discuss Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Food and Drug Administration with FDA Commissioner Robert Califf

Thursday, April 28

  • 10:00 AM EST: House Agriculture holds a hearing to discuss “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program”
  • 10:00 AM EST: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies holds a hearing with USDA Secretary Vilsack
  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies holds a hearing to Review of the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request for the Food and Drug Administration with FDA Commissioner Robert Califf

Friday, April 29

  • Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry holds a hearing to discuss Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: 2023 Farm Bill Perspectives from Michigan

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

A Quick Look Back

“Price of Corn Hits 9-Year High as Surge in Commodities Continues”CNBC

“Canola Oil Proposed by EPA as Feedstock for Renewable Diesel and Newer Biofuels” U.S. Canola Association

“National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Regulations Revisions” Federal Register

“Ethanol Producers Hope New Tax Credit Will Bring Higher Blends to Gas Pumps Nebraska TV

“Regenerative Agriculture: Farm Policy for the 21st Century” NRDC

“White House Announces ‘Rural Playbook’ and 30-Community Tour, Starting in Iowa” The Daily Yonder

“Court Lifts Block on Biden Admin. Immigration Enforcement Memo” Reuters

“Economic Report of the President” The White House

“Fact Sheet: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Releases Agency Equity Action Plans to Advance Equity and Racial Justice Across the Federal Government” The White House

“IMF, World Bank, WFP and WTO Urge Coordinated Action on Food Security” Reuters

“Pesticide Approval System to be Revamped, According to EPA Ag Web

“Rep. Fischbach Introduces the SHIP IT Act with Rep. Donalds” Michelle Fischbach

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

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