The dawn of March 2: fairness, equity top of Vilsack’s priorities | 2021-03-02
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlines some new steps he is taking to ensure fairness and fairness in farm payments and markets.
Vilsack is forming an equity commission that will investigate, among other things, what he calls the “cumulative effect” of past discrimination. Vilsack told the National Farmers Union that he wanted to “eliminate” any vestige of systemic discrimination in USDA programs. What is obviously not yet clear is what equity looks like in farm programs and what policy changes it might pursue.
Take note: Vilsack also announced that he had brought in a progressive political analyst as an advisor on market fairness. Andy Green is an attorney and former aide to Senator Jeff Merkley who joined the Center for American Progress in 2015. Green has co-authored a number of reports containing far-reaching recommendations on market reforms.
On the climate: Vilsack stressed that agricultural carbon markets must first and foremost benefit farmers, not investors. And he told the NFU that agriculture offers a chance for the Biden administration to achieve “early gains” in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
To learn more about these actions and Vilsack’s remarks to the NFU, visit Agri-Pulse.com
Crop insurance guarantees on the rise
The prices of the commodities on which the USDA bases crop insurance coverage will be up sharply this year due to the surge in exports and significantly improved markets that farmers are seeing. A higher spring price increases the income guarantee and the borrowing capacity of the farmer.
The spring price of corn determined by the USDA’s risk management agency will be $ 4.58 a bushel, the highest spring price since 2014 and 18% higher than last year, according to an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation. Spring prices for soybeans and cotton are the highest since 2013.
Biden’s USTR vows not to repeat trade war with China
The office of the U.S. Trade Representative pledges not to take the same unilateral action of hitting China with tariffs as the agency did during the Trump administration. These tariffs resulted in retaliatory rights that hit American farmers hard and forced the United States to compensate by distributing $ 28 billion in mostly direct payments under the Market Facilitation Program.
“America’s farming communities have been overwhelmed in recent years by erratic trade actions that have been taken without a broader strategy,” the USTR said in its Commercial program 2021 and annual report 2020 which was released on Monday. “The Biden administration is committed to standing up for America’s farmers, ranchers, food manufacturers and fishermen by pursuing smarter trade policies that are inclusive and work for all producers.”
Brazil soybean production forecast increases
The soybean harvest in Brazil is accelerating and farmers in the county will produce even more than expected this year, according to consultancy firm AgRural, based in the southern state of Parana. The company has raised its production forecast to 133 million metric tonnes, from 131.7 million, now that harvest is one-quarter complete.
Good harvest weather in parts of Brazil allowed many farmers to get out into the fields last week, and on Thursday 25% of the country’s harvest was complete – a jump from 15% the week before.
Still, Brazil’s pace this year is the slowest it has been in 10 years, AgRural says. Brazil’s harvest was 40% complete around the same time last year.
Triggering DMC Payments for January
Producers who have selected Level 1 and Level 2 coverage levels for the Dairy Margin Coverage program will receive payments for January.
The actual national average margin for January was $ 7.14 per cwt. As a result, dairy operations that have selected Level 1 to $ 9.50, $ 9, $ 8.50, $ 8, $ 7.50 and Level 2 to $ 9.50 margin coverage levels. $ 8 and $ 7.50, will receive payment, depending on USDA.
California dairy farmer Steve Maddox is happy to see the program working as expected.
“It’s a type of risk management rather than a support program, (and) that margin insurance seems to work,” he said. Agri-Pulse.
DMC payments are triggered when the difference between the national price of all milk and the national average feed cost (the margin) falls below the trigger threshold of the margin selected by the producer. Level 1 coverage ranges from $ 4 to $ 9.50 and level 2 coverage ranges from $ 4 to $ 8.
USDA Seeks Comments on ReConnect Final Rule
USDA’s Rural Utilities Service is seeking feedback on a final rule establishing a program to develop high speed Internet access across the country.
The final rule establishing the USDA’s ReConnect program was filed in the Federal Register on Friday. Launched as a pilot program in 2018, the Rural eConnectivity Program has provided loans, grants and loan / grant combinations to deploy broadband in rural areas that do not have a minimum of 10 megabits per second for download. and 1 megabit per second for downloading.
Comments are expected on April 27.
HHS seeking information on the successes and challenges of rural telehealth
The federal government is seeking scientific information to help identify and synthesize the available evidence on rural telehealth.
The Agency for Research and Quality of Health Care of the Ministry of Health and Social Services is request for published and unpublished research to help support the continued expansion of rural telehealth and the conversion of pro-telehealth policies into ongoing programs.
The agency asked a series of questions regarding the impact of provider-to-provider telehealth, which it defined as “any telecommunications-facilitated interaction between healthcare professionals or their support, designed to improve access. , quality of care or health outcomes. for patients and rural populations.
The agency requested information before March 30.
He said it : “Things have changed. It’s a different department. It’s a different time, and frankly, I’m a different person. – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack presented his political priorities to the National Union on Monday. farmers.
Questions? Tips? Contact Philip Brasher at [email protected]