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Shipping bill to help U.S. agriculture exports

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Legislative Watch: Privileges Act; meat exports benefit corn, soybean; corn acres down 4%; July 4 meal cost 17% more; ag supports Taylor; 2022 FSA elections.

Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA) and Jim Costa (D-CA) have introduced legislation to give preference to ocean shipping vessels that ship U.S. goods.

The "American Port Access Privileges Act" would give preferential treatment to ships arriving at U.S. ports for delivering its cargo if they agree to ship containers of U.S. exports or make stops at more than one U.S. port.  By serving both importers and U.S. exporters, ocean carriers would receive preferential treatment by moving them to the front of the queue for loading and unloading.

Garamendi said, "Foreign exporters' access to the American market and our consumers is a privilege, not a right. Cargo ships looking to offload foreign-made products and profit off West Coast ports must provide opportunities for American exports in return."

This legislation follows up on the recently approved "Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022" signed into law earlier this month. Representative Garamendi was a leader in the House on this legislation.

Meat exports benefit corn, soybean producers
The 2021 red meat exports of $18.7 billion benefited the nation's corn and soybean producers according to a recent study by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. 

According to the study:

  • Nationally, beef and pork exports accounted for 537 million bushels of corn usage, equating to $2.94 billion (at an average corn price of $5.48/bushel).
  • Pork exports accounted for 99.3 million bushels of soybean usage nationwide (the equivalent of 2.36 million metric tons of soybean meal), which equated to $1.3 billion (at an average soybean price of $13.13/bushel).
  • Beef and pork exports accounted for 3.4 million tons of DDGS usage, equating to $716 million (at an average price of $209.92/ton).

The study was conducted by the Juday Group, Berryville, Virginia.

Corn acres down 4%
The USDA's latest acreage report estimates planted corn acres at 89.9 million acres for 2022, down 4% from last year. Planted soybean acres is estimated 83.3 million acres, up 1% from 2021.

The report also found:

  • 93% of all corn acres planted are biotech varieties, same as in 2021.
  • Producers planted 95% of the soybean acreage using herbicide resistant seed varieties, unchanged from last year.
  • All wheat planted area for 2022 is estimated at 47.1 million acres, up 1% from last year.
  • All cotton planted area for 2022 is estimated at 12.5 million acres, 11% increase from last year.

The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service surveyed approximately 9,100 segments of land and more than 64,000 producers during the first two weeks of June.

July 4 cookout will cost 17% more this year
This year's July 4 cookout will cost 17% more than last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's latest survey.

The average cost of the cookout for 10 people is $69.68, or nearly $7 per person. The foods included cheeseburgers, pork chops, chick breasts, potato salad, pork and beans, lemonade, strawberries and ice cream.

Items showing increases were ground beef (+36%), boneless chicken breasts (+33%), pork and beans (+33%), center cut pork chops (+31%), homemade potato salad (+19%) and vanilla ice cream (+10%).  Those items that were lowered included strawberries (-16%) and sliced cheese (-13%).

This is the largest price increase in the 10 years AFBF has been doing the survey.

Ag supports Taylor nomination for Under Secretary for Trade
Alexis Taylor's nomination to be USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Services has received strong support from agricultural organizations. 

In a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee leadership, the groups said that "Taylor is a widely recognized leader on agriculture policy and has the domestic and international experience to shepherd U.S. agriculture through growing global changes of protecting food security, tackling inflation and expanding markets for U.S. agricultural products. She is a dedicated, hardworking, results driven public servant—qualities that are recognized by the large range of stakeholders supporting her nomination."

Those signing the letter included the AFBF, Animal Health Institute, National Farmers Union, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, North American Meat Institute and USMEF.

2022 FSA County Committee Elections
The USDA Farm Service Agency is now accepting nominations for the local FSA county committees.  Eligible producers can nominate themselves or another eligible producer.  Nomination forms are available here or at the local FSA office. Nominations close on Aug. 1.

There are over 7,000 members who serve on FSA local committees. These committees help determine how federal farm programs are administered at the local level.

Source: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. The opinions of this writer are not necessarily those of Farm Progress/Informa.

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