EU helps farmers release fallow land; US Farm Groups Demand CRP Flexibility – AgFax

Wheat harvest. Photo: K-State Research and Extension – Creative Commons

Bloomberg News reported yesterday that “European Union proposes €1.5 billion ($1.65 billion) funding package for farmersmore release fallow land for crops because it seeks to strengthen food security after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“Food prices have soared as the war has halted most shipments from Ukraine, a major grain and chicken exporter. In the First time release of agricultural crisis funds, the bloc plans to provide 500 million euros of funding that member states must distribute to farmers most affected by high energy and fertilizer prices, officials said. EU countries could then top up these funds with their own resources to reach the total of €1.5 billion.

The Bloomberg article noted that “other measures release nearly 4 million hectares of fallow land for crops in 2022, officials said. Although it will not be the most productive land, it will give farmers more flexibilitythey said.”

And Reuters editors Philip Blenkinsop and Gabriela Baczynska reported yesterday that “the European Union will distribute 500 million euros ($550 million) to help farmers and enable them to grow crops on fallow land to mitigate food price spikes and potential shortages resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine.

“Published on Wednesday, the proposals of the EU’s executive European Commission also include assistance to Ukraine to help its farmers sow corn and sunflower seeds and grow wheat.

Meanwhile, Reuters editors Leah Douglas, Christopher Walljasper and Karl Plume reported yesterday that “Farmer groups are asking the United States Department of Agriculture allow farmers to plant on acres set aside for conservationto help fill the shortage of Ukrainian corn, wheat and sunflower oil amid Russia’s invasion of the country.

In a letter to US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday, seven farm lobby organizations representing US farmers, feed producers, grain exporters, millers, bakers and oilseed processors asked the USDA to give farmers the ability to plant crops on more than 4 million acres. of “prime farmland” currently listed in the Farm Service Agency’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) without penalty.

The Reuters article stated that “the letter, signed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Grain and Feed Association and others, echoes a March 8 request from U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas, as well than to calls from agricultural economists.

“‘This is a wartime emergency,’ said University of Illinois agricultural economist Scott Irwin. “It’s very clear to me that the world needs acres of corn and wheat this spring, and where are we going to find them? »

Wall Street Journal writers Saeed Shah, Nazih Osseiran and Nicholas Bariyo reported on Wednesday’s front page that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spread the pain in the developing world. He stimulated the greatest price shock in the decades and muffled imports of commodities, triggering shortages particularly difficult for the poorest countries which were already far behind in their economic recovery after the pandemic.

“In Kenyarecent bread prices jumped 40% In certain regions. In Indonesia, the government has imposed controls on cooking oil prices…[and]…in Turkeya sharp increase in the price of sunflower oil triggered panic buying. People scaled supermarket shelves and climbed over other shoppers to grab what was left. Street protesters in Iraq angry at rising food priceswere called the ‘revolution of the hungry.'”

Neil MacFarquhar, writing on the front page of The New York Times on Wednesday, reported that “[President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine] continues to address parliaments around the world via video link, the Italian Parliament has warned that famine would hit parts of the world if farmers in Ukrainegreat wheat producer, were unable to work. “Famine was approaching for several countries” that depended on Ukrainian corn, oil and wheat, he said, including North African states just across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy. .

On ongoing fertilizer issues, Reuters writers Tom Polansek and Ana Mano reported yesterday that “skyrocketing fertilizer prices are pushing farmers around the world reduce its use and reduce the amount of land they plantUkraine-Russia conflict fallout warns some ag industry veterans food shortages.”

Polansek and Mano noted that “Reuters spoke to 34 people on six continents, including grain farmers, agricultural analysts, traders and farmer groups. All expressed concern about the cost and availability of fertilizers.

“In the United States alone, fertilizer bills are expected to jump 12% this year, after increasing 17% in 2021according to data from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). »

DTN writer Russ Quinn reported yesterday that “Strength returns to the retail fertilizer marketaccording to prices tracked by DTN for the third week of March 2022.”

In part, Quinn noted that “DAP increased by 11% compared to last month with an average price of $970/tonne.

“Both MENU and urea have been 7% more expensive. Urea was $954/ton, a all-time high in DTN’s price reports, while MAP had an average price of $1,001/tonne. The last time MAP broke above the $1000/tonne level was the third week of November 2008, when the price was at $1039/tonne. The all-time high price for MAP in the DTN dataset is $1,079/ton in the first week of November 2008.

“Besides, 10-34-0 is up 5% of last month. The average price of starter fertilizer was $876/ton.

“The remaining four fertilizers were slightly higher than last month. Potash had an average price of $843/ton, anhydrous $1,520/ton (all time high price), UAN28 $610/ton (all time high price) and UAN$32,706/tonne (all time high price).”

In production-related news, Reuters writer Alexander Schummer reported yesterday that, “Canadian farmers could face another drought this yearjust as the world is counting on the breadbasket nation to grow larger crops of wheat and canola to reduce food inflation fueled by the Russian-Ukrainian war.

“Dry conditions reduced last year’s Canadian crop, and wheat crops in the United States and China are now in trouble. In 2020, before the drought, Canada’s wheat exports accounted for 13% of the wheat traded globally, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, in an op-ed today, Bloomberg’s Javier Blas pointed out that “the world is once again facing critical food price junctures. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended one of the world’s most important breadbaskets, pushing the cost of wheat to an all-time high. Vegetable oil and corn prices are also rising.

“Food-importing countries are understandably worried. Fortunately, there is enough rice this time around to keep prices moderate..”

Blas explained that “rice matters because it is the staple diet of half the world’s population, including around one billion undernourished people living in Asia and West Africa. The worst food riots during the crisis 2007-08 were not about the price of bread, but about the cost of a bowl of rice. Right now, rice is all that stands between us and a real food crisis..”

Blas added that, “If major rice exportersespecially India and Vietnam, had to restrict rice exports this year, it could trigger a panic. New Delhi and Hanoi should avoid the temptation. There’s a lot at stake.”

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