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CCFB News» June 2022

Family Farm and Food Bytes

06/10/2022 @ 1:35 pm

FARMLAND MARKET STAYS HOT - the amount farmland sales and prices paid by buyers remained well above average through the first quarter of 2022. It appears that the trend could continue. (FarmWeek)


SWEET LEGISLATION PASSES IN ILLINOIS - There’s a new day to celebrate in Illinois. State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, sponsored legislation which recognizes Aug. 1 as Sweet Corn Appreciation Day. The day will commemorate all sweet corn growers and farmers across the state. (FarmWeek)


STRONG FORECAST FOR WATERMELON - US Watermelon production increased last year and 2022 is expected to be strong for watermelon growers. The US economic research service reported watermelon import values rose from 21.9 million, up from 13.2 million in 2020. With high shipping costs and import issues, this year is forecast to be a particularly strong one for US watermelon growers. (US Economic Research Service)


PROPOSED SEC RULE COULD REACH NEARLY EVERY FARMER - The American Farm Bureau Federation joined 119 other agriculture organizations in sending a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asking for an extension of time to comment on its proposed rule, “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate Related Disclosures for Investors.”


The SEC - whose primary purpose is to protect investors, maintain efficient markets and facilitate capital formation - now wants to require public companies to report data about their entire supply chain. Nearly every farmer’s and rancher’s products eventually touch a publicly traded company, meaning that farmers and ranchers could be forced to report personal information and business-related data. (AFBF news)


NEW STUDY FIND CONSUMERS FOCUS ON PRODUCE PRICE, WANT LOCALLY GROWN - Produce price replaced appearance and quality as top consumer consideration in 2021, the Food Marketing Institute reported. The 2022 Power of Produce Study showed 25% of consumers ranked price the most important factor when buying produce. 19% named appearance. 19% selected health benefits as a top consideration. Ripeness was a major factor for 15% of those responding. 56% of those responding want their produce department to sell more locally grown produce. Convenience remains popular with shoppers as well. (FarmWeek)


CONSUMERS WANT FOOD FROM U.S. CROPS – Consumer support of domestic agriculture has only grown stronger in the past year. A new survey from the United Soybean Board shows 78% of consumers say it’s important to purchase U.S.-grown food. This is an 8% increase since the last survey in December 2020. (Feedstuffs)



A unique commercial venture announced will bring a new oilseed crop to market, create an agriculture source for renewable diesel and provide environmental benefits, Mike DeCamp, CEO of CoverCress Inc. (CCI), told FarmWeek. CCI and Bunge Ltd. unveiled a partnership to produce and process CoverCress, a new oilseed crop developed by CCI. The seed company will contract with Midwestern farmers to grow CoverCress over the winter between a corn-and-soybean rotation. Bunge will buy and process the grain and sell the low-carbon feedstock to Chevron U.S.A. Inc. for renewable diesel and aviation fuel production. DeCamp said CCI anticipates harvesting its first commercial seed crop later this year and the first grower-contract fields to be planted this fall. Depending on seed availability, some 10,000 to 15,000 acres will be planted in the fall, he added. (FarmWeek)


REGIONAL FOOD DISTRIBUTOR ENVISIONS FOOD PARTNERSHIP IN CHICAGO AREA. The Common Market specializes in connecting local family farms with schools, hospitals and other institutions seeking locally grown and raised foods. The nonprofit, regional food distributor selected the Chicago area for its newest location. Co-founder Haile Johnston told FarmWeek the Chicago area seemed a great fit as one of the country’s largest urban centers with leadership in food and food aggregation and a vibrant food scene. Yet, the area also struggles to support small- and medium-scale family farms and is home to food-insecure communities where families face significant economic challenges. “Chicago is a place that could really benefit from partnerships,” Johnston said. (FarmWeek)


CORN FARMERS PASS MARKETING REFERENDUM - Illinois corn farmers overwhelmingly approved raising the checkoff rate they pay when marketing their grain. By a 1078 to 141 vote, farmers passed a March 29 referendum to raise the existing rate by one quarter cent per bushel announced the Illinois Department of Agriculture. (FarmWeek)


ARS DEVELOPS MITE-RESISTANT, WINTER HARDY BEES - The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) developed honey bees resistant to Varroa mites and twice as likely to survive through winter compared to standard honey bees. The Pol-line honey bees were tested head-to-head alongside standard honey bees in commercial apiaries that provide pollination services and produce honey. The Pol-line colonies, which received no fall mite treatments, had a winter survival rate of 62.5% compared to 3% survival of standard bees that also received no fall Varroa mite treatments. When both Pol-line and standard colonies received fall and December Varroa mite treatments, Pol-line bees’ winter survival rates increased to 72% and the standard bees’ survival increased to 56%. (FarmWeekNow)


USDA PLANS TRADE MISSIONS TO EXPAND EXPORTS - USDA will sponsor missions to the United Kingdom in June, Philippines in July, Kenya in October and Spain in November to help expand export opportunities. “I believe we should look for ways to showcase what we have to offer," said Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. (FarmWeek)


COMMUNITY COLLEGES GROWING WORKFORCE FOR HEMP, CANNABIS INDUSTRY - Illinois is seeding the state’s hemp and cannabis industry workforce at community colleges around the state. Seven community colleges across Illinois are licensed by IDOA and the Illinois Community College Board to offer certificates in a vocational cannabis pilot program. The colleges include: Kishwaukee College, Oakton Olive-Harvey College, Shawnee Community College, Southwestern Illinois College, Triton College and Wilbur Wright College. (FarmWeekNow)



About Family Farm and Food Bytes: This is a collection of articles gathered from both mainstream and agriculture media and is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader within the Cook County Farm Bureau® organization. The articles summarized above are not intended to represent Cook County Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to provide members an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally, and globally.

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