Family Farm and Food Bytes
ORGANIC CERTIFICATION COST ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE (FarmWeekNow) - Organic producers and handlers can apply for federal funds to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Certified producers and handlers are now eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 50% of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope.
Applications for eligible certification expenses paid between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, are due Oct. 31 at local Farm Service Agency offices.
Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent. Eligible expenses for cost-share reimbursement include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.
FOOD PRICES EXPECTED TO GO UP 3%, THE HIGHEST INCREASE SINCE 2011 (CBSLA) – Groceries are taking a bigger bite of household budgets these days. According to Fern’s AG Insider, the USDA predicts grocery prices will rise 3% on average this year, the highest increase the U.S. has seen since 2011.
EVERYTHING AT THE GROCERY STORE IS GETTING MORE EXPENSIVE (CNN) – Grocery prices have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic. That has Americans spending more at the supermarket than they have in years.
FOOD IS GROWING MORE PLENTIFUL, SO WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP WARNING OF SHORTAGES? (NPR) – There's a common warning about our planet's future: the risk of food shortages. But, in fact, the long-term trend, for more than a century, has been toward ever more abundant food, and declining prices.
FSA AND FARM BUREAU ON CFAP EXTENSION (RFD TV) – USDA extends its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program deadline to September 11th. The agency also added more commodities to the eligibility list.
FACT CHECK: PIGS AREN’T POISONOUS (Reuters) – Posts on Facebook claim that pigs are “poisonous”, that they are difficult to kill with strychnine or other poisons, that they harbor over a dozen parasites, and that “there is no safe temperature at which pork can be cooked” to ensure that such parasites will be killed. This claim is largely false.
USDA PROJECTS RECORD CORN, SOYBEAN YIELDS (Farm Week Now) - The Ag Department’s August crop production report released Wednesday, August 5 projects national yield records this season of 181.8 bushels per acre for corn, up 3.3 bushels from the June forecast, and 53.3 bushels for soybeans, up 3.5 bushels from the previous forecast.
The yield estimates, based on Aug. 1 conditions prior to Aug. 10 storm damage in the Midwest, pushed total crop production projections to a national record 15.3 billion bushels of corn, up 12% from last year, and 4.42 billion bushels of beans, up 25% from 2019.
In Illinois, soybean estimates of 64 bushels per acre with production at 662 million bushels both are the highest in the nation. Statewide corn estimates of 207 bushels per acre and production of 2.21 billion bushels are both second-highest nationwide.
USDA lowered its season average price estimates to $3.10 per bushel for corn (down a quarter) and $8.35 per bushel for beans (down 15 cents).
IFB COVID-19 RESOURCE HIGHLIGHT: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended the hours of service waiver originally set to expire August 14. Those waivers can now be used until September 14, 2020. Learn more on our COVID-19 page.
FARM SALES WILL LOOK DIFFERENT THIS FALL, REQUIRING MORE WORK FROM POTENTIAL BUYERS (DTN) – The coronavirus has forced farmland brokers to get creative. Typically, they're busy setting their fall auction line-up this time of year, but now they're also having to take local rules on the size of permissible gatherings into account.
STATE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT CAPTURES FIRST MALE ASIAN GIANT HORNET DETECTED IN THE U.S. (Q13 FOX) – The first male Asian giant hornet in Washington state and the first in the U.S. has been captured, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
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.