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The PSA Annual Convention Recap

Those that joined us in Waikoloa Hawaii participated and enjoyed the beautiful weather at the 96th Annual Pacific Seed Association Convention which was held at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Waikoloa, Hawaii.    On behalf of the PSA Board of Directors I would like to thank each and every one of you who contributed to the success of this convention.  The sponsors are the key to the success of the convention and we appreciate their support of the Association and its activities.  (A list of all the sponsors for each of the events are linked later in this article – please take a look at all of the links.)
 
President Carolyn Lockwood along with Chair Katy Soden led an outstanding program of events.  From the industry speakers, educational speakers, the entertainer, painting, mixology and golf to the wonderful nights of socializing to the final Luau and the amazing talents of the island musicians and dancers.  Our appreciation to golf chair Mike Ingham for another successful day on the links.

Read the Full Convention Recap Here

PSA Educational Quarterly Lunch Meeting

You are all invited to join us on Zoom for the 1st PSA Educational Quarterly Lunch Meeting.   The PSA board members in partnership with the PSA Communications Committee voted to begin a series of educational programs for PSA members.   Plans are to have a quarterly lunch meeting from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm (pacific time) on the last Wednesday of each quarter featuring a speaker on various topics to enhance our educational outreach program to benefit all members.  These quarterly meetings will be complimentary to all members.  Our first one is scheduled for March 30th from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm (pacific time) and our featured speaker will be Marilyn Freeman from Farmers Communication Exchange.  Marilyn will be discussing the importance of Social Media and Digital Communication.  She will cover the role and significance of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as effective tools in communication on the global online market. When used properly, social media networks can provide some huge boosts to your sales and brand recognition. Are you making the most of it?  How can social media help agriculture?  Social media also provides seed companies with a quick and easy way to build relationships and interact with people in agriculture. Social media creates a much broader agriculture community, so obstacles like physical distance and isolation are issues of the past.

If you are interested in participating simply email Donna@agamsi.com to receive the complimentary zoom or Outlook Invitation link. 

USDA to Invest $1B in Establishing Climate Smart Commodities

While speaking at Lincoln University in Missouri, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack unveiled the USDA’s Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative.

By authorizing $1 billion in funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation, Vilsack says the partnership will provide grants to partners to implement pilot projects that will help incentivize farmers to adopt climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on working lands; measure/quantify, monitor and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices; and develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.

Funding will be provided in two funding pools, and applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov. The first funding pool for proposals from $5 million to $100 million will need to apply by April 8, 2022. The second funding pool with proposals from $250,000 to $4,999,999 will have until May 27, 2022 to apply.

Proposals must provide plans to pilot implementation of climate-smart agriculture and/or forestry practices on a large-scale, including meaningful involvement of small and/or historically underserved producers; quantify, monitor, report and verify climate results; and develop markets and promote climate-smart commodities generated as a result of project activities.

“Our goal is to fund a portfolio of projects” Vilsack says with a wide range from cropland, specialty crops, livestock, forestry and rangelands, large and small. “It has to be available to all producers of all sizes, all methods, all types of production,” he adds.

Chlorpyrifos Ban Will Remain in Effect While Lawsuit Proceeds

A federal court denied two requests by agricultural groups for a stay of EPA's current chlorpyrifos ban, but the groups' latest lawsuit against the agency will be allowed to proceed, reports DTN/Progressive Farmer.

That means, for now, chlorpyrifos food residue tolerances remain revoked, making use of the insecticide on food or feed crops illegal as of Feb. 28, 2022.

A coalition of four agricultural groups -- the American Soybean Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sugarbeet Growers Association and the Cherry Marketing Institute -- have led the charge in challenging the ban in court.

The groups filed an initial lawsuit against EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on Feb. 9, asking for a stay of the de facto ban and its ultimate dismissal. On March 15, the court denied both requests, because they were filed before the ban went into effect on Feb. 28.

On the day the ban went into effect, the groups then filed a second petition of review and -- a few days later -- also filed a motion to stay the ban while the case is heard. The court has agreed to hear that new lawsuit, but denied that stay request, as well.

"We are obviously disappointed with the court's decision to deny the motion to stay the rule while the case is being heard, but still strongly believe EPA's action to revoke tolerances of chlorpyrifos is inappropriate and is neither consistent with the law nor the agency's own science and record," said a statement from the coalition, emailed to DTN. "We are evaluating the court's decision and discussing among our coalition what is required for the next steps."

USDA: American Agricultural Exports Shattered Records in 2021

In a statement, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the American agricultural industry posted its highest annual export levels ever recorded in 2021.

The final 2021 trade data published by the Department of Commerce this morning shows that exports of U.S. farm and food products to the world totaled $177 billion, topping the 2020 total by 18 percent and eclipsing the previous record, set in 2014, by 14.6 percent.
The United States’ top 10 export markets all saw gains in 2021, with six of the 10 – China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines and Colombia – setting new records.

Worldwide exports of many U.S. products, including soybeans, corn, beef, pork, dairy, distillers grains and pet food, also reached all-time highs. China remained the top export destination, with a record $33 billion in purchases, up 25 percent from 2020, while Mexico inched ahead of Canada to capture the number two position with a record $25.5 billion, up 39 percent from last year.

Commerce Rules UAN Fertilizer Imports Are Unfair

\The Commerce Department issued a preliminary finding that imports of urea ammonium nitrate solutions (UAN) from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago were sold into the U.S. at below market prices, paving the way for anti-dumping duties and drawing the ire of farmers that need affordable fertilizer.

The preliminary ruling that Russia and Trinidad and Tobago are “dumping” UAN onto the U.S. market means Commerce will begin collecting cash deposits this week until the duties and the ruling are finalized. The final determination won’t be issued until summer.

Separately, Commerce issued a preliminary ruling in November that Russia and Trinidad and Tobago are unfairly subsidizing UAN exports to the U.S. That decision will allow the department to collect countervailing duties (CVD) on top of the dumping duties.

All of this means that a key fertilizer is going to get more expensive for U.S. farmers, according to National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington.
“We are deeply disappointed by this development,” Edgington told Agri-Pulse. “Corn growers are already feeling the financial pressure from the high costs of nitrogen fertilizers, which will only increase once these tariffs are put in place. The expected price hikes and fertilizer shortages that the tariffs will create may cause farmers to change their planting rotations right before planting season.”

The ITC and Commerce Department were petitioned by the Illinois-based CF Industries Holdings, Inc.

CF Industries President and CEO Tony Will lauded the decision, saying, “Commerce’s affirmative preliminary antidumping and countervailing duty determinations not only address unfair trade practices that have harmed the U.S. UAN industry and its workers, but also help ensure that this vital product remains readily available to U.S. farmers from reliable domestic suppliers.”

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