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· $500 Million for US Fertilizer Production Among Measures Announced by Biden
· Biden sees bigger role for US farms due to Ukraine war
$500 Million for US Fertilizer Production Among Measures Announced by Biden
By NAFB News Service
via Hoosier Ag Today (IN) - May 11, 2022
President Joe Biden visited an Illinois farm Wednesday to announce several measures for U.S. farmers following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as plans to offset the rising costs of farm fertilizer.
The first measure would double funding for domestic fertilizer production. President Biden says he is increasing his initial $250 million investment in domestic fertilizer production to $500 million to lower costs and increase the supply for farmers.
The second measure would increase the number of counties eligible for double cropping insurance. The Biden administration is seeking to expand insurance for double cropping to as many as 681 additional counties, bringing the total number of counties where this practice qualifies for crop insurance to as many as 1,935, so more American farmers have the financial security to start or expand double cropping.
The third measure would cut costs for farmers by increasing technical assistance for technology-driven precision agriculture and other nutrient management tools...
Biden sees bigger role for US farms due to Ukraine war
via KTIC - May 12th, 2022
KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — President Joe Biden vowed to help American farmers try to ease a global spike in food prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as he visited a family farm Wednesday and unrolled policies meant to increase harvests in ways that the administration believes could also help to reduce grocery bills at home.
“I stand here today to thank American farmers who are the breadbasket of democracy,” Biden said. “We can make sure that American agricultural exports will make up for the gap in Ukrainian supplies.”
His administration announced three policy shifts to help U.S. farmers amid the global challenges. These include doubling funding for domestic fertilizer production to $500 million, greater access to farm management tools for plant and soil needs, and efforts to increase the number of counties eligible for “double cropping” insurance so that farmers can reuse their land for planting in the same year.
Biden noted that Ukraine has 20 million metric tons of wheat and corn in storage that the U.S. and its allies are trying to help ship out of the country. This would help to address some supply issues, though challenges could persist.
The war in Ukraine has disrupted the supply of that country’s wheat to global markets, while also triggering higher costs for oil, natural gas and fertilizer. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said its food price index in April jumped nearly 30% from a year ago, though the index did decline slightly on a monthly basis. Americans are also bearing some pain as food prices are up 9.4% from a year ago, the largest increase in 41 years.
Biden toured the 800-acre O’Connor Farms in Illinois with its owners, Jeff and Gina O’Connor. They’re growing wheat to be harvested in July and will later use the same land for soybeans. Biden asked to drive one of their tractors, only to be told it drives itself.
Surveying the wheat, the president observed, “It looks healthy to me.”
Wednesday’s trip was an opportunity for Biden to tackle two distinct challenges that are shaping his presidency. First, his slumping approval rating has been dogged by high inflation and his visit coincided with the release of the April consumer price index...
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