Washington DC Updates

May 5, 2022

Biden proposes $500 million to address food shortages related to the Ukraine crisis

On April 28, the Biden Administration sent Congress a $33 billion supplemental spending request to address the ongoing Russian conflict in Ukraine. The Administration proposes spending $500 million to urge U.S. farmers to increase the production of soybeans, wheat, and other crops to help address global food shortages. This encouragement would come in the form of increased marketing loan rates and crop insurance premiums. Marketing loan rates for wheat would be raised from $3.38 to $3.52 per bushel, while loan rates for soybeans and other oilseeds would be raised by 40%. Other crops such as rice and pulse crops would see rate increases of 21%. One of the goals of the program is to compensate for half of the wheat Ukraine typically exports.

House Appropriations Subcommittee holds hearing on FY23 USDA Budget

On April 28, the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and related agencies met to discuss the FY23 Budget Request for USDA. The primary topics of discussion were challenges with the global supply chain crisis, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, domestic agricultural supply, and investing in small farmers and producers.

Specifically, Representatives Betty McCollum and John Moolenaar discussed the effects of HPAI in their states and asked Secretary Vilsack if the USDA needed additional investments and what role these investments would play in agricultural research. Secretary Vilsack responded by saying that research and development are a crucial tenet of the FY23 budget request. The U.S. must get ahead in these areas to improve resistance to diseases.

Deadline for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities is May 6

The deadline for proposals for the first round of funding for the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities is this Friday, May 6, at 11:59 pm ET.  This funding deadline is for the pool that includes large-scale proposals from $5 million to $100 million that emphasize the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production, and include direct benefits to production agriculture, including small and historically underserved producers.

Applicants for the second funding pool have until June 10, to submit their applications. This funding deadline is for the pool that includes innovative pilot projects that place an emphasis on the enrollment of small and underserved producers, and/or monitoring, reporting and verification activities developed at minority-serving institutions. Instructions on applying can be found here.