IFB News


SENATE HEARING FOCUSES ON NEED FOR AG LABOR REFORM – The future of undocumented farmworkers and needed changes in securing agricultural labor were the focus of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on July 21 featuring over two hours of questioning of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack during the first panel and additional testimony offered by the United Farm Workers as well as a pork producer and dairy farmer. (Feedstuffs)


HOW FOOD PRICES ARE AFFECTED BY OIL, TRADE AGREEMENTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE – The Consumer Prices Index, the measure most commonly used to measure inflation, rose by 2.5% in June 2021, the highest level for three years. That headline rate hides differences between the various things we buy, such as clothes, cars, leisure and food. In fact, food prices have actually been falling over the past few months compared to where they were a year ago. But there are fears they could rise—steeply—soon. (Science X)


ILLINOIS CROPS ARE RESPONDING TO THE RAIN – Corn silking reached 77 percent during the week ending July 18, 2021, compared to the 5-year average of 67 percent. Corn dough reached 9 percent, compared to the 5-year average of 7 percent. Corn condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. (WJBC)


A VARIETY OF MELONS: VENTURE BEYOND THE USUAL WATERMELON AND CANTALOUPE – Juicy, delicious melons are finally making their appearance at local farmstands and farmers markets and these days a range of unique and interesting varieties are available beyond the standard cantaloupe and watermelon. (Illinois Times)


WACHTEL-WENDTE CENTENNIAL FARM: INNOVATORS THEN AND NOW – More than a century ago, Doris Wendte's grandfather was the first Effingham County farmer to apply limestone to his fields. A slice of the family's sprawling farm in Moccasin Township north of Altamont has been designated a "Centennial Farm" by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. (Effingham Daily News)



NEW CO-OP IN MOUNT PULASKI HELPS AREA FARMERS REACH MORE CUSTOMERS – A new idea in Mount Pulaski called Illinois Farm-Fresh Enterprise Development Cooperative (FarmFED Co-op) will operate a facility that preserves the freshness and nutrition of local food through processing and freezing, allowing growers to bring bulk produce to the facility and make it available in a form suited for larger buyers like schools, hospitals and retail grocery stores. (The Courier)


WHITLEY NAMED FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack named Daniel Whitley the new administrator of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. Whitley has served as the agency’s acting administrator since December 2020 and a staffer at the agency for 20 years. (Feedstuffs)


LEARNING TO LOVE G.M.O.S – In the three decades since G.M.O. crops were introduced, only a tiny number have been developed and approved for sale, almost all of them products made by large agrochemical companies like Monsanto. Within those categories, though, G.M.O.s have taken over much of the market. And the potential benefits of modified crops have never been greater. (New York Times)


ISRAEL SHAKES UP AGRICULTURE SECTOR TO CUT PRODUCE COSTS – Israel's government on Wednesday unveiled a plan to lower fresh produce costs by cutting customs duties and opening the sector to competition, potentially ending years of prices far above Western averages. (Reuters)


FARM GROUPS ASK BIDEN TO SECURE BORDER, ENFORCE U.S. IMMIGRATION LAWS – The Texas Farm Bureau and 50 other state and national farming organizations have asked the Biden administration to “enforce legal immigration” after an influx of illegal immigration resulted in a crime wave impacting ranchers and farmers. (The Center Stage)



BIG INFRASTRUCTURE BILL IN PERIL AS GOP THREATENS FILIBUSTER – The bipartisan infrastructure deal senators brokered with President Joe Biden is hanging precariously ahead of a crucial Wednesday test vote as they struggle over how to pay for nearly $1 trillion in public works spending. (The Seattle Times)


ILLINOIS ALLOWS HOME COOKS TO SELL SHELF-STABLE FOODS BEYOND FARMERS MARKETS – The Illinois General Assembly passed a law this spring that will allow entrepreneurs to make direct sales and deliveries to customers beyond farmers markets. They will be able to sell their products across the state without a $1,000 monthly sales cap. (Marketplace)


ILLINOIS DELI MEAT MAKER TO BRING 475 JOBS TO MIDTOWN ST. LOUIS – Meat manufacturer Deli Star Corp. is expanding and relocating to Midtown in a move expected to bring 475 jobs to St. Louis. The company is renovating 104,080 square feet of space at the Villa Lighting Building at 3049 Chouteau Ave. Production is expected to begin in 2022. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)


IMMIGRATION REFORM FOR H-2A AND UNDOCUMENTED FARM LABOR – Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley wants to do what he can to reform the H-2A guest-worker program to bring in legal year-round labor for agriculture, as long as any piece of reform legislation does not include "mass amnesty" for the hundreds of thousands of agricultural workers in the country now illegally. (DTN)


SOILS ARE DRIER FOR MOST OF ILLINOIS IN MID-JULY – Soil moisture levels have declined as most of the state dried out from a very wet end of June. Levels at the 4-inch depths have fallen an average of 5% so far in July. Only southern Illinois, which has received 3.46 inches of rain as of July 14, has seen overall soil moisture increases. (Journal Gazette & Times-Courier)


ANHYDROUS AMMONIA TRAINING FOR STATEWIDE FARMERS THIS FALL – Illinois growers and farm operators may fulfill new state requirements for mandated anhydrous ammonia certified grower training by enrolling in in-person training sessions this fall. (WSEI)



ILLINOIS CROPS CONTINUE TO THRIVE – Illinois’ corn crop continues to mature ahead of schedule. On Sunday, 77 percent of this year’s corn crop was silking, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Illinois Crop Progress and Condition Report. (The Telegraph)


CHINA IS BUYING UP AMERICAN FARMS. WASHINGTON WANTS TO CRACK DOWN – The push to drain China’s influence from the U.S. economy has reached America’s farm country, as congressional lawmakers from both parties are looking at measures to crack down on foreign purchases of prime agricultural real estate. (Politico)


BIDEN CLEAN ENERGY PLAN KEY TO RESTORING INDUSTRY JOB LOSSES, SAYS U.S. OFFICIAL – The U.S. energy sector lost 10% of its workforce last year due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report unveiled on Monday by U.S. government officials, who said President Joe Biden's clean energy plan was critical to reviving the industry. (Reuters)


BOOTLEG FIRE DEVASTATES SOUTHERN OREGON FARMERS, KILLS LIVESTOCK – The Bootleg Fire, Oregon's third-largest wildfire ever recorded, has devastated farm communities in Southern Oregon. The fire has burned more than 364,113 acres, an area larger than Los Angeles. It has killed and maimed livestock, consumed pasturelands and blanketed crops with smoke. (Capitol Press)


CHINA HAS HAD 11 AFRICAN SWINE FEVER OUTBREAKS THIS YEAR – China has had 11 African Swine Fever outbreaks and has culled 2,216 pigs due to the disease this year, a ministry of agriculture and rural affairs official said at a news briefing on Tuesday. (Nasdaq)


AFBF CONDUCTS DROUGHT SURVEY IN WESTERN U.S. – The American Farm Bureau Federation surveyed producers from 13 states in the Western U.S. to learn more about how drought conditions are impacting farmers. (KIWA)





WASHINGTON INSIDER: US, CHINA DISPUTE STILL PERCOLATING – The dispute between the U.S. and China at the World Trade Organization over China's implementation of their tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on grain imports continues to linger at the world trade body. (DTN)


IFB PRESIDENT: ILLINOIS FOOD SUPPLY REMAINS STRONG – In the U.S., we never ran out of food. We might have tightened supplies on certain items, but by no means are we doing without. Farmers have continued to grow and restock the food supply chain. (The Telegraph)


FOLLOWING DRY SPELL, LOCAL FARMERS SAY RECENT WEATHER IS HELPFUL – As corn pollinates and soybeans flower, local farmers say recent weather has been helpful for crops. With 22 years of experience, Peoria County Farmer, Rob Asbell said you learn that no two growing seasons are exactly alike. (WMBD)


ANIMAL AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATIONS LAUNCH AMBITIOUS NEW PROTEIN PACT – Twelve organizations representing farmers and companies who make the vast majority of America's meat, poultry, and dairy, as well as animal feed and ingredients, today (Monday) unveiled the Protein PACT for the People, Animals, and Climate of Tomorrow - the first joint initiative of its kind designed to accelerate momentum and verify progress toward global sustainable development goals across all animal protein sectors. (Business Insider)


THE RIGHT TO REPAIR BROKEN TECH IS KEY TO FARMERS – The Federal Trade Commission is turning its attention to the right-to-repair movement — a pushback against manufacturers limiting who can repair the equipment they make. The FTC is set to vote Wednesday on next steps. (MarketPlace)


HERE'S WHY USDA'S WHEAT PRODUCTION ESTIMATE MAY STILL BE TOO HIGH – As rains swept portions of the Corn Belt still parched and searching for rain, not every area of the country saw rain relief. USDA hinted at just how dreary the outlook is for the U.S. wheat, as the spring planted crop is suffering from too much heat and not enough rain. (AgWeb)

About Leader Page: This collection of articles from mainstream and agriculture media is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader in our organization. The articles here are not intended to represent Illinois Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to give you an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally and globally.