U.S. Senate passes climate change legislation aimed at reducing agricultural emissions


U.S. Senate passes Growing Climate Solutions Act

The U.S. Senate has passed new legislation for climate change. The Growing Climate Solutions Act passed in a 92-8 vote. The legislation is aimed at helping producers access carbon markets and get paid for reducing emissions.

Carbon markets have been tried before and haven’t worked because of a lack of farmer interest and participation, but this would create a more reliable system for the private and voluntary options.

The act is supported by more than 75 agriculture-related groups. The American Farm Bureau says it appreciates a bipartisan solution. The National Farmers Union says leveraging every sector to work on climate change can help protect the planet.

Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report shows Iowa inventory is down

The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report came out on Thursday, showing Iowa inventory is down.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, there were 24.2 million hogs and pigs on Iowa farms, down about a 100,000 head from last year.

The quarterly pig crop was 5.81 million head, down 2% from the year before, with a total of 510,000 sows farrowed. The average pigs saved per litter was 11.4 for the quarter.

Iowa continues to be the top hog producer in the nation, producing just under a third of the entire crop. The next largest producers are Minnesota and North Carolina, which each produce around nine million head.

A look at the markets

Grains and cattle are in the red, but hogs are seeing a bit of a rebound. Analyst Alan Brugler has the week recap:

“We’ve seen some selling pressure this week in corn and soybeans. Of course we had a big down day a few days back and the market is still trying to recover from that. A lot of news items, increased rainfall in Iowa and even scattered showers in North Dakota and South Dakota. Good range in Central Nebraska. There’s still some problem areas, of course, but the markets are concluding it’s not a 2012 drought. At this point, we just don’t have the setup, so taking a little risk premium out of the market. Cash cattle market has been fairly firm this week, pretty good support on the cash side. The board had a pretty good rally one day then gave a lot of it back because it had gotten ahead of the cash and we are in the middle of a delivery of June futures. The picture going forward will be determined by the cattle on feed report and how the market wants to react to that on Monday. Hogs have been ugly. They’ve been selling off for several weeks now after rallying for the entire first five months of the year. We did have the hogs and pigs report on Thursday that said hog producers are not expanding. The sow numbers are down. The pigs per litter were down due to some PRRS outbreak this spring, and so a little tighter hog supplies, but the big concern is this export demand whether it’s backing off.”

Experimental vaccine protects cattle from Johne’s disease

The Agricultural Research Service announced a new vaccine that can protect cattle.

The experimental vaccine can protect cattle from the bacterium that cause Johne’s disease, which is a chronic intestinal disorder that can cause weight loss, poor health and sometimes death.

The USDA says Johne’s disease is prevalent in dairy herds, costing the industry more than $220 million annually.

The research is not released yet and is looking for more efficacy trials, ideally with an industry partner.

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