Louisiana Conservation and Commodity Updates- April 2021

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Louisiana Conservation and Commodity Updates- Issue-4

Expiring CRP influence on Climate Policy

The current cap on CRP acreage is 25 million acres. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, the CRP acres were to increase to 27 million acres gradually; however, only 20.8 million acres are currently enrolled. And about 3 million acres are set to expire in September 2021. These marginal lands play a significant role in achieving the proposed goal of net-zero emissions from US agriculture. Many point out that decreasing payment rates and removing bonuses previously provided to encourage participation is affecting enrollment. The program might see some changes in the near future as the administration continues its push toward enrolling 30% of working lands in some form of conservation by 2030.

Global Pesticide Pollution Study

A global study use data on application rates of 59 pesticides, 21 insecticides, and 19 fungicides to estimate residues remaining in the environment, and potential threat to land, water, and biodiversity. The study shows the extent of agricultural land contaminated by different pesticides. The study can be found here (https://go.nature.com/3ncllq9). The Pie charts represent the percentage of acres affected by the number of plant chemicals.

WASDE Report

The latest WASDE report suggests the 2020/21 outlook for coarse grains and oilseeds is higher production and larger stocks relative to the previous month. Whereas for rice, the outlook is lower supplies, lower consumption, less trade, and low ending stocks. The below table compares the price outlook for major crops. A green arrow indicates a price increase from march, a red arrow indicates a price decrease, and a yellow indicates no change.

Ag Startups focusing on Efficiency

Some startups around the world are experimenting with the use of robots, handheld devices, and cloud services to automize farm activities.

  1. Naio Technologies – uses its electric robots to help with weeding and other farm activities.
  2. RootWave, a startup that relies on passing electricity through the weed plant to burn them inside out.
  3. AGRIVI provides a suite of data services to automize farm activities based on information collected on the farm. • TIPA is another startup that focuses on packaging material for farm products that decomposes within 180 days

US Supreme Court sides with Georgia on Water Use

Water use from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint basin, which supports the Atlanta population and agriculture in the southwest part of the state, was pointed as culprits for the collapse of the Apalachicola Bay Oyster industry in Florida. Florida argued for a reduction in water withdrawals. In contrast, Georgia argued that the current water use from the Flint River is reasonable, and lower water levels downstream are due to various factors, including climate change. The supreme court decision likely puts an end to the water war that brewed in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida for over three decades.

Congressional members ask for $10 billion for coastal restoration

Representatives Bonamici (D-Ore) and Posey (R- Fla) asks the president to allocate $10 billion for coastal restoration and resilience projects. These funds are expected to help with blue carbon sequestration. Natural infrastructure to protect coastal communities from natural disasters, habitat protection, removal of marine debris, and support several existing programs. They reminded that $167 million allocated during the Obama administration were used to support more than 125 restoration projects. The funds had an economic impact of supporting 15 jobs for every million invested to as many as 30 jobs for labor-intensive restoration projects. The letter can be read here https://bit.ly/3asJsvJ

Duties on Phosphate Fertilizer

The US Commerce Department is moving forward with its plan to impose duties on Moroccon and Russian phosphate fertilizers following the International Trade Commission ruling that the imports are hurting the US Phosphate companies. According to the US Department of Commerce, the US imported about $730 million worth of phosphate fertilizer from Morocco and $300 million from Russia in 2019. The US will levy 19.97% duty on imports from Moroccan producer OCP, 47.05% on Russian producers PhosAgro and EuroChem, and 17.2% on all other Russian producers.

Corteva drops Dicamba approval

Corteva plans to drop its effort to get approval for Dicamba from EPA; instead, it intends to focus on Enlist weed control system. The decision is partly influenced by potential drift, environmental concerns, and pending lawsuits. The company is expecting to increase its Enlist share from 20% to 30% this coming year.

An ambitious plan for EQIP and CRP

The lawmakers proposed a bill recommending an increase to EQIP and CSP funding. It includes an increase in EQIP funding from $1.75 billion in 2019 to $7 billion per year by 2024 and a similar increase in CSP funding from $700 million in 2019 to $7 billion per year by 2024. The bill also proposes an increase to the CRP enrollment acreage to 40 million acres. The purpose is to improve the adoption of climate stewardship practices. The proposed bill cites the presidents’ new infrastructure package that includes $1 billion earmarked for agriculture resource management, is too vague, and does not address climate policy. Although such an increase in conservation dollars would be significant for addressing natural resource concerns, getting it approved could be an uphill task.

Questions and comments: Dr. Naveen Adusumilli; 318-884-0514 (m); nadusumilli@agcenter.lsu.edu; Dr. Hua Wang; hwang@agcenter.lsu.edu; Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

6/24/2021 2:22:59 AM
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