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POLICY WATCH

Farm and Ranch Votes Matter

The Primary Election is coming! On Tuesday, May 10, farmers and ranchers will have an opportunity to vote and have a clear say in what they want for the future of our state.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Political Action Committee (NEFB-PAC) has announced its slate of endorsements for candidates seeking election to national and state public office. The NEFB-PAC endorsements are based on the candidate’s positions on agriculture and rural issues and recommendations from district evaluation committees made up of farmer and rancher members.

This year, the NEFB-PAC endorsed Jim Pillen in a six-person race for governor. The NEFB-PAC also endorsed Bob Evnen as secretary of state, John Murante as state treasurer, and Mike Hilgers as attorney general. Three federal candidates have been endorsed, Reps. Don Bacon and Adrian Smith, and District 1 Republican candidate Mike Flood. Paul Kenney has been endorsed for District 6 University Board of Regents and 14 legislative candidates were also endorsed.

For more information and to see the full slate of candidates, view the Nebraska Farm Bureau 2022 Voter Guide.

USDA-RMA Announces Additional Changes to Livestock Programs

RMA recently announced updates to Livestock Risk Protection (LRP), Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP), and Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) to offer better protection and more flexibility for livestock producers. Producers will now have more flexibility for DRP, LGM, and LRP, when indemnities are used to pay premiums, which can help producers manage their operation’s cash flow. With these updates, producers can now have both LGM and LRP policies, although they cannot insure the same class of livestock for the same time period or have the same livestock insured under multiple policies.

Updates by insurance option include:

Dairy Revenue Protection—Dairy producers are now able to continue coverage even if they experience a disaster, such as a barn fire, at their operation.

Livestock Gross Margin—Cattle, Dairy, and Swine coverage has been expanded, making it available to all counties in all 50 states.

Livestock Risk Protection—Insurance companies are now required to pay indemnities within 30 days, rather than the previous 60 days following the receipt of a claim form. RMA has also increased head limits:

  • Fed Cattle—12,000 head per endorsement and 25,000 head per crop year
  • Feeder Cattle—12,000 head per endorsement and 25,000 head per crop year
  • Swine—70,000 head per endorsement and 750,000 head per crop year

The termination date under LRP has been extended from June 30 to August 31 and location requirements have been relaxed to list only state and county, rather than the precise legal location.

To inquire about these options, please contact your local crop insurance agent that is approved to sell livestock policies.

SEC Climate Rules Represent a Real Threat to Agriculture

By Jordan Dux: Director of National Affairs

Well, it looks like they’re at it again. Recently, the Biden administration through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), released a new rule that will require publicly traded companies to provide climate-related information to investors in their filings and annual reports. While seemingly innocuous, this new requirement not only forces companies to report their own direct greenhouse gas emissions, but also the emissions of their entire supply chain. What does this mean for farmers and ranchers you ask? Like most things that have to do with new federal regulations, it’s not an easy question to answer. The SEC’s historic role is to protect investors by monitoring and requiring publicly traded companies to disclose important financial information to help display an accurate picture of the company’s present and potential performance. Fast-forward to present day and we now have this relatively small agency pushing out a new 510-page rule that includes 1,068 technical footnotes and 750 direct questions, that will now expand what these companies have to report into the realm of greenhouse gas emissions. For farmers and ranchers, it appears publicly traded companies who utilize the commodities that are producers by farm and ranch families will now have to determine the specific greenhouse gas emissions throughout their supply chain. Whittling 510 pages down to an overly simplified sentence, it appears the Biden administration will use a federal agency with no real environmental jurisdiction to force farmers and ranchers to monitor, calculate, and report their greenhouse gas emissions, with little regard for the privacy or protection of this data, to the companies who eventually sell them to consumers. The American Farm Bureau Federation has put together a fantastic summary of what we know about this rule and provides great analysis on its potential impact to agriculture. Outside of this, dare I say, crazy new rule’s requirements, the SEC has only given the public until May 20to provide input through the formal federal rule making process. This clearly isn’t enough time to provide comments on this potentially far-reaching expansion of the SEC’s regulatory authority. We need your help. Before May 20, we need you to submit comments to the SEC and tell them not only that this rule has the potential to place a significant new reporting and regulatory burden on farm and ranch families. We also need you to tell them that this comment period must be extended far beyond May 20 so that farmers and ranchers can have more time to provide comments to this rule as the middle of spring planting season is rarely a good time to seek input from our nation’s farmers. Nebraska Farm Bureau has made it easy for you to submit comments, and we would encourage all of you to click and share this link so that you and everyone you know who cares about agriculture can send a direct message to the SEC.

Ukrainian Farm to Meet with Agriculture Stakeholders

Join the discussion on the Ukraine war and what it means for global food security. Please join us Monday, May 9 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Nebraska Cattlemen office, 4611 Cattle Drive in Lincoln, or virtually via zoom to hear from Ukrainian farmer Roman Grynyshyn.

Roman is the founder and CEO of World to Rebuild Rural Ukraine (WRRU). He will speak first-hand about the war in Ukraine and its impact on agriculture. Ukraine is strategically important because it supplies food to more than 600 million people in the world. Roman is passionate about sharing the issues Ukrainian farmers are facing at this current time. He will also be sharing his efforts to directly address the needs of Ukrainian farmers.

WRRU is an organization dedicated to helping Ukrainian village citizens rebuild their homes and restore their small ag production capacities after damage by Russian military forces. Roman and his wife Lesya are from Kyiv, but currently live in Germany and are on a speaking tour to reach American farmers to share the message of their counterparts in Ukraine. 

According to the Ministry of Agriculture in Ukraine, their country produces enough agricultural products to feed up to 600 million people globally. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 20 to 30 percent of the arable lands in Ukraine will either not be planted or will remain unharvested during the 2022-2023 season as a result of the war. Acres successfully planted will be adversely impacted due to a lack of necessary inputs.

To learn more about the impacts of the war in Ukraine on agriculture and the mission of the World to Rebuild Rural Ukraine, visit their website www.wrru.org.

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