Diesel Prices Soar, Farmers Feel the Pain

While many are noting the difference between gasoline and diesel prices lately, the American Farm Bureau Federation says there are many factors that impact those prices. The diesel market is tight and will likely remain so throughout the end of 2022. The underlying increase in demand shows no sign of letting up, while it’s anyone’s guess when Russia’s actions in Ukraine will come to an end and bring some sense of normalcy back to the oil markets. Because of these combined factors, divergence between diesel and gasoline prices is likely to remain high, at least in the short to medium term.

The latest Market Intel from American Farm Bureau digs into the driving factors behind the soaring diesel prices.

Farmers Urge Intervention to Prevent Rail Strike

The potential for a railway shutdown because several rail unions have yet to ratify a labor agreement has farmers worried about how they’re going to get their just-harvested grain to market. And looking ahead, they’re concerned that a shutdown will prevent the delivery of critical inputs, like fertilizer, in time to start planning for the next season.

The strike threat comes amidst already poor – though improving slightly – rail service conditions, a long-term truck driver shortage, and dangerously low water levels on the Mississippi River.

Last week, more than 300 agriculture-related organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, urged President Biden to continue to work with the railroad unions and railroads to ensure that the tentative agreement he helped broker this summer is ratified by the parties.

Though 6 of the 12 unions have approved the agreement, 2 have rejected it and there are concerns others may follow suit, the ag groups noted in the Oct. 27 letter.

“If that were to be the case, we could witness a strike that would shut down the entire freight rail system. Because the White House played such a central role in the process, we believe it can be helpful in continuing to move the process forward in a positive direction. Otherwise, Congress will be called upon to act,” they wrote.

Under the Railway Labor Act, Congress can impose a resolution from Biden’s Presidential Emergency Board or order the trains to operate as usual with an extension of negotiations. Because congressional lawmakers won’t be returning to Capitol Hill until the week after the midterm elections on Nov. 8 — necessitating immediate action if congressional intervention is required to keep the trains moving — farmers and ranchers are already sending emails to their lawmakers asking them to prevent a shutdown.

You can check out NEFB’s Action Alert and email your lawmakers here.

Policy Forum Registration Open

The 2022 Nebraska Farm Bureau Policy Forum on Nov. 17 will be held as a virtual and in-person event. To participate virtually, county leaders will need to join via a Zoom webinar. *Zoom training is available if requested.

ALL participants who are ONLY going to attend virtually will NEED to register by Tues., Nov. 15 for the event.

Through the Zoom webinar and in-person meeting, members will be able to provide comments on resolutions summitted by their County Farm Bureau. Comments from county representatives will be limited to three minutes per issue/resolution, not including questions from the State Legislative Policy Subcommittee (SLPC).

There will not be a straw poll taken on individual resolutions again this year.

When there are no additional comments on the issue/resolution, the chair of the subcommittee will move on to the next issues/resolution.

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