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Build Back Better initiative providing billions in agricultural spending

Food system investment

The US Department of Agriculture announced plans to invest billions to strengthen food systems. As part of the Build Back Better initiative the USDA says it will invest $4 billion into supply chains to help the food system, create new market opportunities, tackle climate change and support jobs.

  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the funding comes from lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as other recent disruptions. He is confident the investments will spur billions more in dollars from the private sector. Funding will come from the American Rescue Plan Act and earlier pandemic assistance.

Grassley asks USDA to ignore court ruling

  An Iowa Senator wants the USDA to hold up on court compliance. The Department of Agriculture may have agreed to go along with a court order ending faster pork line slaughter speeds.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the cost could be huge with Iowa as the number one hog producer in the nation. He plans to lead a letter to Secretary Vilsack asking him to defend the inspection program that allows for faster line speeds. Grassley says six plants will be forced to reduce output.

“And of course, by extension, the number of hogs they can purchase and process. That’s all going to reduce national packing capacity by 2.5%, Iowa State University saying, dropping the price by $23 an animal. The total economic loss of this decision to hog farmer is estimated to be $80 million for this year,” Grassley says.

A look at the markets

Analyst Dan Hueber has the midweek market details:

“We have somewhat of a mixed bag, there’s only one positive out there which is nearby corn, which is good in the respect we see bull spread happening again, the past week market has been more of a bear spread with the new crop gaining more than the old, that’s reversed in the last day and a half but markets just had a big exciting monday looked like we were going through the roof and we spent the rest of the week just taking part of that back and being indecisive. Cattle bit of a positive action here we haven’t really traded too far, we kind of moved past the JBS panic of last week and have pushed back against recent resistance here of the 117 area on the June. Look like they want to sling a bit higher from here but pretty good overhead resistance. But pretty good competition in the meat counter here at this point in time. So it might be too hard to be carried away. That said June hogs higher here again, this hog market continues to move into higher highs. Again we’re not quite back to the record highs in 2014 on the Junes, but you know 121, not too many times in history we’ve seen these prices. Back months continue to falter a little bit a word of caution, pork prices in China really tumbled here.”

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