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Farm Bill disaster relief to be addressed in 2022

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 8:38 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -With the rise in fertilizer prices, farmers aren’t the only ones who will be spending more money in 2022. Food prices are also predicted to be higher next year. Researchers estimate a 5% jump in food prices for just the first half of next year. Supply chain disruptions along with increasing inflation are the reasons why. Prices for staples like dairy products, bread, produce, snacks and alcohol will see the highest increases. Factors contributing to the rise in costs also include higher labor, packaging, shipping, and logistics costs for supermarkets. That follows the trend for this year when we saw prices for food consumed at home jump by almost 6 and a half percent.

Supply chain issues are getting better--at least according to the Biden Administration. In a meeting last month, Biden’s Supply Chain Task Force reported shorter wait time for shipping containers held at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Those 2 ports handle 40% of the imports into the US. Since mid October, the Port of Long Beach has decreased container unloading time from 12 days to 5. The Port of Los Angeles has gone from 9 days to 4. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack along with other members of the task force is also working to cut some of the red tape for trucking companies by changing the registration of apprentice truck drivers from 2 months to 2 days.

Hog numbers are decreasing in the US. As of December 1st, there were just over 74 million head across the country-- down 4% from last December. The breakdown includes 68 million head of market hogs and almost 6.2 million head of breeding animals. Iowa continues to be the biggest hog producing state with almost 24 million head with Minnesota second at just under 9 million hogs. Wisconsin’s hog inventory hasn’t changed from last year as we now have 370 thousand hogs on farms across the state.

The Farm Bill will get the attention of Congress in 2022 even though we’re not scheduled for a new farm law until 2023. At one of the House Agriculture Committee’s first hearings in 2022, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack will update the committee on farm bill oversights. House Ag committee ranking member Glenn Thompson says one of those oversights is providing more disaster relief for farmers in the new Farm Bill.

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