Part of sustainability is working together, panel says
ly lookingatnewtechnologies.Howcanwe breed to reduce tillage?What are thediffer- ent things thatwecouldbedoing?” The panelists said being straight with people on how crops and commodities move from the field to the dinner table is vital for transparency and considerate of those who want to knowmore on where their food comes from. “I think we’re going to have to embrace anewlevel of transparency thatwe’venev- er seen before in agriculture,” said Justin Ransom, senior director of sustainable food strategy at Tyson Foods. This might be uncomfortable for some in the supply chain, headded, “not because there’s any- thingbador anything tohide, but because we’ve never been as transparent as we’re probably going to be in the next 10 years.” Ransom said the work is complicated, noting that cattlemakemany stops along the road from the rancher’s pasture to the Tyson plant. “How do we move two, three, four, five steps back in our supply chain to go in- teract with those people?” Ransom said. “We have to go find them, and we have to find a way to connect with them in a new and different way. I don’t know what the answer is today, but certainly (it is) some- thing we’re working on.” One point that all panelists agreed on: Farmers and ranchers need to tell their sto- ries to the public. That’s a tougher sell than it sounds, Iversonsaid. “I don’t know a single farmer that got
into farmingbecause they love to talkabout themselves andwhat theydo,” Iversonsaid. “Youknow, farmers tend tobeveryhumble people.Myfavoritetimeisinthetractoraway fromeverybodyandmyphone’snotringing.” People respect farmers, Iverson added, andwant to hear fromthem. “They want to hear what we say, but we tendnot tosay it, sosomeoneelsesays it for us,” Iverson said. “I think farmers need to do a better job at telling their story, show- ingwhat they’redoing,beingopenwiththe public, becausewe reallydon’t havemuch tohide.We’reprettyopenwithwhatwedo. We just don’t like to talk about it.” Eideberg said farmers should switch fromdefense to offense. “I hear so much from farmers on the defensive—rightly so—that ‘We’re doing it, we’re doing it right, back off, leave me alone,’” shesaid. “I think farmers shouldgo ontheoffensiveandsaywhat they’redoing right, andthenfindways todemonstrateso that they are bulletproof.” Crall said that storytelling is good, but storytelling backed up by ideas is better. “Farmers are innovators. They’re prob- lem solvers,” Crall said. “I think bringing forwardnot just your storiesbut your ideas, your experience, those tractor-cabconver- sations that you have in your brain every harvest—bringing those to the table is re- ally important.” (Kevin Hecteman i s an ass i stant editor of Ag Alert. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
ByKevinHecteman One of the challenges with sustainabil- ity is: What does the wordmean? Panelists at an American FarmBureau Federation Annual Convention break- out session agreed that it means different things todifferent people—and that farm- ers and ranchers need to do a better job of telling their stories to theAmericanpublic. At the session, heldMonday in Atlanta, moderator Roxi Beck of the Center for FoodIntegritysaidsome folks findtheterm “sustainability” irritating. She said that’s because “it doesn’t mean anything, or be- cause everybody has a different definition that isn’t consistentwithanunderstanding ofwhat’sgoingononthe farm, or isn’t con- sistent withmaybe the definition that the farmer has.” Beck defines sustainability as practices that are ethically grounded, scientifically verified and economically viable. Oregon farmer Jon Iverson, chairman of the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, noted that most farms have been tended by multiple generations of a family. “I don’t know how you define sustain- able other than that some of these farms have been around a hundred years,” Iverson said. “If we weren’t sustainable, wewouldn’t be in business today.” Sitting to Iverson’s right on the dais was Callie Eideberg, director of government policyat theEnvironmentalDefenseFund.
Shenotedthat farmersandenvironmental- istshavebeenat loggerheads fordecades— but recently her employer and AFBFwere talkingwitheachother inaproductiveway. EDF’s focus is on science and economics, she noted. “Why in the world wouldn’t you be partnering with the folks who have the ability to provide those solutions?” Eideberg asked. As part of that effort, AFBF and the Environmental Defense Fund co-chair the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance. For more information, go to agclimatealliance.com. Eideberg said her interest is in finding policies that work for all sides. “If a farmer is interested in an incen- tive-based process instead of a top-down regulation, I think that gets you results faster,”Eideberg said. “I don’twant to fight about these issues anymore; I want farm- ers tobenefit financially, andbenefit from healthy soils and higher yields.” JenniferCrall of BayerCropScience said heremployerhaswovensustainability into itsbusiness strategy,which includes sever- al climate-related goals. Among these are reducing on-field greenhouse-gas emis- sions in key crops and markets by 2030, and reducing the environmental impact of pesticidesby30%. Bayer also is empow- ering100millionsmallholder farmerswith access to agronomic knowledge. “Farmershave tobeat thecenter ofmak- ingthishappen,”Crallsaid.“We’reconstant-
California ag ocials will begin assessing civil penalties this year for violations of laws in e ect since 2019 to protect bees. Under the law, beekeepers must:
Agricultural Market Review Quotations are the latest available for the week ending January 7, 2022 Year Ago Week Ago Latest Week Livestock Slaughter Steers – 5-Area Average Select & Choice, 1050–1150 lbs., $ per cwt. 111-112 135 138 Hogs – Average hog, 51-52% lean, Iowa-Minn. market, $ per cwt. 63.24 71.35 74.04 Slaughter Lambs – $ per cwt. 125–175 lbs. National weekly live sales 146.51-158 222.91-237.09 224.36-243 Field crops – basis prompt shipment Barley – U.S. No. 2, $ per cwt. Truck, Stockton-Modesto-Oakdale-Turlock No Quote No Quote (holiday) No Quote Cotton – ¢ per lb., Middling 1 3/32” Fresno spot market 76.60 85.14 85.10 Corn – U.S. No. 2 yellow $ per cwt. trucked 6.27 No Quote (holiday) 7.64 Alfalfa Hay – $ per ton, quality*, FOB Region 1, Northern Inter-mountain 180 (F/G) No Quote (holiday) No Quote Region 2, Sacramento Valley 280 (orchard mix) No Quote (holiday) No Quote Region 3, Northern San Joaquin Valley 245-250 (F/G) No Quote (holiday) 315-355 (G/P) Region 4, Central San Joaquin Valley No Quote No Quote (holiday) No Quote Region 5, Southern California 250 (P) No Quote (holiday) 320 (P) Region 6, Southeast Interior 200-205 (S) No Quote (holiday) 260-300 (G/P) Oat Hay – $ per ton, quality*, FOB Northern California, dairy No Quote No Quote (holiday) No Quote Oats – U.S. No. 2 white, $ per cwt. Statewide, trucked price No Quote No Quote (holiday) No Quote
Register annually with the county Ag Commissioner.
Cleary mark hives with name, address and phone number. Notify county within 72 of hive relocation.
Watch a video tutorial on using BeeWhere to comply with California laws: californiastatebeekeepers.com/beewhere/
Dry Beans – Grower FOB prices Baby Limas, $ per cwt, (sacked) Large Limas, $ per cwt. (sacked) Blackeye, $ per cwt. (sacked)
No Quote No Quote No Quote
No Quote (holiday) No Quote (holiday) No Quote (holiday)
No Quote No Quote No Quote
Fo l low @BeeWhereCA on Facebook F O R M O R E I N F O R M A T I O N Vi s i t beewhereca l i forni a . com or beecheck .org
Rice – Milled No. 1 Head, FOB No. Calif. mills Medium grain, $ per cwt. Wheat – U.S. No. 2 or better, winter, $ per cwt. 13% protein, Los Angeles, trucked price
No Quote (holiday)
No Quote No Quote Provided by the California Farm Bureau as a service to Farm Bureau members. Information supplied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market News Branch. * ADF=Acid detergent fiber; (S) = Supreme/<27%ADF; (P) = Premium/27-29; (G) = Good/29-32; (F) = Fair/32-35. No Quote (holiday)
January 12, 2022 Ag Alert 13
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