Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a cross-border security agreement with one of his counterparts, the governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo León Wednesday, which should alleviate some of the delays at border crossings that have trucks backed up with all manner of goods, including perishable fruits and vegetables.
Abbott has been requiring the Texas Department of Public Safety for about the past week to re-inspect trucks from Mexico after they had already been cleared by U.S. Customs & Border Protection, creating traffic jams at entry points 
resulting in damage to millions of dollars of goods, according to the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. Abbott said he was doing so to stem the influx of migrants, but so far, Texas DPS has only found safety issues with some of the trucks.
Mexican truckers also started blockading the entry point to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge on their side of the border on Monday, in protest of the policy.
At a press conference, Nuevo León Gov. Samuel Alejandro García Sepúlveda said to ensure continued flow of commerce, he had agreed to enhance security along his side of the border, including increased patrols to prevent migrants from entering Texas. Abbott plans to reach similar agreements with other governors to ease trade.
The International Fresh Produce Association said late Wednesday it was “encouraged by recent announcements that some of the border crossings in Texas have been reopened.” But IFPA Chief Policy Officer Robert Guenther also said that Abbott’s action “has resulted in a huge backlog of fresh produce….  In some cases there are reported delays of 30-plus hours at the border.”
Senate leaders announce farm bill hearings
Senate Ag Committee leaders have set a date for their first hearing on the 2023 farm bill. It will be held in East Lansing, Michigan, on April 29, Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman announced Wednesday.
At Michigan State University, the committee will hear from farmers and an as-yet-unreleased slate of witnesses.
Stabenow said she and Boozman are committed to passing a bipartisan farm bill. She will join Boozman for a second hearing in Arkansas in the coming months.
Read our story here on Agri-Pulse.com
House Ag to haul in beef CEOs
Top executives from the four major meatpacking companies will testify before the House Ag Committee at an April 27 hearing on cattle markets, Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., said yesterday.
Scott said he's hoping to "get the full picture of why prices have gone up for consumers and down for ranchers.” He added that the committee will convene a second panel made up of ranchers to hear what industry consolidation has done to their bottom lines.
Lithuania vows to help Ukraine export grain
Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Kęstutis Navickas is pledging to help Ukrainian farmers export their corn and wheat to customers in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, 
according to a report from the consulting firm APK-Inform. 
Ukraine is struggling 
to export its grain as the Russian military continues its blockade of Ukrainian ports, but the country’s farmers are managing to get limited quantities across the western border on trains, trucks and river boats.
Lithuania, which has access to the Baltic Sea, does not share a border with Ukraine, but both countries share borders with Poland.
Navickas said his transportation authorities are working out the logistics and will soon be sending a “test train” to Ukraine to transport 2,000 metric tons of grain, says APK-Inform.

Tim Lust, CEO of National Sorghum Producers

Group urges USAID to donate sorghum to alleviate hunger in Africa

With the war in Ukraine hobbling Black Sea wheat exports and pushing up grain prices, people in Africa are in even greater need for assistance, and donations of U.S. sorghum can help, the National Sorghum Producers is telling the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“In Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, where sorghum is staple food in many countries, the situation is exacerbated by severe drought and conflict,” 
NSP CEO Tim Lust told USAID in a letter this week. “Three consecutive failed rainy seasons in the Horn of Africa have decimated crops, leaving an estimated 13 million people in need of food assistance.

Meanwhile, West Africa is on the verge of its worst food crisis in a decade, with 27 million people in a state of hunger, a number that could increase by 11 million over the next few months, aid organizations warn.”
June 20 cutoff for dicamba use in Illinois
Illinois is continuing with a June 20 cutoff date for dicamba applications, keeping with its policy for the last two growing seasons.
The rules adopted by the state’s agriculture department also prohibit applying the herbicide to soybeans “if the air temperature at the field at the time of application is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit or if the National Weather Service's forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day of application” is above that temperature.
The rules announced Wednesday are in line with restrictions already adopted by Indiana, Minnesota and Iowa to reduce volatilization and drift.
FDA continues to allow compounding of animal drugs with certain conditions
The Food and Drug Administration will maintain its generally hands-off enforcement policy on compounding of animal drugs, so long as certain conditions are met, the agency announced Wednesday.
In a final guidance document released Wednesday, FDA said it would continue to “generally refrain from taking enforcement action against animal drugs compounded from bulk drug substances under certain circumstances when no other medically appropriate treatment options exist.” Such compounded drugs violate the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act because, among other reasons, they do not have FDA-approved labels.
But the agency listed certain requirements, including that “the prescribing veterinarian ensures that the animal does not enter the food supply too soon, or at all.”
He said it: “The same people who have suffered a few hours of delay, they have been shouting for the past 15 months to the Biden administration, do not open those borders.” – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, answering a question about delays in delivery of goods because of Texas’ increased security measures.

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