The ink was barely dry on a deal to allow shipments of grain stuck in Ukrainian ports when Russia unleashed a missile attack that has jeopardized the agreement.
Turkey, which worked with the United Nations to help broker the deal, said the bombing does not necessarily mean the grain shipment deal is dead, even as Russia alleged military targets were hit in the Odesa strike, which claimed a grain silo.
However, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Saturdaythe attack “casts serious doubt on the credibility of Russia’s commitment to yesterday’s deal and undermines the work of the UN, Turkey, and Ukraine to get critical food to world markets. Russia bears responsibility for deepening the global food crisis and must stop its aggression and fully implement the deal to which it has agreed.”
Read more in Bill Tomson’s story at Agri-Pulse.com
House drought bill would require USDA reporting
The House will debate legislation this week that would require USDA to report on its disaster assistance payments to farmers and their impact on crop insurance.
The mandate for the report is included in a manager’s amendment to a package of bills known as the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act that the House will consider later this week. USDA is supposed to report on potential disaster losses in 2022 as well as the amount of payments being made under existing programs.
The department also would be required to disclose the number of farmers who have continued purchasing crop insurance beyond the two-year period required for receiving disaster payments for 2017 and 2018 losses.
Fire and drought bill: To curb wildfires, the legislation would require USDA to implement a 10-year national plan to reduce the risk of wildfires while protecting old-growth forests and wildlife habitat. USDA would have five years to select up to 20 landscape-scale forest restoration projects to undertake.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., says the legislation would “save lives, property, farms, and businesses from damage and destruction from fire and extreme drought.”
For more on the agenda in the nation’s capital this week, read our Washington Week Ahead.
EPA commits to proposing 2023 RVO by Nov. 16
The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to propose 2023 renewable fuel volume requirements no later than Nov. 16, under a consent decree filed by EPA and Growth Energy in federal court in Washington, D.C.
The agency also agreed to finalize the RVO by June 14, 2023. “The court is expected to approve the agreement in the coming weeks,” Growth Energy said.
"This recent agreement, one that is bound by court order and that avoids the uncertainty of continued litigation, ensures the certainty of the 2023 RFS requirements and further underscores Growth Energy’s steadfast commitment to keeping the RFS on sound footing now and into the future,” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said.
Also in court: The Center for Biological Diversity last week filed a challenge to EPA’s 2020, 2021 and 2022 RVOs for what it said was “EPA’s failure to fully assess the impacts to endangered species from land conversion and additional pesticide and fertilizer use to meet these higher-volume targets.”
“Despite two prior rulings from the D.C. Circuit holding that the EPA failed to properly assess endangered species, the agency again failed to act, claiming that it had begun the process of assessing endangered species but offering no timeline or commitment to ever finish the consultation process,” CBD said.
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Summit Carbon Solutions finds CEO
Summit Carbon Solutions has hired ag industry veteran Lee Blank as its new CEO.
The company, which hopes to build a CO2 pipeline across Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, has already secured over $1 billion in total investment commitments.
Blank was previously the CEO of advisory and risk management firm Advance Training Inc., and also has held roles with GFG Ag Services, Twin Rivers Technologies and Archer Daniels Midland.
‘Right to Repair’ groups ask for EPA investigation of John Deere
Two “right to repair” advocacy groups have accused John Deere of violating the Clean Air Act over its repair policies.
Repair.org and the Public Research Interest Group have called on EPA to investigate the farm equipment manufacturer, claiming Deere does not allow customers to fix their tractors’ emissions modules.
EPA rules require that manufacturing companies certify nonroad diesel engines with the agency every year, according to PIRG’s release. The agency can deny or revoke certifications if it finds that companies do not comply with CAA emission standards.
HPAI spreads to Florida, 38th state to report infections
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has spread to Florida, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reports.
The detection in a non-commercial backyard flock in Seminole County made Florida the 38th state where HPAI has been found. The outbreak has now hit more than 40 million birds since it began in February.
They said it: “In the contact we made with Russia, the Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with this attack and that they were inspecting the issue very closely and in detail.” - Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, July 23.
"Kalibr missiles destroyed military infrastructure in the port of Odessa, with a high-precision strike." - Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, July 24, on her Telegram account.