Russia has once again cleared the way for grain to move out of the Black Sea. Now, United Nations officials are working to ensure that Russian fertilizer can be exported as well.
Russian government officials – including President Vladimir Putin – complained bitterly about the country’s difficulty in exporting fertilizer to Europe and other markets leading up to Russia’s 4-day suspension of its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday Russia demanded no conditions for its renewed involvement in the initiative. But he said the UN is working with the European Union, UK and U.S. to facilitate Russian fertilizer exports and “we very much hope to see progress in that department.”
Keep in mind: When Ukraine, Turkey, Russia and the U.N. signed the Black Sea Grain Initiative on July 22, they also agreed on a separate deal to allow the unimpeded flow of Russian fertilizer and wheat exports.
“It’s hugely important that Russian fertilizer gets to the world so that we don’t find ourselves looking down the barrel of hunger after the next harvests,” UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said on Monday.
Food makers set priorities for FDA
The Consumer Brands Association, which represents many major food manufacturers, has rolled out 
nine priority policies for modernizing the Food and Drug Administration.
At the top of the list for the group is a commitment from FDA to carry out timely reviews of new regulations. Sarah Gallo, Consumer Brands Association vice president of product policy, says that’s important with the administration’s new focus on front-of-package labeling and FDA’s proposed healthy food rule.
Other CBA priorities include modernizing inspections, recalls, labeling and IT infrastructure; creating new FDA-industry collaborative models for guidance development; and improving approaches for chemicals management.
Bottom line: Citing lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Reagan-Udall Foundation review of FDA, Gallo says “the time is right” to start talking about changes at FDA that will ultimately address consumer needs.
CBA says: “A decade ago, the expectation would have been modernizing FDA to move at the speed of business. Today, it is essential that FDA move at the speed of the consumer, meeting their rapidly changing preferences and demands.”
USDA: Four in ten cow-calf operations practice rotational grazing
About 40% of U.S. cow-calf operations now use rotational grazing, a practice that can improve soil and plant health, 
according to a new study from USDA’s Economic Research Service.
The study, which uses data from a 2018 survey of U.S. cow-calf producers, says most of the operations that practice rotational grazing are located in the northern Plains, western Corn Belt and Appalachian regions.
Take note: The study also says only 40% of the operations that use rotational grazing use it intensively. Operations that keep most of their calves through the initial feed stage to sell later to feedlots, also known as retained stockers, are the most likely to adopt intensive rotational grazing.

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By the way: Farms that use rotational grazing are more likely to participate in the Environmental Quality Incentives and Conservation Stewardship programs than continuous grazing operations.
Biofuels groups file in SRE challenge
Ethanol industry groups want to ensure their voice is heard in the legal challenge of EPA’s reversal of 69 small refinery exemptions that occurred under the previous administration. Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union have filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit filed by small refineries challenging EPA’s denial of the waivers in June.

“EPA’s denial of these SRE petitions provides a clean slate to get the RFS back on track as we head into a new era for this important program. Holding refiners accountable will ensure lower prices and cleaner options at the pump for American families,” the biofuel and ag coalition said.

FMC sees higher prices, lower costs in 2023
Agrochemical company FMC is forecasting a solid year for business in 2023 based on the strong commodity markets and the firm’s ability to sustain its price increases.
Because of solid farmer demand, President and CEO Mark Douglas told analysts Wednesday FMC expects the crop protection market to grow in the low to mid-single digits next year.
“This favorable backdrop combined with our continued pricing actions, strong demand for our newest technologies and further market access gains will provide solid support for profitable growth in 2023,” Douglas said. He said the company’s margins should grow in the last half of the year as costs for raw materials and logistics start to ease.
US potato group frets over new fungus discovery in Canada
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has found more evidence of potato wart in Canada’s Prince Edward Island, according to the local 
Island Farmer. Kam Quarles, president of the U.S.-based National Potato Council, is sounding the alarm over the potential for the fungus to spread to U.S. fields.
The latest find reinforces USDA’s “determination that the extent of PEI's potato wart infestation is likely larger than reported by Canadian authorities,” Quarles said. “The impact of disease spread into the U.S. would be absolutely catastrophic for American potato growers and the entire North American potato value chain that relies on foreign markets.”
She said it. “Consumer demand for innovative products is not going to go away.” – Sarah Gallo, Consumer Brands Association vice president of product policy, on the need to overhaul FDA’s oversight of the food industry.
Bill Tomson, Jacqui Fatka and Noah Wicks contributed to this report.

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