Georgia’s Sanford Bishop and Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger were among Democrats surviving close races Tuesday as Republicans failed to knock off some top targets in their quest to take over the House.
Bishop chairs the House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee, while Spanberger chairs the House Ag subcommittee that oversees conservation programs.
Other House Ag Democrats who survived challenges included Marcy Kaptur in Ohio and Sharice Davids in Kansas. “Republicans thought that they could redistrict out Marcy Kaptur, and that's not going to work out for them,” said Ohio farmer Chris Gibbs, founder and board chairman of Rural Voices USA, a group that supports Democrats.
House Ag Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., and ranking member Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., were easily re-elected.
In the Senate: Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley easily won an eighth term, despite a prominent poll in October that showed him facing a tight race. Senate Ag’s top Republican, John Boozman of Arkansas, also won re-election. Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., wasn’t on the ballot this year.
Senate kicks off lame duck with farm bill hearing
Lawmakers return next week for their lame duck session, and the Senate Agriculture Committee will use the time for a farm bill hearing. Leaders of the committee have held a pair of listening sessions on farm bill issues, but the panel hasn’t done the title-by-title hearings that the House Ag Committee has been conducting this year.
Tuesday’s hearing will focus on rural development and energy programs.
This week’s Agri-Pulse newsletter looks at how USDA has been using the Rural Energy for America Program and the administration’s priorities for the additional $2 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Bayer’s herbicide sales jump in Q3
Higher herbicide prices driven by supply shortages helped drive Bayer earnings above analysts’ estimates for the third quarter, as the company’s crop science division achieved an overall sales increase of 8.4% from the third quarter in 2021.
Herbicide sales were up 45% from the third quarter in 2021, thanks in large part to prices of glyphosate-based products more than doubling since early 2021, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said. But also on a call with reporters Tuesday, Chief Financial Officer Wolfgang Nickl said prices had begun to decline in the third quarter, and that in the last three months of the year, “we expect them to normalize further.”
By the way: Sales of corn seed and traits decreased nearly 16%, while soybean seeds and traits were down 8%. Insecticide sales were up 9%, driven mainly by demand in Latin America.
Grassley: Ukraine called Putin’s bluff on Black Sea grain trade
When Russia announced on Oct. 29 that it was withdrawing participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative, that did not stop ships from docking at Odesa ports and loading up with Ukrainian grain. It also did not stop United Nations and Turkish officials in Istanbul from inspecting the ships from entering and exiting through the Bosporus Strait.
That, says Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is evidence that Ukraine and its grain customers effectively called a Moscow bluff that it might interfere with commerce. Russia resumed participation in the initiative on Nov. 2.
Grassley added that he expects Ukrainian grain exports to continue even if a deal is not struck to extend the Initiative before it expires on Nov. 19.
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Georgy Eliseev, a market analyst for S&P Global Commodity Insights says he expects that Russia will agree to extend the Initiative, especially after watching the grain trade proceed without its participation in the Initiative.
Economist: Expect ‘dramatic’ rise in soy demand due to biofuel expansion
Agricultural economist Dan Basse says renewable diesel is poised to be a larger disruptor to the food supply chain than ethanol, with a slate of new plants poised to heavily increase competition for soybean oil.
Basse, speaking to attendees of the National Ag Bankers conference in Omaha, said he “can’t figure out” how the nation will find the additional 8.5 million to 9 million acres of soybeans needed by 2025 to satisfy the demand expected from the introduction of the plants.
Basse is president of AgResource Co.
IRA boosts outlook for new GEVO SAF facility
Colorado-based Gevo, a renewable fuels company focused on the production of sustainable aviation fuel, is banking on a new biofuel tax incentive for its commercial-scale SAF facility set to go online in 2025.
The clean fuel production credit included in the Inflation Reduction Act signed in August should boost estimated earnings for the Net-Zero 1 plan in South Dakota to $300 million per year, a 50% increase from the prior estimate, the company said Tuesday.
The estimated installed cost for NZ-1, including the capital required for the alcohol-to-jet-fuel plant as well as any site development costs, has risen by 33% to $850 million. The increase is primarily due to inflation-driven increases steel, equipment and supply chain costs.
By the way: During Gevo’s earnings call Tuesday, CEO Patrick Gruber highlighted the company’s role in a $30 million, Climate-Smart Farm to Flight project funded by USDA. The project will track the carbon-intensity score of SAF, from the farm to the airline.
He said it. “The investment that’s being made in renewable diesel is massive. Today, as it sits, it’s very disruptive to the whole food chain." – Dan Basse, president of AgResource Co.
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