Congress will get another week to agree on an omnibus funding bill for fiscal 2023. The continuing resolution that has kept the government funded since Oct. 1 expires on Friday, but Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Monday that lawmakers will take up another one-week CR to give negotiators more time on the spending package.

“All of us are better off when the government is fully equipped to provide vital services millions rely on,” Schumer said.

Keep in mind: The omnibus bill is expected to include a disaster aid package.

Price tag for climate projects reaches $3.1B

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced funding for another 71 projects that will test approaches to using agriculture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and market farm commodities as “climate smart.”

Those projects bring the total cost of the Biden administration initiative to $3.1 billion. USDA announced 70 larger projects in September. The smaller ones announced Monday will get up to $5 million each and tend to be targeted toward niche markets and minority producers.

Take note: One of the most innovative new projects is one led by Yale University that will use basalt dust, rather agricultural lime, to increase soil pH and accelerate carbon sequestration. The process is called “enhanced rock weathering.”

By the way: USDA estimates the 141 projects, which will take up to five years to complete, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 million tons over their lifespan. That’s equivalent to the emissions of 12 million gas-powered cars over one year.

An estimated 60,000 farms nationwide will be involved with the projects.

John Deere asks judge to dismiss repair lawsuit

Deere and Co. wants a federal judge to dismiss a class-action lawsuit that claims the company’s repair policies violate antitrust law.

Deere’s motion argues the plaintiffs failed to adequately back up the antitrust allegations. Deere also denies it’s trying to eliminate competition. Instead, Deere says it’s creating a market for authorized dealers.

"Stripped of its rhetoric, the complaint fails to show anything but the inescapable reality that consumers have always known what they are getting when they buy a Deere Tractor,” the company says.

Antibiotics sales down 1% for food-producing animals

Domestic sales and distribution of medically important antimicrobial drugs for use in food-producing animals decreased by less than 1% between 2020 and 2021, according to the latest numbers from FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. Compared to 2015, the peak year of sales, last year’s sales were down 38%.

Medically important antibiotics are most commonly prescribed for hogs and cattle: An estimated 42% was intended for swine and 41% for cattle, while 11% was for turkeys and 3% for chicken.

Tetracyclines, which represent the largest volume of domestic sales in 2021, decreased by 1% from 2020 through 2021. Penicillins decreased by 19%. Sales of macrolides and lincosamides each increased by 21%.

Container terminal opens on Danube port

Ukraine now has a shipping container terminal up and running, thanks to the efforts of the company Viking Alliance, according to the Ukrainian consulting firm APK-Inform. Viking Alliance specializes in exporting ag commodities and importing farm equipment, fertilizer and spare parts.

The terminal is located at the inland port of Reni on the Danube River, which divides Ukraine and Romania to the south.

The Daube was the primary route for Ukrainian ag exports before the Black Sea Grain Initiative opened up Odesa ports, but Ukraine still exports from the inland Reni, Kiliya and Izmail ports. Bulk grain exports through those ports got a major boost when Russian forces retreated from Zmiinyi Island - known commonly as Snake Island. That allowed ships to enter the Danube through the deep-water channel of Bystroye.

Brazil farmers still hoping for rain

Forecasts for rain over much of Brazil’s soy growing regions have farmers optimistic. That’s the case even in the deep south of the country, where some producers haven’t finished planting, according to the consulting firm AgRural.

Overall, 95% of the crop for the 2022-23 marketing year has been planted, and yields are still expected to be strong, if the weather cooperates and the fields get enough rain, AgRural says.

He said it: "If you don't, others are coming. We don't want to put all of our eggs in one basket" – H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, former prime minister of Ethiopia and chair of the board of directors for AGRA, noting the importance of U.S. agricultural companies investing in Africa. 
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