Agri-Pulse Daybreak April 18: Texas lifts enhanced border inspections

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday announced an immediate halt to state-enhanced inspections of Mexican trucks that had been delaying U.S. fruit and vegetable imports and U.S. poultry exports to buyers for more than a week. mexicans.

Abbott, after explaining that he had reached new security agreements with Mexican border states, told a press conference that cross-border traffic returned to normal on Friday.

The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas had estimated that Abbott’s inspections – which took place after the shipment had already been inspected by US Customs and Border Protection – resulted in product losses of $240 million.

The Governor of Texas said he had set up the inspections April 6 to combat drug and human trafficking by Mexican cartels. This led to Mexican truckers blocking traffic on the Mexican side of the border at one of the busiest crossings.

“As we speak, all of these bridges are reopened to normal traffic. All the goods that were going from country to country at a very fast pace – they’re moving at that fast pace right now,” Abbott said.

Still, Abbott warned, the threat to trade is not over. He has pledged to maintain vigilance and reinstate measures or even close bridges altogether if he is not satisfied that security is sufficiently tightened.

Ukraine will use Lithuanian port for grain export

Ukrainian farmers will be able to use the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda to export corn and other agricultural products, according to consulting firm APK Inform. Both countries are struggling to sink railway lines and pass shipments through Poland on their way to port.

“We have been cooperating with Ukraine for several weeks,” Lithuanian Transport and Communications Minister Marius Skuodis was quoted as saying by APK Inform. “Coordination between the railways is most important.”

The Lithuanian ministry said in a tweet that it also works closely with the European Union to help move grain out of Ukraine.

EPA proposes RFS pathway for canola oil as an advanced biofuel

Canola growers would have a new outlet for their grain under an EPA proposal published today in the Federal Register.

The EPA has determined, based on a greenhouse gas (GHG) life cycle analysis, that renewable diesel, jet fuel, naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas and heating oil produced at from canola oil “reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% compared to oil”. the American Canola Association said.

“Canola oil-based biofuels are cleaner alternatives to petroleum that can replace it or be blended with it,” the association said. “Renewable diesel, for example, is an alternative biofuel that is chemically similar to petroleum, so it can be used in existing transport vehicles as 100% unmixed replacement. »

The comment period on the proposal runs until May 18.

Producer groups file amicus in Supreme Court ‘waters’ case

American farm groups have joined many other groups that have filed friend briefs supporting a pair of Idaho landowners challenging the definition of “United States waters” in the Clean Water Act.

The American Farm Bureau Federation and grower groups filed a brief Friday supporting Chantell and Michael Sackett, who were (but are no longer) subject to enforcement action for infilling wetlands on their property.

The Supreme Court will consider whether the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals correctly upheld the federal government’s test for determining whether these wetlands fall within jurisdiction.

For growers, “whether the land they farm or for which they produce essential nutrients for agriculture includes ‘United States waters’ is a question of enormous practical importance,” the producers say. groups in their memory. “They need certainty on this issue to properly manage their land in a financially and environmentally sustainable way.”

The case is expected to go to trial this summer.

Feeding America asks Congress for additional food aid

Leading Hunger Organization Calls on Congress to Increase Funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Expand Nutrition Waivers for Children to Help Rise Food Inflation Rates .

Feeding America, which includes more than 200 food banks in the United States, said in a press release On Friday, he would like to see Congress allocate an additional $900 million to TEFAP, a program that allows the USDA to buy food and allocate it to state agencies for distribution.

The group also asked lawmakers to consider buying food with funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation and using authority under Section 32 – which allows Congress to levy funds from customs revenue. to purchase surplus produce – to obtain resources for additional food purchases from the USDA Nutrition Program.

Take note: The group says its member food banks are paying 40% more for food purchases than in 2021. Meanwhile, more than 85% of Feeding America’s 200 member food banks said they saw demand for food aid increase or stay the same.

NPPC to USTR: Don’t let Panama back down on trade deal

The United States and Panama implemented a free trade agreement 10 years ago, but now the Panamanian government wants to change the terms of the pact and the National Council of Pork Producers is asking the Biden administration to say nope.

Panama continues to reduce tariffs and increase quotas for U.S. agricultural products under the deal and the country should not be allowed to change course, says NPPC.

According to the NPPC, it and other U.S. agricultural groups are warning the U.S. Trade Representative‘s office and the USDA that “making changes to an implemented TPA would be an alarming precedent to set.”

Noah Wicks and Steve Davies contributed to this report. Questions, comments, advice? Email [email protected]

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