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Rural Wrap-Up: Five things you missed last week

Here are five things you may have missed last week... from an averted rail strike to Ukrainian dairy farmers continuing to battle the aftermath of the war.

1. Rail carriers & labor unions made a deal to avert a rail strike

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The White House announced labor unions and rail carriers reached an agreement to avoid a national rail strike.

10 out of 12 rail labor unions reached tentative agreements with carriers with fears that fertilizer supply & prices might be an issue again. They threatened to strike Friday at 12:01 AM if they did not get a raise and sick leave.

The tentative agreement provides 24 percent pay increases over five years from 2020 through 2024. That includes immediate payouts of $11,000 upon signing the deal. President Biden called it a win for tens of thousands of rail workers.

To read the full story, click HERE.

2. Consumer Price Index came out slightly lower than July


The Consumer Price Index came in at 8.3 percent, a tenth of a percent higher on the year. The July read was 8.5 percent.

When you break down the numbers by month, food prices continued to increase. August saw a 0.8 percent increase from July.

To read the full story, click HERE.

3. Fertilizer prices trended higher again


Prices are now trending upwards again after weeks of coming down. The DTN fertilizer outlook shows August prices saw gains across the board as Europe battles a natural gas crisis. Analysts believe that could cause ammonia prices to soar even higher.

Urea is roughly $100 more per ton than what we saw in July.

To read the full story, click HERE.

4. USDA Export Sales were up and running again

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After weeks of downtime and scores of technical issues, USDA’s export sales reporting system was up and running.

A few weeks ago, data was taken down not long after being published due to what USDA called ‘unanticipated difficulties’ with their new system.

Senator Boozman sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, asking to prioritize providing stability to farmers and the industry’s stakeholders. He called this an ‘unforced error’ that was costly and avoidable.

5. Ukrainian dairy operations are still feeling the aftereffects of Russian attacks

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A local dairy is still facing devastation months after it was bombed.

Bombs started falling while we were milking the cows. Good thing they didn’t fall on the farm at first, and almost all the people managed to escape. We hid in the cellars and when we came out, the farm was gone,” said Agromol Chief Agronomist, Serhiy Yatsenko.

On February 28th, he and other farmworkers took shelter in the basement, hiding from Russian air raids.

“There were more than 3,000 cows. Of those, 1,300 were dairy cows - that’s 40 tons of milk a day. We had a job, we enjoyed it. It was a true pleasure to work here and now it’s all ruined,” said Yatsenko.

To read the full story, click HERE.