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Rural Wrap-Up: Five things you missed last week

Here are five things you may have missed last week, from the Mississippi River’s historically low levels to Russia trying to include fertilizer preferences in the grain deal.

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1. The Mississippi River crisis has cost farmers big time

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Mississippi River 1988

The Mississippi River hit a new low last week. The River State outside Memphis was recorded at nearly 11 feet below normal, which is a number not seen since 1988.

The Soy Transportation Council said it is costing producers big time as shipping costs on the River have jumped 383 percent since this time last year. It is causing more grains to be routed through the Pacific Northwest.

2. Biden Administration will release more barrels of oil from reserves

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Another 10 to 15 million barrels of oil are set for release from the nation’s emergency stockpile.

The latest release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an extension of the Biden Administration’s plan to release 180 million barrels earlier this year.

U.S. diesel inventories are now at their lowest since records started in 1982, causing the Administration to also consider temporary limits on exports.

3. Protein buyers are not waiting for a decision on California’s Prop 12

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Restaurant Services Inc buys protein for chains like Burger King and Cracker Barrel, and they say they have already begun the process of complying with the state’s law, and so has a good chunk of the industry.

The company says they are well-established in California and are working with suppliers to ensure compliance with the law, but this just adds another layer of complexity.

4. Wolves are causing trouble for cattle producers in the West

Mexican Wolf

Conservation groups are pushing a plan to re-wild the West by introducing threatened species like wolves and beavers on federal land, claiming it could mitigate drought, wildfires, and climate change, but ag groups say it could have severe consequences for livestock grazing.

Last week, Colorado saw double-digit cattle deaths. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife saw 22 dead calves with more injured.

To read the full story, click HERE.

5. Russia’s attempts to include fertilizer preferences in their grain agreement


Ukraine, Turkey, and the U.N. agreed to extend the deal on the grain corridor, but Russia is trying to bargain for new preferences for itself by putting pressure on the parties to the agreement.

Last week, the Russian president hinted that based on data, one of the ships carrying grain could deliver explosives used to blow up the Crimean bridge. At the same time, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva announced that Russia is ready to refuse the agreement next month if its demands are not met.

Experts believe that Russia’s principal demand is to unblock the export of fertilizers above all ammonia. According to the Fertilizer Institute, Russia is the largest exporter of fertilizers, accounting for almost a quarter of ammonia supplies to the world market, 23 percent.

To read the full story, click HERE.