Uncertainty Come Fall: NASDA is working to support farmers facing high input costs
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is working with the federal government to help break down barriers and support farmers facing high input costs. CEO Ted McKinney says fertilizer is one of the primary concerns.
“It seems like most farmers for this spring are okay. They got their fertilizer down in the fall, spring looks okay, liquids for planting seem to be okay, but the uncertainty is what happens this fall.”
He says the situation in Ukraine is still a wildcard for the market, but he’s heard of NASDA members looking for alternative fertilizer sources.
“There’s a revisitation of finding manure from livestock farms and spreading that in a safe, environmentally sound, and equitable way. Not everybody can get all of that. Maybe there’s some discovery that can come out of the Ag Research Service or terrific university systems that we just haven’t thought of.”
NASDA has also been working with railways to ensure supplies can reach farms and exports can travel to markets.
“We certainly know that rail lines from Canada to the U.S. and back, keeping those wide open are important. We’re grateful to the Canadian government for helping resolve some of the labor issues there, but this is going to be an issue that will be with will be with us for a few months, I think.”
Addressing ocean shipping is another priority for state departments with ports in their jurisdiction.
“Pop-up sites have become a popular descriptor for finding new acreage where you can stack some of these things. Relief on regulations where you don’t want to offend a neighbor with a stack of ten. Okay, but let’s agree to eight instead of four. So those kinds of things, they are all over it.”
McKinney says he was pleased to see the house and senate both pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and hopes they come together on final language soon.