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Ag Council News & Info Brief January 15

January 15, 2023


118th Congress Kicks Off In Washington: The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives began a new Congress this month in Washington, D.C. In the 118th Congress, Republicans will have a thin majority in the House while Democrats will hold a thin majority in the Senate. Members have been sworn into office, and leadership and committee assignments have been made. Congress is expected to be very active in the coming weeks and months working on a wide range of legislation, including the next farm bill and spending measures for the 2024 fiscal year. More...

House: House Elects McCarthy as Leader | House Approves Rules
Senate: Schumer & McConnell Maintain Leadership Posts
Additional News Articles: Chairman GT Thompson Discusses Farm Bill Plan | Boozman & Thompson Raise Concerns Over Nutrition Costs

Ag Council Prepared for New Year: The Ag Council of Arkansas is looking forward to working with policy makers in Arkansas and Washington, D.C. At the forefront in Arkansas is the General Assembly, which began its legislative session last week. Throughout the session we will monitor legislation and advocate on matters impacting our members. At the federal level, the farm bill will consume much of our advocacy efforts with current law scheduled for reauthorization. In addition to the farm bill we will be active in our advocacy efforts on many other legislative items throughout the 118th Congress. In addition to actions in legislative arenas, we will also be closely engaged with executive agencies at the state and federal levels as we seek limited government with commonsense rules and regulations that do not harm our members' businesses. Throughout the year, we will provide updates on these policy matters while encouraging member engagement on items of importance.
More...Ag Council Resolutions | Ag Council Leadership | Annual Meeting Summary

New EPA Rule on WOTUS Draws Ire of Agriculture: On Friday, January 30th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a final rule defining waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). The new rule maintains the controversial "significant-nexus" test when determining jurisdictional waters while also codifying a number of agriculture related exemptions to the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Supreme Court of the U.S. is also expected to reach a ruling on a significant case related to this section of the CWA next year. More...Morning Ag I | Morning Ag II

U.S. Continues to Efforts to Adjust Mexico's Plans for GM Corn Imports: As part of a recent meeting of leaders of U.S., Mexico, and Canada, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack reiterated that there was no room for negotiating with Mexico when it comes to a proposal to limit imports of corn based on its biotechnology. More... Agri-Pulse | DTN

Stabenow Will Not Seek Re-election in 2024: U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Nutrition Committee, announced that she did not intend to run for re-election in 2024 when her current term is scheduled to expire. Stabenow, who was first elected to the Senate in 2000, is expected to play a primary role in the development of the farm bill, which is scheduled to be reauthorized this year. More... Agri-Pulse | Stabenow Announcement

USDA Announces Program Improvements: On Monday, January 9th, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in Puerto Rico a handful of administrative policy actions that were aimed at improving programs for farmers. In addition, Secretary Vilsack shared additional information about emergency program funding that farmers can soon apply for. More...USDA Announcement | AgWeek | USDA Information on Emergency Relief Program (ERP) Phase II & Pandemic Assistance Revenue Program | ERP Rules

Debt Ceiling Comes to Forefront in Washington: On Friday, January 13th, Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen sent a letter to Congress warning about impending credit risk to the United States as the debt ceiling authorized by Congress approaches. According to the letter, the Department of Treasury will begin taking extraordinary measures beginning January 19th to meet its obligations, and such measures are expected to be exhausted by June if Congress does not lift the ceiling before then. More... WSJ | Letter from Treasury Secretary to Congress | ArkansasOnline


New Governor & General Assembly Start Work: Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders took the oath of office on January 10th, becoming the first female governor of the State of Arkansas. She begins her term with a legislative session of the General Assembly, whose members were sworn into office on January 9th. In her inaugural address, Sanders set the tone with the legislature, which maintains Republican super majorities in both the House and Senate. The legislature and the governor have both outlined several shared priority policy areas, including education reform, criminal justice reform, and further reductions to the state income tax. More...

Legislature: Legislators Sworn In | Legislators Elect Leaders | Senate Approves Cabinet Nominees | ArkansasOnline Capitol Brief: Friday | Committees | Bill Search

Governor: Video of Inaugural Address | Text of Inaugural Address | Text of Address to Legislature

Lt. Governor: Rutledge Sworn Into Office

Attorney General:

Additional News Articles: Governor Sanders Announces Staff Hires | Sanders Prepares for New Role | Sanders Sworn Into Office | Sanders Issues Executive Orders | Inauguration of Sarah Huckabee Sanders (video)

State Shows Continued Budget Strength in Latest Report: The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) released its December Revenue Report on January 4th showing continued strength in revenue collections for the State of Arkansas. According to the report, Arkansas' general revenue collections for December totalled $773.2 million, which represented a 7.4% increase over 2022 collections. Net revenue collections for December totalled $684.3 million. DFA projects a revenue surplus of $598.1 million at the end of fiscal 2023, which concludes June 30th. More... DFA December Revenue Report | ArkansasOnline | TalkBusiness | ArkansasBusiness

USDA Assistance for Rice Producers is On Horizon: Thanks to the work of Senator Boozman and his committee staff, Arkansas rice producers are soon to receive new economic assistance to help offset price increases and other economic challenges faced in the 2022 crop year. The aid was included in the fiscal year 2023 appropriation bill approved by Congress just before Christmas. More... UofA Summary | UofA FAQ Sheet | Slide Deck from Senate Ag Committee

Upcoming Ag Law Webinars: The National Ag Law Center is hosting webinars in the coming weeks covering a range of subject areas of interest. Attendance is offered at no cost, but registration is required. More...1.25.23 Mid-Term Election Results & Policy Implications | 1.18.23 Foreign Ownership of Ag Lands

Monday is Final Day to Submit NCC Planting Intentions Survey: Monday, January 16th, is the last day to complete planting intentions with the National Cotton Council for their planting intentions survey for the coming crop year. The survey, is done each year to aid with industry planning and policy deliberations. Individual survey responses are anonymous and confidential, however a summary of the survey results are made public during the NCC Annual Meeting in February. To respond to the survey online, go to .

Arkansas Crop Management Conference Set for January 17-19: The Arkansas Crop Management Conference is scheduled to hold its annual conference at the North Little Rock Wyndham Hotel January 17-19. The event offers information sessions for growers, crop consultants and others interested in gaining up to date knowledge and information related to crop production in Arkansas. More...Meeting Information | Registration | FarmPress

Arkansas Grown Conference Set for January 25-28: The Arkansas Department of Agriculture recently announced plans to hold its first Arkansas Grown Conference in Little Rock January 25-28 at the Embassy Suites Hotel. The four-day conference and expo will offer workshops, speakers, off-site farm tours, a vendor trade show, delicious food, and even an Arkansas wine tasting. The program is focused on supporting and developing local food systems in Arkansas and strengthening the agriculture economy in Arkansas. More...Event Information | Schedule of Events | Registration

Arkansas Rice Annual Meeting Set for January 26th: Arkansas Rice will hold its upcoming annual meeting in Stuttgart at the Grand Prairie Center from 8:00am through lunch. More...Meeting Information | Registration

ASU Agribusiness Conference Set for February 8: The 29th annual Arkansas State University Agribusiness Conference will be held in person on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, with a portion available online. The conference will focus on the global economy, agricultural policy and the next farm bill, the US macroeconomic situation, and commodity markets. The conference will end with the afternoon sessions. Guests who register to attend virtually will later receive instructions on how to participate. Event Website | Registration

National Cotton Council Annual Meeting Set for February 10-12: The National Cotton Council will hold its 2023 Annual Meeting at the Fairmont Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX, December 10-12. The event brings cotton industry leaders from each industry segment together as an opportunity to network, gain information and insight, and develop policy to advance the industry. More... Meeting Information | Registration | Schedule of Events

MidSouth Farm & Gin Show Set for February 24-25: The 71st Annual MidSouth Farm & Gin Show is set for February 24-25 in Memphis at the Renasant Convention Center. More...Registration | Event Website

UofA Winter Production Meeting Schedule Released: The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture announced upcoming meeting dates and locations for its winter production meetings, which began January 10th and run through March 1. More...UADA News Release | Schedule

UofA Releases Crop Enterprise Budgets for 2023: The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture recently released its 2023 crop enterprise budgets, an important tool to help farmers plan their 2023 planting decisions. The dynamic excel spreadsheet includes some changes that reflect some of the biggest economic impacters from the current year, however the program allows users to adjust numbers as they see fit. More...UADA Crop Budgets | News Release

UofA Accepting Applications for Leadership Program: The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture recently announced that it is accepting applications for its leadership program known as LeadAR. The program is designed to strengthen leadership, knowledge, and networks for Arkansans who are passionate about the futures of their communities. LeadAR provides an in-depth learning experience covering important economic and social issues impacting the state. More...UADA Announcement | Application Form

UofA Offering Small Business Development Services Event in Brinkley January 26th: The UofA Cooperative Extension Service announced that it is hosting a small business seminar in partnership with the Small Business Administration in Brinkley on January 26th. The seminar is aimed at providing multiple resources and information to small businesses at no cost in an effort to help grow businesses through technical assistance and advice. The program and resources are known as the Arkansas Business Navigator. More...Announcement | Arkansas Business Navigator Homepage

UofA Variety Performance Trials: The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture has begun the process of releasing variety performance trials for a range of agricultural commodities. More...UofA Variety Test Homepage | Rice Performance Trial Data | Cotton Variety Testing Update


January 12 WASDE Report: On Thursday, January 12, USDA released a new World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate. The January report offered some bullish data from its December report as it relates to corn, soybeans and rice. The American Farm Bureau Federation and John Deere announced a memorandum of understanding that will allow farmers to repair their own equipment. More...WASDE | Secretary's Briefing | WASDE Visualization | StoneX Analysis

Annual Crop Production Reports for 2022: On January 12th, USDA released final crop production estimates for all commodities in the 2022 crop year. The report includes acreage planted and harvested, yield per acre, and total yield for each commodity. More... U.S. Crop Production | Arkansas Crop Production

Grain Stocks Report | Rice Stocks Report | Arkansas Rice & Grains Stocks

John Deere and American Farm Bureau Sign MOU on "right to repair": The American Farm Bureau announced at its annual meeting in Puerto Rico that it had signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with John Deere that focused on "right to repair" issues related to repairs and maintenance of equipment. The issue has become more challenging for farmers as equipment becomes more digitized with software systems that require codes to access information needed to make repairs. The MOU, which Farm Bureau hopes to replicate with other manufacturers, is aimed at avoiding a legislative solution to the issue. More... AFB Press Release | AFB News | MOU Document | WSJ

Ag Census Update: Please complete and return your census as soon as you can so you are counted. More... USDA | Online

Arkansas Economic Profile: 2022 Pocket Facts - News