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Commodity Classic Returns In-Person in New Orleans

Trade industry reps, farmers, scientists and government officials meet to present new policy and products and discuss the future of ag.

The Commodity Classic returned in-person in March, drawing farmers, researchers and industry reps.

The Classic drew the usual flurry of new product announcements and demonstrations. This year’s conference included announced federal programs, information sessions with industry leaders and 56 rows of trade-floor booths.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered the conference’s keynote, with promises of federal help to address increased inputs and accommodations for already-committed federal funding. The speech came on the day his department announced $250 million in grant funding to develop U.S.-made fertilizer solutions.

“I think it’s fair to say that you all are suffering from serious issues with reference to fertilizer costs,” Vilsack says.

The program is designed to bolster long-term options for the restructuring of the fertilizer market, Vilsack says.

“We are announcing an effort to jumpstart independent production of fertilizers made in America with innovation, utilizing, impacting and assisting active farming operations,” he says.

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SHORT CORN NEWS. A Bayer presentation on short-stature corn drew a heavy crowd March 11 at the 2022 Commodity Classic. The company expects short-stature hybrids to be available commercially for the 2024 growing season, and says the product will lead to improved survivability, increased seed populations and narrower rows.

The USDA also plans to evaluate relationships among farmers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers, Vilsack says.

The evaluation “is just an effort to make sure that these relationships fairly and equitably distribute the wealth that’s created by the work that’s done to get food from your farm to my table,” he says.

Vilsack…

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Brian o connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor started at Lessiter Media as the Lead Content Editor for Conservation Agriculture in November 2021. He previously worked in daily print journalism for more than a decade in places as far flung as Alaska and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he shared a national award for coverage of two Category 5 hurricanes that struck the islands in 2017. He's also taught English in Korea, delivered packages for Amazon, and coordinated Wisconsin election night coverage for the Associated Press. His first job was on a Southeast Wisconsin farm.

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