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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.
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.