During a visit to an Illinois family farm in Kankakee County on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said that his administration would be giving farmers additional tools and resources to boost crop production and maintain global food security — particularly in the wake of lingering pandemic-related supply chain disruptions and the ripple effect of the Russian war against Ukraine. His latest actions, Biden said, would support American farmers, reduce food prices, and help U.S. producers better feed the world.
Particularly jarring to our food system are Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, which has cut off a critical source of wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds, and cooking oil. It has also disrupted global supply chains for fertilizer, which farmers depend on to maximize yields — not to mention led to surging prices in many sectors.
The White House noted that America’s farmers are the breadbasket of democracy and are already playing a critical role in the fight against Putin’s price increases in the food sector.
“American corn growers continue to feed and fuel the world even as they face challenges stemming from the war in Ukraine and high input costs,” said National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett, who attended the announcement. “We’re appreciative of the efforts that President Biden and USDA are making to help farmers navigate these challenges, and the recognition of the key role farmers play in providing solutions.”
NCGA boiled down Biden’s committed to:
- Increasing the number of counties eligible for double cropping insurance, which will allow farmers to plant a second crop on the same land in the same year, helping boost production without relying on farmers to substitute crops or cultivate new land. The Biden-Harris Administration is seeking to expand insurance for double cropping to as many as 681 additional counties, bringing the total number of counties where this practice qualifies for crop insurance to as many as 1,935, so more American farmers have the financial security they need to start or expand double cropping.
- Cutting costs for farmers by increasing technical assistance for technology-driven precision agriculture, resulting in less fertilizer usage without reducing yields. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has planning and cost sharing assistance programs available to help American farmers with nutrient management.
- Doubling the previously announced funding for domestic fertilizer production to ensure accessibility of this critical input for growers. Fertilizer prices have more than doubled since last year.
This comes just a month after the president announced that his administration would allow E15 gasoline — gasoline that uses a 15 percent ethanol blend — to be sold this summer, increasing the fuel supply through greater use of low-cost and low-emissions ethanol.