The Biden administration is temporarily imposing a vaccine mandate on noncitizens entering the country, which could pose a problem for farmers. This will impose mandates on all H-2A Visa holders and also truck drivers crossing the border. This is likely to reduce available temporary workers this spring while it appears the need for more workers is increasing. Those that are already vaccinated will have to have updated cards. Farm Bureau already denounced the new rules.
Farm Bureau updates policy on Fisher, Grassley cattle bill: The American Farm Bureau Federation has released its new position on a piece of legislation to reform the cattle markets, saying it supports the majority of the legislation but cannot back its effort to mandate cash trade requirements in the beef industry.
Gas prices could soar if Russia invades Ukraine: Oil prices have already shot up to seven-year highs in recent days. A conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which the White House has warned could be imminent, would have the potential to drive them much higher.
The U.S. food system is under renewed strain as Covid-19’s Omicron variant stretches workforces from processing plants to grocery stores, leaving gaps on supermarket shelves. Weeks of workers calling in sick add to continuing supply and transportation disruption making store shelves harder to fill. Grocery chains in the southeast have had to hire temporary workers at distribution centers in attempt to meet supply demand. Recent virus-related incidences are disrupting deliveries. The availability of food stuffs change daily.
The Supreme Court will take another shot at deciding the scope of the Clean Water Act, granting a petition to determine whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit “set forth the proper test for determining whether wetlands are ‘waters of the United States'” under the Clean Water Act. Keep a watch on this one!
Other source news:
Some Agriculture Department employees will see a pay bump at the end of the month as part of President Joe Biden’s move to increase the federal minimum wage. About 130 federal wildland firefighters and many more Agriculture Department employees will soon see a modest pay bump. These guys deserve it. However, this could impact all 70,000 federal employees across the board. I wonder if Dr. Fauci will receive a pay bump?
WHAT? New Drilling Leases. The Biden administration has approved nearly 900 more permits to drill for oil and gas on public land in his first year in office than did the Trump administration. Many of the 3,557 permits for oil and gas drilling on public lands the Biden administration approved last year were in New Mexico, according to the count by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a leftist group, made using Interior data. The Trump administration approved 2,658 permits, according to CBD’s count. I wonder how many will successfully wade through all the new regulations and actually drill.
A last thought for today: Great things never came from comfort zones. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.