WSDA’s Japanese Beetle Plan and Chapter 12 Farm Bankruptcy Down
**The Washington State Department of Agriculture is preparing a proposed plan for the spring to eradicate the invasive Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) found in Central Washington in and around Grandview last year.
WSDA detected more than 24,000 beetles in 2021 and initial eradication plans, if approved, include using an insecticide to treat the properties around the infestation area, including private property.
WSDA will seek permission from each property owner in the designated area with letters arriving in mailboxes soon.
**A new Market Intel analysis from the American Farm Bureau Federation finds Chapter 12 farm bankruptcy filings were down 50% in 2021.
The number of Chapter 12 filings is the lowest in the last decade, and this is the first time in at least ten years there were fewer than 300 filings.
For 2021, 276 Chapter 12 bankruptcies were filed across the nation.
**Data from USDA’s Economic Research Service details the increase in fertilizer prices.
In late 2021, prices began to spike alongside rising natural gas prices, a primary input in nitrogen fertilizer production.
By December, the average monthly spot prices of natural gas at the Henry Hub distribution in Louisiana were 45% higher than in December 2020.
Fertilizer represents an average of 36% of a farmer’s operating costs for corn, and 35% for wheat.