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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News as heard inside the BARN for January 29th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on January 29, 2013

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“Agreement Reached to Further Open Japanese Market to U.S. Beef”

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Monday that the U.S. and Japan have reached an agreement to further open Japan’s market to U.S. beef. Kirk and Vilsack said the two countries have agreed on new terms and conditions that pave the way for expanded exports of U.S. beef and beef products. The new terms will enter into effect February 1st. Among other steps – Japan will permit the import of beef from cattle less than 30 months of age. It’s estimated the changes will result in hundreds of millions of dollars in exports of U.S. beef to Japan in the coming years. Kirk called the announcement great news for American ranchers and beef companies. He said it represents a significant and historic step in expanding U.S. beef trade with Japan and growing American exports and jobs here at home. Vilsack noted that we are in the most successful period in history for the nation’s agriculture sector. He said the Obama Administration will continue efforts to break down barriers and expand access for high-quality, safe and wholesome U.S. food and agricultural products to Japan and around the world.


“NCBA Reacts to News of Beef Agreement with Japan”

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President J.D. Alexander says the announcement that Japan will soon begin accepting U.S. beef and beef products from cattle under 30 months of age is great news for cattlemen and women. He says it is also a significant milestone in the nation’s trading relationship with Japan. According to Aelxander – this move is an important step forward in paving the way toward greater export opportunities to one of our largest export markets.

Japan was the second largest export market for U.S. beef through November 2012 – totaling 849-million dollars and nearly 130-thousand metric tons. Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns also commented on the importance of Japan as a U.S. trading partner and called this move a significant step in the right direction. The former Ag Secretary would still prefer all of our trading partners fully align their policies to meet international standards.


“Group of Senators Ironing Out Details for Immigration Reform”

A bipartisan group of Senators has agreed on a framework for immigration reform. The deal reportedly covers border security, guest workers and employer verification – as well as a path to citizenship for the 11-million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. The Senators behind the effort are Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona.


“Mini Deals Could Help Move Doha Forward”

According to The Hagstrom Report – small agreements on agriculture could play a role in moving stalled global trade talks forward. A participant at a meeting of trade ministers in Switzerland following the World Economic Forum told The Hagstrom Report the agriculture deals under consideration would be on tariff rate quota administration and food security. The Hagstrom Report also learned these deals would be secondary to an attempt to reach agreement on trade facilitation, the procedures and controls governing the movement of all goods across national borders. Swiss Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann told reporters that the trade ministers expressed their readiness to work on a deal that would include an agreement on trade facilitation, some issues related to agriculture, as well as additional measures of special interest to developing and least developing countries. Schneider-Ammann also said the ministers signaled they want to see a set of substantial results in Bali this December when all of the trade ministers of the World Trade Organization countries gather.

At the meeting in Switzerland – ministers said the ambassador to the WTO in Geneva and the WTO staff would need to move quickly if agreements are to be presented in December. Schneider-Amman seemed to have an Easter deadline for evaluating progress and determining if a meaningful result in Bali is possible. He also stressed that a mini-agreement should not be seen as the end of the Doha road – but rather as a stepping stone on the way to address the remaining issues under the WTO agenda – including the conclusion of the Doha Round.


“Former Senate Ag Chairs Announce Plans to Retire”

Two members of the Senate Ag Committee have announced they will not seek re-election in 2014. Both of the Senators are former Chairmen of the Agriculture Committee. In making his announcement – Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin cited his age, 73, and a promise to his wife to retire while they are still in good health. Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss – however – emphasized his frustration with life in Washington. He noted frustration at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the lack of meaningful action from Congress. According to Chambliss – the debt-ceiling debacle of 2011 and the recent fiscal-cliff vote showed Congress at its worst. He said he doesn’t see the legislative gridlock and partisan posturing improving anytime soon. For the nation to be strong and the country to prosper – Chambliss said we cannot continue to play politics with the American economy.

When the current Congress is over – Harkin will have served a total of 40 years in the U.S. Congress. Some of that time was in the House. He chaired the Senate Ag Committee when the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills were passed. In his own statement – President Barack Obama noted that Harkin has served in the Senate longer than any Democrat in Iowa’s history. When Chambliss completes his term – he will have served in Congress 20 years. He was elected to the House in 1994 and to the Senate in 2002. Chambliss served as Senate Ag Chair in the 109th Congress and as Ranking Member in the 110th Congress and 111th Congress.


“FFA Accepting Applications for Summer Conference”

The 2013 New Century Farmer Conference will take place July 14th through the 20th in Johnstown, Iowa. The National FFA Organization is now accepting applications for this free event. It is an exclusive, highly competitive conference for college agriculture students who intend to pursue careers in production agriculture. Those students selected to attend the conference will be among the first in the nation to learn about the latest technological developments in the ag industry and will receive business management advice from top industry leaders. The deadline for submitting an application is March 15th at five p.m. Eastern time. The top 50 applicants will be chosen to participate.

To learn more about the program and download an application – visit www dot FFA dot org ( Click on the Programs heading and then follow the Collegiate FFA link. The New Century Farmer Conference is sponsored as a special project of the National FFA Foundation by DuPont Pioneer, Case IH, CSX Transportation and Farm Credit with media partner Successful Farming.


“New BASF Insecticide Registered for Use”

BASF Crop Protection’s Fastac™ EC insecticide recently received Environmental Protection Agency registration and will be available for use for the 2013 season. BASF Technical Market Manager Luke Bozeman says the Restricted Use Pesticide is an effective new tool for growers looking to proactively manage a broad spectrum of insect pests – including aphids, beetles and stink bugs. Additionally – as a pyrethroid – Bozeman says the insecticide provides residual control to manage key pests in many crops. According to BASF – the active ingredient in Fastac EC targets the nerve impulses of insects – leading to effective control.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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