READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, January 13th…

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Georgia Farmer Elected American Farm Bureau President

American Farm Bureau Delegates elected Georgia farmer Zippy Duval to lead the organization as President. Duval, who was serving as the Georgia Farm Bureau state president, will take over the top post from Bob Stallman, who has retired after 16 years. Duval will serve a two-year term with the organization. Duval beat out Don Vilwolk of Indiana in the final run-off vote. Previous votes eliminated candidates Kevin Rogers of Arizona and Barr Bushue of Oregon. Delegates then elected Scott VanderWal of South Dakota to serve as vice president. The voting concluded the 2016 American Farm Bureau annual convention in Orlando, Florida. The 2017 convention is planned for Phoenix, Arizona next January.


U.S. Grains Council Disappointed Over Chinese Investigations

The U.S. Grains Council said Tuesday it was disappointed in the announcement by China to initiate anti-dumping and countervailing duties Investigations of a U.S. product. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced the investigation of U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles exported to China this week. U.S. Grains Council’s CEO Thomas Sleight said he believes the allegations are unwarranted and unhelpful, stating “They could have negative effects on U.S. ethanol and DDGS producers, as well as on Chinese consumers, potentially over a period of many years.” Sleight said that USGC is also confident that U.S. trading practices for DDGS, ethanol and all coarse grains and related products are fair throughout the world. However, he added, “We stand ready to cooperate fully with the investigations.”


Canadian Ag Minister to Visit Washington D.C.

Canada’s Agriculture and AgriFood Minister will visit Washington D.C. Thursday, according to the Hagstrom Report. Lawrence MacAulay will make his first visit to the U.S. capitol city to meet with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. MacAulay and Vilsack are expected to discuss a range of issues, including implementation of the repeal of country-of-origin labeling for beef and pork and USDA’s statement that the Food Safety and Inspection Service plans to establish rules for a voluntary labeling program. MacAulay, a member of the Liberal Party, was appointed to the position by the Prime Minister after the October elections. He represents eastern Prince Edward Island in the House of Commons, and won his ninth consecutive election in October.


El Nino Bringing Much Needed Moisture to California, But Not Enough

The increased rain and snowfall in California is certainly welcomed, but it’s not enough to bust the drought. Bloomberg report though, that does not mean the mood is sour in California. After four plus years of drought, the much-needed precipitation is helping to dampen the drought impacts. California Hydrologist Rob Hartman said “so far we aren’t losing any ground” and that California remains closer to a normal year. The entire state is still listed as either abnormally dry or in some form of drought, which is exactly where it was a year ago. December saw storms rain down on Washington and Oregon, but not a lot for California, which wasn’t out of the ordinary because that’s the way El Ninos unfold. California has to wait until January and February to start reaping its benefits.


Alltech Acquires Materfeeds, Inc.

Alltech has acquired 100 percent of the outstanding shares of Masterfeeds, Inc., in a share purchase agreement with Ag Processing Inc, known as AGP. Masterfeeds, a leading commercial animal nutrition company in Canada, is now part of the Alltech family of companies, which includes 12 other companies that Alltech has acquired globally since 2011. The addition of Masterfeeds to Alltech’s existing Canadian operations and other Canadian acquisition, EMF Nutrition, brings the companies’ total presence to approximately 700 Canadian employees. Together they operate 25 feed manufacturing and premix facilities, nine retail locations and seven distribution centers in a business spanning the entire country.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service