READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, May 9th…

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NPPC Joins “Other White Meat” lawsuit

The US District Court in Washington D.C. granted the National Pork Producer’s motion to intervene in the lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the US against the USDA over the sale of the “Pork, the Other White Meat” trademarks. The National Hog Farmer reports that NPPC sold the trademarks to the Pork Board for 35 million dollars. NPPC financed the purchase over 20 years, making the Pork Board’s annual payments around 3 million dollars. In 2012, HSUS, a lone farmer in Iowa, and the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement filed suit against the USDA, seeking to have the sale rescinded. The US District Court dismissed it for lack of standing, but it was reinstated by the Court of Appeals. Subsequently, the USDA agreed to review the purchase and the contract valuations of the trademarks. The Ag Marketing Service said the trademarks are worth between $113 million and $132 million. HSUS is pressing forward with the lawsuit in spite of the trademarks being worth four times what they were sold for in 2006. HSUS pegs the value at between $2.6 million and $17.6 million dollars.

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US Feed Grain Exports Lower

The US Grains Council says US exports of all feed grains from September through March of this marketing year totaled 51.4 million metric tons, down 7 percent from the same time last year. Higher exports of DDGS, corn gluten feed, corn gluten meal, sorghum, and pork working to offset weaker exports of corn, barley, beef, poultry, and ethanol. Last marketing year, US feed grain exports in all forms totaled a near record 100 million tons, representing 26 percent of US production in corn, barley, and sorghum. This year, the US Grains Council expects that total to be lower, somewhere between 93-96 million tons. While US corn exports have struggled against a strong dollar and larger than expected overseas supplies, DDGS have been a bright spot. Shipments of dried distiller’s grains with solubles are up 18 percent over last year. The corn co-product may have the potential to reach record amounts of exports this year with broad-based gains in 7 of the top 10 export markets.

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Kansas Wheat Crop Looks Larger Than Last Year

The recent winter wheat crop tour found good things touring through the Kansas hard red winter wheat areas. Calculated yields look higher than anticipated, disease pressure was lower than anticipated, and the three-day tour took place in some of the best spring weather to date. The official tour prediction for total production numbers of HRW acres to be harvested is 382.4 million bushels harvested. That estimate is 14 percent higher than the 334.4 million bushels harvested last year. Kansas Wheat officials put crop development at 10-14 days ahead of normal, but harvest won’t begin for approximately 30-45 days. They say the wheat will still need some additional moisture and cooler temperatures to realize that full yield potential.

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Bio-Based Motor Oil Tested in Federal Vehicles

The Defense Department has begun testing bio-based oil in Federal vehicles. Soy Growers dot com says the tests include the use of oil that’s a 25-40 mix derived from agricultural products like canola or soybean oil, as well as animal fats. The tests are taking place at four Air Force Bases and a Department of Homeland Security Facility. The tests are designed to test the compatibility of bio-based synthetic oil in government fleets, and are conducted under the authority of granted by Congress in the 2002 Farm Security and Investment Act. The testing began in January at the Johnson Air Force base in North Carolina, where bio-based oil replaced synthetic in four vehicles. The process was repeated on 40 more vehicles at bases in Arizona and Montana, along with a DHS Law Enforcement Training Center in Washington State.

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Prestage To Seek Another Iowa Location

Prestage Farms will pursue another location for their pork plant in Iowa after the City Council in Mason City rejected a plan to build a processing plant in that area of the state. Dr. Ron Prestage told Brownfield that the rejection in Mason City would not deter them from finding another location for the plant in Iowa. Prestage said his company was contacted “by several individuals interested in having us look into their towns.” The group Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement led opponents of the plant in Mason City, Iowa. Prestage said they made outrageous claims to create negative perceptions about the plant in Mason City. In his words, “Iowa is not immune to the fact that you’ve got some kooks out there trying to kill the biggest strength this state has (Agriculture)”. Finding a new location will change the timetable for the project, which they hoped to have up and running in 2018.

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Almost All US Gasoline Contains Ethanol

Blends of petroleum based gasoline with 10 percent ethanol account for more than 95 percent of the fuel consumed in US motor vehicles. That analysis from the Energy Information Administration comes as the ethanol industry continues its dispute with the EPA over its decision to lower biofuel blending requirements set when the Renewable Fuels Standard was reauthorized in 2007. The industry said the lower requirements are killing investment and restricting producers’ abilities to generate more ethanol. EPA’s proposal for 2017 and other blending requirements are currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget and may be released for public comment in a few weeks. The total volume of ethanol blended into US motor vehicles has continued to increase since 2010, albeit at a declining rate. 

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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