READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 11th…

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Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Industry Groups Urging House to Consider GMO Labeling

If the U.S. House fails to consider the Senate approved GMO labeling bill this week, the fate of the legislation will be delayed until September. Congress is set to go on summer recess at the end of the week and won’t be back in session until September. Industry groups, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Corn Growers Association are urging the House to quickly consider and pass the bill. The House passed a voluntary GMO labeling bill last year, a stark difference from the mandatory bill the Senate passed Thursday. Senator Pat Roberts warned House Ag Committee chair Mike Conaway last week the GMO measure approved by the Senate “is the last train that is leaving town.” Roberts called the compromise bill between him and Senator Debbie Stabenow the most important vote for agriculture in the last 20 years.

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Strong May Results for U.S. Beef, Pork Exports

Red meat exports from the United States gained momentum in May with shipments of both beef and pork increasing significantly. Data released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the Department of Agriculture last week show exports of both pork and beef reached their highest point of the year in May. May beef export volume increased 12 percent from a year ago to more than 99,000 metric tons. Export value, at $533.3 million, was four percent lower than a year ago but still the highest since July of 2015. Pork exports reached just shy of 200,000 metric tons in May, up eight percent from a year ago, while export value increased three percent to $501.7 million. Both totals were the highest since April of 2015.

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MAIZALL, USTR Urge Cooperation on Biotech Trade

U.S. farmer-leaders of MAIZALL, the international maize alliance, urged global cooperation on biotech trade at last week’s Global Agribusiness Forum in Brazil. The farmers called on the agriculture sectors and governments of major producing and exporting countries to work together on solving challenges hindering the advancement and adoption of new production technologies, according to the U.S. Grains Council. Representatives from USGC and the National Corn Growers Association shared their views with industry leaders from Brazil and around the globe in attendance at the biennial conference. Further, Darci Vetter, chief agriculture negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, asked for the countries to work together on trade barriers related biotechnology in a speech during the event. MAIZALL is a coalition of corn growers from the United States, and grower groups from Brazil and Argentina.

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USDA Sets 2015 PLC Wheat, Oats Payment Rates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has set Price Loss Coverage payment rates for 2015 crops of wheat at 61 cents per bushel and oats at 28 cents per bushel. However, USDA says there will be no payment for barley. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today reports that under provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill, no payments will be made until after October first. That’s becase the program provisions say that payments on 2015 PLC or Ag Risk Coverage programs cannot be made until after October 1st, 2016, or when the final 2015 market-year price has been announced. The marketing year average prices for 2015-crop wheat, barley and oats were announced June 29th.

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Ireland Allowed to Ship Beef for Grinding to the U.S.

Ireland’s government announced last week that beef processors in the country can now also ship beef intended for grinding to the United States. Meatingplace reports improved access for Irish processors came after the U.S. recognized Ireland’s raw meat controls as equivalent to those of the United States. Previously, after lifting its BSE ban on Irish beef in March 2014, the U.S. government in January 2015 reopened its borders but limited imports of Irish beef to intact product. The decision allows both sides to approve Irish beef plants to export beef intended for grinding to the United States. Six processing plants in Ireland are currently approved. Ireland’s 2015 beef exports to the U.S. are estimated at more than $15 million, and officials there say “2016 looks to be considerably improved on that figure.”

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American Agri-Women, Caterpillar Announce Safety Partnership

American Agri-Women is partnering with Caterpillar Inc. to help educate AAW members and others on how to safely operate and manage equipment on the farm or ranch. Through the partnership, Caterpillar and American Agri-Women will develop opportunities for the Cat dealer network to engage with AAW’s network of more than 50 state and affiliate organizations, representing nearly 40,000 farm, ranch and agribusiness women. AAW President Doris Mold says the partnership “will provide resources for our members to improve safety, productivity and efficiency.” Caterpillar notes that 30 percent of farm operators are women and “sees the importance” of further engaging with women in agriculture.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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