READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, July 20th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, July 20th…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EPA Study Supports Keeping Fuel Efficiency Targets for 2025

A highly anticipated study from the Environmental Protection Agency supports staying the course on fuel efficiency targets that automakers say are unattainable by 2025. Bloomberg says current industry trends show cars getting between 50 and 52 miles per gallon by 2025, which is short of the original projection of 54 miles per gallon. The report that came out Monday was put together by the EPA, the National Highway Transportation Safety Board, and the California Air Resources Board. The report says automobile manufacturers have different technologies they can turn to for help in meeting the original projection and it will be cheaper than first thought. A spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said it will be a big challenge to meet the “very aggressive requirements of the 2022-2025 federal fuel economy and greenhouse gas rule, especially with changes in the current marketplace.” The Alliance worries that excessive regulatory costs could impact car buyers and those who manufacture those cars. 

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Monsanto Calls Bayer’s Revised Proposal Inadequate

The Monsanto Board of Directors announced its unanimous conclusion that Bayer’s revised proposal of $55 million to take over Monsanto was financially inadequate and won’t provide for certainty in the deal. The Board did say it remains open to continuing conversations with Bayer and other parties to see if a deal can be reached that would be in the best interests of Monsanto’s shareholders. Bloomberg said at this time there isn’t any deal in the works and nothing is set in stone. Bayer said it was disappointed by Monsanto’s reaction, calling the revised, all-cash offer a “compelling opportunity.” A Bloomberg analyst said Bayer has enough financing available to raise it’s offer to $158 per share. It’s the second rejection for Bayer, who had an offer of $122 a share turned down by Monsanto back in May. Buying Monsanto would give Bayer the largest seed supplier and a leader in crop biotechnology.  

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USDA Proposes Changes to Beef and Soybean Checkoffs

The USDA’s Ag Marketing Service has proposed changes to both the beef and soybean checkoff programs. In special circumstances, the proposed changes would allow producers to request that their assessment be sent to a certified state board or the national checkoff. Feedstuffs says in most cases, assessments are collected by a certified state board, which keeps a portion of it, before sending the rest on to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board or the United Soybean Board. Some states have laws that allow state assessments and some don’t. As a result, the Ag Marketing Service decided to add a provision to these promotion and research orders that allow producers to redirect them to national programs in certain cases and ensures that producers pay the full amount. For producers to request their assessments go from a state program to a national one, they have to live in a state that meets two requirements: Either there isn’t a state law requiring assessments to a state board or council, or there is a state law requiring assessments but allows for refunds. 

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Water Challenges Around the World Are Getting Worse

On Monday, a panel of experts said world water scarcity is a growing problem that will have a direct effect on agriculture and an expanding population that will need food. DTN/The Progressive Farmer says panelists at an Ag Symposium at the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City said farmers worldwide need to find a way to produce more food on the same amount of land or they’ll need to broaden agriculture’s footprint in the face of expanding water shortages. Mark Rosegrant of the International Food Policy Research Institute said water scarcity has grown in recent years and drought is expanding in different areas of the world. He said the adoption of new technologies, including drop and sprinkler irrigation, is not having system-wide benefits as far as curbing water use. However, the panel also said the rate of growth in annual grain production yields of 1.2 percent between 1965-2011 won’t be enough to feed a projected population of nine billion in 2050.

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Merger in China to Create Global Grain Trading Force

China National Cereal Company along with Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation announced a merger with Chinatex. The goal is to create a bigger company to compete with the “ABCD companies” in global grain trading. World Grain Dot Com said the term ABCD refers to companies that act as a middle man between farmers and grain markets in global trading. The groups are ADM Company, Bunge Limited, and Cargill Incorporated from the U.S., along with Louis Dreyfuss SAS in the Netherlands. Chinatex is one of the nation’s main textile and grain trading groups, and will now become a subsidiary of the nation’s biggest food trader after the merger. This indicates that the central government will now push ahead with efforts to redo state-owned enterprises this year. The three companies are huge in terms of total volume of grains traded. The total amount of purchased corn exceeds domestic volumes, and the soybean import volume accounts for more than 30 percent of the total imports into China. 

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US Imports of Beef Products from Brazil is Rising

U.S. imports of processed beef and sub-beef products from Brazil rose 34 percent in June over the previous month. They’re expected to keep rising every year to get back to the volumes that were traded before imports were suspended in 2010. The U.S. doesn’t bring in fresh beef from Brazil but does purchase a lot of processed products like canned corned beef. U.S. purchases from Brazil totaled $27.6 million in June, which means America is now one of the biggest beef buyers from Brazil. U.S. purchases were suspended from April to December in 2010 due to high levels of anti-parasitic medications in beef imports. Industrialized beef exports from Brazil have been increasing every year since 2012. They’re expected to go higher after the countries sign a formal agreement to authorize fresh beef trade, which could happen this year. 

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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