READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 29th…

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…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Grains Council, Renewable Fuels Association Disappointed in China DDGs Determination

The U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association expressed disappointment Wednesday with China’s preliminary determination regarding U.S. dried distiller’s grains. The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China claims DDGs are being unfairly subsidized by U.S. government entities and have caused injury to China’s DDGs industry. The groups say the announcement was not a surprise, but challenge that “U.S. DDGs have not caused any injury to China.” The groups say DDGs play an important role in protecting Chinese feed producers and households against unpredictable swings in global commodity prices. The groups say “we will continue cooperating fully with these investigations” and hope China “will find in its final determination that continued access for U.S. DDGs is in China’s interest.”


USDA GMO Labeling Study Waiting on Funding

The Department of Agriculture may have to wait until later this year to receive funding for the congressionally mandated study on electronic GMO labeling. Politico reports USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said this week the funding would not be in the continuing resolution that was passed by the Senate Wednesday afternoon. The study was mandated as part of the GMO labeling bill passed by Congress this summer. Congress also set a deadline of two years for the study and the GMO labeling rules that USDA must craft. Vilsack said “it’s important for us to figure out a way to get this started” to meet the timeline Congress intended for GMO labeling. The mandatory labeling bill allows for scannable codes on food packaging that directs consumers to label information online through a smartphone.


Arkansas Representative Introduces Tax Deferred Savings Bill for Farmers

Republican U.S. Representative Rick Crawford of Arkansas this week introduced a bill in the U.S. House intended to help farmers save for disasters and difficult times. Crawford says the Farm Risk Abatement and Mitigation Election Act would give farmers the option of taking disaster preparedness into their hands. The FRAME Act would establish tax-deferred farm savings accounts that farmers could withdraw from during difficult times without waiting for disaster declarations and government assistance. He says the accounts would work much like an IRA or Health Savings Account and would give farmers the option of investing. To encourage initial investment, farmers would be eligible to write-off FRAME Account contributions on their tax bill. Contributions would be tax deductible up to $50,000 per year, and farmers would retain 10 percent of their contributions as a tax credit during the first few years after opening the account. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for consideration.


Judge Allows Syngenta Corn Case to Continue as Class Action Suit

A federal judge in Kansas has allowed a lawsuit filed by farmers against Syngenta to move forward as a class action lawsuit. Farmers from the U.S. sued Syngenta in 2014 after grain shipments to China were rejected because of an unapproved genetically engineered trait was found. The trait, Syngenta’s Agrisure Viptera, was unapproved for import by China. Farmers who did not plant Viptera corn claimed they suffered losses when the rejections disrupted trade and dragged down corn prices. It is estimated by the plaintiffs that U.S. corn producers lost between $5-7 billion in current and future revenue because China stopped importing U.S. corn at the time. An attorney appointed to represent the farmers says the ruling “will make it easier and less expensive for farmers to pursue their claims against Syngenta.” Syngenta says it is not responsible for the losses and may appeal the District Court’s decision.

Putin Tells Russia to Not Hurry Grain Movement

President Vladimir Putin of Russia this week hailed the nation’s farmers efforts in producing the biggest post-Soviet grain crop this week. However, in his message to farmers, he cautioned the country should not be in a hurry to move excess grain. Russia’s Agriculture Ministry Tuesday announced the nation’s grain crop was estimated at 110 to 115 million metric tons, the largest overall grain crop for Russia in 25 years. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today says wheat exports from Russia are projected around 30 million metric tons. Putin also cautioned Russia’s agriculture industry about rushing to boost exports until global prices for grain increase. He said “we shouldn’t be hurrying to dump extra volumes on the market.” Farmers in Russia this year enjoyed a mild winter and warm, wet summer, helping them bounce back from the 2010 drought. Russia’s agricultural output has gradually recovered from its tough Soviet times when the nation had to import American wheat. Now, Russia is expected to be the biggest wheat exporter.


Millennials are Big Organic Consumers

The Organic Trade Association says millennials are big consumers of organic foods and other organic products. OTA announced the U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs 2016 Tracking Study during a conference last week. The survey shows about 52 percent of household heads that buy organic food are millennials in the 18- to-34-year-old age group, according to Agri-Pulse. Behind millennials, 35 percent of household heads that buy organic are in the Generation X category of 35 to 50 years old and 14 percent are baby boomers, 51 to 69 years old. The survey, which hasn’t been published yet in full, also shows that 54 percent of millennials put a high level of trust in the organic seal on food. The survey also shows that 77 percent of American consumers consider themselves “very knowledgeable” about organic qualities. The study polled more than 1,800 households throughout the country with at least one child under 18 years old.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service