READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, December 27th

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

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, December 27th

Canada-U.S. Trade Not Broken, No Need for Trump Fix

Canada’s trade minister says the world-leading trade relationship between Canada and the United States does not need to be on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s list of things to fix once he takes office. Chrystia Freeland told The Canadian Press last week the trade relationship between the U.S. and Canada “is very balanced and mutually beneficial.” Freeland visited Washington earlier this month and met with some senior Trump advisers and Republican senators, including Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts. Her message was to remind a new Congress and administration in Washington, D.C. the $2.4 billion a day that crosses the 49th parallel is good for both countries. Nine million Americans depend directly on exports to Canada, while 35 states have Canada as their top customer, according to Freeland.

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U.S. Scores Big WTO Win Against Indonesian Agricultural Trade Restrictions

The World Trade Organization ruled last week that 18 different import restrictions the Indonesian government maintains on beef, poultry and various produce items violate global trade rules, handing an overwhelming victory to the U.S. and New Zealand. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today newsletter reports the ruling could help grow U.S. exports of a broad range of agriculture products to Indonesia that already totaled nearly $115 million in 2015. U.S. agricultural exports affected by Indonesia’s restrictions include apples, grapes, oranges, potatoes, onions, flowers, juices, cattle, beef and poultry. Indonesia can appeal the ruling to the WTO’s appellate body within 60 days. If it ultimately loses, Indonesia would have to reform its rules or face the possibility of U.S. trade retaliation.

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USCA Requests Status on U.S. Beef Trade with China

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association last week requested an update on the status of trade negotiations with China about the export of U.S. beef. In a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, USCA points out that an official from China in September announced in a speech in New York that Chinese consumers should no longer be denied the choice to dine on U.S. beef. The letter requests an update on the status of those negotiations and encourages the administration to reach out to stakeholders for input and feedback. China currently consumes around 13 percent of the world’s beef and is expected to increase their imports of red meat by nearly 24 percent in 2016, as compared to previous years.

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HPAI Outbreaks in Asia, Europe Prompting Biosecurity Measures

New outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Asia and Europe have prompted more extensive biosecurity measures. Meat Industry Publication Meatingplace reports those measures include bans on poultry and poultry product imports. South Korea has confirmed 22 million birds have been culled in the wake of several outbreaks over the last month and Taiwan has ordered a slaughterhouse to be disinfected after two chickens tested positive for HPAI. Japan is also preparing to cull another 120,000 birds. Meanwhile, authorities in Hong Kong issued a ban on poultry products from Japan, citing the outbreak where 27.4 million broilers are produced each year. Separately, China has ordered a halt to poultry sales in the wake of the confirmation of HPAI along with additional import bans of poultry from a growing list of affected countries.

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Purdue Study Finds Consuming Meat Doesn’t Affect Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Consuming red meat in amounts above what is typically recommended does not affect short-term cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as blood pressure and blood cholesterol, according to a new review of clinical trials from Purdue University.  While during the last 20 years, there have been recommendations to eat less red meat as part of a healthier diet, red meat can be incorporated into a healthier diet, according to researcher Wayne Campbell. The research by Campbell shows that consuming more than half a serving per day of red meat, which is equivalent to a three-ounce serving three times per week, did not worsen blood pressure and blood total cholesterol. The research includes all types of red meat, mostly unprocessed beef and pork.

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Food Prices Down as Biodiesel Production Grows

Consumers are paying less for food this year as the Consumer Price Index for grocery store items is 2.3 percent lower than last year, all while biodiesel production is higher than ever. The National Biodiesel Board says: “More biodiesel production helps the food supply, despite what opponents incorrectly claim.” Biodiesel production has grown steadily most years since Congress enacted the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The Biodiesel Board expects a more than 2.6-billion-gallon biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel market in the U.S. in 2016 – a record. Biodiesel can be produced from any fat or vegetable oil, including recycled cooking oil, animal fats and soybean oil. By creating a market and value for unwanted soybean oil, biodiesel decreases soy protein meal prices by $20-40 per ton, according to a study by Informa Economics. This helps livestock producers with feed prices, and ultimately helps consumers in the price they pay for meat.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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