01-11-17 Limousin cattle on display at 2017 National Western Stock Show

Limousin cattle on display at 2017 National Western Stock Show

Limousin and Lim-Flex breeders were under the bright lights of the Stadium Arena at the National Western Stock Show to showcase their genetics. The Level 1 Medal of Excellence Limousin Show was held on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 in Denver. Dan Shike, Urbana, Ill., evaluated the 62 females and 20 bulls.

The grand champion Limousin female was Riverstone Charmed exhibited by Madison Ratliff, Westphalia, Kan. She is a January 31, 2015, 92 percent Limousin female sired by TMCK Durham Wheat 6030X. This female was first named Division V champion. Riverstone Charmed also won the NWSS Junior Limousin Show the previous day. Continue reading

01-11-17 WGCD partnering with CSF to host 3 different Windbreak Tree Workshops

01-11-17 U.S. Grains Council Statement on China Actions…

USGC - US Grains Council logo

U.S. Grains Council Statement on China Actions

A statement from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight:

“The announcement Tuesday by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) that it will subject U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVDs) is the latest in a rash of measures taken by the Chinese government to restrict access to that market for U.S. feed grains and related products, specifically corn, distiller’s dried grains (DDGS) and ethanol. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, January 11th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, January 11th

Wild Montana Duck Has Avian Influenza

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Monday a wild duck shot in Montana was carrying the H5N2 strain of avian influenza. That’s fueling calls to scrap a USDA proposal to allow organic poultry more access to the outside. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today report says the sick bird was harvested for surveillance purposes. Farmers are concerned the sick bird might be the forerunner to another avian influenza outbreak like the one that decimated American poultry flocks in 2014 and 2015. The USDA said in a statement that it hasn’t found any illness in domestic flocks. The USA Chief Veterinarian said the duck “appears to have suffered from one of the strains that caused the previous outbreak. It’s a powerful reminder that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is still out there in wild birds, so producers need to be vigilant about biosecurity to protect domestic poultry.” Large organic egg producers point to that as the main reason for the USDA’s National Organic Program to scrap its efforts to require organic poultry to have access to the outdoors. The large producers say the risk of avian influenza is “precisely the reason we’ve opposed USDA’s misguided efforts to force organic hens to be exposed to the outdoors.”


Pig Farmers Complying with New VFD Requirements

A recent survey shows that U.S. pig farmers are complying with the new federal rules regarding antibiotic use in their animals. The November survey done by the National Pork Board showed that 95 percent of farmers were ready for full compliance well before the January first deadline. Jan Archer, Pork Board President, says, “The pork industry has worked toward the deadline for two years. Pig farmers are committed to making the necessary changes regarding antibiotic use, with many discontinuing antibiotic use for growth promotion years ago.” One of the biggest keys to the rule changes is antibiotics that are medically important to humans could no longer be used for growth promotion. A big challenge for the industry is ensuring that producers in remote locations have an established relationship with a veterinarian. One of the new ideas to help out with that is an online veterinarian locator at Pork Dot Org Forward Slash Antibiotics. “Complying with the new rules is critical to maintaining consumer trust in the high quality and safety of pork produced in the U.S.,” Archer says.


2017 Crop Price Outlook Still Below Average

The U.S. grain price outlook and crop demand won’t see a lot of major changes in the coming year. That prediction comes from Dr. Pat Westhoff, Director of the Food and Ag Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri. Based on trends, Westhoff says prices will continue to be below average in 2017-2018 and be lower than 2016. Yields for grains and oilseeds increased by one percent per year since 1980, roughly the same rate as the global population growth. The harvested area for wheat, corn, and soybeans has increased by 17 percent from 2002-2014 and world per capita consumption increased 16 percent. He says an increase in ethanol production and Chinese per capita demand had the greatest effect on grains and oilseed markets. Biofuels growth has slowed and increasing Chinese demand is becoming doubtful, so grain and oilseed markets will continue along their current trends for those reasons.


Merger Cases Go Before the EU

China’s National Chemical Corporation and Syngenta submitted formal remedies to the European Union this week in an attempt to win approval by regulators of ChemChina’s planned $43 billion takeover of Syngenta. The companies submitted their comments on Monday and regulators have until Thursday to make a decision. The EU began its review back in October, citing concerns about overlapping portfolios of crop protection products between Syngenta and an Israeli company also controlled by ChemChina. Dow Chemical and DuPont Company also went before regulators this week to plead their case for their planned $60 billion merger. European Union regulators have concerns about what the merger will mean in terms of reducing research and development spending on agrochemicals. If that concern is merited, it could reduce innovation in an industry that’s absolutely critical to global food production. The Monday hearing was the last chance for the companies to make their case before regulators decide whether or not to approve the agreement. Dow and DuPont made an offer last July that regulators said left them in serious doubts about the deal being approved. The companies still have time to make another offer to alleviate EU concerns.


Ag Producer Sentiment Improves in December

Producer sentiments took a post-election jump in the month of December. The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer December reading of 132 marked the second straight monthly increase. That’s also the highest level since the survey began in October of 2015. The December mark was 16 points above the November mark and 40 points higher than October. Producers seemed optimistic about both current and future conditions in the December survey, but the biggest improvement was in producers’ expectations about future economic conditions. The index of Future Expectations jumped to an impressive 146 total, up 51 points over October and the highest number since data collection began. The improved expectations are for outside of agriculture as well. The October sentiment before the elections and the December expectations after the elections were drastically different. Only 13 percent of October respondents expected the overall economy to improve, but 50% of the December respondents expect the economy to expand. In October, 35 percent of respondents expected good times ahead for U.S. economy over the next five years. In December, that number jumped to 71 percent.


Analysts Watching Ending Stocks in Thursday USDA Reports

The January USDA Crop Production Report comes out on Thursday and analysts don’t expect a lot of surprises, but they will be watching the estimates carefully. An Ag Web Dot Com article says forecasts regarding the reports look bearish. “We expect growing balance sheets for corn and soybeans as a combination of reduced feed, lower corn exports, and rising soybean yields to contribute to higher ending stocks numbers,” said Mike North, Commodity Risk Management Group President. Other analysts are looking for bearish reports on all grains, but don’t expect the markets to be too surprised as it’s well known that there are high numbers of ending stocks. A Reuters survey of analysts showed that corn production guesses near 15.1 billion bushels, 175.1 bushel per acre yield, and 2.38 billion bushels in ending stocks. Soybean estimates are 4.37 billion bushel production, 52.7 bushels per acre yield, and 468 million bushels in ending stocks. Wheat ending stocks estimates put the number at 1.14 billion bushels.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service