READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, March 22nd…

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, March 22nd…

Froman: TPP Can Still Shape World Trade

Former U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman speaking in Tokyo this week said the Trans-Pacific Partnership can still serve as a guide for future trade agreements. The Nikkei (Nee-kay)  Asian Review reports Froman told a symposium this week: “It’s possible that the U.S., among other countries, will look to what we agreed to in the TPP as they negotiate or renegotiate other agreements.” President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the trade pact in January. Froman cited as an example the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has said he would like to renegotiate with partners Canada and Mexico. Froman said a number of members of Congress have talked about adding provisions on labor, the environment, state-owned enterprises and the digital economy, “all of which were part of the TPP.” On the future of the TPP, Froman remained optimistic that the pact will come into effect despite the absence of the U.S. He said it’s possible the other TPP countries will approve the agreement, while potentially adding additional countries to the accord.

Democrat House Member to Introduce Perdue at Hearing

Democrat David Scott, a U.S. Representative from Atlanta, Georgia, will introduce Sonny Perdue at his Senate Agriculture Committee confirmation hearing Thursday. The Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper reports that Perdue has tapped Scott, an old friend from when Perdue was a Democrat, to make the introduction before Perdue gives testimony to the Senate panel in hopes of boosting Perdue’s bipartisan credentials. The two served as Democrats together in the Georgia Senate for eight years before Perdue switched to the GOP in 1998. Representative Scott is a senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, and plans to talk about his work with Perdue and what the former Georgia Governors appointment could mean for agriculture. Scott said of Perdue that “he’s the right person at the right time and the right place.” President Donald Trump announced Perdue as his nominee for Agriculture Secretary on January 19th. Depending on the hearing and confirmation process, it may not be until after the Easter Recess of Congress before the full Senate confirms Perdue.


USDA Targets $6 Million for Wildfire Relief

The Department of Agriculture designated $6 million to help aid farmers and ranchers recovering from recent wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The $6 million in available funding, delivered through USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program, will assist farmers and ranchers as they attempt to restore grazing lands, rehabilitate devastated landscapes, rebuild fencing and protect damaged watersheds. Kansas Republican and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts in a statement said he was “pleased USDA has acted swiftly to aid producers.” Roberts noted that farms lost not only livestock, grazing lands, and fencing – but in some cases, homes, machinery and equipment, as well. EQIP, administered by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, is a voluntary conservation program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to help plan and implement conservation practices that address local and state resource concerns. States will begin accepting applications in the near future. Producers in the affected counties are encouraged to check with their local NRCS service centers for additional information.


Brazil Beef Scandal Limiting Global Options for Buyers

A sanitary inspection bribery scheme in Brazil means less options for global buyers of beef. That could mean more opportunity to export U.S. beef to nations seeking to block imports from Brazil. China has suspended imports of beef from Brazil after Brazil announced an investigation accusing meat inspectors of taking bribes to allow sales of tainted food. The European Union and Chile also curtailed meat imports from Brazil. Brazilian police on Friday named BRF SA and JBS SA, along with dozens of smaller rivals, in a two-year probe into how meat packers allegedly paid off the inspectors and politicians to overlook improper practices, according to Reuters. The companies have denied any wrongdoing and JBS SA claims the investigation focuses on federal inspectors in Brazil, not the company or its employees. While it is too early to assess the export market changes stemming from the investigation, China will need to find a replacement for 31 percent of its beef imports, if the suspension on Brazil products remains in place. The U.S. Department of Agriculture calls China the fastest growing market for beef.


Missouri Passes Legislation Increasing Fines for Illegal Dicamba Use

Missouri lawmakers have passed a bill that increases fines issued to farmers who illegally apply herbicides. Over the top application of dicamba-based herbicides, an application method not approved for use, cost farmers millions of dollars in damages last year after the herbicide drifted into neighboring fields. Under the legislation, farmers can be fined up to $10,000 for each instance of damage and $25,000 for repeat offenders. If signed by the state’s governor, the bill would go into effect immediately. Missouri investigated more than 90 cases of dicamba drift last year. Drift issues prompted at least two lawsuits and an argument led to the death of an Arkansas farmer who was shot after confronting another farmer in southeast Missouri. A class action lawsuit is open to farmers who experienced damage from illegal dicamba drift in 2016 from 10 soybean and cotton growing states. The lawsuit claims Illegal, off-label, over the top use of a Monsanto dicamba product led to drift damage to crops that were not tolerant to dicamba. The lawsuit contends that Monsanto is responsible for the off-label dicamba use and damage.


Rabo AgriFinance Partnering with FFA to Support Agricultures Future

RaboAgriFinance has announced it will increase its donation to the National FFA organization, serving as a Five Star sponsor of FFA. Rabo AgriFinance has partnered with FFA for the last 12 years to ensure the future of agriculture and agricultural education. Rabo AgriFinance currently supports supervised agricultural experience grants, scholarships, the beef production-entrepreneurship proficiency as well as the Living to Serve platform. FFA’s Five Star sponsorship level includes donations between $100,000 and $250,000. Rabo Agrifinance joins companies at the same sponsorship level such as BASF, Bayer, Cargill, Caterpillar, Chevrolet and Firestone. The highest FFA sponsorship level, Platinum Sponsors, which provide $1 million or more, include CSX, John Deere and Monsanto.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service