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

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

Canada Disputing U.S. Claims Regarding Poultry Trade

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States is firing back at claims that Canada is hindering the trade of poultry with the United States. Canadian Ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton told a group of senators who say Canada has denied access to U.S. poultry and eggs that their claims are “inaccurate.” McNaughton cited statistics on Canadian imports of U.S. poultry and eggs, saying Canada will continue to “stand up” for Canada’s farmers and their supply management system for dairy, poultry and eggs, according to the Hagstrom Report. The comments were responding to a separate letter sent to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, which asked the Trump administration to address poultry trade during renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The group, led by Delaware Democrat Tom Carper, claims trade barriers by Canada have harmed the U.S. poultry industry for 20 years.

Brazil Hopes to Reverse U.S. Ban on Brazilian Beef

Brazil is seeking to reverse a ban on Brazilian beef imports enacted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week. The Associated Press reports Brazil’s agriculture minister will travel to the U.S. to address officials regarding the ban. While the U.S. says the ban will remain in place until Brazil takes corrective action to safety concerns, Brazil says it will fight to end the ban. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision was announced three months after a major scandal into allegations of bribed meat inspectors that were allowing tainted meat to pass inspection. Perdue says that since USDA started inspecting 100 percent of beef imports from Brazil, U.S. inspectors have refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products, about 1.9 million pounds. Brazil’s agriculture minister attributed USDA’s safety concerns to the lumps some steers develop as a result of an allergic reaction to a vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease. He claims the lumps did not represent a public health hazard.

Farmers Union Applauds Emergency Grazing Declaration

Following Friday’s announcement by the Department of Agriculture to authorize emergency grazing in drought-stricken states, farm groups offered praise to the move. USDA authorized emergency grazing for Conservation Reserve Program lands in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The announcement came just days after elected officials, the National Farmers Union, and several Farmers Union state divisions urged USDA to address severe drought conditions in the region. NFU President Roger Johnson says many producers in the area are having to downsize their herd because of dwindling feed supplies, and that without relief, many more would make the same decision. Emergency grazing is authorized to begin immediately and extends through September 30th, unless conditions improve.

Managed Honeybee Colony Numbers Increasing

The Department of Agriculture says the number of managed honey bee colonies has increased over the last decade. While recent public attention has focused largely on colony mortality trends, overall colony numbers have increased since 2006. USDA says the number of managed colonies has increased from roughly two million in 2006 to near 2.8 million in 2016. However, honeybee mortality, as measured by the loss of a honeybee colony, has remained high over the last decade. In the 2006-2007 counting period, approximately 30 percent of honeybee colonies were lost during the over-winter period. The over-winter loss rate has since diminished to 22 percent in 2014-2015, but over-summer losses have grown. The net result is that about 44 percent of colonies perished in 2015-2016, compared with 36 percent in 2010-2011.

R-CALF Claims Win Over Montana Beef Checkoff

R-CALF is claiming a win stemming from last week’s federal court ruling against the beef checkoff program. The organization alleges that the involuntary collections of beef checkoff funds from producers in Montana were in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The United States District Court for the District of Montana put in place a preliminary injunction prohibiting the private Montana Beef Council from retaining beef checkoff funds without the payers’ consent. J. Dudley Butler of the Farm and Ranch Law Group says of the ruling that: “For too long the big meat packers and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have used their allies in Washington to squelch the voices of rural America,” adding that the group hopes the court ruling is a “step towards fairer treatment of farmers and ranchers and a more accountable food system.”

Missouri Watching for Dicamba Drift Issues

As a temporary ban on dicamba-based herbicide use on field crops awaits approval by the state’s governor and a legislative panel, Missouri is keeping a close eye for similar problems. Dicamba drift issues started to emerge in Missouri in late June, and the state so far has received more than 60 complaints, according to the St Louis Post-Dispatch. However, this year, the situation is different., compared to the complaints filed last year in the state. Missouri last year mostly dealt with off-label sprayings or use of older, more volatile herbicides containing dicamba. This year, a University of Missouri professor says applicators are using the new products, and using them correctly, adding “they’re doing the best they can do.” Missouri urged producers earlier this month to comply with herbicide label directions. The state’s Legislature this year changed fines related to violations, giving the state’s agriculture department the authority to issue a fine up to $10,000 per violation, or $25,000 per violation for repeat violators, to any person found to have knowingly used any herbicide for a crop for which the herbicide is not labeled for use, leading to drift issues and crop injury in nearby fields.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service