READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 8th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 8th

State Farm Bureau Study Estimates Cost of NAFTA Withdraw

A study from the Nebraska Farm Bureau finds withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement could cost farms in the state up to $55,000 each, annually. The report identifies the 2016 export value of individual Nebraska agriculture commodities to both Canada and Mexico. Analysis in the report also assigns a dollar value of NAFTA on a unit basis for individual agriculture commodities, demonstrating how NAFTA supports commodity prices, but also what the loss of NAFTA could mean. Nebraska Farm Bureau president Steve Nelson says the report shows withdrawing from NAFTA “would be damaging.” Nelson points out that nearly half of the state’s agricultural exports are bound for Canada and Mexico. He calls the idea of withdrawing from NAFTA “unfathomable,” saying farm and ranch families are already working through a struggling agriculture economy. Find the report at

Global Food Prices Slightly Lower in November

A measure of global food prices decreased in November largely due to a decline in dairy values. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations monthly Food Price Index averaged 175.8 points in November 2017, down 0.5 percent, from October. However, the index is still four points, or 2.3 percent, higher than the same time last year. November saw a sharp rise in sugar and vegetable oil, but those increases were offset by a fall in dairy values, while international prices of cereals and meat products remained relatively unchanged. Cereal prices were unchanged for the month, but up eight percent since a year ago. The Vegetable Oil Price Index rose 1.2 percent in November, while sugar prices increased 4.5 percent. Meat prices were nearly unchanged, and dairy prices fell 4.9 percent in November, but remain 9.6 percent higher than the same time last year.

Beef, Pork Exports Post ‘Stellar’ November

U.S. pork exports remained ahead of last year’s record volume pace, and beef exports are poised to break $7 billion this year for only the second time. The U.S. Meat Export Federation says October pork exports were the largest since May, totaling 211,500 metric tons, up five percent from a year ago, valued at $565.4 million. Through the first ten months of the year, pork exports increased eight percent in volume and ten percent in value from the same period last year. Meanwhile, beef exports reached 111,000 metric tons in October, up five percent from a year ago, valued at $662 million. These were the second-largest monthly totals of 2017, trailing only August. For January through October, exports totaled 1.038 million metric tons, up nine percent year-over-year, valued at $5.93 billion.

China Needs More Corn to Meet Fuel Mandate

To meet a fuel blend requirement, China must import more corn, according to industry analysts. A Stewart Peterson advisor tells Farm Journal’s AgDay that China will need to import “an additional billion bushels of corn a year” to meet the mandate. Earlier this year, China announced the nation would require ethanol blends in all fuel by 2020. Demand is growing in China, and ethanol imports to China increased in October. Currently, just 20 percent of fuels in China contain ethanol. Stewart Peterson is a commodity brokerage and analysis firm. The firm says China is starting to make moves now to meet the mandate, and that 70 percent of China’s current corn stocks may be unusable. If so, those stocks will need replenished with fresh corn, and some analysts expect a demand boom will come in 2019.

USDA to Revisit Standard for Beef Carcass Grades

The Department of Agriculture announced it will revisit the United States Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef, a move drawing praise from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. NCBA President Craig Uden (you-den) says the updates to the beef standards will improve accuracy by basing carcass quality grades on the most current scientific data available. Following a petition led by NCBA, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced that dental study documentation of actual age will now be used as additional methods for classifying maturity of carcasses. Prior to the change, some cattle were incorrectly deemed ineligible for USDA quality grades because of limitations in the process used to assess their age. A beef industry working group composed of representatives from the cow-calf, feeder and packer segments conservatively estimated that incorrect classification of carcasses cost the industry nearly $60 million annually.

Bayer, Luke Bryan, Celebrate Successful Feeding Campaign

A campaign by Bayer and country star Luke Bryan has donated more than one million meals to hungry families. Bayer says the “Here’s to the Farmer” campaign this year asked Luke Bryan fans to give thanks to American Farmers, while also helping hungry Americans. Bayer donated one meal through Feeding America for each #HeresToTheFarmer hashtag share online. The campaign, coinciding with the 2017 Bayer Presents Luke Bryan Farm Tour, set a target of one million meals donated before the end of the year. However, this year the campaign reached and surpassed the goal in less than four months. A Bayer spokesperson offered thanks to Luke Bryan and his fans, calling the campaign a huge success. To learn more about the campaign visit

SOURCE: NAFB News Service