READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, August 14th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, August 14th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

China: U.S. Farmers May Never Bounce Bank

China threatens that U.S. agriculture won’t recover from the tit-for-tat trade war between the two countries. In the South China Morning Post, a government official warned that U.S. agriculture may never regain lost market share stemming from the trade war. China alleges that “many countries have the willingness” and capacity to take over market share occupied by U.S. goods. Since the trade war began, China has imposed duties on 90 percent of agricultural goods from the United States. China charges that addition tariffs will cause “a great decrease” in exports from the U.S. with “limited impact” on China due to diversified import sources. China’s vice agriculture minister also claimed that Chinese companies had “basically stopped” importing soybeans from U.S. farmers and would deal with the impact by finding alternative ingredients for animal feeds. China is the world’s biggest importer of soybeans, which it uses to make cooking oil, biodiesel and livestock feed.

China Accepts U.S. Soybean Shipment with 25 Percent Tariff

China Monday accepted the 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, as a vessel waiting to dock for five weeks reached port and began unloading. The move marks the first shipment of U.S. soybeans to be accepted with a 25 percent tariff stemming from the U.S.-China trade war. China’s state grain stockpiling company accepted the shipment, even as government officials warned over the weekend China would source products, such as soybeans, elsewhere. The company will pay the tariff on the 70,000 metric ton shipment, with the tax estimated at $6 million, according to Reuters. The Chinese company claims the ship was delayed by port congestion, though the port has not seen any major backlogs for more than a month. U.S. soybean exports to China in 2017 were worth $12.7 billion, but the trade war between the two nations has sparked concerns over how much U.S. soy China will purchase. Two other ships carrying U.S. soybean have been anchored along China’s coast for a few weeks now, and many expect China to start sourcing more soybeans from Brazil.

NCBA Calls R-CALF Effort an Attack on Beef Checkoff

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association alleges that R-CALF is attacking the beef checkoff. Last week, R-CALF asked for an injunction against collection of checkoff funds be expanded to 13 more states. The injunction currently only applies to Montana. In a statement, R-CALF says it’s members in other states “object to being required to turn over their hard-earned money to fund private speech with which they disagree and cannot influence,” that private speech being the focus of an R-CALF lawsuit in Montana. NCBA says the attack is “nothing more than an attempt to broaden the damage they have caused in Montana.” NCBA says the Beef Checkoff program carries out necessary demand-building programs on behalf of the industry, adding that R-CALF has “already weakened” the producer-directed programs that support beef demand and “divided neighbors in a manner that undermines the best interests of the entire beef community.” NCBA is not a part in the litigation but vows “unwavering” support to the Beef Checkoff. NCBA vowed to “ stand with the state beef councils” against R-CALF, which NCBA says its activists allies are “aligned with the Humane Society of the United States and other anti-agriculture organizations.”

Bayer Takes Market Hit from Glyphosate Ruling

The first day of trading following a jury ruling against Monsanto pushed shares of Bayer down 12 percent. Monsanto, recently acquired by Bayer, was ordered to pay $289 million as part of a lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer. While Bayer says the verdict is “at odds with the weight of scientific evidence,” the ruling by a California Jury claimed glyphosate, found in Monsanto’s Roundup, presented a “substantial danger” to consumers, and that the company knew, or should have known, the potential risks they posed. A market analyst told the Wall Street Journal the ruling will likely “create a litigious headache for Bayer,” as the lawsuit is one of roughly 4,000 filed and sets a precedent. Monsanto will appeal the ruling, and in a statement, noted that more than 800 scientific studies, along with health and regulatory authorities around the world “support the fact that glyphosate does not cause cancer.”

Sorghum Growers Disappointed in Chlorpyrifos Ruling

National Sorghum Producers expressed disappointment in last week’s court decision to impose a ban on chlorpyrifos (clo-PEER-uh-foss), a useful pesticide for sorghum growers. Last week, a U.S. appeals court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to revoke tolerances and cancel all registration for chlorpyrifos within 60 days. In response, NSP chairman Don Bloss of Nebraska expressed disappointment in the decision, calling the pesticide a “vital tool used in rotation to control damaging pests such as sorghum midge, various aphid species, and sorghum webworm and headworm.” NSP points out that chlorpyrifos has been evaluated and approved in 79 countries around the world and extensive studies “strongly point to a reduced risk product that should remain in the toolbox of American farmers.” NSP offered up similar comments to CropLife America, hoping EPA would explore all avenues of appeal following review of the order.

Tractor, Combine Sales, Posting Strong Numbers

Overall U.S. sales of tractors and combines continued to post strong numbers, led by combines and four-wheel-drive tractors, according to the July 2018 report from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. July U.S. sales of combines gained 37 percent compared to last year, with year-to-date growth of nearly 24 percent compared to last year’s January-July numbers. U.S. sales of four-wheel-drive tractors jumped 77.5 percent for July compared to July 2017, and grew nearly 13 percent year-to-date over January-July 2017. For July, total U.S. sales of two-wheel drive tractors grew 12 percent over last year. Sales in the 100-plus horsepower category led the way with 31-percent growth. An AEM spokesperson says the numbers are favorable, but surveys show AEM members are voicing concerns about the second half of the year, as “Tariffs and trade continue to dominate the conversation.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service