10-01-18 NFU: U.S., Canada, Mexico Reach Deal on New Trade Pact

NFU: U.S., Canada, Mexico Reach Deal on New Trade Pact

Family Farmers Encouraged by Progress on Trade, Expect Fair Trade Provisions, NFU Says

WASHINGTON – In a break to what has been more than a year of feuding and tense negotiations, the U.S. has reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico on a new trade pact, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
While announcement is a bit of welcome news to family farmers and ranchers who are bearing the brunt of retaliatory tariffs and trade disruptions, the agreement should do more to institute a fair trade agreement framework that benefits family farmers and rural communities, according to National Farmers Union (NFU).
NFU President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the new trade pact:

Continue reading

10-01-18 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement

(Washington, D.C. – October 1, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement regarding the announcement of a United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“The great news of a new USMCA deal is important for our economy as a whole, including the agricultural sector, which counts Canada and Mexico in our top three trading partners. I have long said that I believe our country is located in the best neighborhood on Earth – North America – with valuable allies to our north and south.  We have secured greater access to these vital markets and will maintain and improve the highly productive integrated agricultural relationship we have as nations. Notably, as one of the President’s top goals, this deal eliminates Canada’s unfair ‘Class 7’ milk pricing scheme, cracks open additional access to U.S. dairy into Canada, and imposes new disciplines on Canada’s supply management system. The agreement also preserves and expands critical access for U.S. poultry and egg producers and addresses Canada’s discriminatory wheat grading process to help U.S. wheat growers along the border become more competitive.

“As we celebrate this breakthrough, it is worth noting that there were many detractors who said it couldn’t be done.  But this is further proof that President Trump’s trade negotiation strategy is working. A renewed USMCA, a new KORUS agreement, and the continued progress with Japan, can lead to further deals with other trading partners like the European Union and China. The dominoes are falling and it is good news for U.S. farmers. I thank President Trump and our U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Lighthizer for their perseverance, leadership, and hard work.” Continue reading

09-05-18 Make plans to attend the Arkansas Valley Livestock Symposium- October 9th!


Arkansas Livestock Symposium- October 9, 2018!

Otero Junior College (Student Center Banquet Room)
1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050

Sponsored by Colorado Livestock Association

If you are interested in sponsoring our regional events please contact the CLA office (970) 378-0500 or jlemmel@coloradolivestock.org.

10-01-18 NAFB: New NAFTA Updates Dairy Trade

NAFB: New NAFTA Updates Dairy Trade

NAFB News Service – October 1, 2018 – A late-night agreement Sunday offers a new NAFTA and new terms on dairy for the United Sates. Canada agreed to join the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement, now called the U.S.-Mexico and Canada Free Trade Agreement, or USMCA. Canada has reportedly agreed to make concessions on dairy, giving U.S. farmers more market access to Canada and revamping the Class 7 pricing to reflect its impact on export markets. It appears The U.S. and Canada traded dairy access to allow the Chapter 19 dispute clause to remain. Gregg Doud, chief agriculture negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, said last week that “it’s time” for Canada to make decisions, with a soft deadline set for the weekend. Speaking last week, Doud says there’s a reason the dairy issue was taking so long…




Recent Deals Preserve Zero-Tariff Access To Three Of Top Five Markets

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 1, 2018 – The National Pork Producers Council praised the Trump administration for establishing a free trade agreement that preserves zero-tariff access for U.S. pork to Mexico and Canada. The agreement, which was sent by the administration to Capitol Hill for ratification today, will be designated by NPPC as a “key vote” to ensure that its members are informed about “yes” and “no” votes on the pact.

“We thank the administration for its diligent work to complete recent agreements that maintain zero-tariff access to three of U.S. pork’s top five markets,” said Jim Heimerl, NPPC president and a pork producer for Johnstown, Ohio. “The three-way pact with Mexico and Canada, our largest and fourth largest export markets, respectively, and the recently signed agreement with Korea represent welcome momentum during what has been a challenging year.” Continue reading

10-01-18 USDA Radio: U.S./Canada Reach Agreement on Trade

U.S./Canada Reach Agreement on Trade

WASHINGTON D.C. , October 1, 2018 – As is typical for many trade negotiations, the U.S. deal with Canada was reached minutes before the deadline. What will this agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico mean for future trade negotiations with other nations?



10-01-18 Grid Masters Capitalize on Value-Added Marketing to Capture Carcass Premiums 

Grid Masters Capitalize on Value-Added Marketing to Capture Carcass Premiums 

Denver –The Grid Master Award, an honor bestowed by the Red Angus Association of America, is earned by operations that have successfully combined superior Red Angus genetics, skillful feeding and precise marketing to achieve success with the slaughter of superior beef carcasses. Harold Bertz, RAAA commercial marketing programs coordinator, announced the recipients of the 2018 Grid Master Awards at the 65th annual National Red Angus Convention held Sept. 12-14, 2018, in Watertown, South Dakota.

“The Grid Master Award truly rewards the combination of artful breeding, precise feeding and focused marketing in creating elite beef carcass results. This year’s 1,322 head of Grid Master cattle exemplified Red Angus’ ability to achieve top quality and yield grades. The award-winning 22 loads averaged 66 percent Prime and upper 2/3 Choice, with 61 percent of the cattle at Yield Grades 1 and 2,” said Bertz.

Continue reading

10-01-18 Red Angus Leaders Recognized at Red Angus Association of America Annual Convention

Red Angus Leaders Recognized at Red Angus Association of America Annual Convention

DENVER – Honoring producers for their service, loyalty and dedication to the Red Angus breed has long been the tradition of the annual awards banquet held on the final evening of the National Red Angus Convention. The 65th installation of this prestigious event took place at the Watertown Event Center in Watertown, South Dakota, and delivered upon the promise to recognize remarkable producers for excellence in their field. The awards banquet and meal, featuring steaks from Meyer Natural Angus, highlighted businesses, industry supporters and ranches that rise to the top of the breed.

Continue reading

10-01-18 U.S. Grains Council Statement On Trade Agreement With Mexico And Canada

U.S. Grains Council Statement On Trade Agreement With Mexico And Canada

Washington, D.C. – A statement from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Chairman Jim Stitzlein:

“The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is very pleased to see the United States, Mexico and Canada have reached a new agreement. 

“No trade agreement has had more impact on our sector than NAFTA which prompted explosive growth in our export sales to both countries as well as the development of a fully-integrated grains and livestock supply chain within North America. Over the past two decades, this agreement has proven beneficial for the producers, agricultural sectors and economies of all three countries. 

“We appreciate the dedicated, hard work of our negotiating team to achieve this outcome with our neighbors and customers and look forward to fully examining the new text as the process of approving the new agreement begins a new phase.”

About the U.S. Grains Council Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, October 1st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, October 1st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

China May Be Getting U.S. Soybeans Through the Backdoor

It’s possible that Chinese soybean buyers could still be getting American soybeans by purchasing their beans from Argentina. Export reports show that Argentina is buying soybeans from the U.S. and exporting its own production to China. However, a grain market expert says that’s not likely because a drought left Argentina grain stocks in short supply. “The issue is that Argentina simply doesn’t have the beans,” says Standard Grain President Joe Vaclavik during a conversation with Farm Journal. “They had a short crop this year.” Also, Vaclavik says Argentina doesn’t typically export soybeans at this point in the year. Typically, Argentina crushes most of their soybean production. “It looks like Argentina is going to get their soybeans from the U.S.,” says Vaclavik. “They’ve booked 850,000 metric tons of soybeans since the first of September.” From September to February last year, Vaclavik says Argentina sold zero soybeans to China. This year, Argentina plans to ship 1.8 million metric tons during the same period. Even if U.S. beans aren’t being sold directly to China, he says the export market is still helping prices. Farmers have long suspected China of buying soybeans through “gray” market channels.


Roberts Offers Hope for Temporary Farm Bill Program Funding

Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts says he’s working on getting the U.S. Ag Department to extend a “lifeline” to programs that will lack funding if a farm bill doesn’t pass by the Sunday deadline. The current farm bill runs out over the weekend and funding for a lot of smaller initiatives will be in limbo. Politico says there are about 40 programs that could be in trouble because they’ll lack mandatory baseline funding without a new farm bill. Advocates and industry groups are concerned that some of the programs may have to temporarily close their doors if there isn’t a reliable source of funding for them to stay active. The Kansas Republican says they’re making arrangements so those programs don’t have to close during the interim period. “The same thing happened in 2012,” Roberts recalls. “That’s not the way we would have liked to see things go, but I think they know they’ll be fully funded. Right now, it’s just a temporary hiccup.” House Ag Committee Chair Michael Conaway says the USDA’s trade aid package could help fill in for the Foreign Market Development Program, which wouldn’t have baseline funding. The aid package contains a trade-promotion element of $200 million, while the FMD program costs $34.5 million annually.


USDA Back to The Drawing Board on GIPSA

When the U.S. Ag Department sets its 2019 regulatory agenda, it will deal with the unsettled matter of rules governing interactions between contract producers and meatpackers. USDA is looking at bringing back the rulemaking process designed to balance the power between the two sides. Last year, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue made the decision to withdraw the final rule drafted during the Obama Administration. The rule lowered the bar for poultry and livestock producers to sue the meatpacking or processing companies they have contracts with. The Organization for Competitive Markets filed a lawsuit against the USDA when it vacated the 2015 rule and elected to take no further action to defend contract growers from unfair packer business practices. OCM says withdrawing the rule violated a Congressional mandate to have a new rule in place by June of 2010. USDA didn’t offer a reason for making the move, which OCM called “arbitrary and capricious” Attorney Karianne Jones says the Organization for Competitive Markets is only asking the courts to compel the USDA to act, and not to either compel any particular action or have USDA reinstate the rules.


Farm Groups Keep Pressure On for Formal Meat Definition

The National Farmers Union has sent a second letter to the Food and Drug Administration regarding the labeling of cell-cultured meat. The letter calls for officials to finally formalize the definition of protein products that don’t come from livestock and are currently labeled as cell-cultured “meat.” The industry website Meating Place Dot Com says the group wants the FDA to come up with a consistent standard of identity for meat and related products to prevent mislabeling of meat products in the marketplace. Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the common names for meat products are understood by consumers to mean meat from animals that have been slaughtered for food. In the letter, Johnson says the NFU is concerned about the topic because of “extreme consolidation in the beef, pork, and poultry industries, which has diminished the market share of family farmers and ranchers.” The letter is the second attempt by the NFU to get the federal agency to clarify the difference between products that come from food animals from those that come from a lab. Earlier this year, the NFU joined the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and the Nebraska Farm Bureau in seeking USDA clarification on the issue.  


Bipartisan Support for Biodiesel Tax Incentive Extension

The National Biodiesel Board is grateful for the 46 members of Congress who voiced strong support for a multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive. The members of Congress represent states all the way from California to Connecticut, and they asked for a resolution in the coming weeks from House leadership. The biodiesel tax incentive was retroactively renewed for 2017 in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and passed in March of this year. The incentive wasn’t extended to 2018 and is currently expired. The NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs is Kurt Kovarik, who says, “Right now, soybean farmers are harvesting a record crop. However, they’re facing an extreme uncertainty about the price they’ll get and whether or not they’ll have access to other markets.” The NBB says biodiesel adds value to every bushel of soybeans and provides a market for the growing surplus of soy oil. A multi-year extension of the biodiesel tax incentive would give farmers a welcome bit of certainty this year. The letter to House leadership also says, “The extension would provide biodiesel producers, blenders, and retailers the opportunity to plan and expand the market for biodiesel, which would benefit truck drivers, consumers, and others along the value chain.”


September USDA Stocks Report Bearish

The USDA reported larger than expected inventories of corn, soybeans, and wheat in its September 1st Stocks Report, which analysts call bearish for the markets. The corn supplies came in at 2.14 billion bushels, which is 138 million more than the last estimate of old-crop carryout. USDA says feed usage was likely smaller than expected, reducing the number of bushels that made their way out of storage and off the farm. September 1st soybean inventory is estimated at 438 million bushels, 43 million bushels higher than the previous estimate. In coming up with the number, USDA says the 2017 soybean crop was 19 million bushels larger than expected, upping last year’s yield to 49.3 bushels per acre nationwide. USDA raised its all-wheat production estimate by seven million bushels to 1.88 billion. September 1st wheat stocks came in at 2.37 billion bushels, more than pre-report estimates. The higher number indicated demand likely down eight percent from last year. Part of the reason may be slower than expected exports during the marketing year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service