10-30-18 CDA: Funds Available for Audit Costs

CDA: Funds Available for Audit Costs

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) Fruit and Vegetable Section announces a pilot program to assist Colorado fruit and vegetable producers in obtaining USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) audits. The cost-share incentive program is designed to encourage producers to undertake verification audits for the first time and help producers already participating in the program to continue.
“Producers should find value in these audits, as they may gain additional customers because of the certifications,” said Brian Pauley, Section Chief. “With this cost-share incentive, we hope that additional producers will see this as an opportunity to provide their customers with verification of best practices to promote food safety.”
Most retailers, food service operators, and even some schools and farmers’ markets require some form of third party verification of food safety practices. The GAP and GHP voluntary audits verify an operation’s efforts to minimize the risk of contamination of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts by microbial pathogens.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 30th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 30th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

China Trade War Not Ending Soon

The trade war between China and the U.S. will not be ending soon. President Donald Trump recently told Agri-Pulse that “you’ve got to have a little time,” referring to when trade relations may return to normal or better status between the United States and China. President Trump is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (she-gin-ping) at the G20 meeting in Argentina, but those talks are not likely to propel any major shift toward reaching an agreement on the future of trade between the two nations. The trade war started with Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, quickly escalating to include tariffs on U.S. farm products, most notably soybeans and pork. Further, a recent survey reported by Reuters shows that 85 percent of U.S. businesses surveyed say they have suffered from the trade war’s tariffs, and nearly half of the companies reported increases in non-tariff barriers, as well.

Tariffs to Change U.S. Crop Plantings

The trade war between the U.S. and China is likely to shift U.S. soybean plantings to corn. For the first time in three decades, U.S. farmers planted more soybeans than corn in 2018. However, that’s likely to reverse again due to tariffs on U.S. soybeans from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Dow Jones Business and Financial News reports farmers could convert as much as four million acres from soybeans to corn next spring. For 2018, the Department of Agriculture estimated U.S. farmers planted 89.1 million acres of corn, and 89.6 million acres of soybeans. Soybean inspections from U.S. west coast ports are down 82 percent from year-ago levels, and soybean prices have dropped 11 percent as China has enforced a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. Market experts say final planting decisions for 2019 may not occur until weeks or even days before farmers plant fields due to the uncertainty over tariffs.

Canada Willing to Stall Trade Deal with China until China is More Reasonable

Canada is willing to stall a potential trade deal with China until China starts behaving better, according to CBC News. Canada’s ambassador to China says a trade pact doesn’t seem likely to be reached until China shows flexibility on controversial policies. Ambassador John McCallum says right now, much of the work on a potential trade agreement is focusing on “bridging policy gaps” on agricultural market access and political policies. He said last week: “We are doing our best to persuade China to behave in what we would regard as more reasonable.” Canada is working to reach an agreement with China, despite new provisions in the updated North American Free Trade Agreement that seek to block trade pacts with China. The NAFTA 2.0, renamed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, includes language that allows the nations of the agreement to withdraw from the pact if another nation created a trade agreement with China. However, Canada maintains that doesn’t stop them from engaging with China, and the USMCA is not yet finalized.

ASF Could Drastically Change China’s Pork Market

African swine fever could reshape the pork market in China. A Rabobank report says the disease could accelerate a shift in pork production and boost import needs for 2019. Local supply shortages are being reported stemming from the ban on live hog transportation that was enacted to prevent further spread of the disease. The potential for radical change could “impact the international market,” according to the report. Rabobank says China’s pork imports in the first eight months of the year were down 0.6 percent from the year before and jumped ten percent year over year in August. The Chinese government said the country’s sow herd declined 4.8 percent this year in August, which Rabobank said may be overestimated. The decline in domestic pork production could allow other markets, including the United States, to become bigger suppliers of pork to China, pending the outcome of trade disputes.

EPA Exempting Livestock Farms from Emissions Reporting

A rule by the Environmental Protection Agency exempts livestock producers from reporting emissions from their farms to state and local authorities. The move, supported by the livestock industry, won the applause of the National Pork Producers Council. NPPC President Jim Heimerl (Hi’-merle) called the rule the final piece in the implementation of the FARM Act, which passed Congress earlier this year and eliminated the need for livestock farmers to estimate and report to the federal government emissions from the natural breakdown of manure. He called the original rule “unnecessary and impractical” for farmers. NPPC says the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method, or FARM, Act fixed a problem created last April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 EPA rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions  NPPC says the appeals court ruling would have forced livestock farmers to “guesstimate” and report the emissions from manure on their farms to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center.

Syngenta Opening Chicago Seeds Office

ChemChina owned Syngenta will establish a major Global and North America Seeds office in the western suburbs of Chicago. Approximately 50 Syngenta Seeds business managers and employees will relocate from other U.S. locations beginning in the first half of 2019. Syngenta’s David Hollinrake says the new location “places us closer to the majority of our customers, as well as to our business collaborators.” Syngenta chose the Chicago location because of its proximity to U.S. row crop production and the local talent pool for potential employment. Syngenta currently operates four facilities in Illinois, with more than 150 full-time employees and a $16 million payroll. A seed conditioning center in Pekin was established in 1911 and celebrated a century of continual operation seven years ago.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service