READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, January 29th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, January 29th

Opening of Government Brings Much Needed USDA Reports

The Department of Agriculture did not supply more than 60 reports during the government shutdown and will supply much of that data next month. USDA announced Monday many reports, including final production reports for 2018 will be published on February 8th, the same date of the February World Agriculture Supply and Demand report. However, American Farm Bureau Federation Economist Veronica Nigh says some of the data “will never be available.” For example, the January World Agriculture Supply and Demand report will never be published, but some of the data will be rolled into the February report. Many market analysts warn to watch for a glut of data from USDA that could shock the market over the next few weeks as markets had previously relied on privately reported data during the shutdown, but USDA reports are often considered a benchmark in reporting.

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EPA Will Complete E15 Rule by Summer

The Environmental Protection Agency says the now-ended government shutdown will not delay rules to allow year-round E15 sales. The EPA intends to finalize the rules in time for the summer driving season. An EPA official told Reuters, “I still think we can get the rule done in time and what I mean by that is get the rule in place by start of the summertime.” The government shutdown prompted worry that the rule may not be finished in time for the summer driving season. The Renewable Fuels Association this month called similar comments made by Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler encouraging. However, RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the EPA “would greatly improve its chances of getting the regulatory fix done before summer” if the agency separated the year-round E15 provisions from so-called ‘RIN reform’ provisions also being considered as part of the rulemaking package.

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China Officials in D.C. for Trade Talks

The U.S. and China are holding trade talks in Washington, D.C. this week as the two nations work to end a trade war. Chinese officials will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for two days of talks starting Wednesday. Bloomberg News reports the talks will build on discussions that have focused on everything from how many U.S. soybeans China buys to the subsidies Beijing gives its state-owned companies. There is little expectation of a final deal being announced this week, but the talks seem likely to yield a package of proposals that inch closer to a final agreement. There is a little more than a month to work out the details, as President Trump gave China until March 1 to work out a deal on “structural changes.” If the talks fail, Trump has threatened to raise the tariff rate on $200 billion of Chinese imports if the talks don’t succeed.

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Secretary Perdue Selects Three Senior Leaders at USDA

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Monday named three appointments to Department leadership positions. Perdue named Dr. Mindy Brashears as deputy undersecretary for Food Safety, Naomi Earp as deputy assistant secretary for civil rights, and Dr. Scott Hutchins as deputy undersecretary for research, education, and economics. These positions do not require Senate confirmation. The trio was nominated for Senate-confirmed USDA positions by President Trump, but the nominations expired without receiving confirmation votes by the end of the 115th Congress. Perdue notes all three received bipartisan support from the Senate Agriculture Committee and that President Trump has resubmitted their nominations to the Senate in the 116th Congress. The three have been re-nominated for more senior roles than the ones Perdue selected them to fill in their respective mission areas at USDA. Dr. Brashears was nominated for undersecretary for food safety; Earp was nominated for assistant secretary for civil rights; and Dr. Hutchins was nominated for undersecretary for research, education, and economics.

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Secretary Perdue to Address NCBA Friday

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will speak at the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show February  1, 2019. Perdue will give his remarks at the Closing General Session of the event, being held this week at the New Orleans Convention Center. He will address the farm bill, trade and other issues affecting U.S. agriculture. The convention is the largest gathering of cattle industry professionals in the country, and the NCBA Trade Show will feature more than 350 exhibitors. NCBA President and California cattleman Kevin Kester says the industry is honored to host Secretary Perdue at the convention. Noting the many issues facing agriculture today, Kester says “It’s great that Secretary Perdue will share his thoughts and his agency’s plans with us.” The annual meetings of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American National CattleWomen, CattleFax and National Cattlemen’s Foundation will also be held during the event this week.

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AEM Celebrating 125 Years

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers officially kicked off its year-long 125th anniversary celebration. AEM chair John Laegmann of John Deere says that for now 125 years, member companies of  AEM “take off their proverbial competitive hats and work together on key issues for the betterment of the industry.”AEM, the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, provides business development resources to advance the industry in the global marketplace. Its member companies manufacture and market a wide variety of equipment, from large earthmovers and agricultural equipment to smaller hand-held, portable and walk-behind machinery. Through the celebration, each month, AEM will feature an interview with one of its volunteer leaders, culminating at the AEM annual conference in November. AEM’s roots began in 1894, when the precursor of the Equipment Manufacturers Institute formed with three members, John Deere, CNHi and AGCO/Massey-Ferguson.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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