05-29-19 Dairy MAX Awards $7,500 in Scholarships

Dairy MAX Awards $7,500 in Scholarships

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Three students have earned $7,500 in scholarships from Dairy MAX, your local dairy council.

Nicole Koke of Dublin, Texas, Mike Schilderink of Hart, Texas, and Jagger Dinis of Wiggins, Colorado, each received a $2,500 scholarship from the organization to apply toward this fall’s college tuition.

Marty McKinzie, Dairy MAX’s vice president of industry image and relations, said the scholarship program is one of their most worthwhile investments.

“Dairy farm families rely on the strength of their community,” McKinzie said. “By continuing our commitment to higher education, but opening up the requirements for degree programs, Dairy MAX continues to better serve the dairy farm families and their communities within our region, increasing impact and further strengthening the positive role dairy has beyond the fridge.” Continue reading

05-29-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Session on African Swine Fever Concludes USMEF Spring Conference

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Session on African Swine Fever Concludes USMEF Spring Conference

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DENVER, CO – May 28, 2019 – On May 24, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) concluded its Spring Conference and Board of Directors Meeting with a panel discussion on the global trade impact of African swine fever (ASF), which was first detected in China in August of last year and has recently spread into some other Asian nations.

Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, says the Chinese government estimates that the country’s hog inventory is down more than 20% due to ASF, but he cautions that it is difficult to obtain accurate data in China on both pork production and consumption. This is due in part to the fact that China still has more than 25 million hog producers spread widely across the country.

Haggard on ASF in Asia 05-27-19

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 29th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 29th

Trump: U.S. and Japan to Accelerate Trade Talks

Japan and the U.S. are accelerating trade talks in hopes to reach a quick agreement. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (sheen-zoh ah-bay)  indicated the U.S. and Japan will speed up trade talks as Tokyo faces increased pressure to reach a deal in the next six months to avoid auto tariffs. However, Politico reports talks between the two likely won’t advance quickly until after Tokyo’s election in July. Trump, ending a summit and visit to Japan, says agriculture products are “heavily in play” in the talks, particularly U.S. beef. Farmers in the U.S. are eager to see an agreement since Japan and other nations entered the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, after the U.S. left the then-called Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017. Trump suggested an announcement on parts of an agreement could come sometime in August. Trade experts expect a deal to take longer, however, as the talks, focusing on automobiles and agriculture, will take more time than predicted by the U.S. and Japan.

Canada Takes First Step in Ratifying USMCA

Canada is taking the first step in ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement. Following the Trump administration’s decision to remove section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, Canada presented the trade agreement to lawmakers that must approve the deal. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered the trade agreement to Canada’s House of Commons, opening formal presentation of the bill. Freeland told lawmakers in Canada they “intend to move in tandem with the United States,” adding the government is “full steam ahead” in its work to ratify the agreement. Meanwhile, CNBC reports U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet with officials in Canada later this week to discuss advancing the trade agreement. Canada is the top trading partner for the U.S., receiving roughly 75 percent of U.S. goods. With a national election looming in five months, the Justin Trudeau regime is eager to complete the process quickly. Meanwhile, President Trump has yet to submit the agreement to Congress.

Planting Progress Continues to Lag as Wet Weather Lingers

The Midwest, on the tail end of a two-week inundation of rainfall, remains flooded and saturated, stalling planting progress that’s already well behind average. The Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress report, released Tuesday, reports that as of May 26, the 18 top producing states reached 58 percent completion of corn plantings, compared to the five-year average of 90 percent. Indiana, Ohio and South Dakota have planted less than 30 percent of their respective corn crops. Meanwhile, just 29 percent of the nation’s soybean crop is planted, compared to 74 percent last year, and the five-year average of 66 percent. Many states have planted less than 20 percent of their intended soybean acres, including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and South Dakota. Just 32 percent of the nation’s corn crop has emerged, along with just 11 percent of soybeans. Forecasters from the website Weather2020 suggest more wet conditions will continue through June, when the jet stream normally lifts and weakens weather systems across the corn belt, further hampering planting.

Canada Proposes Revising Made in Canada Label Guidelines

The Canadian government wants food labeling changes for “Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” label claims. The changes proposed to the labeling guidelines seek to improve upon information available to consumers to identify Canadian food products and make informed purchasing decisions, according to Marie-Claude Bibeau (Bee-boh), Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. They are also based on the recommendations following a recent survey of Canada’s food industry, led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Amending the guidelines for “Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” labeling claims would support the Government of Canada’s $25 million Buy Canadian Promotion campaign as part of Food Policy for Canada. The current voluntary guidelines for “Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” labeling claims came into force in December 2008, following consultations with industry and consumers. The guidelines promote compliance with the Food and Drug Act and Safe Food for Canadians Act, which prohibit false and misleading claims.

Marketing Loans Application Deadline Nears

Farmers have a few days left to apply for 2018 crop year marketing assistance loans. The Department of Agriculture says May 31, 2019, is the deadline for assistance loans for feed grains, upland cotton, soybean and minor oilseeds. Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce says the loans provide short-term financing, “allowing producers to meet interim cash flow needs and market their crops following a timeline that is the most advantageous.” The marketing assistance loans are considered nonrecourse, meaning they can either be redeemed by repaying the loan or delivering the pledged collateral, being the crop, at loan maturity to the Commodity Credit Corporation as full payment. In circumstances where the county commodity price falls below the county loan rate, producers may repay loans at less than the loan rate plus accrued interest and other charges, therefore, receiving a market loan gain. To apply for a loan, USDA says start by contacting your local FSA office.

Judge Orders Ban Against Bud Light Anti Corn Syrup Ads

A federal judge last week ordered Anheuser Busch to stop using advertisements that portray corn syrup negatively and suggests MillerCoors products contain corn syrup. The saga started with a Super Bowl commercial, drawing criticism from farmers and the National Corn Growers Association. MillerCoors sued Anheuser Busch in March, saying the company spent near $30 million on “a “false and misleading” campaign,” as reported by St Louis Post-Dispatch. The ad showed a medieval caravan pushing a huge barrel of corn syrup to castles for MillerCoors to make Miller Lite and Coors Light. MillerCoors says corn syrup is used in the brewing process, but not in the final product available to consumers. The judge’s ruling states Anheuser-Busch cannot use ads that describe Bud Light as containing “100 percent less corn syrup” than Miller Lite and Coors Light. However, other ads, including the Super Bowl commercial, were not banned. Anheuser-Busch says it was “pleased” with the ruling, and one of the ads were aired during game one the NHL Stanley Cup Final on Monday.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service