READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 22nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 22nd

China Purchases U.S. Sorghum

China recently made its biggest purchase of U.S. sorghum since April. While the purchase perhaps is not the large buys President Trump touted following a meeting with China, buyers purchased 51,000 metric tons of U.S. sorghum earlier this month. China has placed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. sorghum as part of the tit-for-tat trade war with the United States. However, Nebraska Farmer Don Bloss told Reuters “It’s still a good price for them even with the tariff.” President Trump has said China would begin major purchases of U.S. ag products following a meeting with China. However, Trump has since also expressed disappointment in China’s lack of action. Democratic lawmakers have questioned the validity of Trump’s claims. In the same week China made the sorghum purchase, it also canceled a small order of U.S. soybeans. Trade negotiators talked over the phone last week. U.S. trade officials may soon travel to China to continue the talks, the first small sign of progress since the negotiation collapsed in May.

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EPA Not Banning  Chlorpyrifos

The Environment Protection Agency last week announced it would not ban chlorpyrifos (clo-PEER-uh-foss), although court battles likely are ahead to fight the action. EPA denied objections to the agency’s 2017 order denying a 2007 petition from the Pesticide Action Network North America, and the Natural Resources Defense Council to cancel all registrations for the insecticide. CropLife America says the decision “reinforces the integrity of the registration process, protection of consumers and the needs of farmers and health officials who rely on this vital tool.” EPA claims there was a lack of evidence of neurological damages to humans from chlorpyrifos. A court previously ordered the EPA to make a decision regarding the use of the insecticide. The Pesticide Action Network calls chlorpyrifos a “brain-damaging pesticide,” adding the administration has “put corporate interests ahead of the health of children, workers and the environment.” The organization vows to continue its fight to get chlorpyrifos banned. Meanwhile, the EPA is expediting the review process for chlorpyrifos that is currently underway.

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USB Approves 169 Checkoff-Funded Projects for 2020

The United Soybean Board last week approved funding for 169 checkoff-funded projects for fiscal-year 2020. The projects are part of USB’s promotion, marketing and research programs that are strategically aligned to increase the value and preference for U.S. soy. The action came shortly after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will not conduct a referendum vote due to the results of a soybean request for referendum held in May. The lack of requests, according to USB, shows overwhelming support for the Soybean Promotion and Research Order, known as the soy checkoff. Conducted every five years, the announcement affirms the checkoff’s commitment to drive innovation and build demand for U.S. soy both domestically and abroad. USB Chair and Kentucky farmer Keith Tapp says U.S. farmers “have changes to overcome,” adding USB’s job is to “rise to the occasion on their behalf.” The proposals were categorized by target areas, including soy meal, oil and sustainability, and in action teams of supply, demand and marketplace.

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USDA: SNAP Enrollment Down in 2018

Data released this summer by the Department of Agriculture shows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation declined last year. A report by USDA’s Economic Research Service shows enrollment numbers for the program declined from 15 percent in 2013 to 12.3 percent in 2018, marking the fifth consecutive year of a decline in the percent of the population receiving SNAP. In fiscal-year 2018, an average of 40.3 million low-income individuals per month received SNAP benefits in the United States. In seven States—Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming—eight percent or fewer of residents received SNAP benefits in 2018. Between 2013 and 2018, 46 States and the District of Columbia saw a decrease in the share of residents receiving SNAP benefits, while four states experienced increases. Idaho showed the largest decline in percent of residents participating in SNAP, a 36-percent decline from 14.1 to nine percent of residents. Nevada had the largest increase in participation share, growing from 12.9 to 14.5 percent of residents.

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Trade Mission to Iowa Prepares Mexican Retailers for Ethanol Adoption

A team from Mexico recently toured Iowa’s ethanol industry as Mexican retailers prepare for ethanol adoption. Led by the U.S. Grains Council, the effort allowed Mexican gasoline retailers to examine the ethanol refinery process in Iowa from the corn farm to the fuel station. The ethanol market in Mexico represents 1.2 billion gallons in potential demand. Changes in Mexican law took effect in June 2017 that allow up to an E10 blend outside of three major cities. The team explored stops at fueling stations, a pipeline terminal, a blending facility and an ethanol plant. A Grains Council spokesperson says the mission showed the retailers that with “little to no modifications” they can be ready for ethanol. U.S. ethanol exports to Mexico have increased by more than 3.5 million gallons between over the last two marketing years, from 27.6 million gallons to 31.1 million. Mexico has purchased more than 25.9 million gallons of U.S. ethanol, equivalent to 9.1 million bushels of corn, so far this marketing year.

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Farm Credit Administration Announces Glen  R. Smith as CEO

President Trump has designated Glen R. Smith as chairman and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration. The designation was made effective last week. Farm Credit has examination and regulatory authority over the Farm Credit System, with oversight by Congress. Collectively, the institutions of the Farm Credit System is the nation’s largest single provider of agricultural credit, with offices in all 50 states and assets over $350 billion. Smith has served as a member of the FCA board, as well as a member of the board of directors of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, since December 2017. As chairman, he succeeds Dallas Tonsager, who died in office in May. Hall continues to serve as a member of the FCA board and as chairman of the board of directors of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation. Smith is a native of Atlantic, Iowa, where he was raised on a diversified crop and livestock farm. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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