08-14-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Meeting with Guatemalan Ministers

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Meeting with Guatemalan Ministers

WASHINGTON, D.C. August 14, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today met with a host of Ministers from Guatemala to discuss implementation of the recently signed agreement between the United States and Guatemala to improve H-2A visa program operations. Following the meeting, Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

“America’s farmers and ranchers need a legal and reliable agricultural work force, and we are eager to help our producers take advantage of this great opportunity to add a qualified pool of workers to the H-2A visa program. This critical partnership with Guatemala will benefit both our nations and will improve the H-2A visa program in the future.”

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08-14-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Beef Exports to South Korea Continue to Soar

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Beef Exports to South Korea Continue to Soar 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – August 14, 2019 – U.S. beef exports to South Korea set a new monthly value record in June of $178.3 million, pushing first-half exports 15% ahead of last year’s record pace. With a strong second half, exports to Korea could approach $2 billion in 2019.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Korea Director Jihae Yang (pronounced Jee-hay Yang) says the U.S. beef industry is supplying a wider range of cuts to the Korean market, expanding U.S. beef’s presence in emerging venues such as convenience stores and e-commerce platforms. She notes that since the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) began lowering tariff rates on U.S. beef in 2012, per capita beef consumption in Korea has increased from 22 pounds per year to 27.5 pounds. Yang adds that home meal replacement items are very popular with Korean consumers seeking convenience, and U.S. beef is capitalizing on this rapidly growing opportunity.

A detailed summary of U.S. beef, pork and lamb exports through the first half of the year is available from the USMEF website.

Jihae Yang Beef to Korea 8-12-19

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08-14-19 Former Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb to keynote rescheduled CSU Water in the West Symposium this November

Former Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb to keynote rescheduled CSU Water in the West Symposium this November

Denver, Colo. – Walter Robb, food entrepreneur and former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, will keynote the Water in the West Symposium in the Denver area. Colorado State University System will host the annual Symposium at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center on November 6 and 7. The Symposium was rescheduled from its original dates in March due to weather and speaker flight cancellations.

Robb joined Whole Foods in 1991 and was named co-CEO in 2010. After the sale of Whole Foods to Amazon in 2017, Robb created Stonewall Robb Advisors to provide mentorship and support for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“Walter Robb, with a lifetime of experience, understands the ever-evolving importance to producers, processors, retailers, and especially consumers of supporting sustainable practices in food,” said former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Continue reading

08-14-19 CSU Ext: Time to monitor your sunflower fields for head infesting insects

CSU Ext: Time to monitor your sunflower fields for head infesting insects

by Assefa Gebre-Amlak, Extension Specialist, Colorado State University Extension

The three major sunflower head-infesting insects, namely sunflower head moth, banded moth and seed weevils are expected to be seen in sunflower fields early this month. According to pheromone based monitoring both sunflower and banded moths populations peak around the early part of 2nd week of August in most of the Front Range Area and northeastern Colorado http://northernipm.colostate.edu/monitored/insectpests.htm.

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08-14-19 CSU – Golden Plains Extension: Controlling common Mullein and Canada Thistle

CSU – Golden Plains Extension:

Controlling common Mullein and Canada Thistle

Written by: John Spring, Area Extension Agent, Julesburg CO

Due to the wet springs we’ve had, common mullein and Canada thistle have been especially prolific the last several years. With seed-heads and flowers on the plants now, both weeds are at their most noticeable growth stage in infested areas. While relatively easy to find at this time of year, it is not the best time to try to control them. Once they enter their reproductive stage (begin growing flowering stalks) both plants become much less vulnerable to herbicides. In mullein, all available resources are devoted towards the developing seed, and at this point it is simply too late to get an effective kill with chemical. In thistle, the flow of resources is directed towards seed development as well. When herbicides are applied, they follow this flow and will not reach the roots. Top growth may be burned off to some extent, but the plant quickly regrows from below. It is a good idea to mark or map out patches of these weeds at this time of year while they are easy to see, but spraying or other control measures are usually not effective enough to be worth the cost. For both weeds, waiting until fall (for thistle) or even next spring (for mullein) is usually the best course of action. Continue reading

08-14-19 Tyson Foods Appoints New Prepared Foods Leader

Tyson Foods Appoints New Prepared Foods Leader

Noelle O’Mara named Group President, Prepared Foods

Springdale, Ark. – August 12, 2019 – Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) has named Chief Marketing Officer Noelle O’Mara to lead its growing prepared foods business.

O’Mara’s new role involves managing all aspects of Tyson Foods’ $9 billion prepared foods business, which includes billion-dollar brands Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, and Hillshire Farm®. The job also includes oversight of one-third of Tyson Foods’ manufacturing facilities and more than 25,000 team members.

O’Mara has more than 17 years of general management experience that includes profit and loss responsibility, food marketing and innovation. She joined Tyson Foods in April 2016 as vice president, new business models. She served as general manager and senior vice president of the Tyson® and Jimmy Dean® business units before being named chief marketing officer earlier this year.

“Noelle is the right choice to lead the continued growth of our prepared foods business,” said Noel White, President and CEO of Tyson Foods. “She has the leadership, knowledge and experience we need to help us deliver the next generation of innovation and service to our customers and consumers.” Continue reading

08-14-19 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year Final Four Announced

America’s Pig Farmer of the Year Final Four Announced

DES MOINES, IOWA – Aug. 14, 2019 – The National Pork Board recently announced the four finalists vying to be named America’s Pig Farmer of the YearSM. The program honors a U.S. pig farmer each year who excels at raising pigs following the We CareSM ethical principles and who is committed to sharing their farming story with the American public.

“The finalists do what’s best on their farms every day for people, pigs and the planet,” said National Pork Board President David Newman, a pig farmer representing Arkansas. “The finalists also showcase how diverse family farming is today throughout the United States.”

The National Pork Board congratulates the finalists:

  • Doug Dawson – Delaware, Ohio
  • Chris Hoffman – McAlisterville, Pennsylvania
  • Josh Linde – Manilla, Iowa
  • Thomas Titus – Elkhart, Illinois

To help select the winner, the four finalists will meet with an expert panel of third-party judges in Chicago later this month. The judges will view videos produced at the finalists’ farms and will interview each of them.

Through Aug. 27, the public can vote once a day per email address for their favorite finalist at www.americaspigfarmer.com. The winner will be announced the week of Oct. 1 based on the judges’ scores and the online voting results.

About the Finalists  Continue reading

08-14-19 USDA REMINDER: Market Facilitation Program Applications Are Open Now thru December 6th, 2019

USDA REMINDER: Market Facilitation Program Applications Are Open Now thru December 6th, 2019

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced earlier this month that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide more assistance to farmers in response to negative trade impacts resulting from tariff retaliation and trade disruption. The Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers who apply for them.

You can download an application by clicking here or you can visit the USDA website Farmers.gov for more information in determining what commodities are covered and what your payments may be.

Please note, the deadline to apply is December 6, 2019.


08-14-19 Pioneer Launches Corn Yield Estimator as Part of New Mobile App and Website

Pioneer Launches Corn Yield Estimator as Part of New Mobile App and Website

Proprietary Model Creates One Connected Digital Experience

JOHNSTON, IA., Aug. 14, 2019 — Estimating corn yield is now easier than ever thanks to the new Pioneer Corn Yield Estimator. Now available to farmers as part of the Pioneer mobile app, the Corn Yield Estimator takes yield estimation to the next level. This tool uses a machine learning model, which allows farmers to quickly and accurately count the kernels on an ear while in the field. The yield estimate is based on kernel count, stand count and kernels per bushel.

The yield estimator walks the user through the process of lining up the ear of corn to be sampled, taking the necessary number of images and entering the remaining information before providing a yield estimate. The tool requires that husks and silks be removed before taking the picture, but the ear does not need to be pulled from the stalk.

“The creation of this tool is part of Pioneer’s larger efforts to advance customers’ ability to improve management,” said Jeremy Groeteke, U.S. Digital Agriculture Lead, Corteva Agriscience. “The goal of this app is to standardize the process for estimating yield from a single ear of corn and is part of our predictive agriculture effort.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, August 14th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, August 14th

Trump Delays Tariff Hike Until December

The Trump administration will delay part of a planned tariff increase on China until December. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office made the announcement Tuesday the administration would not implement the planned tariffs. Instead, the tariffs will be implemented December 15, 2019. USTR Robert Lighthizer says certain products are even being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face the additional tariffs of 10 percent. The move likely gives Lighthizer more time to negotiate with China, which the two sides are set to meet next month in Washington. However, the tariffs threaten to again stall the negotiations as China responded by announcing a halt of purchases of U.S. agricultural products. President Trump claims the delay is part of an effort to avoid the impact of the tariffs on holiday shopping. However, the two sides did talk over the phone this week, and Trump called the talks positive, adding a deal could be coming soon.

Private Firm Predicts 12 Billion Bushel Corn Crop, 3.7 Billion Soybeans

A private firm forecast of the nation’s crops greatly differs from Department of Agriculture data released this week. That’s true for many expectations, but the data from USDA still sparked a negative market reaction for corn futures. Generated by Indigo Ag’s living map, Atlas, forecasts for both corn and soybeans are down from the company’s July report. Corn production is forecasted at 12 billion bushels and soy production is forecasted at 3.7 billion bushels, down 3.2 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively. USDA predicts corn production at 13.9 billion bushels, and soybeans at 3.68 billion. Over the past month, favorable weather conditions – including hot weather and adequate rainfall – have aided crop health across the United States. Given the late start to the season, however, crop development is still significantly delayed. That development will be monitored over the next month. Indigo Atlas combines remote sensing equipment, weather and historical data to deliver models that assess crop health and production at the field, county, state and national level.

Kind: Purdue Ignoring Wisconsin Farmers, Gives Trade Aid to Largest Producers

A Wisconsin lawmaker is demanding changes to Department of Agriculture trade aid distributions. Democrat Ron Kind, a U.S. Representative from Wisconsin, says the current Market Facilitation Program favors large farmers. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Kind says a study shows the top one percent of large farms received an average of $183,000 in trade aid, while the bottom eighty percent received under $5,000, on average. Additionally, 82 large farms received more than $500,000 and 95 percent of all payments went to the top 50 percent of farms. The report also found that over $38 million in payments were sent to those living in large U.S. cities. In the letter, Representative Kind asked Secretary Perdue to outline what changes USDA would be making to ensure the second trade aid package is “effectively spending taxpayer dollars” and ensure the payments will be provided “solely to farmers facing the current difficult trade environment to export their products abroad.” USDA expects to send the next of payments soon.

WSSA Issues Statement Regarding Glyphosate Registration Process

An organization of weed science professionals is voicing concerns regarding the glyphosate reregistration and recent court decisions. The Weed Science Society of America released a statement Tuesday supporting a science-based approach to evaluating glyphosate by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA is currently conducting a review of glyphosate as part of its standard, periodic reassessment of herbicides to ensure they can still be used safely. In April 2019, the organization issued an interim registration decision reiterating that glyphosate is not likely a carcinogen and that risks to public health are low when its used by following its current label. The EPA’s position has been echoed by the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the European Food Safety Authority and other major regulatory organizations around the globe. WSSA President Larry Steckel says, “We appreciate the rigorous review process undertaken by the EPA and other regulatory bodies,” adding the reviews have consistently concluded glyphosate herbicides are “unlikely to pose significant health risks when used as directed.”

AEM Releases July Ag Equipment Sales Numbers

July 2019 saw decreases in U.S. sales of combines and four-wheel-drive tractors as well as total U.S. two-wheel-drive tractor sales compared to July of last year. Monthly data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers shows U.S. four-wheel-drive tractor sales decreased 4.7 percent in July, compared to last year. U.S. July combine sales decreased 25.9 percent. And, total U.S. sales of two-wheel drive tractors in July decreased .1 percent compared to July last year. For Canada, January four-wheel drive tractor sales were negative, down 32 percent, and combine sales decreased 43.8 percent. July two-wheel-drive tractor Canadian sales were down in all size categories. A weak farm economy and trade tensions are part of the reason farmers are holding off on purchasing equipment. AEM’s Curt Blades says the association is “encouraging a swift passage of USMCA and continued focus on renewable fuels to help provide some stability for farmers in the months ahead.” Blades adds AEM is “committed to advocating for pro-growth trade policies and the end to retaliatory tariffs.”

Growth Energy and GasBuddy Partner to Launch Unleaded 88 on GasBuddy App

Growth Energy and GasBuddy Tuesday announced the inclusion of Unleaded 88 in the GasBuddy mobile app and database. Unleaded 88 is a fuel with 15 percent renewable biofuel approved for cars 2001 and newer, and, is now available for sale at the pump all year. The Trump administration this year amended rules to allow E15, or Unleaded 88, to be sold through the summer months. GasBuddy is a smartphone app and website used by millions of drivers every month to avoid paying full price for fuel. It is the world’s largest database of real-time, crowdsourced gas price data covering more than 150,000 North American gas stations. The new partnership allows GasBuddy’s app users access to a comprehensive database of Unleaded 88 fuel at retail locations around the country. GasBuddy analyst Patrick DeHaan says by including the availability of Unleaded 88, is part of “continuing our commitment” to users. More than 16 fuel retail chains are participating and offering Unleaded 88 at more than 1,800 locations across 31 states.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service