01-16-20 USWA-NAWG JOINT STATEMENT – U.S. Wheat Industry Applauds Senate for Passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

JOINT STATEMENT – U.S. Wheat Industry Applauds Senate for Passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) applaud the U.S. Senate for passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) today.

“Trade deals can put the price of wheat back on track for many growers and create new opportunities for many farmers,” said NAWG President and Lavon, Tex., farmer Ben Scholz. “NAWG applauds the U.S. Senate for moving quickly on passing USMCA out of the Chamber.”

“Mexico continues to be our top importing country,” said USW Chairman and Paulding, Ohio, farmer Doug Goyings. “Wheat farmers are relieved to see the agreement moving on to the President and I think the Mexican millers who want our wheat are relieved, too.” Continue reading

01-16-20 U.S. Senator Bennet Statement on Senate Passage of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

U.S. Senator Bennet Statement on Senate Passage of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

DENVER, CO – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement after the Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Implementation Act, which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“I’ve long said that we should modernize NAFTA as our economy evolves, and the final USMCA brings our trade policies into the 21st century. This agreement will maintain key export markets for Colorado and provide some certainty for our farmers and ranchers. I appreciate the efforts by Democratic negotiators to secure new resources and tools to hold our trading partners accountable for the stronger labor and environmental standards.

“While passing USMCA is a step in the right direction, it does not make up for the enormous pain and instability caused by three years of reckless trade policy from this administration. Going forward, we must do more to advance trade policies that put American businesses, producers, and consumers first. If the president’s superficial ‘Phase One’ agreement with China is any indication, he is clearly more focused on staging the next photo opportunity than delivering the long-term reforms needed to lift up American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses.”

01-16-20 Bison Ranchers Look to Expand Customer Connections at 25th Annual Meeting More than 400 Producers to Meet, 100 Head of Live Bison Scheduled for Stock Show

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Bison Ranchers Look to Expand Customer Connections at 25th Annual Meeting
More than 400 Producers to Meet, 100 Head of Live Bison Scheduled for Stock Show
Westminster, CO (January 16, 2020) – The 400 ranchers bringing more than 100 head of live bison to Denver next week will also be bringing a commitment to continue building the market for bison meat based upon the quality of the meat and a dedication to sustainable ranching practices.
The ranchers will be gathering at the National Bison Association’s 25th Anniversary conference at the Denver Renaissance Hotel, and at the association’s Gold Trophy Show and Sale at the National Western Stock Show.
“The bison business is expanding its efforts to develop meaningful relationships with our customers based on the great taste, nutritional attributes and environmental benefits of bison meat,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the Westminster, CO-based association. “During our conference, we will be focusing heavily on working with the public as partners in bison restoration.” Continue reading

01-16-20 NFU Applauds Senate’s Passage of USMCA

NFU Applauds Senate’s Passage of USMCA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today voted 89-10 in favor of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), moving the trilateral deal to President Donald Trump’s desk for final approval.

Though National Farmers Union (NFU) initially withheld endorsement when USMCA was introduced over a year ago, the organization’s board voted to support it after the U.S. House of Representatives made several improvements. NFU President Roger Johnson applauded the agreement’s passage and urged future improvements to American trade policy:

“For 25 years, National Farmers Union has stood in staunch opposition to the disastrous free trade framework established by NAFTA. By prioritizing the interests of corporations over those of working-class Americans, this framework is largely responsible for our massive trade deficit, the rapid exportation of domestic jobs, the decline of wages, and the deterioration of our national sovereignty.

“Though USMCA is not a perfect replacement, it does make some important changes to its predecessor. We are particularly encouraged by the inclusion of stronger labor standards, more robust enforcement mechanisms, and better environmental protections. On top of that, we are pleased to see the partial elimination of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) arbitration procedure, which is the source of many of our aforementioned grievances against NAFTA.

“That being said, there is still significant room for improvement. This trade deal still doesn’t restore commonsense Country-of-Origin-Labeling, nor does it address import dumping. With that in mind, we urge Congress and the Trump administration to continue working to strengthen trade deals so they better support the success of family farmers and rural communities.”

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01-16-20 ACE: USMCA strengthens North American trade partner relationships and key ethanol market opportunities

ACE: New Report Shows How a Clean Fuels Policy For the Midwest Should Be Designed

Sioux Falls, SD – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement  (USMCA), ratifying the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) replacement after it was advanced by the U.S. House of Representatives in December. The new agreement solidifies a multi-billion-dollar export market while providing more stable market access to farmers and instilling confidence in other nations that the U.S. is a reliable partner and supplier to help U.S. agriculture remain competitive in the years ahead. ACE CEO Brian Jennings released the following statement in response to today’s announcement:

“Passage of  the USMCA in Congress is welcome news to America’s farmers. NAFTA has been a success for American agriculture and the USMCA builds upon this successful trading relationship. Over the past 20 years, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada have tripled and quintupled to Mexico. For U.S. corn, Mexico and Canada have served as the industry’s largest and most reliable markets, and this agreement keeps the door open for related commodities, like ethanol and distillers grains. Although USMCA doesn’t set ethanol-specific trade provisions, its ratification positively reaffirms this long-standing relationship with markets next door as we enter into this new decade of market growth.” Continue reading

01-16-20 RFA Lauds Senate Passage of USMCA

RFA Lauds Senate Passage of USMCA

The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked the U.S. Senate for passing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a crucial trade pact that will benefit U.S. ethanol producers and rural economies across the nation. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper offered the following statement:
“America’s ethanol producers look forward to seeing this important agreement in place. Canada and Mexico are among our most important and reliable export markets for both ethanol and distillers grains, and we look forward to strengthening our trading relationship with the two countries. USMCA is a good deal for the U.S. ethanol industry, the farmers who support us, and our industry’s partners in Canada and Mexico. We thank President Trump and Congress for getting this done.”

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01-16-20 USDA Reminds Producers to Pay Their Crop Insurance Premiums by January 31st

USDA Reminds Producers to Pay Their Crop Insurance Premiums by January 31

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) is reminding producers that their crop insurance premiums for the 2019 crop year are due January 31. Under this change, policies that do not have the premium paid by January 31, 2020, will have interest attach on February 1, calculated from the date of the premium billing notice. USDA had deferred to January 31, 2020, the accrual of interest on 2019 crop year insurance premiums for most policies with a premium billing date of August 15, 2019, to help the large number of farmers and ranchers affected by extreme weather in 2019.  Read more.

01-16-20 USDA Seeks Input on New Ethanol Sales Infrastructure Incentive Program

USDA Seeks Input on New Ethanol Sales Infrastructure Incentive Program

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public input to help with the creation of the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), a new program that will expand the availability of domestic ethanol and biodiesel by incentivizing the expansion of sales of renewable fuels.
“Feedback from farmers, retailers and biofuels producers is critical to the success of this future program,” Agriculture Secretary Perdue said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA remains committed to fulfilling a key promise to American farmers to enhance the promotion of biofuels.”

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01-16-20 U.S Senator Gardner: Senate Passes USMCA Trade Agreement

NOTE: Click here or the picture above to view Senator Gardner’s remarks.

U.S Senator Gardner: Senate Passes USMCA Trade Agreement

Gardner, a long supporter of the USMCA, votes in favor

Washington, D.C. – “Today the Senate passed the USMCA, which is great news for Colorado’s workers, our agriculture industry, and our economy,” said Senator Gardner. “A great portion of our economy in Colorado is dependent on trade with Canada and Mexico. Colorado’s workforce stands to benefit from the USMCA, as roughly a quarter million jobs exist in the Centennial State because of our trade relationships with our North American neighbors. After months of unnecessary delay by the House of Representatives, I’m glad Congress has finally passed this critical agreement for more jobs, economic growth, and opportunity in Colorado.”

Colorado exported $2.7 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico in 2018, making them Colorado’s largest trading partners. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Colorado exported more than $165 million of electronic machinery, $74 million worth of beverages, $47 million of dairy products, $33 million of cereals, and $28 million of sugar and confectionary exports to Canada and Mexico in 2018. Colorado’s biggest export, beef, accounts for more than $880 million worth of goods shipped to Mexico and Canada.

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01-16-20 NPPC Applauds Senate for Overwhelmingly Approving USMCA

NPPC Applauds Senate for Overwhelmingly Approving USMCA

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 16, 2020 – The U.S. Senate today overwhelmingly approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, which, once implemented, will provide much-needed certainty for U.S. pork producers.

“Ratification of USMCA has been a top priority for the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), and we thank members of the Senate who supported this critical trade deal,” said NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. “USMCA provides U.S. pork producers with certainty in two of our largest export markets. It received strong support in both chambers of Congress, and we look forward to seeing President Trump sign it into law.”

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01-16-20 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Senate Passage of USMCA

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Senate Passage of USMCA

(Washington, D.C., January 16, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after the Senate passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by a bipartisan vote of 89 – 10.

“We’ve long waited for this day and now USMCA will finally head to the President’s desk,” Secretary Perdue said. “The passage of USMCA is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers. With Congressional consideration now complete, our farmers and ranchers are eager to see the President sign this legislation and begin reaping the benefits of this critical agreement. I thank President Trump and Ambassador Lighthizer for successfully delivering an improved and modern trade agreement and working so hard for the people of American agriculture to get this deal across the finish line.”

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01-16-20 Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft on USMCA’s Senate Approval

Colorado Farm Bureau President Don Shawcroft on USMCA’s Senate Approval

CENTENNIAL, Colo.—Dec. 16, 2020Today, the United States Senate passed the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement by a 89-10 vote. The following statement is attributed to Don Shawcroft, President of the Colorado Farm Bureau:

“Today’s long-awaited ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement will provide necessary stability and vital opportunity for the agriculture industry to thrive by increasing U.S. exports by $2 billion. Colorado itself exports over $1.4 billion and $2.8 billion worth of goods to Canada and Mexico, respectively, which is why it is so incredibly important to have this agreement finalized.

For over a year, farmers and ranchers from across the country have written letters, made phone calls and reached out to their elected officials urging them to make USMCA official. While the process has taken longer than we hoped, we are thankful for today’s news and are excited to strengthen our relationships with our neighbors to the north and south.”

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USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for January 16th

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Weekly Export Sales for January 16th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, January 16th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, January 16th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Trump Signs Phase One Agreement with China

President Donald Trump signed a trade agreement with China Wednesday. The phase one deal, according to the Trump administration, is worth an extra $40-50 billion annually over the next two years in U.S. agricultural sales to China. However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier this week called the deal weak, suggesting Trump reached a watered-down agreement to claim a “win” during his reelection campaign. Further information suggests the figure may be $32 billion in increased ag purchases, not $40-50 billion. Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, attended the ceremony. Grassley welcomes the agreement but says, “Not only must China follow through with its commitments in this phase one deal, but also work toward a comprehensive agreement.” President Trump says the agreement removes trade barriers for U.S. agricultural products, particularly for beef. Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the agreement will benefit many different U.S. farm commodities. The agreement should be implemented within 30 days, according to the Trump Administration.

USTR offers China Agreement Details

Documents released by the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office offer details into the agriculture provisions in the U.S.-China phase one trade agreement. USTR Robert Lighthizer says China will purchase and import, on average, at least $40 billion of U.S. food, agricultural and seafood products annually for a total of at least $80 billion over the next two years. Products will cover the full range of U.S. agriculture. U.S. exports of pork products were $700 million in 2017 and are expected to reach $1.7 billion annually in the next two to three years. China will expand the scope of beef products allowed to be imported, eliminate age restrictions on cattle slaughtered for export to China, and recognize the U.S. beef and beef products’ traceability system. The Department of Agriculture estimates U.S. beef and beef product exports to China could reach $1 billion annually. Further, China has agreed to implement a transparent, predictable, efficient, science- and risk-based regulatory process for the evaluation and authorization of products of agricultural biotechnology.

Peterson, Costa, Cautiously Optimistic about Phase One China Deal

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California say they are optimistic but cautious, regarding the phase one trade agreement with China. Peterson notes the agreement includes potential increased market access for U.S. farmers, adding, “The question now is whether China will play by the rules it has agreed to here.” Peterson says he is concerned that long-term, certain crops may not regain the foothold they lost in the trade war. Meanwhile, Costa says, “The key is getting the Chinese to stick to their commitments and prove that they will honor international agreements.” Costa adds it’s not immediately clear that the new purchases, at least $40 billion worth annually according the Trump Administration, “will make up for what we’ve lost along the way.” Both Peterson and Costa say they are pleased to see progress on negotiations with China. However, most tariffs on China will remain in place, while Trump seeks a phase two agreement.

Farm Groups Welcome Phase One Agreement

Agriculture groups welcome the new trade agreement with China. The U.S. Grains Council says the agreement should reduce continued market uncertainty and incentivize China to purchase significant amounts of the full range of U.S. agricultural products. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the signing is ”another positive step towards restoring market confidence for U.S. biofuel producers.” In 2016, China was the third-largest export market for U.S. biofuels, but exports were nearly eliminated due to retaliatory tariffs and trade negotiations. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association calls the agreement a “game-changer.” NCBA President Jennifer Houston says the removal of trade barriers included in the agreement “gives Chinese consumers access to the U.S. beef they desire.” The National Pork Producers Council applauded the agreement, as well, saying pork producers are “ideally positioned to address this unprecedented sales opportunity for pork in China.” However, NPPC urged the removal of the 60 percent punitive tariffs on U.S. pork to “fully capture the benefits” of the agreement.

USMCA Senate Vote Thursday

The Senate is hopeful to vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Thursday (this) morning. After quickly advancing the agreement through required committee approvals, the Senate will consider the agreement ahead of the impeachment trial next week. However, the Senate is not in session Friday, leaving little time to debate and pass the implementing legislation. Thought to be delayed until after the impeachment trial, the Senate moved up committee hearings to include USMCA passage during a busy week in Washington. The same day President Donald Trump signed the China agreement, the House of Representatives sent articles of impeachment to the Senate. Now, the Senate must make the impeachment trial a priority, which is expected to begin Tuesday. Action by the Senate would move USMCA to President Trump’s desk for his signature. The signing of the agreement would signal Canada to approve the agreement, whose government is waiting for U.S. approval. Mexico already approved the agreement last year.

FSA Encourages Farmers to Enroll in ARC, PLC, Now

USDA’s Farm Service Agency encourages producers to enroll now in the Agriculture Risk Loss (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. March 15, 2020 is the enrollment deadline for the 2019 crop year. Although more than 200,000 producers have enrolled to date, FSA anticipates 1.5 million producers will enroll for ARC and PLC. By enrolling soon, producers can beat the rush as the deadline nears. FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says, “please do not wait to start the enrollment process,” adding producers “need to begin the program election and enrollment process now.” ARC and PLC provide financial protections to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety nets for most American farms. Until March 15, producers who have not yet enrolled in ARC or PLC for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office unless yield updates are requested. Additionally, farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields that take effect beginning with crop year 2020.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service