READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, Jan 23rd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, Jan 23rd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Senate Sends USCMA to President Trump

The U.S. Senate Wednesday put its finishing touches on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Senator Chuck Grassley, chair of the Finance Committee and Senate President Pro tempore, signed the agreement, the final step before the agreement heads to the White House. President Donald Trump was previously expected to sign the agreement sometime this week. The ceremony Wednesday signals the end is close after the nearly three-year process of renegotiating the agreement, then further negotiations to gain U.S. congressional approval. President Trump, in January 2017, announced his intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The trade talks started in May of that year. A deal was reached in September of 2018 between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican from Nebraska who attended the ceremony Wednesday, says she is “proud that this critical trade agreement has finally come across the finish line.” President Donald Trump told the American Farm Bureau Federation on Sunday, that USMCA, and the agreement with China, “are just the beginning,” as his administration seeks more trade agreements.

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Canada to Consider USMCA Next Week

Canada will consider the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement next week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (true-doh) told reporters this week, ”On Monday, we will introduce a Ways and Means motion, and on Wednesday we will table legislation to ratify the deal.” The comments were part of a press conference detailing plans for Canada’s Parliament, which returns to work next week. Trudeau says, “We are going to make sure that we are going to move forward in the right way, and that means ratifying this new NAFTA as quickly as possible, but responsibly in the House of Commons.” Canada is the last of three nations to take action on the agreement. Mexico has already ratified the agreement, and the U.S. has one final step to ratify the agreement, being President Donald Trump’s signature. The USMCA, or CUSMA, as it’s known in Canada, is estimated to be worth an extra $2 billion annually in exports for U.S. farmers.

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Farm Bureau Establishes 2020 Priorities

Farmer and rancher delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 101st Annual Convention this week adopted policies to guide the organization’s work in 2020. After a year-long process to review ways to modernize Federal Milk Marketing Orders, AFBF’s delegates voted to support creation of a flexible, farmer- and industry-led milk management system. This includes giving individual dairy farmers a voice by allowing them to vote independently and confidentially on rules governing milk prices. The new dairy policies, when combined, “will form a strong foundation” to guide the organization during future reform efforts to better coordinate milk supply and demand. Delegates also updated labor and immigration policies, emphasizing the need to see significant changes to the H-2A program. And delegates also voted to support allowing a higher THC level in hemp. Delegates also re-elected American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and Vice President Scott VanderWal for their third terms. VanderWal served as chair of the meeting on behalf of Duvall, who is grieving the loss of his wife, Bonnie.

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Cattle Disease Traceability Continues Advancing

Multiple state cattlemen’s organizations from major beef producing regions have partnered together to form U.S. CattleTrace, a disease traceability initiative. The goal is to develop a national infrastructure for disease traceability and encourage private industry’s use of the infrastructure for individualized management practices. The new U.S. CattleTrace initiative combines the efforts of CattleTrace, which includes the Kansas Livestock Association and others in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington, as well as traceability pilot projects underway in Florida and Texas. Brandon Depenbusch, CattleTrace board of directors chairman, says the partnership “will be a catalyst to build upon the CattleTrace foundation we established the past few years.” In late August 2018, CattleTrace Inc. was formally established as a private, not-for-profit corporation to securely maintain and manage the data collected as part of the disease traceability pilot project. Volunteer leaders from each of the partner organizations have agreed to a set of guiding principles for U.S. CattleTrace.

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NBB Welcomes New Biodiesel Quality Reports

The National Biodiesel Board Wednesday welcomed new reports on Biodiesel fuel quality published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Through funding and support from the National Biodiesel Board, NREL’s statistical analysis is based on thousands of data points that were previously unavailable. The reports are comprised of data gathered from U.S. and Canadian BQ-9000 producer members. The analysis from both the 2017 and 2018 reports show that the vast majority of biodiesel readily exceeded the specification limits in ASTM D6751, the standard for biodiesel. As part of the data gathering process, biodiesel producers test their own B100 fuel at the point of production monthly, then provide NBB’s National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission with the resulting data. NBAC randomizes and anonymizes the results and provide the final version to NREL for statistical analysis. NBB Technical Director Scott Fenwick says, “We now have a simpler, more efficient way to collect, analyze, and determine the quality of biodiesel.” The data was presented during a breakout session at the 2020 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo.

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ASA Celebrates Its ‘First Soy Century’

The American Soybean Association is celebrating its “First Soy Century” as it recognizes its 100th anniversary throughout 2020. The roots of ASA were formed during the first Corn Belt Soybean Field Day in Camden, Indiana, in September 1920. The event drew nearly 1,000 farmers from six states, who were interested in discovering more about this emerging new commodity called soybeans. The National Soybean Growers’ Association—later renamed the American Soybean Association—was formed that year. In the century since those beginnings, ASA has continually focused on sustaining and improving the prospects and opportunities for profitability for U.S. soybean farmers. ASA plans a robust year of activities to celebrate the association’s centennial including, high profile activities at Commodity Classic, and a policy event in July at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. ASA will also host a forward-looking symposium entitled “The Next Soy Century” to be held on the campus of Purdue University in August. Learn more at ASA100Years.com.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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