02-21-20 CACD’s 57th Annual Camp Rocky: July 5-11, 2020 – Registration Open Now!

CLICK HERE to view the full brochure

CACD’s 57th Annual Camp Rocky: July 5-11, 2020 – Registration Open Now!

Greetings Conservation Districts, Partners, Affiliates and Friends:

We are ready to start taking applications for Camp Rocky 2020!  Please see the attached information and registration documents. We also encourage you to visit our Camp Rocky website page for more information and printable forms. Go to http://www.coloradoacd.org/camp-rocky.html.

For those of you who are not familiar with Camp Rocky, here is a brief overview of this award-winning natural resources camp.

Outdoor Natural Resource Conservation Adventures Youth: Ages 14-19
Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for February 21st

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for February 21st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 21st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 21st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EU Sets a Target Date for U.S. Trade Deal

Phil Hogan, European Union Trade Chief, says he’s looking to have a trade deal in place with the Trump Administration and the U.S. by March 18. Politico says he’s working on a package of agreements for EU leaders to present to Trump in the coming weeks. Among the potential concessions the EU may be willing to make are speeding up the approval process for certain Genetically Modified Organisms, as well as allowing U.S. imports of tallow, which is a form of beef or sheep fat. Why March 18th? That’s when higher U.S. retaliatory tariffs on Airbus planes are set to take effect. The Trump Administration last week raised duties from 10 percent to 15 percent but suspended implementing the increase. Hogan says the move by Washington, as well as the decision to not raise tariffs on EU farm goods, was seen as a positive sign that the U.S. is ready to make a deal. The U.S. also didn’t do anything to increase the 25 percent duties in place on European food and alcohol products.

***************************************************************************************

Hormel Eliminating Ractopamine from Hog Supplies

Hormel Foods is getting rid of ractopamine (rack-TOH-pah-meen), a growth drug banned by China, from its hog supply. Hormel is joining rival companies like Tyson Foods and JBS in looking to make more meat sales to China, which is in the middle of wrestling with a large shortage of pork. Hormel isn’t going to accept hogs that have been fed or otherwise exposed to ractopamine after April first. Tyson Foods and JBS USA took that step last year. The companies’ moves ramped up the competition for the increased pork demand from China, where the outbreak of African Swine Fever has decimated their herds. In a statement announcing the move, Hormel says, “We have been actively monitoring the changing global market dynamics for several years and believe this decision will further position us to meet growing international demand.” Ractopamine is used in some countries to raise leaner pigs, but China doesn’t allow its use or tolerate residues in its imported meats. The European Union also bans ractopamine.

***************************************************************************************

Perdue Announces New Innovation Initiative for USDA

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, which is a department-wide initiative to help better position U.S. ag to meet future global demands. The initiative will align resources, programs, and research to help stimulate innovation so that American agriculture can achieve the goal of increasing production by 40 percent while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050. “We know we have a challenge facing us: to meet future food, fiber, fuel, and feed demands with finite resources,” Perdue says. “USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda is our opportunity to define American agriculture’s role to feed everyone and do right as a key player in the solution to this challenge.” He calls the new agenda a strategic, department-wide effort to better align USDA’s resources, programs, and research to provide farmers with the tools they need to be successful. “We’re also continually mindful of the need for America’s agriculture industry to be environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable to maintain our position as a leader in the global effort to meet demand,” he adds. The first component of the Ag Innovation Agenda is to develop a U.S. ag innovation strategy that aligns and synchronizes public and private sector research.

***************************************************************************************

U.S. Pork Industry Wants Additional ASF Prevention Measures in Place

Continued vigilance by the USDA, Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. pork industry, means that the U.S. has so far prevented an outbreak of the African Swine Fever Virus. The disease affects pigs and poses no threat to human safety. The National Pork Producers Council and 30 state associations are asking Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to take additional measures, including restricting imports of organic soy products for animal feed from all countries that have ASF outbreaks. The U.S. pork and feed industries have adopted holding times to allow for the natural degradation of any viruses, to ensure that most imported feed ingredients are safe to use. Research shows that organic soy products can maintain the virus for longer periods, making holding times impractical. Most soy imports into the U.S. are organic. NPPC says it’s confident in the safety of domestic soy products. NPPC and the associations are also asking USDA to further explore the merit of restricting all soy products from ASF-positive countries, to enhance its online system used to permit animal movements in the event of an outbreak, and to expand state animal health laboratory testing capacity.

***************************************************************************************

Groups to Study 100 Percent Biodiesel Engine Technology

A wide range of groups announced a partnership to conduct a year-long validation project of revolutionary biodiesel technology. Five trucks owned by ADM will be outfitted with Optimus Technologies Vector Fuel System, which enables diesel engines to run almost entirely on sustainable biodiesel. In a real-world environment, the trucks will be used in everyday fleet operations for a year, with each vehicle likely to travel between 160,000 and 180,000 miles, while reducing up to 500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. Five other trucks in the ADM fleet will be a control group in the study and operate on conventional biodiesel. While nearly all diesel engine manufacturers support at least 20 percent biodiesel, the Optimus Vector System is designed to allow conventional diesel engines to run on 100 percent biodiesel in a wide range of climates. The system is already in use in short mileage, local fleet applications. The new project will test the viability for longer-haul, over-the-road fleets, which could potentially open a pathway to significantly higher volumes of biodiesel in the U.S. truck fleet. Other organizations involved in the project include the National Biodiesel Board, the Illinois Soybean Association, and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

***************************************************************************************

Farmers Union Recommends Improvements to EQIP

The USDA continues to implement the 2018 Farm Bill and released the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Interim Rule. The National Farmers Union is urging the agency to strengthen the conservation program to better support farmers as they work to ensure the longevity of their land and natural resources. Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says his group values the program and wants to make improvements to ensure its efficiency. “We’d like to encourage the agency to include climate resilience and soil health in its list of EQIP priorities,” Johnson says. “These are two of the most critical issues facing agriculture today and farmers need all available tools and resources to address them.” They also recommend NRCS give each state the ability to set their high-priority practices for increased payment rates. Local and regional offices are the most knowledgeable about the resource concerns in their areas and should determine, when possible, how to address those concerns. “We also urge NRCS to prioritize farmers and ranchers when allocating EQIP funding,” Johnson adds. “We’d like funding to be available to water management entities that serve mostly farmers and ranchers.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

nafblogobluegoldcopy

The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

GL_GR110
Greeley, CO Fri Feb 21, 2020 USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Daily Grain Bids for Denver and Surrounding Areas

Spot bids to producers for grain delivered to terminal and country
Elevators. Bids dollar/bu. except for Barley which is dollar/cwt.
Bids available by 3:00 PM MST.

www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/GL_GR110.txt

Source: USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News Service, Greeley, CO
Tammy Judson, Market Reporting Assistant (970)353-9750
24 Hour Market Report (970)353-8031
Greeley.LPGMN@ams.usda.gov www.usda.gov/lsmarketnews
www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/GL_GR110.txt

1300M tj

Continue reading

02-20-20 Secretary Perdue Announces New Innovation Initiative for USDA

Secretary Perdue Announces New Innovation Initiative for USDA

The Agriculture Innovation Agenda is a Solution for Farmers, Consumers, and the Environment

Washington, D.C, February 20, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the Agriculture Innovation Agenda, a department-wide initiative to align resources, programs, and research to position American agriculture to better meet future global demands. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will stimulate innovation so that American agriculture can achieve the goal of increasing production by 40 percent while cutting the environmental footprint of U.S. agriculture in half by 2050.
“We know we have a challenge facing us: to meet future food, fiber, fuel, and feed demands with finite resources. USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda is our opportunity define American agriculture’s role to feed everyone and do right as a key player in the solution to this challenge,” said Secretary Perdue. “This agenda is a strategic, department-wide effort to better align USDA’s resources, programs, and research to provide farmers with the tools they need to be successful. We are also continually mindful of the need for America’s agriculture industry to be environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable to maintain our position as a leader in the global effort to meet demand. We are committed as ever to the environmental sustainability and continued success, of America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers.”
BACKGROUND:

Continue reading

02-20-20 U.S. Pork Industry Requests Additional ASF-Prevention Measures


U.S. Pork Industry Requests Additional ASF-Prevention Measures

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 20, 2020 – Thanks to continued vigilance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. pork industry, the United States has so far prevented an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), an animal disease affecting only pigs with no human health or food safety risks. To ensure the U.S. swine herd remains free of the disease, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and 30 state pork producer associations today asked Agriculture Secretary Perdue to take additional measures, including restricting imports of organic soy products for animal feeds from all ASF-positive countries.

The U.S. pork and feed industries have adopted holding times to allow for the natural degradation of any viruses, to ensure that most imported feed ingredients are safe to use. Research indicates, however, that organic soy products can maintain the virus for longer periods of time, making holding times impractical. While overall imports of feed ingredients are minimal, most soy products imported by the United States are organic. NPPC is confident in the safety of domestic soy products.

“We appreciate the diligent focus and outstanding collaboration between the U.S. pork industry, USDA, CBP, Congress and state animal health officials to protect the U.S. swine herd,” said NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. “While we are confident in the safety of domestic soy products, we urge Secretary Perdue to use authority under the Animal Health Protection Act to restrict imports of organic soy products from ASF-positive countries to further safeguard our animals and prevent an outbreak that would have devastating, far-reaching economic consequences.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 20th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 20th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Farm Groups Come Together for Sustainability Discussion

Twenty-one farm and ranch groups that represent millions of U.S. farmers and ranchers are launching Farmers for a Sustainable Future. It’s a new coalition committed to environmental and economic sustainability. The coalition will serve as a primary resource for lawmakers and policymakers as they consider climate policies. One important task for the new coalition is to share with elected officials, media, and the public, U.S. agriculture’s commitment to sustainability and the incredible strides they’ve already made to reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint. As policy proposals are developed and considered, the goal is for the coalition and its guiding principles to serve as a foundation to ensure the adoption of meaningful and constructive policies and programs affecting agriculture. Those guiding principles include calling for policies that support science-based research, voluntary incentive-based conservation programs, investment in infrastructure, and solutions that ensure vibrant rural communities and a healthy planet. The coalition says farmers and ranchers are committed stewards of the land, leading the way to climate-smart farming by promoting soil health, conserving water, enhancing wildlife, using nutrients efficiently, and caring for their animals.

*********************************************************************************************

Ag Groups Excited about New Sustainable Farming Coalition

Farm groups that represent millions of farmers and ranchers across the country have come together to form a new coalition called Farmers for a Sustainable Future. It’s a coalition committed to environmental and economic sustainability. One of the ag groups is the American Soybean Association. Their CEO, Ryan Findlay, says, “Soybean farmers have an awesome story to tell, including their sustainability initiatives, so it’s great to be able to collaborate with like-minded organizations to facilitate sound policy and program decisions and have a platform to share our efforts.” The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives also joined the coalition. Chuck Conner, President and CEO of the NCFC, says, “This effort is important as policymakers at both the state and federal levels, and our partners in the value chain develop programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.” National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane says, “Twenty-one agricultural groups are now standing side-by-side in unity to correct a false narrative that’s haunted us for as long as I can remember.” The National Pork Producers Council says farmers and ranchers are “committed stewards of the land” and leading the way in climate-smart farming.

*********************************************************************************************

Meat Import Containers Piling Up in Chinese Ports

There are thousands of containers of frozen pork, chicken, and beef, all sitting in major Chinese ports because of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Bloomberg says transportation disruptions and labor shortages are slowing operations down drastically. People familiar with the situation tell Bloomberg that there aren’t enough truck drivers to pick up and move the containers due to travel restrictions imposed on the country to control the coronavirus. Ports are running out of electricity to help freeze the containers, while some ships have been told to move on to other destinations in mainland China or Hong Kong. China imports massive amounts of meat products from South America, Europe, and the United States. It’s been boosting purchases to help ease some of the shortages caused by the African Swine Fever outbreak that decimated its hog herds. Customs data shows that China boosted its imports of meat and offal by almost 50 percent last year to a record 6.2 million tons. It’s not known if or when port operations will be able to return to normal as truck drivers returning from other cities are quarantined for 14 days. Other transport restrictions on trucks also remain in place.

*********************************************************************************************

China Offers More Tariff-Relief on U.S. Imports

The University of Illinois’ Farm Policy News website says reports are surfacing that China is looking at purchasing some U.S. farm products by early March. The gesture would be intended to show the U.S. that it will meet its commitments outlined in the Phase One trade deal. The Chinese government is in discussions over what commodities it could potentially buy at the end of February or in early March. The purchases would show the U.S. that China intends to stick to the trade deal despite the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Additional reports from Reuters show that China intends to “grant exemptions on retaliatory duties imposed on almost 700 U.S. products,” which would be the most substantial tariff relief to be offered so far. That would be the third round of tariff relief offered by China and comes after the Phase One trade deal officially went into effect on February 14. China has already been issuing tariff waivers on more of an ad hoc basis for U.S. farm products, including soybeans. The exemption announcement that came this week includes energy products like crude oil.

*********************************************************************************************

Don’t Forget to Complete Census of Agriculture Special Studies

The USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service continues to collect responses to the 2019 Organic Survey and the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties, both of which are special studies that take place every five years. The response window runs through March of this year. NASS is asking producers who received the questionnaires to respond online, by mail, or by telephone. “We are extending the deadlines for responses since we still have a steady stream of completed questionnaires coming in,” says NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “NASS produces the most comprehensive data about U.S. agriculture. Our record of accuracy is why NASS data continues to be used throughout the industry.” Hamer says the better response they get from the questionnaires means the better data they have to offer. “Responding to NASS surveys and censuses means contributing to the future,” Hamer adds. The resulting data will be used by commodity associations, agribusinesses, policymakers, researchers, Extension, and more. Producers who didn’t respond to the original deadline will receive a second questionnaire this month.

*********************************************************************************************

CRP Signup Deadline Rapidly Approaching

The USDA is reminding producers interested in the Conservation Reserve Program that the signup deadline is on February 28. The signup is available to farmers and private landowners who are either enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling for another 10-to-15-year term. Farmers and ranchers who enroll in the program get yearly rental payments for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, which can control soil erosion, improve water quality, and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. The CRP has 22 million acres currently enrolled, but the 2018 Farm Bill lifted that cap to 27 million. The program is marking its 35th anniversary in 2020 with many milestones. It’s prevented more than nine billion tons of soil from eroding, which is enough soil to fill 600 million dump trucks. The program has also sequestered an average of 49 million tons of greenhouse gases, equal to taking nine million cars off the road.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

nafblogobluegoldcopy

02-19-20 CDA: Radio Frequency Identification Livestock Ear Tags to Replace Metal Clips

CDA: Radio Frequency Identification Livestock Ear Tags to Replace Metal Clips

BROOMFIELD, CO – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin offering the option of no-cost Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ear tags to veterinarians and producers for use in young beef, dairy or bison breeding replacements.

The Animal Health Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture will be responsible for distributing the no-cost RFID tags in Colorado and is finalizing a process to respond to RFID tag orders from cattle or bison producers and veterinarians.  The no-cost RFID tags are expected to be available for distribution in late March or April of 2020. Continue reading

02-19-20 CALP: Important Information for the 2020 Governor`s Forum on Colorado Agriculture

CALP: Important Information for the 2020 Governor`s Forum on Colorado Agriculture

Denver Colo. February 19th – This years Governor`s Forum on Colorado Agriculture will feature a slate of dynamic speaker from across agriculture representing a broad spectrum of current issues facing the industry. Continue reading

02-19-20 TRACTOR SUPPLY HOLDS ANNUAL FUNDRAISER TO BENEFIT FFA

TRACTOR SUPPLY HOLDS ANNUAL FUNDRAISER TO BENEFIT FFA

Donations accepted in-store and online will fund student-led agricultural projects across the country

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (Feb. 19, 2020) – Tractor Supply Company continues its efforts to support youth across the country by kicking off the year with its annual Grants for Growing campaign. The fundraiser, which will coincide with National FFA Week, supports hundreds of unique and sustainable agricultural projects implemented by FFA chapters nationwide.

From February 19 to March 1, donations can be made in store or online at TractorSupply.com. Each grant will fund projects within the same state the funds were donated in.

“We are committed to the FFA mission of making a positive difference in the lives of our students,” said Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply. “Thanks to the passion our team members and customers have for supporting their communities, Tractor Supply will continue to invest in the next generation of agricultural leaders.” Continue reading

02-19-20 Lights, Camera, Dairy – Dairy MAX creates all-star advocates of the dairy story through communications trainings

Lights, Camera, Dairy

Dairy MAX creates all-star advocates of the dairy story through communications trainings

From its unique nutrient package to the role in sustainable food systems, dairy brings a lot to the table. But with people generations removed from farming and the overwhelming number of beverage choices and activists, spreading the truth about dairy foods and where they come from is more important than ever. Continue reading

02-19-20 NFU’s College Conference on Cooperatives Continues Excellence in Cooperative Education

NFU’s College Conference on Cooperatives Continues Excellence in Cooperative Education

WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union (NFU) hosted 75 students in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last weekend for its annual College Conference on Cooperatives (CCOC). The three-day conference provides an interactive learning experience for American agriculture’s next generation on the importance, structure, and operations of various types of cooperative groups.

“Cooperatives have long played a vital role in bolstering rural and urban communities alike – which is why National Farmers Union established this program more than four decades ago” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “By engaging tomorrow’s agricultural leaders in hands-on application of cooperative business principles and structures, we can help inform them of and prepare them for the many opportunities available to them through the cooperative model.”

Continue reading

02-19-20 NPPC: Farmers Join Forces for Sustainability and Responsible Climate Policy


NPPC: Farmers Join Forces for Sustainability and Responsible Climate Policy

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 19, 2020 – Twenty-one farm and ranch groups representing millions of U.S. farmers and ranchers are launching Farmers for a Sustainable Future (FSF), a coalition committed to environmental and economic sustainability. This coalition will serve as a primary resource for lawmakers and policymakers as they consider climate policies. Continue reading

02-19-20 National Potato Council Welcomes Year-Round Access for U.S. Chipping Potatoes to Japan

National Potato Council Welcomes Year-Round Access for U.S. Chipping Potatoes to Japan

Announcement deepens relationship with largest trading partner

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) informed USDA that U.S. chipping potatoes will be allowed to enter year-round, starting Feb. 14, 2020. Previously, the import protocol for U.S. chipping potatoes states was from Feb. 1 to July 30 each year. The new language state that U.S. chipping potatoes can enter all year round.

“NPC and the entire U.S. potato industry appreciates the diligent work of USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) staff to secure this increased access,” said NPC Vice President of Trade Affairs Jared Balcom. “Year-round access for U.S. fresh chip-stock potatoes will deepen our relationship with our number one trading partner and support the continued growth of the U.S. potato industry.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 19th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

India Offers Concession on U.S. Farm Goods to Help Reach a Deal

India is attempting to reach a trade deal with the U.S. before President Donald Trump makes his first official visit to the country on February 24-25. People close to the negotiations say the Indian government is open to greater market access for American farm and dairy products. India is willing to allow market access for U.S. products like cranberries, blueberries, pecan nuts, and avocados at lower duty rates. They’re also open to allowing imports of DDGs, the by-product of ethanol production used in animal feed and alfalfa hay. Even as the two nations attempt to have a deal in place before Trump’s visit, there aren’t a lot of details available as to when a new agreement might be ready. Negotiators are still working on the final details in an attempt to resolve some long-standing issues between the two countries. Bloomberg says even a partial trade deal with India that allows greater market access for U.S. farm goods is likely to help the president as he runs for reelection this year. He’s fresh off success with the “Phase One” deal with China, as well as the USMCA agreement, and the trade deal with Japan.

********************************************************************************************

GAO will Investigate Trade Aid Funds Distribution

The Government Accountability Office is looking into President Trump’s $28 billion aid program for farmers that were hurt by trade disputes with other countries. The office is investigating allegations that the money was mismanaged and distributed unfairly. The New York Times says the investigation came about because of a request by Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow, who says she thinks the aid program was biased. She argues that the program provided more funds to southern states that voted for the president and that it favored large and foreign agriculture companies over small farmers. The administration says the aid program that began in 2018 will end this year. The program started as a $12 billion effort to help mitigate losses for farmers who faced lost sales because of retaliatory tariffs from China, the European Union, Canada, and Mexico, as a result of the trade war. The program grew to $28 billion last year as the trade war disruptions with China lingered. Critics have said the formula that was used to determine payments for certain crops were faulty, which meant funds went to multiple big corporations or large farms, instead of the smaller family operations.

*********************************************************************************************

Hemp Farmers on Edge Because of Law Enforcement Requirements

Hemp producers around the country feel they’re being treated like criminals. That’s because laboratories that test the crop must be certified by the Drug Enforcement Administration, something that has the country’s producers uneasy. USDA’s new hemp regulations say farmers have to ship some of their crops off to labs so that they can verify the crop doesn’t contain illegal amounts of THC, the mind-altering chemical in marijuana. If a hemp crop is found non-compliant, which would mean the THC levels are above .3 percent, it has to be completely destroyed under the supervision of a law enforcement officer. Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp, tells Politico that law enforcement shouldn’t be involved unless there’s evidence of illegal activity, such as a farmer with a hemp license growing marijuana. Other critics worry that DEA lab certification will create a major bottleneck to testing, which must take place during a 15-day window before harvest. 44 labs in America can process hemp samples, but some states such as Alabama don’t have a single lab to take care of that kind of testing.

*********************************************************************************************

Justice Department Looking Into Dairy Merger

Dairy Farmers of America has reached an agreement with Dean Foods to purchase the bulk of Dean’s operations for $425 million. An Agri-Pulse report says that agreement will be contingent on approval from the Justice Department and a federal bankruptcy court. Dean filed for bankruptcy back in November. The company currently operates 57 facilities in 29 states, and under the agreement, Dairy Farmers of America would acquire 44 of those facilities. However, not everyone is happy with the agreement. “It would be awful,” says Peter Carstensen, a Law Professor at the University of Wisconsin. “This has the potential to hurt consumers because it would eliminate a lot of competition within the industry. At the same time, it will hurt dairy farmers.” Carstensen specializes in antitrust in agriculture, and he says Dean and DFA are some of the only milk processors in the Upper Midwest and New England. Bobbi Wilson, a government relations associate for the Wisconsin Farmers Union, says, “We don’t want to see a situation where DFA is the only buyer around.” The Justice Department will need to review the merger and has been in contact with Dean Foods about potential transactions, including a tie-up with DFA. Dean Foods says it believes the transaction would be “competitive and beneficial” for both farmers and consumers.

*********************************************************************************************

Grain Glitch Could Cost Farmers, Cooperatives Money

It’s been two years since the discovery of the “grain glitch” in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. A DTN report says farmer cooperatives are still asking Treasury Department officials to change provisions of Section 199A back to the way the tax deduction worked before the 2017 tax law was passed. The tax quirk that looked like a windfall for farmers who did business with cooperatives might now increase the taxes for at least some of those farmers who are patrons of more diverse cooperatives. Accountants and grain industry leaders discovered in early 2018 that the new tax law inadvertently gave farmers a potentially large tax break for selling their crops to farmer cooperatives instead of private elevators. Major private grain companies were faced with a possible large purchasing disadvantage. The grain glitch generated enough attention that Congress passed legislation to rework the tax deduction in a federal spending bill within a few months. Last summer, the Treasury Department began proposing that Section 199 deductions only apply to “patronage income.” That would eliminate cooperatives’ ability to combine “non-patronage income” as part of the deduction calculation. That exclusion of non-patronage income was never part of the original Section 199 regulations.

*********************************************************************************************

Coronavirus a “Wildcard” in the Cotton Market too?

The coronavirus in China represents a significant wildcard in the world’s cotton market. That comes from the 2020 economic outlook released at the National Cotton Council’s annual meeting in New Orleans. The coronavirus outbreak in China may mean delays in the Asian country’s ability to increase purchases in the near-term. The NCC says that it makes it hard to predict what 2020 buying may look like in the cotton market during the year ahead. The NCC is projecting planted acreage to be 13 million acres, 5.5 percent less than in 2019. The Hagstrom Report says the expected drop in cotton acres is a result of slightly weaker cotton prices relative to corn and soybeans. Export markets for cotton, like many other commodities, continues to be the primary outlet for the raw fiber shipments from the U.S. World trade is estimated to be higher in the 2019 marketing year. However, retaliatory tariffs and increased competition from other major exporting countries have led to a sharp drop in the U.S. share of the cotton market in China. However, despite the continued U.S. and China trade disruptions, the NCC says U.S. export sales to other markets have been very strong for the current crop year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

nafblogobluegoldcopy

02-18-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Following Record Year, Outlook Remains Strong for U.S. Beef in South Korea

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Following Record Year, Outlook Remains Strong for U.S. Beef in South Korea 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO -February 18, 2020 – U.S. beef exports to South Korea are coming off another record performance in 2019, with export value reaching $1.84 billion – an increase of 5% from 2018.

Jihae Yang, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Korea director, says the outlook is very positive for continued growth in 2020. She explains that Korea’s domestic beef production cannot keep pace with growing demand, and well-marbled, high-quality beef from the United States is very appealing to Korean consumers. Australia’s beef production is being impacted by drought-induced herd liquidation, which has an increasing number of Korean retailers and foodservice operators relying on U.S. beef. Lower tariff rates under the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) also helps make U.S. beef more affordable for consumers. Since KORUS was implemented in 2012, the tariff rate for U.S. beef has fallen from 40% to 16%, and will go to zero by 2026. U.S. beef enjoys a tariff rate advantage over competitors in Korea, because KORUS was Korea’s first free trade agreement with a major beef supplier.

Yang notes that U.S. beef has an ever-expanding presence in Korea’s foodservice sector. It is a perfect fit for popular home meal replacement kits, and a wide range of U.S. beef cuts are used to satisfy Koreans’ growing appetite for steaks and craft burgers.

Jihae Yang record beef exports to Korea 2-17-20

Continue reading