06-01-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Vietnam to Reduce Tariff Rates on Imported Pork

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Vietnam to Reduce Tariff Rates on Imported Pork

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – June 1, 2020 – With its domestic pork production heavily impacted by African swine fever (ASF), Vietnam has announced reductions to its most-favored-nation (MFN) tariff rates for imported pork. Effective July 10, the MFN rate for frozen pork muscle cuts will drop from 15% to 10%, with the lower rate remaining in effect through the end of this year. The MFN rate for frozen pork variety meat will remain at 8%. The MFN rate for chilled pork muscle cuts will decline from 25% to 22%.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Economist Erin Borror explains that as the Vietnamese pork industry struggles to recover from ASF-related losses, the government is taking a number of steps to help stabilize pork prices. She notes that these MFN rate reductions are especially timely for the U.S. industry, because Vietnam’s tariff rates for frozen Canadian pork currently stand at 9.3% for muscle cuts and 4% for variety meat under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Vietnam’s imports of pork from the European Union will soon receive similar tariff relief under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which Vietnam’s National Assembly is expected to ratify this month.

In the first quarter of 2020, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to Vietnam increased 251% from a year ago to 4,382 metric tons, valued at just under $10 million (up 182%).

Borror on Vietnam Pork Tariffs 6-1-20

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06-01-20 CO Governor Polis Signs Updated Safer at Home Executive Order to Transition to Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors

CO Governor Polis Signs Updated Safer at Home Executive Order to Transition to Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors

DENVER – Gov. Polis today signed an Executive Order, transitioning from Safer at Home to Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors.

“Our state has some of the most beautiful natural open spaces in the world and we want Coloradans to enjoy our vast, great outdoors. While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice greater social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces,” said Governor Jared Polis. “It may feel like we are getting back to normal, but the virus is still here, and it could surge back the moment we let our guard down. We are still far from normal. Coloradans have to remain diligent, and must continue staying home or in the great outdoors away from others as much as possible, wearing masks when we leave the house, and washing our hands. Over these next few weeks, each and every one of us has a responsibility to protect ourselves and others, especially as we begin venturing out onto our trails and open space.”

“And for anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms, it’s extremely important to not go to work or hang out with others and to get tested. Testing is free, easy, and quick at 47 state-supported, community testing sites across the state including at the Pepsi Center in Denver,” Gov. Polis added. 

“Colorado has millions of acres of accessible federal land, municipal parks, State parks, State and county open space, and other accessible areas that allow for stronger Social Distancing in our great outdoors. Coloradans should Stay at Home or in the great outdoors away from others as much as possible and continue to limit social interactions, remain at least six feet from others not in their household, and wear non-medical facial coverings in public,” the Executive Order reads. 

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06-01-20 CDA: Annual Publication Connects People with Local Food – “Colorado’s Farm Fresh Directory”

CLICK HERE to view the 2020 Colorado Farm Fresh Directory

CDA: Annual Publication Connects People with Local Food – “Colorado’s Farm Fresh Directory”

Broomfield, Colo. – In a time when families are looking for local products, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s 36th annual Colorado Farm Fresh Directory helps consumers find farmers’ markets, roadside stands, u-picks, and more.

“Farmers’ markets may look and feel different this year, as they have been working hard to reimagine operations to continue to get you safe, local food while keeping you and all our farmers healthy,” said Commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Kate Greenberg. “But thankfully they are here for us, as they have always been.”

The 2020 Colorado Farm Fresh Directory features businesses selling direct to the public, including more than 200 farms, ranches, roadside stands, u-picks and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, 100 farmers’ markets across the state as well as 40 new listings. Farm Fresh also includes restaurants using local ingredients, wineries, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and other seasonal activities. In addition, the free directory includes a crop calendar, tips for picking Colorado produce and other helpful resources.

Longmont Dairy Farm and Royal Crest Dairy customers will receive a copy of the publication through the home milk delivery services. The directory is also available for free through a variety of businesses as well as online at www.coloradoagriculture.com/farmfreshColorado Farm Fresh is also available as a mobile app for smartphones. Continue reading

06-01-20 USDA’s Risk Management Agency Modifies Dairy Revenue Protection Sales Period

USDA’s Risk Management Agency Modifies Dairy Revenue Protection Sales Period

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2020 – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is modifying the sales period over weekends for Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP) because of the high volatility of milk prices. Starting June 5, 2020, the sales period will begin no later than 4:30 p.m. Central Time (CT) when the coverage prices and rates are published and will end at 9:00 a.m. CT of the following business day or 9:00 a.m. CT on Sunday, whichever is earlier. The next sales period will begin no later than 4:30 p.m. CT on the following business day. This change only impacts when milk producers can purchase DRP quarterly endorsements, not the timing of indemnity payments. This modification will also be incorporated into the DRP policy for the 2022 crop year.

“The DRP program is an excellent risk management tool for dairy producers, providing peace of mind during unpredictable market fluctuations such as the dairy industry is experiencing now,” RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said. “USDA wants to be sure that we make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the Federal crop insurance program continues to serve the risk management needs of our nation’s producers during this unprecedented time.”

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06-01-20 Dairy MAX: A World of Goodness Local. Family. Farming. – Meet the Webb Family of Western Colorado

Dairy MAX:  A World of Goodness Local. Family. Farming. Meet the Webb Family of Western Colorado

“Milk is the most tested, healthy, nutritious option you can choose for your family.”

The Webb family has been dairy farming for six generations on the Western Slope of Colorado. Jim Webb and his brother-in-law, John Gibson, now run the family dairy farm and cheese company, Rocking W Cheese.

Jim’s family has been in the Uncompahgre area since before the turn of the century. He was born and raised on the family dairy farm and decided after college he wanted to be a dairyman. Jim met his wife, Willyn, during his last year of college, and they now have three children they raised on the farm – Skylyn, Joyclie and Missa.

The Webb family milks 600 cows and farms 600 acres of corn. They ensure their cows are happy and healthy by working closely with a nutritionist who formulates the cow feed to make sure the cows are well taken care of. They’re always working towards a higher level of sustainability by capturing waste from the dairy and applying it to their fields to increase yields and soil fertility. Continue reading

06-01-20 Dairy MAX: It just comes natural: dairy farmers give back with local blood drives

Dairy MAX: It just comes natural: dairy farmers give back with local blood drives

Eighth annual Passion for Pints Blood Drive scheduled for June

Giving back and caring for others is natural for dairy farmers, since their job is to care for their cows and the land to produce nutritious dairy foods for the world. Dairy farmers are just as committed to giving back through their work, as they are to giving back to the communities they call home. Dairy MAX’s Passion for Pints blood drive is one way dairy farmers are supporting and giving back to their communities.

Since summer is a time of year when blood centers need donations the most, Dairy MAX started Passion for Pints in 2013 by partnering with blood centers throughout National Dairy Month in June to help increase local blood donations. Since that time, more than 1,600 Passion for Pints blood drives have taken place, with nearly 192,000 lives impacted through the donation of 64,000 units of blood.

“As dairy farmers we are proud of our local communities, which is why we support blood drives during National Dairy Month,” said Jasper DeVos, dairy farmer from the Dairy MAX region. “It has been a challenging year for all of us, but we’re all in this together.”

Passion for Pints drives will begin June 1 and take place at blood drive locations in Colorado, New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and Texas. Blood center partners are: Carter BloodCare, Coffee Memorial Blood Center, Oklahoma Blood Institute, Texas Blood Institute and Vitalant.

Dairy MAX is proud to work with blood banks to coordinate blood drives, as giving back to communities who support dairy farmers is a rewarding way to celebrate National Dairy Month.     Continue reading

06-01-20 Dairy MAX: National Dairy Month to recognize dairy farmers’ commitment to communities

Dairy MAX: National Dairy Month to recognize dairy farmers’ commitment to communities

Dairy MAX gears up to celebrate National Dairy Month

Kicking off in June, National Dairy Month will celebrate dairy farmers and their long-time commitment to communities. Dairy MAX, a non-profit dairy council representing more than 900 dairy farm families across eight states, will commemorate the annual month-long event by sharing the great news of dairy – a delicious and nutritious, cost-efficient food produced by the original environmental stewards, farmers.

“Being a dairy farmer is rewarding, from caring for cows and the land, to being able to provide healthy dairy foods for our community,” said Jim Webb, Colorado dairy farmer and Dairy MAX board second vice chairman. “Thanks to families who support the dairy industry, I’m able to continue my family legacy as a dairy farmer – producing sustainable and healthy dairy foods for you.”

Dairy farms contribute nutritious food, jobs, income and outreach to their local communities. Over 3 million U.S. jobs are created by the dairy industry, generating $620 billion in overall economic impact. And for every dollar generated from dairy farming, it turns over up to seven times in the local community. Continue reading

06-01-20 USDA Launches 2020 Feds Feed Families Nationwide Food Drive

USDA Launches 2020 Feds Feed Families Nationwide Food Drive

New website makes it easier than ever to participate, measure donations, and share success stories

(Washington, June 1, 2020) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today kicked off the 11th annual government-wide Feds Feed Families (FFF) campaign, which encourages employees from all federal departments and agencies to give in-kind contributions — food, services, and time — to food banks and pantries. This year’s campaign highlights a summer of giving in June and July, along with seasonal reminders to donate throughout the year.
“During these challenging times with coronavirus, I am amazed by the generosity of the American people and their giving nature,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Our USDA family has the most dedicated employees in the federal government and this campaign is our chance to help feed those in need.”
The 2020 campaign focuses on online donations and virtual food drives, while also providing guidance for in-person donations and events as appropriate. Federal employees can go to the new website, the FFF Hub, to find out how and where to donate online or in-person at food banks and food pantries, how to organize virtual food drives, how to find field or warehouse gleaning opportunities, and how to share donation success stories. Since FFF in-kind donations are measured in pounds rather than dollars, the new website makes it easier than ever to record contributions.
There are many ways to participate:

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05-29-20 DMI: Checkoff’s National Dairy Month Efforts Include ‘Raising Gallons’ Video, ‘30 Days of Dairy’

DMI: Checkoff’s National Dairy Month Efforts Include ‘Raising Gallons’ Video, ‘30 Days of Dairy’

DMI, local checkoff teams to celebrate farmers with stories of resiliency, contributions

ROSEMONT, Ill. – In celebration of National Dairy Month, Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) and state and regional checkoff teams around the country are showcasing dairy’s resilience and community impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The efforts begin on June 1 – World Milk Day – with a “Raising Gallons” video that DMI created in partnership with state and regional checkoff organizations. The video features Olympians, NFL players, famous chefs and others raising a gallon of milk to show their appreciation for dairy farmers while supporting the checkoff’s goal of getting nutritious dairy to food-insecure Americans through its Feeding America partnership. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 1st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 1st 

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

NPPC Asks Senate to Pass Ag Provisions in HEROES Act

The National Pork Producers Council is asking the Senate to adopt the agricultural provisions in the HEROES Act that was recently passed by the House. Howard “A.V.” Roth (Rowth), NPPC President, says they’re asking the Senate to make the move as quickly as possible. “All pork producers are hurting, and immediate action is necessary,” Roth says. “We need the Senate to act quickly to provide this critical lifeline to hog producers.” He says without immediate government assistance, family farmers, many of whom have been on their farm for generations, will be bankrupted by the impact of COVID-19. That won’t just hurt the farmers themselves, but instead will destroy the livelihoods of countless communities across rural America. That will directly lead to consolidation and contraction in a farm sector that generates more than 500,000 jobs and $23 billion in personal income. The Hagstrom Report says U.S. hog producers are looking at a potential $5 billion loss this year. That’s even though hog processors are working at a faster pace than they were even a couple of weeks ago. However, there is still a backlog of up to 150,000 hogs every week, and producers are losing about $50 to $60 per hog.

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Growth Energy Celebrates the First Anniversary of Year-Round E15

This weekend marked the first anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule that allowed American drivers to purchase ethanol year-round. The rule was issued on May 31 of 2019. It lifted summertime E15 restrictions and represented the culmination of a ten-year campaign that began with Growth Energy’s 2009 “Green Jobs Waiver” petition, which first opened E15 to all model year 2001 or newer light-duty vehicles. “COVID-19 slowed fuel demand in recent months, but the promise of E15 remains stronger than ever as we mark the first anniversary of year-round sales,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “This was a landmark victory for our members, congressional champions, retail partners, and consumers across the country who fought by our side to lift outdated barriers to higher-octane, lower-carbon fuel options.” As drivers begin to return to the roads, Skor says E15 is likely poised for rapid growth. In fact, a recent survey shows that 65 percent of American drivers have big plans for extra summer travel once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. “We already know that customers who try E15 are coming back, again and again, to take advantage of this more affordable and cleaner fuel,” Skor adds. “Last summer alone, E15 sales jumped 46 percent on a per-store basis from the previous year thanks to year-round sales.”

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Dairy Management, Inc., Showcasing the Resilience of the U.S. Dairy Industry

In celebration of June Dairy Month, Dairy Management, Inc., as well as state and regional checkoff teams across the country, are showcasing dairy’s resilience and community impact during COVID-19. The efforts kicked off on June 1, which is World Milk Day, with a video titled “Raising Gallons.” It features Olympians, NFL players, famous chefs, and others raising a gallon of milk to show their appreciation for dairy farmers while supporting the checkoff’s goal of getting nutritious dairy to food-insecure Americans through its Feeding America partnership. “This pandemic has shown just how essential Feeding America and dairy farmers are to helping feed those in need,” says Marilyn Hershey, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer and DMI Chair. “We’re working toward a common goal and our checkoff strategy of getting dairy into the hands of those who need it wouldn’t be possible without Feeding America and its nationwide network of 200 local food banks.” Additional checkoff-led efforts nationally and locally will promote “30 Days of Dairy” throughout June. Each day of the month will be filled with virtual farm tours and content that celebrates the role dairy plays in people’s lives while illustrating dairy farmers’ resilience and contributions to their communities. The checkoff will promote dairy-centric recipes for summer, with stay-at-home cooking expected to continue as a major activity for many families. The content will be published on DMI’s redesigned website at www.usdairy.com.

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U.S. Soy Ready to Meet the Needs of the Global Aquaculture Industry

The U.S. Soybean Export Council hosted a global digital conference called “COVID-19 and the Implications to Aquaculture.” It featured almost 900 global customers and soybean industry representatives from 60 countries. The event focused on COVID-19’s impact on global aquaculture production and marketing supply chains. USSEC says as global markets adapt to these times, U.S. soy is ready to meet the needs of the global aquaculture industry. “Our industry has always prioritized innovation and adaptability to better serve our customers and meet the needs within the global seafood industry, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different,” says USSEC CEO Jim Sutter. “At USSEC, we’ve had an active program in aquaculture for 35 years, with partners ranging from small fish farms in Asia to other large international operations across the globe.” He says no matter who USSEC works with, their top priority is to proudly optimize and demonstrate the value and nutritional benefits of U.S. soy in aquaculture diets. By 2030, USSEC says 62 percent of all seafood produced for human consumption will be a product of aquaculture. With the help of U.S. soy, expanding feed-based aquaculture can address the needs of both supply and demand.

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United Fresh says Produce Buying Climbed During COVID-19

United Fresh Produce released its first quarter of 2020 issue of Fresh Facts on Retail report that details the rising number of fresh produce purchases in 2020. The unprecedented rise in food and beverage consumption at home was brought about by shelter-in-place orders issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus. “Those closures have led to consumers drastically restructuring their eating habits, especially increasing their consumption of meals and snacks at home,” says Miriam Wolk, Vice President of Member Services with United Fresh. “Our current and future Fresh Facts reports will help the produce industry in leveraging current consumer behaviors and fresh produce purchasing trends. First-quarter data highlights show that with health as a top concern, consumers continued to buy fresh food with immune-boosting properties, while also supplementing with shelf-stable and frozen food options. Strawberries and raspberries benefited by extending their reach into more U.S. households. Among vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers were purchased in higher amounts by U.S. consumers. The report also shows a variety of fruits and vegetables continue to influence overall organic growth, presenting many opportunities to innovate and attract health-conscious consumers.

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U.S. Ethanol Production Continues to Slowly Rebound

Energy Information Administration data recently analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association shows a rise in ethanol production for the week ending May 22. Production increased by 61,000 barrels a day, a nine percent increase from the previous week. The total production came in at 724,000 barrels a day, equivalent to 30.4 million gallons daily, and was the largest volume since March. That was good news unless it’s compared to the same time in 2019. COVID disruptions have tempered the production rate, which came in just over 31 percent lower than the same week last year. Still, over the past month, the four-week average ethanol production rate rose almost eight percent to 651,000 barrels per day, equivalent to an annualized rate of 9.98 billion gallons. Ethanol stocks continue to drop, even though it’s a slow decline. Stocks thinned out by 1.9 percent, coming in at a 19-week low of 23.2 million barrels. Inventories continue to tighten up in all the major ethanol production areas, except for the Rocky Mountains. Total reserves are still 2.4 percent higher than where the volume was in 2019. The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, which is considered a measure of implied demand, rebounded by 6.8 percent from the previous week but was still 23 percent lower than the same week last year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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