02-14-20 USDA Secretary Perdue Proclaims February 16-22 as Grain Bin Safety Week

USDA Secretary Perdue Proclaims February 16-22 as Grain Bin Safety Week

(Washington, D.C., February 14, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued a proclamation naming February 16-22 as Grain Bin Safety Week. Earlier this week, the Secretary sat down with the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, to talk about the importance of grain bin safety on the farm. Governor Noem grew up on a farm in Hamlin County, South Dakota and has a personal connection to farm safety. She has been an advocate for increased grain bin safety efforts for years.

“We hope grain operators, farmers and community leaders will join us in expanding knowledge of safe practices not just during National Grain Bin Safety Week, but year-round,” said Secretary Perdue. “Tragedies like the one Governor Noem’s family experienced happen too frequently and call for greater action, which is why I have signed a proclamation naming February 16-22 Grain Bin Safety Week.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, February 17th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, February 17th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

India Offers Dairy, Chicken Access in Trade Negotiations with the U.S.

In a bid to land a limited trade pact with the U.S., Reuters says India has offered to partially open up its poultry and dairy markets. The offer comes as India readies for President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the country at the end of this month. No country produces more milk than India, which has traditionally restricted dairy imports to protect the livelihoods of the 80 million households involved in the industry. Last year, Trump suspended India’s special trade designation that dated back to the 1970s. That move came after India put price caps on medical devices, such as cardiac stents and knee implants, as well as introduced new data localization requirements and e-commerce restrictions. The U.S. is India’s second-largest trading partner, trailing only China. India has offered to allow imports of U.S. chicken legs, turkey, and produce like blueberries and cherries, while also cutting tariffs on chicken legs from 100 percent to 25. U.S. negotiators would like that cut to ten percent. The Indian government is also offering to allow some access to its dairy market, but with a five percent tariff and quotas. However, dairy imports would need a certificate saying they aren’t derived from animals that have consumed feeds containing internal organs, blood meal, or tissues of ruminants.

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Phase One Trade Deal Officially Takes Effect

Not only was Friday Valentine’s Day, but it was also the first official day that the Phase One Trade Deal was in effect. Tariffs on both sides of the agreement officially began coming down. The coronavirus outbreak is causing concern about China meeting its obligations under the agreement. An Agri-Pulse report says U.S. experts are worried about whether ports, interior transportation, and soybean crushers are all operating at normal levels. However, industry sources and USDA data show that 1.6 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans were making their way across the Pacific Ocean and heading to China. The latest numbers show that 69,000 tons of soybeans left the U.S. and headed to China during the week of January 31st. During that same time frame, USDA reports showed net sales of 132,000 tons of soybeans to China for the 2019-2020 marketing year. The numbers show that soybeans are still going to China, even though information coming from out of China is almost non-existent. Officials point out that we still don’t know any specifics about how many purchases China will make under the Phase One agreement. Farm groups are looking for more specific information but don’t have any yet.

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Phase One Trade Deal Does Include Deadlines for China

While much of the attention on the deal between the U.S. and China centers around concerns on China meeting its purchasing requirements under the agreement, there are some deadlines it has to meet. There are some deadlines for the U.S. to meet as well. Politico said on Friday that, within the next seven working days, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and China’s Customs Agency are required to sign a protocol to allow for the importation of U.S. potatoes. China is also required by February 24 to formally recognize the U.S. dairy safety system is as safe as its own, as well as allow imports of American pork that’s been inspected by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. China is also required by March 14 to lift its ban on U.S. pet foods containing ruminant ingredients and to eliminate cattle age requirements for imports of U.S. beef and beef products. The two sides are also required by that same date to begin technical discussions intended to pave the way for China to import U.S breeding cattle.

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Stronger Farmland Values are Supporting the Farm Economy

Strength in farm real estate markets provided support to the agricultural sector amid ongoing financial challenges. The Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Condition from the Federal Reserve of Kansas City says non-irrigated cropland values and cash rents increased slightly in the fourth quarter of last year. Cash rents had been dropping since 2017 but rose slightly at the end of last year. Credit conditions in the District remained weak but deteriorated at the slowest pace in more than four years. Despite some signs of stabilization, geographic disparities persisted across the region. Land values were stronger on the eastern side of the District, while farm income and credit conditions were weaker on the west side of the district. Lower interest rates and reduced borrowing costs may have contributed to recent strength in the District’s farmland values. Demand for farmland remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2019, which could also have supported farmland values. Bankers who responded to the survey said that trade relief payments provided notable support to farm finances in 2019, but many also indicated that underlying weaknesses in the sector continued to be driven by low agricultural commodity prices.

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Midwest Bracing for More Flooding This Spring

States that border the Missouri River are forecast to experience an elevated flood risk this spring. The National Weather Service says those conditions will only be made worse by already saturated soils and a lot of snow to melt. The NWS issued its first Spring Flood Outlook last week, saying Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and eastern North and South Dakota all face an above-average flooding risk. It’s not good news as many of those areas are still trying to recover from devastating flooding last year that damaged levees and cost farmers millions in crop losses. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they are “very concerned at this point.” An Associated Press report says even in places where the Corps was able to patch holes in some levees, the normal level of protection won’t be there because initial repairs haven’t been done yet to the full height of the levees. Officials say levee repairs will likely take up to two years to complete. Part of the challenge is the water remained so high in some areas that officials couldn’t even assess the full scope of damage until just recently. Many levees in Iowa and Nebraska have been patched but work hasn’t begun yet in Kansas and Missouri.

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Hemp Industry Executive Blames FDA for industry Challenges

The Food and Drug Administration’s uncertainty over how to regulate the hemp industry is causing challenges that some companies can’t overcome. Warning letters to companies for selling products illegally has diminished big companies’ interest in hemp food products and made it difficult for processors to obtain working capital. Steven Bevan, president of GenCanna, says his Kentucky hemp processing company had to file for bankruptcy last week. “The FDA doesn’t have a pathway for accepting something that was an illegal product,” Bevan told attendees at the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau seminar on hemp. Crop insurers and companies that issue reinsurance are interested in hemp because the 2018 Farm Bill made it legal to grow the non-psychotropic relative of marijuana. There are three main hemp products, including fiber, seed, and flowers used to make CBD oil, which is used without FDA approval to treat a range of medical problems. In November, FDA warned consumers that it could not conclude CBD is safe for use in human or animal food, and it sent warning letters to 15 companies. Bevan called the FDA’s safety concerns “hogwash.” He says the FDA hasn’t ever removed a single CBD product from any store shelves. The result of the warning letters is that big companies are following their lawyer’s advice to say away from hemp.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

GL_GR110 *Next Release Date*
Greeley, CO Fri Feb 14, 2020 USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News
Daily Grain Bids for Denver and Surrounding Areas
*Next Release Date will be Tue Feb 18, 2020*
Spot bids to producers for grain delivered to terminal and country
Elevators. Bids dollar/bu. except for Barley which is dollar/cwt.
Bids are as of 3:00 PM MST.
Bids Change (cents)
US 1 Hard Red Winter Wheat 4.41-4.61 steady
Up to 12 percent protein
US 2 Yellow Corn 4.08-4.10 2 lower
US 2 Barley – – not available
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
1300M tj

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 14th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 14th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Tougher Trade “Firewall” Needed for Smaller Ag Sectors

Senators Gary Peters of Michigan and Richard Burr of North Carolina are working on bipartisan legislation to give the U.S Commerce Department a greater ability to defend smaller segments of agriculture. Politico says the bill would give the department greater authority to “self-Initiate investigations” to help those less influential sectors combat potential trade manipulation. Peters says, “If you’re a big industry, such as the steel industry, you can hire an army of lawyers and economists to push back against unfairly subsidized trade by foreign governments. If you’re a smaller industry like cherries or blueberries or other agricultural products, it’s a lot more difficult.” Peters sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection this week, calling for an investigation into tart cherry exports from Turkey. He says shortly after the U.S. slapped duties on cherries from Turkey back in 2018, cherry exports from Brazil surged as much as 1,200 percent. He points out in the letter that “Brazil doesn’t appear to have a discernible tart cherry industry.”

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Past Mad Cow Scare Keeping EU Cautious During U.S. Negotiations

A Reuters report says the Mad Cow Disease outbreak in the 1990s will likely keep the European Union from easing its strict rules on food safety. That caution will likely continue even though U.S President Trump is threatening to slap tariffs on car imports from the EU if the countries don’t start importing more U.S. farm products. European food and farming exports to the United States are worth $12 billion more than the imports the bloc brings in from the U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue told EU officials last month they should adapt food regulations to reflect “sound science.” However, Reuters says there is very little optimism that the EU will agree. Europeans remember the BSE outbreak and will not accept any lowering of its food standards. A trade specialist with the European Policy Center says no politician will support a trade deal that’s perceived as dropping those stringent standards. Trump has long complained the EU position on trade is “worse than China.” Earlier this week, the president said he’s setting sights on Europe, which raises the prospect of another trade war.

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January Ag Equipment Sales Mixed

The first month of 2020 saw mixed results in the total number of U.S. tractor and self-propelled combine sales. Total farm tractor sales grew compared to January of last year while combines fell by 25 percent. That’s according to data out this week from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Total U.S. farm tractor sales increased 4.7 percent in January compared to last year while January self-propelled combine sales dropped 24.4 percent. Total sales of two-wheel-drive tractors grew in all segments during January by a total of 4.9 percent more than January of 2019. Sales of tractors with more than 100 horsepower led the way in sales growth, up 19.6 percent to 1,361 units. The total number of four-wheel-drive tractor sales fell 6.6 percent to 169 units sold. “The sales numbers we’re seeing for January are in line with our expectations,” says Curt Blades, Senior Vice President of Ag Services at AEM. “With the approval of the USMCA and the Phase One trade agreement with China, we believe we’re seeing some positive trends on the horizon for ag equipment sales.”

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Study Highlights Urban-Rural Divide Over the Environment

Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions issued a new study on the rural and urban divide over environmental issues. The study says rural voters have a deep distrust of the federal government, which explains their split with urban folks on environmental policy. The study says rural Americans matter a whole lot when it comes to the fate of U.S. environmental policy. After all, farmers, ranchers, and forest owners manage a huge part of America’s lands and watersheds. The study finds that 70 percent of rural folks express their support for conserving natural resources, while the same percentage of urban folks feel the same way. However, a stark contrast comes to light when each side is asked about the preferred level of government oversight on the environment. Forty percent of rural voters support less government oversight of the environment and conservation, while 47 percent of urban voters support more government oversight. “My hope is that this will help us understand how to engage with rural constituencies,” says Robert Bonnie, who led the study. “This data shows there is an approach to national climate legislation that empowers states and local government because folks seem more comfortable with that.”

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USDA Selects 30 Future Agricultural Leaders

The USDA announced its selection of 30 college students who will attend the USDA’s 2020 Ag Outlook Forum as participants in the USDA Future Leaders of Agriculture Program. These undergrad and graduate-level students will take part in a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., capped off with their attendance at the Forum on February 20-21. The USDA has hosted students in this program since 2007. The trip to the Forum, which is USDA’s largest annual meeting, gives students real-world learning opportunities in contemporary agribusiness, scientific research, and agricultural policy. The program selects 20 undergrads and 10 graduate students based on their written essays on agricultural careers and challenges. During their visit to D.C., students will take part in a USDA briefing and discussion of career opportunities with agriculture leaders in academics, government, and industry. They will also tour the nation’s capital, attend the Forum, and will meet with Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. The Future Leaders in Agriculture Program is supported by academic institutions, corporations, and government institutions dedicated to promoting the education of the next generation of agriculture.

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NASS Making Changes to its Crop Reporting

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will be making changes to its county-level reporting. More specifically, there will no longer be county-level estimates for dry edible beans, flaxseed, hay (alfalfa and others), as well as potatoes, sugar beets, sugarcane, sunflowers (non-oil and oil varieties), and tobacco. Additionally, NASS will discontinue county estimates based on irrigated or non-irrigated practices for all crops. These changes are effective beginning with the 2019 crop year. The reason for the changes is the lack of funds. The data collection cost for the surveys that the agency uses to gather the data for county-level numbers had been partially funded through a cooperative agreement, which was not renewed. As a result, NASS says it has to adjust its county estimates program to reflect the lower level of funding available. NASS took public comments and reviewed the feedback before deciding to discontinue these estimates. Future NASS reports will still be available at www.nass.usda.gov/Publications.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-13-20 Inside The BARN: Preview 2020 Farming Evolution with Haxtun Conservation District Manager Joe Crowder

Inside The BARN: Preview 2020 Farming Evolution with Haxtun Conservation District Manager Joe Crowder

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – February 13 2020 – I hope you are already making plans to join farmers and ranchers at Farming Evolution 2020 coming up this next week on February 19 & 20, 2019 at the Phillips County Event Center on the Fairgrounds in Holyoke, CO. Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Joe Crowder, District Manager of the Haxtun Conservation District discussing the upcoming event…

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REMINDER: Late Registration (After Feb 7th) and at the door is $40 for one day and $50 for both days.  Breaks, lunches, and all handout materials are included. For complete workshop, lodging and registration information for Farming Evolution 2020 visit www.farmingevolution2020.Eventbrite.com  Or email haxtuncd@gmail.com or call 970-854-2812 ext. 3.

02-13-20 Inside the BARN: 2020 Commodity Classic Preview with NCGA’s Neil Caskey…

 

Inside the BARN: 2020 Commodity Classic Preview with NCGA’s Neil Caskey

The BARN , Briggsdale, CO- February 13, 2020 – The Commodity Classic is unlike any other event in agriculture because it’s created by farmers, for farmers. The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held February 27-28-29 in San Antonio, TX; and joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss the 2020 Commodity Classic in more detail is Neil Caskey, Vice President, Communications at the National Corn Growers Association…

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Don’t forget…complete details and registration information regarding the 2020 Commodity Classic Feb 27-28-29 in San Antonio, TX are online @ www.commodityclassic.com Continue reading

Make Plans to Attend Farming Evolution 2020 in Holyoke, CO February 19-20 – REGISTER NOW!

CLICK HERE TO GET REGISTERED!

Make Plans to Attend Farming Evolution 2020 in Holyoke, CO February 19-20 – REGISTER NOW!

Phillips County Event Center – Holyoke Colorado

Soil Health Leaders will be the key speakers for 2020.

Day 1 February 19th

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USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for February 13th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for February 13th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 13th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 13th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Beijing Asks World for Trade Calm Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The U.S. and several of the world’s major trading powers are dealing with uncertainty surrounding China. Politico says the spread of the coronavirus has killed hundreds of people and sickened tens of thousands in mainland China. However, at the World Trade Organization gathering in Geneva (Juh-NEE-vah), Chinese officials were quick to “flex their economic muscles” and remind other officials from countries around the world about China’s contributions to worldwide growth. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told a House panel this week that the coronavirus will “very likely” affect the U.S. economic growth, but it’s far too early to predict what kind of impact it will have. He also says the central bank doesn’t see any need to adjust interest rates right now as U.S. manufacturing has weakened over the past year. The outbreak is putting a damper on speculation that China will be able to meet the obligations it agreed to in the Phase One Trade Deal with the U.S. China’s Ministry of Agriculture says the country may have to delay its purchases of $40 billion due to the outbreak, but also says it will fulfill its commitments within a year.

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U.S./EU Bracing for Potentially Rough Trade Negotiations

Fresh off a phase one trade deal with China, U.S. President Donald Trump has his sights on a new deal with the European Union. The president wants to restructure the over $1 trillion U.S. trade relationship with the European Union. Reuters says that’s already raising the specter of another major trade war as the global economy is slowing. Trump has long complained that the EU position on trade “is worse than China’s.” Trump says, “Europe has been treating us very badly. Over the last 10 to 12 years, there’s been a tremendous deficit with Europe. That have incredible trade barriers, so we’re going to be starting with that.” Meantime, EU officials say they are willing to work with the U.S. president to address some of the challenges in the relationship. A German conservative lawmaker tells Reuters that Trump needs to remember the EU and the U.S. are “evenly matched” in the economic realm, and that they will defend themselves if the need arises. EU officials say, “We will respond to U.S. tariffs, and we know how to structure them to be effective.” Reuters says there may be a “mini-deal” like the Phase One agreement signed with China. However, that likely won’t solve the main issues that would allow both sides to declare a truce.

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EU Strikes Trade Deal with Vietnam

European Union lawmakers overwhelmingly approved free trade and investment deals with Vietnam that will eliminate almost all tariffs over the next decade. The website U.S. News Dot Com says the deal is expected to give the EU a competitive foothold in an important overseas market for the United States. European legislators voted 401 to 192 in favor of striking the deal. The EU hopes the deal will bring in 15 billion euros, or $16.5 billion, in additional exports from Vietnam to the continent by 2035. They also expect EU exports to Vietnam will jump by more than eight billion euros to an annual level of 22 billion euros. Vietnam sends a lot of telecommunications equipment, food, and clothing to Europe, while the EU sends machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, as well as agricultural products to the Asian nation. EU officials say the deal is all about strengthening economic ties to Vietnam amid fierce competition from the U.S. and China within that marketplace. Once adopted by lawmakers, the deal needs to be approved by the EU council and ratified by all 27 member nations to go into effect.

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Study says FCC Underestimates Number of Americans without Internet

A report issued by BroadbandNow Research says the number of Americans that are without internet service is 43 million. The Hagstrom Report says that’s double the estimate of 21.3 million from the Federal Communications Commission. The report also says the problem is worse than the FCC says it is in rural America. They say the discrepancy occurs because the FCC relies on semi-annual self-reporting by Internet service providers using the FCC-mandated Form 477. If an ISP offers service to at least one household in a census block, then the FCC counts the entire census block as covered by that provider, even if the rest of the block doesn’t have service. BroadbandNow Research says it examined the magnitude of this flaw by manually checking internet availability using FCC data as the source of truth for randomly selected addresses. BroadbandNow Research says it believes that “provider reporting on address-level availability is the best and most transparent way to understand and quantify the digital divide.” They also believe that FCC reporting should be timelier. FCC Form 477 data typically comes out to the public about 12-18 months after the ISPs file their required reports.

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December U.S. Pork Exports Set a Record to End 2019

U.S. pork exports finished up 2019 on a good note, setting records for both the dollar value and total volume. The U.S. Meat Export Federation compiled USDA data and found that 5.89 billion pounds of U.S. pork and pork variety meats were exported to countries around the world. The volume was a 10 percent jump over the previous year, while the value came in at $6.95 billion, up nine percent over 2018. Pork exports accounted for almost 27 percent of total U.S. pork production in 2019. Export value per head averaged $53.51, up four percent of 2018. “China was the main driver for the record-breaking pace of U.S. pork exports during the last year,” says David Newman, president of the National Pork Board. “We are poised to help China fill its protein gap caused by the recent African Swine Fever outbreak.” He also says that the U.S. pork industry is focusing on recapturing lost market share with key customers and investing in research to develop emerging markets. While exports to China were higher last year, key customers like Japan and Mexico, the number one export markets in terms of value and volume, respectively, saw significant drops as the U.S. negotiated new trade deals with each country.

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NACD Elects Next President

The National Association of Conservation Districts’ Board of Directors has elected Michael Crowder of Washington as the association’s president-elect. “Michael epitomizes conservation, both in his leadership at the national level and on the ground on his operations in Illinois, Indiana, and Washington state,” says current NACD President Tim Palmer. “Having worked with Michael closely for several years on the NACD officer team and board of directors, I’m confident he’s well-suited to champion locally-led conservation in the years ahead.” Crowder will serve a one-year term as president-elect alongside Palmer. Crowder was first elected to the NACD Officer Team in 2017 as the second vice president and previously served on the organization’s Board of Directors as the Washington state delegate. “Locally-led conservation is the backbone of conservation delivery,” Crowder says. “It’s an honor to be selected by my fellow district officials to represent and advance conservation work at the national level for farmers, ranchers, and fellow conservationists.” Crowder will be sworn in as the next president in February of 2021.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-12-20 CDA: Feral Swine Eradicated from Colorado Thanks to Work of State and Federal Partnership

CDA: Feral Swine Eradicated from Colorado Thanks to Work of State and Federal Partnership

PUEBLO, Colo. – All known feral swine have been eliminated from Colorado thanks to a near 15-year state and federal partnership comprised of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS), the USDA Forest Service (FS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA). Continue reading

02-12-20 U.S. Pork Exports Set Both Value and Volume Records in 2019

U.S. Pork Exports Set Both Value and Volume Records in 2019

Checkoff is focusing on aggressive growth strategies in 2020

DES MOINES, IOWA – Feb 12, 2020 –U.S. pork exports finished 2019 on a high note, setting new records for both value and volume, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). For the year, 5.89 billion pounds of U.S. pork and pork variety meats valued at $6.952 billion were exported to countries around the world, up 10% and 9% respectively from 2018.

Pork exports accounted for 26.9% of total 2019 U.S. pork production. Export value per head averaged $53.51, up 4% from 2018.

“China was the main driver for the record-breaking pace of U.S. pork exports in 2019,” said David Newman, a pig farmer representing Arkansas and president of the National Pork Board. “We are poised to help fill China’s protein gap caused by the country’s African swine fever (ASF) outbreak. But we’re also focused on recapturing lost market share with key customers and investing in research to develop emerging markets.”   Continue reading

02-12-20 The 2020 Ogallala Aquifer Summit is slated for March 31-April 1 in Amarillo, Texas

2020 Ogallala Aquifer Summit will take place March 31-April 1 in Amarillo, TX

The 2020 Ogallala Aquifer Summit will take place in Amarillo, Texas, from March 31 to April 1, bringing together water management leaders from all eight Ogallala region states: Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota and Wyoming. The dynamic, interactive event will focus on encouraging exchange among participants about innovative programs and effective approaches to addressing the region’s significant water-related challenges.

“Tackling Tough Question” is the theme of the event. Workshops and speakers will share and compare responses to questions such as: “What is the value of groundwater to current and future generations?” and “How do locally led actions aimed at addressing water challenges have larger-scale impact?”

“The summit provides a unique opportunity to strengthen collaborations among a diverse range of water-focused stakeholders,” said summit co-chair Meagan Schipanski, an associate professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at CSU. “Exploring where we have common vision and identifying innovative concepts or practices already being implemented can catalyze additional actions with potential to benefit the aquifer and Ogallala region communities over the short and long term.”

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02-12-20 NACD HONORS NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS

NACD HONORS NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS

LAS VEGAS – On February 11th, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) recognized winners of its national service awards at the organization’s 2020 Annual Meeting Appreciation Banquet.

“There are so many people doing great work every day in the name of conservation,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “It’s an honor to be able to recognize them for their dedication.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 12th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 12th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Border Ag Inspector Bill Headed to President Trump

The House of Representatives passed a bill that authorizes funding for more agriculture inspectors to work with U.S. Customs. The Hagstrom Report says the House passed the legislation, known as the Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 after it had already passed the Senate. “I’ve long raised the issue of inadequate staffing levels at the border,” says House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson. “It’s critical that we have enough CBP agriculture inspectors, specialists, and canine teams to protect our rural communities and our economy from foreign animal and plant pests and diseases.” A joint press conference featuring several representatives from agricultural states expressed happiness that the bill made it through both chambers of Congress. The legislation authorizes the hiring of 240 new agriculture specialists and 200 agriculture technicians until staffing shortages are resolved. It also assigns 20 agriculture canine teams to prevent harmful pests and foreign animal diseases from getting into the United States. During the press conference, the lawmakers pointed out that the country faces a shortage of agricultural inspectors that could leave the U.S. ag industry vulnerable to diseases, pests, and other threats that could potentially devastate the American economy and affect the health and safety of millions of American people.

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Agriculture will be Involved in U.S.-UK Trade Negotiations

Agricultural tariffs, as well as non-trade barriers, will be a part of pending trade discussions between the United States and the United Kingdom. An Agri-Pulse report says that comes from two government officials in the United Kingdom who didn’t want to be named because the negotiations haven’t started yet. Over the next year, topics of conversation between the two nations will include everything from tariffs on U.S. grains to how GMO’s will be handled going forward. The U.K. officially broke away from the European Union on January 31, but Britain is still technically in the European customs union until the last day of 2020. Between now and then, the British government plans to work on trade agreements with the U.S. and the EU at the same time. British officials spoke to reporters this week and say they know just how important U.S. agriculture is in Washington, D.C., these days and any free trade agreement that doesn’t include U.S. agriculture will likely not get through Congress. The U.S. is working on separate trade talks with the EU, which has held firm for over a year that agriculture will not be a part of the negotiations.

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Tariffs Take a Big Two Year Toll

Consumers took a big financial hit from two years of trade wars with U.S. trading partners. The tariffs cost consumers $50 billion since February of 2018. That data comes from the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland campaign. For example, in December of last year, Americans paid an extra $6.3 billion in duties, compared to $2.6 billion in December of 2017, just weeks before the trade disputes began to ramp up. While President Trump has had recent success in partial trade deals with Japan and China, among others, Tariffs Hurt the Heartland says work still remains to get things where they should be on the trade front. “Make no mistake, this trade war is as active as it was in December,” says Brian Kuehl (Keel), co-executive director of Farmers for Free Trade. Tariffs Hurt the Heartland also released specific impact data for states like Florida, Michigan Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, all of which are critical states that Trump will need to win in the November election to get a second term in the Oval Office. Those five states have paid an additional $7.6 billion in tariffs because of the trade disputes. Speaking of trade, the U.K. departure from the European Union is two weeks old, but there’s no start date for trade talks between Washington and London.

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USDA Releases February WASDE Report

The February World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates call for minimal changes in corn projections and increased soybean exports. The 2019/2020 U.S. soybean outlook is for increased exports and lower ending stocks. Soybean exports are projected at 1.825 billion bushels, up 50 million from last month, partly reflecting more imports from China. Soybean crush is unchanged, which means ending stocks drop 50 million bushels. The season-average soybean price is forecast at $8.75 per bushel. This month’s corn outlook isn’t much different than last month, with offsetting changes to exports and corn used for ethanol. Exports are lowered by 50 million bushels this month, reflecting a slow shipment pace through January. The offset is a 50 million bushel increase in corn used for ethanol. The season-average corn price projection is unchanged at $3.85 per bushel. The wheat outlook for 2019/2020 is calling for stable supplies, increased exports, and decreased ending stocks. The only change in supply or use this month was a 25 million bushel increase in exports, reflecting growing competitiveness in the international marketplace. Ending stock were forecast at a five-year low of 940 million bushels.

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NPPC: FDA Stalling Hurts Agriculture

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is misrepresenting a gene-edited livestock research project and the National Pork Producers Council says that’s a stalling tactic. The pork producers say the stalling is designed to rationalize a regulatory grasp on an emerging technology that must be regulated by the USDA if the United States is to maintain its global leadership spot in agriculture. “While countries like China, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina, are moving quickly on this advancement to gain competitive advantage, the United States is falling far behind because of the FDA’s precautionary regulatory approach,” says David Herring, NPPC President. “Under FDA regulation, gene editing faces an impractical, lengthy, and expensive approval process. If we don’t move oversight to the USDA, we’re ceding a technology that promises significant benefits to animals, including immunity to disease and a reduction in antibiotic use.” They also say the process jeopardizes thousands of American jobs. To date, NPPC says the FDA hasn’t responded in a meaningful way to the comments they received concerning the ramifications of their proposed regulatory process.

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World Pork Expo Returning in 2020

The 2020 World Pork Expo is set for June 3-5, its 32nd year at the Iowa State Fair Grounds. The expo provides pork professionals with three full days of education, innovation, and networking. “We’re excited to welcome all members of the pork industry back to Des Moines after a brief hiatus last year,” says NPPC President David Herring. “The 2020 Expo allows us to reconnect across the industry and share knowledge, as well as discuss the state of the industry together.” As a precaution, the 2019 World Pork Expo was canceled due to the outbreak of African Swine Fever in China and other countries. Pork industry professionals worked together across the globe to get a handle on the situation and evaluate risks associated with ASF. Since the outbreak began last year, the U.S. has stepped up biosecurity measures to prevent an outbreak in the United States. The 2020 Expo will have increased biosecurity on-site during the show. Additional changes to the 2020 show include relocating the live swine show to reduce an already negligible risk. “Continuing to host the show for our more than 20,000 producers and pork professionals visiting from across the country is extremely important to us,” Herring adds. Registration to attend the World Pork Expo will soon be available online.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-11-20 USDA RADIO: Why China Trade Deal Wasn’t Evident in Tuesday’s USDA Forecasts

USDA RADIO: Why China Trade Deal Wasn’t Evident in Tuesday’s USDA Forecasts

WASHINGTON D.C. – February 11, 2020  – Even though the U.S./China trade deal is signed and in effect, USDA made few changes to its new export forecasts. Here’s why. (Gary Crawford and Rob Johansson)…

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02-11-20 WASHINGTON STATE’S MICHAEL CROWDER SELECTED AS NACD’S PRESIDENT-ELECT

WASHINGTON STATE’S MICHAEL CROWDER SELECTED AS NACD’S PRESIDENT-ELECT

LAS VEGAS – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Board of Directors elected Michael Crowder of West Richland, Wash., to serve as the association’s president-elect.

“Michael epitomizes conservation, both in his leadership at the national level and on the ground on his operations in Illinois, Indiana and Washington state,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “Having worked with Michael closely for several years on NACD’s officer team and on the NACD Board of Directors, I’m confident he is well-suited to champion locally-led conservation in the years ahead.”

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02-11-20 NPPC: FDA Stall Tactics Hurting U.S. Agriculture


NPPC: FDA Stall Tactics Hurting U.S. Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 11, 2020 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) misrepresentation of a gene edited livestock research project is its latest stall tactic designed to rationalize a regulatory grasp on an emerging technology that must be regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) if the United States is to maintain its global leadership position in agriculture.

“While countries like China, Canada, Brazil and Argentina are moving quickly on this advancement to gain competitive advantage, the United States is falling far behind because of the FDA’s precautionary regulatory approach,” said NPPC President David Herring, a hog farmer from Lillington, N.C. “Under FDA regulation, gene editing faces an impractical, lengthy and expensive approval process. Unless we move oversight to the USDA, we are ceding a technology that promises significant animal health benefits, including immunity to disease and reduction in the need for antibiotic use, to other countries and jeopardizing hundreds of thousands of American jobs.”

A published FDA analysis of the research project involving two gene edited calves omitted important information, including the following: Continue reading