READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 16th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 16th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EPA Biofuels Proposal Comes up Short for Ethanol Industry

The Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday released its plan to change the Renewable Fuel Standard regarding small refinery exemptions. However, biofuels proponents don’t approve of the changes. The National Biodiesel Board says in a statement the notice “contains a never-before-discussed proposal to estimate small refinery exemptions, with no assurance that the estimate will come close to actual exemptions.” The EPA says the notice does not change the proposed volumes for 2020 and 2021. Instead, it proposes and seeks comment on adjustments to the way annual renewable fuel percentages are calculated. Specifically, the agency is seeking comment on projecting the volume of gasoline and diesel that will be exempt in 2020 due to small refinery exemptions based on a three-year average of the relief recommended by the Department of Energy. However, Renewable Fuels Association CEO Geoff Cooper called the terms of the announcement baffling, because the proposal uses “the very same DOE recommendations that EPA blatantly ignored over and over.” The EPA will hold a public forum on October 30, 2019.

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China Wants More Phase One Talks

Optimism over a trade breakthrough with China is fading as China wants more talks this month to work out the details of the “phase one” agreement. Bloomberg News reports China may send another trade delegation to Washington, to finalize a written agreement. A statement from China’s Commerce Ministry noted “substantial progress” in the talks last week on agriculture and other provisions. However, China wants President Donald Trump to cancel plans to increase tariffs in December. The phase one agreement could be signed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier this week suggested work in the coming weeks to ready the agreement, adding, if not, the U.S. will impose the December tariff increase. As part of the agreement, President Trump says China will purchase $40-50 billion of U.S. agricultural goods over the next couple of years. Trump said this week, “They’re going to have to buy more land fast and lots of tractors,” regarding the economic impact of the agreement for farmers.

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Manufacturing Groups, Businesses, Ask Congress to Pass USMCA

A group of business organizations wants Congress to ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Led by the National Association of Manufacturers, the group of more than 350 associations and businesses sent a letter to Congress urging approval of the agreement. The groups support the call by saying, “Canada and Mexico alone, despite representing less than four percent of the global economy, buy more U.S.-manufactured goods than our next 11 trading partners combined.” Mexico’s government has ratified the USMCA. It now awaits approval from lawmakers in Canada and the United States. Canada is expected to ratify the agreement following its national elections later this month. The coalition says USMCA would spur economic growth and provide much-needed certainty for manufacturers across North America. The letter also says the deal includes “best-in-class” intellectual property rules, and would expand U.S. manufacturing access to Canada and Mexico, while providing a level playing field. Signatories on the letter include international agribusiness and food companies, along with animal feed and food manufacturing associations.

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Study Shows Pig Farmers Improving Their Environmental Footprint Through Efficiencies

A new environmental study shows that pig farms are generating less manure nutrient content associated with odor. Data gathered from more than 106,000 samples at 182 North Carolina farms shows significant reductions in ammonia levels and manure nutrient content. The improvements are attributed to gains in feed efficiency, which means it takes less feed to raise a pig. The Pork Checkoff, which funded the study, announced the findings Tuesday. The study found that North Carolina pig farmers have significantly increased feed efficiency over the past 17 years. Long-term, continuous improvement has resulted in trending reductions in nutrient content in manure lagoons at the farms. Specifically, data gathered from the participating North Carolina pig farms showed a reduction of 35 percent to 78 percent in the nutrient content from hog finishers in primary lagoons, and a reduction of 17 percent to 68 percent in primary lagoons for sow farms. Also, the study showed a reduction of 22 percent to 54 percent in ammonia levels.

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Growth Energy Announces New Chairman of the Board

Following a year of milestones for the biofuels industry, Growth Energy this week announced the election of Dan Sanders as the association’s new chairman of the board of directors. Sanders is the vice president of Front Range Energy, a 48 million gallon ethanol production facility located in Colorado. Front Range Energy joined Growth Energy in 2008, when the organization was founded. As chairman, Sanders succeeds Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, LLC, who held the position since the association’s inception in 2008, and through the successful campaign to achieve year-round E15, the original goal on which the association was founded. Upon reaching the industry milestone, Broin announced in September he would step down as chairman, but plans to remain an active member of the Growth Energy Board. Sanders previously served as vice-chair of the board, which will now be filled by Mitch Miller. Miller is the chief executive officer and managing director for Michigan’s Carbon Green BioEnergy.

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Illinois Ag Department Announces New Dicamba Restrictions

The Illinois Department of Agriculture recently announced additional label restrictions for the 2020 growing season for dicamba. Agriculture Director John Sullivan announced the rules due to a dramatic rise in the number of off-target complaints received during the 2019 growing season, adding “the department is taking action to reduce those numbers.” The new restrictions halt the use of dicamba after June 20, 2020. The new regulations also prohibit the application of dicamba if the air temperature at the field at the time of application is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day of application exceeds 85 degrees. Applicators also must maintain the label-specified downwind buffer between the last treated row and the nearest downfield edge of any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site. In addition to these provisions’, applicators must follow the federal guidelines when it comes to applying dicamba, including taking an annual certified applicator training course.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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10-15-18 Congratulations to Front Range Energy’s Dan Sanders of Windsor, CO…who was named Growth Energy’s New Chairman of the Board

Congratulations to Front Range Energy’s Dan Sanders of WIndsor, CO…who was named Growth Energy’s New Chairman of the Board

Following a year of milestones for the biofuels industry, Growth Energy, the nation’s largest ethanol trade association, announced the election of Dan Sanders as the association’s new chairman of the board of directors. Sanders is the vice president of Front Range Energy, a 48 million gallon ethanol production facility located in Windsor, Colorado that joined Growth Energy in 2008, when the organization was founded.

“I’m honored to serve our members and staff as the next chairman of the Growth Energy Board of Directors,” said Sanders. “I look forward to working with our dedicated board to lead our association’s strategies to deliver strong demand for our products and supportive policy.”

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10-15-19 NCGA STATEMENT: EPA PLAN TO ADDRESS RFS WAIVERS FALLS SHORT

NCGA STATEMENT: EPA PLAN TO ADDRESS RFS WAIVERS FALLS SHORT

October 15, 2019 – National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today made the below statement following the release of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking. The proposed rule follows an announcement from President Trump last week directing the EPA to follow the letter of the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole.
“While corn farmers appreciate the EPA’s intent to follow Department of Energy recommendations on waivers going forward, the proposed rule fails to provide the assurance needed that EPA’s practices for granting waivers will change going forward. Farmers have long been skeptical of the EPA’s administration of the RFS. This proposal doesn’t provide farmers confidence in EPA’s ability to follow through and make this right. President Trump made a commitment to farmers and instructed the EPA to follow the law, but this proposal appears to come up short again.”

10-15-19 EPA Issues Supplemental Proposal for Renewable Fuels Volumes

EPA Issues Supplemental Proposal for Renewable Fuels Volumes

10-15-19 NFU: EPA’s Biofuels Fix is Another Broken Promise to American Farmers

NFU: EPA’s Biofuels Fix is Another Broken Promise to American Farmers

WASHINGTON – A week and a half after announcing its intentions to offset a portion of the 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels eliminated due to the ongoing misappropriation of small refinery exemptions (SREs), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a supplemental proposed rule outlining how it plans to do so. Rather than basing relief on an actual three-year average of exempted gallons, as expected, the agency has instead suggested basing it on values recommended by the Department of Energy (DOE). The former would have increased the amount of biofuels in the transportation sector by approximately 1.35 billion gallons per year, while the latter will increase it by just 770 million gallons.

Though National Farmers Union (NFU) was initially hopeful that the proposal would reallocate the lost gallons based on a three-year average, the organization was disappointed to learn that EPA’s plan falls significantly short of that target.  NFU Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew released the following statement in response to EPA’s announcement:

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10-15-19 USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs

USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2019 – Agricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs – two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety net programs – for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile, producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving more than $1.5 billion for covered commodities for which payments were triggered under such programs.

“These two programs provide income support to help producers manage the ups and downs in revenues and prices,” said Richard Fordyce, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “USDA is here to support the economic stability of American agricultural producers by helping them maintain their competitive edge in times of economic stress. We encourage producers to consider enrolling in one of these programs.”

ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guaranteed level. PLC provides income support payments on historical base acres when the effective price for a covered commodity falls below its reference price. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and updated both programs.

Signup for the 2020 crop year closes June 30, 2020, while signup for the 2019 crop year closes March 15, 2020. Producers who have not yet enrolled for 2019 can enroll for both 2019 and 2020 during the same visit to an FSA county office. 

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10-15-19 Interior Department Supports $12.3 Billion in Economic Activity and 66,000 Jobs in Colorado

Interior Department Supports $12.3 Billion in Economic Activity and 66,000 Jobs in Colorado

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today released the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Economic Report for Fiscal Year 2018. The report highlights Interior activities covering conventional and renewable energy, recreation, non-fuel minerals, irrigation, and conservation that resulted in $315 billion in economic output and supported 1.8 million jobs during the year – up from $254 billion in economic output and 1.6 million jobs in 2016.

“As the stewards of our public lands and waters, we are committed to being a good neighbor and serving alongside local communities,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “The Department of the Interior is entrusted with managing a wide variety of activities on public lands that support nearly two million jobs and generate $315 billion in economic impact, benefitting local and state economies. Today’s report highlights the significant contribution our public lands make in our economy, which continues to grow under President Trump’s leadership.”

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10-15-19 USDA Recognizes Hard-Working School Meals Professionals, Empowers Them to Do Right in School Lunchrooms

USDA Recognizes Hard-Working School Meals Professionals, Empowers Them to Do Right in School Lunchrooms

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued the following statement in support of President Donald J. Trump’s National School Lunch Week Proclamation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) celebrates food service professionals, school leaders, as well as the farmers, ranchers, and producers who grow the delicious, healthful, American-grown foods that kids enjoy every day in school lunches.

“At USDA we recognize the importance a healthy lunch has on millions of school children across our nation. Without a nutritious and wholesome lunch, students are not being set up for success. One of my first actions when I arrived at USDA was to give school food service professionals more local control – they’re the experts and know what their kids want to eat,” said Secretary Sonny Perdue. “The tireless efforts of school food service professionals deserve recognition and I thank them for their service to our country and their commitment to the future of our next generation.”

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10-15-19 National Pork Board: Study Shows Pig Farmers Improving Their Environmental Footprint Through Efficiencies

National Pork Board: Study Shows Pig Farmers Improving Their Environmental Footprint Through Efficiencies

DES MOINES, IOWA – October 15, 2019 – A new environmental study has found that pig farms are generating less manure nutrient content associated with odor. Data gathered from more than 106,000 samples at 182 North Carolina farms shows significant reductions in ammonia levels and manure nutrient content. The improvements are attributed to gains in feed efficiency, which means it takes less feed to raise a pig.

“For an industry that is continually striving to become more sustainable, this study shows that pig farmers are making significant progress toward reducing the environmental impact of their farms,” said Lowry Harper, president of Harper Consulting, who conducted the study from decades-long data. Continue reading

10-14-19 Make plans to attend the 2019 CSU Ag Innovation Summit in Ft Collins, CO Dec 5-6

Make plans to attend the 2019 CSU Ag Innovation Summit in Ft Collins, CO Dec 5-6

Since its inception in 2015, the CSU AgInnovation Summit has convened diverse perspectives from higher education, industry and government partners to provoke thought and catalyze momentum.

The 2019 Summit on December 5 & 6 will explore the inner workings of innovation, ranging from the creation of innovative processes, cultures and teams to the importance of thinking differently in designing sustainable solutions to agriculture’s grand challenges.  As in past years, you can expect engaging discussions on global market trends and emerging technologies that are poised to transform the industry’s future.

Please visit their program page for more information.

10-15-19 NMPF Dairy Defined: Milk ­– A Great Addition to Your Science-Based Diet

NMPF Dairy Defined: Milk ­– A Great Addition to Your Science-Based Diet

ARLINGTON, Va. – Call it old-fashioned, but dairy believes in science. For example, it takes climate change seriously – that’s why North America’s dairy sector, which is dominated by U.S. production, is the only one worldwide whose total greenhouse gas emissions have declined from 2005 levels, according to a UN study.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 15th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 15th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Trump: China Ag Purchases Already Underway

President Donald Trump says China will immediately start buying U.S. agricultural products. Via Twitter over the weekend, Trump says China will start buying “very large quantities” of U.S. farm products, adding, “they have already started.” The administration says the agreement Friday includes $40-$50 billion of commodity sales to China over the next couple of years. China already had increased purchases of agricultural goods, like soybeans and pork, heading into the talks last week. China also agreed to certain intellectual property measures, as well as concessions related to financial services and currency. President Trump says the U.S. and China will work quickly to finalize phase one of the agreement and proceed to phase two. Agriculture groups expressed careful optimism following the announcement last week. The American Soybean Association called the partial agreement “good news,” but awaits further details on the potential economic impact of the agreement. ASA adds the organization “remains hopeful this is a step toward rescinding the tariffs and helping restore certainty and stability to the soy industry.”

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AEM Releases September Equipment Sales Results

September was a fairly solid month overall for retail sales of tractors and combines in the United States and Canada, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. Total farm tractor sales in the U.S. increased 18.7 percent in September compared to last year, while combine sales increased 12.3 percent. Year to date, total U.S. tractor sales are up nearly five percent, while sales of combines are up 1.8 percent. For Canada, total farm tractor sales were up 13.7 percent, while sales of combines were down 25.5 percent. Year-to-date, total tractor sales in Canada are down 4.4 percent, while sales of combines have decreased 27.7 percent. AEM senior vice president of ag services, Curt Blades, calls the sales figures solid, but says the organization continues “to hear from our members real concerns about the overall ag economy.” AEM is an international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction industry sectors worldwide.

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Farm Equipment Leasing Doubles

A new report shows the leasing of farm equipment has nearly doubled since 2012. The Wall Street Journal reports Deere & Co. is spending billions of dollars each year on its own equipment for leasing programs. Records show that more than one-third of financed purchases of high horsepower machinery made by John Deere is being leased to farmers and construction builders. Roughly 90 percent of those machines are owned by Deere’s financing business. Deere reports that in 2018, leased equipment represented a value of $7.8 billion, compared to more than $2 billion in 2012. Meanwhile, CNH Industrial, the maker of Case IH and New Holland, is also leasing more equipment. The company says more than 40 percent of high horsepower tractor sales are leased, up from 25 percent back in 2012. The current farm economy is drastically different from 2012, around the time farm income reached an all-time high before plummeting over the last few years.

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Trade Aid Includes Lamb Purchases

The Department of Agriculture is moving forward with select trade aid provision in buying U.S. lamb products. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service recently announced the food purchase of up to $17 million of American lamb for distribution to various food nutrition assistance programs. The products include, but are not limited to, boneless lamb leg roasts and boneless lamb shoulder roasts. The Chief Economist’s office determined the amount to be spent on American lamb. The $17 million allotted is a larger amount than USDA has spent in previous lamb buys. The American Sheep Industry Association is helping facilitate the program between USDA and sheep producers. Meanwhile, the broader trade aid effort, including payments to farmers, remains unclear. USDA had planned another payment to producers this fall, with a final payment early next year. However, a breakthrough in talks with China, and the Japan agreement signed last week, could mean the payments are no longer needed in the eyes of the Trump administration and farmers.

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NCGA Making Contributions to Bee Health

National Corn Growers Association staffers recently participated in the annual meeting of the Honeybee Health Coalition. The effort is part of NCGA’s work to ensure corn growers’ voices are represented in wide-ranging conversations on sustainability issues. Through its participation, NCGA ensures the coalition includes representation across a spectrum of stakeholders, including grower groups like NCGA, commercial beekeepers, input providers, specialty crop growers and more. Even though corn production does not require pollination from bees, NCGA still engages with groups like the Honeybee Health Coalition to “create dialogue and foster a better understanding” of the similarities and differences in crop production around the country. During the meeting, NCGA staff had the opportunity to lead a discussion on row crop production to allow others to better understand the decisions farmers make. NCGA says farmers can take small steps to support the health of honeybees. One such step is the planting of pollinator habitat on unused land on the farm, such as areas near farm buildings, or on marginal lands, like CRP group.

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Midwest, Western Farmers to See Mid-South Cotton Operations

Farmers from Idaho and North Dakota have a unique opportunity to observe cotton and other agriculture-related operations in the Mid-South. A group of farmers this week are touring southern cotton-growing areas as part of the National Cotton Council’s Multi-Commodity Education Program. Launched in 2006, the program is a Cotton Foundation education project supported by a grant from John Deere. It is coordinated by NCC’s Member Services and local leaders and organizations. The program is designed to provide its participants with a better understanding of production issues and concerns faced by their peers in another geographic region, along with an observation of that region’s agronomic practices, technology utilization, cropping patterns, marketing plans and operational structure. Finally, the program provides tours of the region’s research facilities and its agricultural processing operations and related businesses relevant to the area economy. The group began the tours Monday at NCC headquarters in Tennessee and will travel to cotton farms, warehouses and production facilities in Arkansas.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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Livestock Exchange, LLC Weekly Update…

Livestock Exchange logo

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) – Each week, Auctioneer Tyler Knode with Livestock Exchange, LLC. in Brush, CO will be inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network providing a RECAP of the previous week’s auctions and also a PREVIEW of upcoming cattle & hay auctions…

CLICK THE AUDIO LINK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S UPDATE…

10-14-19 Livestock Exchange, LLC  Recap & Preview

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10-14-19 Inside the BARN with CO Farm Bureau’s Vice President of Advocacy Shawn Martini…

Inside the BARN with CO Farm Bureau’s Vice President of Advocacy Shawn Martini…

(BARN Media / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) October 14, 2019 Joining the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network to discuss issues facing Colorado’s ag industry is Shawn Martini,  Vice President of Advocacy at the Colorado Farm Bureau, discussing and reacting to several topics including:

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW…

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About: Shawn Martini, CFB VP of Advocacy

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, October 14th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, October 14th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

U.S., China Reach Limited Trade Agreement

The U.S. reached a limited trade agreement with China on Friday afternoon that would pave the way for resolutions on broader issues later in the year. Business Insider Dot Com says it temporarily defuses a dispute between the worlds’ two largest economies. President Donald Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that, “We’ve come to a very substantial phase one deal.” China reportedly agreed to sginificantly increase agricultural purchases, as much as $40-50 billion worth. China also agreed to certain intellectual property measures, as well as concessions related to financial services and currency. The U.S. will delay a tariff increase that was set to take effect this week as the deal is finalized. China had already been making more purchases of agricultural goods like soybeans and pork heading into the talks last week in Washington, D.C. The U.S. was threatening to increase tariffs Tuesday on approximately $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, upping the duties from 25 to 30 percent. The agreement will take three to five weeks to get written down on paper. It marks the first breakthrough in the 1.5-year trade war that has hurt the economies of both nations. Trump also told reporters that this is just the first phase of a broader agreement. It’s important to note that the Chinese Vice Premier doesn’t have the full authority to approve the agreement. China’s President Xi Jingping must agree to the deal as well.

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More Optimism Surrounding USMCA Passage

One of the biggest hurdles to passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement could soon go away. Mexico recently promised House Democratic Leadership that it would improve its enforcement of new labor standards to protect the rights of workers in that country. The LA Times says Mexican President Obrador also told Democrats during meetings in Mexico that his government would add more funding to make sure Mexico complies with the agreement’s provisions. That could mean the road to the revised North American Free Trade Agreement could become much easier with Mexico’s concessions to labor concerns. That’s assuming Obrador’s assurances are put into writing as House Democrats want. The Democratic trip to Mexico comes almost a full year after Trump signed the new trade pact with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. Congress hasn’t approved the deal yet and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says it won’t come up for a vote in the chamber until all of their concerns are resolved. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has worked with a group of House Democrats who want Mexico to improve its policy on labor, pharmaceutical, and environmental issues. However, the changes don’t require reopening the agreement with Mexico and Canada, something that would derail the trade pact entirely.

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McKinney Will Lead Trade Mission to Vietnam

USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney will lead a trade mission to Vietnam on October 15-18. It’s a large trade mission as McKinney will be accompanied by almost 80 industry and government representatives looking to grow agricultural export opportunities into one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. The mission will be based in Ho Chi Minh City, and it will also include buyer delegations from Thailand and Burma. “The size of this trade mission speaks to the phenomenal potential that exists for U.S. exports in Vietnam and the surrounding countries,” McKinney says. “Since the United States normalized relations with Vietnam in 1995, our agricultural exports have grown exponentially, reaching a record $4 billion last year.” Sales of U.S. food and farm products to Thailand and Burma also set records last year, reaching more than $2.1 billion and $126 million, respectively. The heads of six state departments of agriculture from Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming will join McKinney on the trip. Officials from agriculture companies and commodity organizations will also be making the journey to Asia with McKinney.

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Tomato Virus Entering U.S. Through Mexican Imports

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued an alert regarding the Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus. The disease has been recently found in Mexican tomatoes at several grocery stores throughout the state. Multiple large-scale greenhouses in Mexico were confirmed to have shipped infected tomatoes to Florida. The virus can affect both tomatoes and peppers, causing severe yield reduction for growers and defects that make the fruit unmarketable to consumers. A Florida Tomato Exchange news release says this disease making its way into the U.S. tomato and pepper crop would be a crisis for American growers and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Growers around the world are already on high alert as the fruit virus, which originated in the Middle East, spread to Europe and Mexico. What makes the disease even more of a concern for growers is that it can be transmitted by touch. That makes it easy to spread the disease from infected imports in the marketplace to producer fields or greenhouses. The Florida Tomato Growers are asking the USDA to follow the lead of the European Commission, which voted to implement a quarantine status in all EU countries to help prevent the spread of the disease.

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Beef Exports Trail Last Year’s Record Number

August beef exports this year were below the record-large numbers in August of last year. That’s according to data from the USDA that was compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation. August beef exports totaled just over 114,000 metric tons, a four percent drop from the large volume of a year ago. The export value dropped eight percent, coming in at a little more than $690 million. January through August beef exports were also just below last year’s record pace, declining two percent in volume to 881,500 metric tons and one percent in value at $5.44 billion. Exports accounted for 14 percent of total U.S. beef production in August. In terms of specific markets, beef exports to Korea slowed nine percent compared to 2018. That drop followed value records on beef shipments to Korea that were set in June and July. However, January-August exports to Korea were still eight percent ahead of last year’s record pace in volume and 10 percent higher in value. Beef variety meat exports to Japan have been a bright spot in 2019, increasing 31 percent in volume and 18 percent in value. “The U.S. beef industry is excited about the prospect of lower tariffs in Japan,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “At 38.5 percent, the Japanese tariffs U.S. beef faces are the highest of any of our major markets.”

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Crowdfarming Platform Launched

Steward, the world’s first crowdfarming platform, announced it is now open to individual investors. The platform allows people to invest directly in sustainable farms. Platform founder Dan Miller says the crowdfarming model creates a win-win for both farmers and investors, unlike traditional farm funding. Farmers can purchase the land and equipment they have to have while investors earn a return while they support regenerative agriculture. “Access to capital is a critical problem that limits many farmers, but for every farm that needs funds, there are many people ready to invest,” Miller says. “We created Steward as a platform for people to invest directly in sustainable farms, knowing that their dollars will earn a return while they make a positive impact.” Steward offers a variety of investment options, including a diversified portfolio of farm loans, individual farm loans, or Steward itself. The company does its homework and vets each farm, developing a customized plan with the farmer to get the funds they need to grow and operate their business. Steward has invested more than $2.2 billion in 16 sustainable farms to date.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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10-11-19 NAFB Breaking Ag News: U.S., China Reach Limited Trade Agreement in Phase 1

NAFB Breaking Ag News: U.S., China Reach Limited Trade Agreement in Phase 1

NAFB News Service – October 11, 2019 – The U.S. reached a limited trade agreement with China on Friday afternoon that would pave the way for resolutions on broader issues later in the year. Business Insider Dot Com says it temporarily defuses a dispute between the worlds’ two largest economies. President Donald Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that, “We’ve come to a very substantial phase one deal.” China reportedly agreed to sginificantly increase agricultural purchases, as much as $40-50 billion worth. China also agreed to certain intellectual property measures, as well as concessions related to financial services and currency. The U.S. will delay a tariff increase that was set to take effect this week as the deal is finalized. China had already been making more purchases of agricultural goods like soybeans and pork heading into the talks last week in Washington, D.C. The U.S. was threatening to increase tariffs Tuesday on approximately $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, upping the duties from 25 to 30 percent. The agreement will take three to five weeks to get written down on paper. It marks the first breakthrough in the 1.5-year trade war that has hurt the economies of both nations. Trump also told reporters that this is just the first phase of a broader agreement. It’s important to note that the Chinese Vice Premier doesn’t have the full authority to approve the agreement. China’s President Xi Jingping must agree to the deal as well.

More details in the days ahead

Provided by the NAFB News Service