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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, November 9th

Peterson Expects New Farm Bill in Lame-Duck Session

The likely incoming Chair of the House Agriculture Committee says farmers and ranchers can expect a new farm bill before the end of 2018. Collin Peterson, the current Ranking Member, says that farm bill negotiators are getting “relatively close” to an agreement on a final measure that Congress could pass during the lame-duck session. Various ag industry groups fear that starting a new farm bill development process in 2019 would mean a number of amendments that wouldn’t be beneficial to the industry. Politico says the commodity title isn’t settled yet but there are a number of options that negotiators can consider. The nutrition title appears to still be a sticking point as President Trump issued what amounted to a potential veto threat for any bill that doesn’t have stricter work requirements for SNAP participants. During a post-election press conference, Trump says, “We could have a very fast bill without the work rules but we want those work rules included.” Politico also says there is a possibility Democrats may look deeper into Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue’s plans to relocate the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


40 Percent Turnover Possible in State Ag Commissioners

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture says the faces of agriculture at the state level may be changing. Following the election results on Tuesday, the possibility exists that as many as 21 of the nation’s agriculture commissioners may change. There is a total of 54 state agricultural officials who belong to NASDA. Those include elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. Included in the total of 54 members, 12 are in elected positions while the other 42 are in positions appointed by their state’s governor. New commissioners were elected to office on Tuesday in Alabama, Florida, and Iowa. Eighteen states elected new governors, including eight new governors who represent a change in the political party of their predecessors. Those new eight governors will appoint a new chief agriculture official. Democrats are now governors in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. The governorship in Alaska switched to a Republican. In an additional ten states, the new governors are members of the same party as their predecessors, so they may choose new chief ag officials or could opt to keep the current officials already in place.


Corn, Soybean Products Heading Lower in Latest WASDE

Corn production is forecast at 14.626 billion bushels in the latest World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates. That’s down 152 million bushels on a lower yield forecast. In addition to lower production, USDA is forecasting reduced feed and residual use, lower exports, and smaller corn ending stocks. The season-average corn price received by producers is raised 10 cents to a midpoint of $3.60 per bushel. U.S. soybean production is forecast at 4.6 billion bushels, down 90 million on lower yields. USDA is forecasting lower exports and increased soybean ending stocks. The soybean yield projection is down to 52.1 bushels per acre. The U.S. season-average soybean price range is forecast at $7.60 to $9.60 per bushel, unchanged at the midpoint. The wheat supply forecast is unchanged for this month, with total use is raised seven million bushels on higher seed use that reflects increased projected wheat plantings in 2019-2020. The season-average farm price is unchanged at the midpoint of $5.10 per bushel and the range is narrowed to $4.90 to $5.30. Global wheat production and stocks numbers are also higher.


African Swine Fever Spread Continues in China, Europe

African Swine Fever is continuing to make its way through commercial pig farms in China. The World Health Organization reports that more than 50 cases have been confirmed across 14 Chinese provinces. Many of those 50 cases are in the most pig-dense areas of the country. Officials are worried about the virus possibly spreading to other countries like Vietnam, which is an emerging U.S. pork market, as well as Laos. African Swine Fever is also continuing to spread through Europe via feral hogs. The virus remains limited in Belgium but is much more active in other countries like Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and points east of those countries. China is home to approximately 55 percent of the world’s hogs, 40 percent of which are so-called “backyard hogs,” making the disease that much harder to contain. The National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, along with USDA and others all have resources available to help pork producers learn more on how to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever and protect the U.S. from an outbreak. 


Drivers Surpass Six Billion Miles on E15

Growth Energy announced that U.S. drivers have added another billion miles to their total, now up to six billion miles on E15. That announcement comes shortly after President Trump’s move to make E15 available to drivers year round. Two major fuel retailers also made news about their plans for E15 expansion. “American drivers know a good value when they see it, which is precisely why once they try E15, they come back again and again,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “E15 provides unrivaled value for engines, the environment, and people’s wallets. We’re seeing more and more Americans rely on E15 to fuel their lives.” Steve Anderson, owner of Minnoco (MIn-NOH-koh) and an ASE Certified Automobile Consultant, says E15 has been a resounding success for his customers. “When drivers pull up to our pumps, they choose E15 because it delivers more octane for a lower cost than regular unleaded gasoline and because it burns cleaner and cooler.” He’s worked as a mechanic for 33 years and says he’s seen firsthand the benefits of E15. “We’ve sold E15 for four years and have had nothing but satisfied customers,” Anderson adds.  


Online Meat Shopping Climbs; Quality Concerns Remain

The number of consumers who order fresh meat online has jumped sharply over the last year. A new study out says 25 percent of those shoppers say their purchases didn’t measure up in terms of quality and freshness. The Retail Feedback Group conducted the survey, which says the big increase in the rising level of fresh food purchasing, including meat, was one of the most notable findings. The study found that online meat buying jumped 40 percent in the past year. Deli meats and cheese purchases climbed 50 percent. Among the other potential fresh-food purchases, online produce buying rose 50 percent, seafood climbed 46 percent, bakery increased 36 percent, while prepared foods and meals were up 27 percent. 81 percent of survey respondents say the quality is the most important factor they consider when purchasing meat online. 55 percent of respondents who don’t purchase meat online say the main reason is concerns about refrigeration during delivery. The survey also found about half of online shopper plan to order more groceries through the internet over the next year. The survey shows that baby boomers are the most satisfied age group when it comes to online grocery shopping.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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