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

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Former China Banking Officials Says U.S., China, Agreement Possible

A former central bank official in China is optimistic the U.S. and China can reach an agreement by the March deadline that will “pave the way for future talks.” The South China Morning Post reports Zhu Min, (chu men) the deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China from 2009 to 2010, expects it would take at least six months to a year before the two countries could resolve their trade conflict. The official said China was willing to make compromises needed to address some U.S. concerns and to work to reduce the trade imbalance. But he also expressed concern over Washington’s rivalry with Beijing beyond trade, and the unpredictability of the U.S. president. China began buying U.S. ag products last week as part of the ceasefire agreement between the U.S. and China. Agriculture remains hopeful more purchases are planned.

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Farm Groups Push for Ag in EU Trade Talks

A coalition of agriculture groups is asking the Trump administration to keep pushing agriculture issues in the European Union-U.S. trade talks. In a letter sent to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 53 organizations, led by the National Pork Producers Council, urged the Trump administration “to continue stressing” that only a “truly comprehensive agreement will be acceptable.”  The EU has expressed reluctance to include agriculture as it did during earlier negotiations on the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, knowing it would require lifting import barriers that protect EU farmers and removing regulatory measures that are scientifically unjustified or overly restrictive. Because of the EU’s barriers, the United States had a trade deficit in food and agricultural goods of nearly $11 billion last year. That deficit was $1.8 billion in 2000. NPPC President Jim Heimerl (Hi’-merle) says he and others expect the Trump administration “to require the EU to negotiate on agriculture and to eliminate all tariff and non-tariff barriers to U.S. pork and other agricultural products.”

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NCGA: Trade Aid Comes up Short

The National Corn Growers Association says the second round of trade aid payments provide virtually no relief. The payments, released by the White House Monday,  sets the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel, despite the fact that corn farmers have suffered an average 44 cent per bushel loss since tariffs were first announced, according to NCGA. President Lynn Chrisp says, “One cent per bushel is woefully inadequate to even begin to cover the losses.” The payments stem from the Department of Agriculture’s Market Facilitation Program. The first round of payments was authorized earlier this fall. In a November 19 letter to USDA Secretary Perdue, Chrisp stressed the disappointment around USDA’s approach to calculating MFP payments. Many farmers, according to NCGA, felt it was too narrow in scope and did not capture real-time impacts of trade disruptions.

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Study Quantifies Value Delivered to Corn Producers through Red Meat Exports

An updated study shows one in every five bushels of added feed demand for corn is due to beef and pork exports. The study, commissioned by the U.S. Meat Export Federation and conducted by an agricultural consulting firm, seeks to quantify the value delivered to U.S. corn producers through exports of red meat. The original 2016 study showed that 2015 exports of U.S. red meat accounted for 11.7 million tons of combined corn and Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles use. The updated 2018 survey found beef and pork exports will use a combined total of 14.9 million tons of corn and DDGS, which equates to an additional 459.7 million bushels of corn produced, an increase of 29 percent over the 2015 projections. The study also found that about 11 percent of the price of corn this year will be derived from red meat exports.

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Groups Issue Framework for Antibiotic Stewardship in Food Animal Production

A group of major food companies, retailers, livestock producers, and trade and professional associations just announced a comprehensive framework to strengthen stewardship of antibiotic use in food animals. The framework is the product of a two-year dialogue among stakeholders, moderated by Farm Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, to ensure that antibiotics are used judiciously throughout production to protect animal and public health. The stakeholders agreed that the use of medically important antibiotics in all settings, from human health care to livestock production, must be carefully managed to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria. The framework defines effective stewardship, lays out its core components, and describes essential characteristics of effective stewardship programs, including key performance measures. Joe Swedberg, chairman of the board of Farm Foundation, says the framework “provides the basis for a robust and science-based system, one that consumers can understand and trust.”

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NASDA Sets 2019 Policy Goals

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture announced the organization’s policy goals for 2019 this week. The organization of agriculture commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture identified focus areas of animal biotechnology and workforce development. NASDA’s new areas of focus include recognizing that labor supply is a concern throughout the agricultural supply chain. Also, in 2019, NASDA will prioritize advocacy for regulatory framework that ensures animal biotechnology products are approved in a timely manner, and support education to consumers to increase understating and acceptance of the technology. Carrying over priorities from 2018, NASDA will still support new free trade agreements and urge Congress to ratify USMCA, as well as continue to work with the Food and Drug Administration and states to effectively implement the Food Safety and Modernization Act.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian 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.