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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, December 27th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation & the Colorado Farm Bureau

Second Round of Trade Aid Payments Underway

USDA is moving forward on the second and final round of trade mitigation payments to farmers hurt from retaliation by America’s trading partners. Commodity producers are now eligible to receive Market Facilitation Payments on the second half of their 2018 production. USDA has been sending out the first round of MFP payments to producers since September on the first 50 percent of their 2018 production. The MFP payments are designed for almond, cotton, corn, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, fresh sweet cherry, and wheat producers. Producers are only required to register one time for both the first and second round of payments. The MFP signup period runs through January 15, 2019, but producers actually have until May 1 to certify their 2018 production numbers. Farmers who haven’t done so can find signup information and instructions at Eligible producers must wait until harvest is completely finished as payments are made based on 2018 total production. Farmers that have already applied, completed harvest, and certified their production, will receive a second payment on 50 percent of their production, multiplied by the MFP rate for each commodity.  


Foreign Ag Service Worked to Expand Trade in 2018

The USDA worked diligently in 2018 to expand trade opportunities around the world for U.S. ag producers. Those efforts paid off as global sales remained strong in spite of challenges in the trade arena through the year. Ted McKinney, Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, says it’s been a “rollercoaster ride this year,” but U.S. farm exports remain strong, thanks in no small part to the Foreign Agricultural Service. One of the biggest highlights of the year was the successful negotiation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. USDA also broke down trade barriers and provided more access to overseas markets for several commodities. They included poultry and dairy to Canada through the USMCA, as well as lamb and goat meat to Japan, beef and pork in Argentina, poultry to India and Namibia, lamb to El Salvador, beef and poultry to Morocco, eggs to South Africa, and dairy to Turkey. FAS staff also worked around the globe to assist U.S. exporters in releasing hundreds of shipments that had been detained in foreign ports. USDA made sure that more than $77 million of perishable U.S. products arrived safely at their intended destinations. Among them was beef to Bulgaria, cherries to Taiwan, cranberries to China, and even lobsters to the United Arab Emirates.


Poultry Production Likely Slower in 2019

U.S. broiler markets are still weak, and prices are depressed. As a result, Rabobank says poultry production is likely to slow down in 2019. Nan-Dirk Mulder is a senior analyst for animal protein at Rabobank, who says the outlook for the global poultry industry will gradually improve as the year progresses. The biggest improvements likely arrive in the second half of 2019, thanks to rising Chinese imports spurred by the impact of African Swine Fever on protein demand in the country. That demand is expected to lead to more poultry imports, especially from the U.S. However, the market is struggling with oversupply from record-high broiler and red meat production that’s resulted in low domestic prices and high cold storage levels. That means the market needs to rebalance itself before things head in a positive direction. Rabobank’s Poultry Quarterly report says record broiler production at 3.89 billion pounds during October has pushed boneless breast meat prices well past historical lows. Most of the big-bird operations have seen sizeable losses in recent weeks, with the small-bird options faring just slightly better on production that’s down eight percent year-over-year. “Chicken demand remains weak as large supplies of competing proteins, especially pork, make for a very competitive retail marketplace,” says Mulder.


Livestock Haulers Freed From ELD Requirements

The U.S. Department of Transportation officially suspended the requirement that livestock haulers use electronic logging devices (ELDs) in their trucks. Back in 2012, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act mandated that drivers of commercial motor vehicles replace their paper logs with ELDs by December 18th of 2017. The National Pork Producers Council requested a waiver from the requirement on behalf of all the U.S. livestock sectors. The NPPC also asked for an exemption from the regulation, citing the incompatibility between transporting livestock and the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service Rules. Those regulations limit truckers to driving 11 hours daily, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, and restrict their on-duty time to 14 consecutive hours, which includes non-driving time. NPPC was granted the waiver but a permanent fix was yet-to-be-determined. The NPPC applauds the Trump Administration and its commitment to U.S. agriculture, marking this as a huge win for both U.S. livestock producers and haulers.


China Feed Manufacturer Found With ASF Virus in Feed Supplies

Chinese officials have found the African Swine Fever Virus in some protein powders made from pork blood produced by a Chinese company. The General Administration of Customs issued a statement saying that the raw material in 79.93 tons of contaminated protein products, mainly used in animal feed, came from 12 slaughterhouses. This happened in spite of the fact that Chinese health officials banned the use of food waste and pig blood as a raw material for the production of pig food. Officials implemented the ban in September in an effort to control the spread of the disease. China has already reported more than 90 cases of African Swine Fever virus infection, which is deadly to pigs but doesn’t harm humans. China first detected the disease in its herds back in August. The customs department also has issued an alert, that will last for six months, to strengthen testing for the African Swine Fever virus in exports of similar products. The alert also urges farms in Hong Kong and Macau (Mah-COW) to tighten their checks on animal feed imports.


Red Meat Exports Deliver Value to Corn Producers

The U.S. Meat Export Federation says an updated study shows the value that red meat exports deliver to U.S. corn producers. A Drovers’ Report says a study conducted in 2016 by World Perspective, Incorporated, took a look at the previous year’s exports and determined that those exports accounted for 11.7 million tons of combined corn and dried distiller’s grains. In a similar study, WPI found that 2018 exports will use a combined total of 14.9 million tons of corn and distiller’s grains. That amounts to an additional 460 million bushels of corn produced, an increase totaling 29 percent over the 2015 predictions. USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom says, “The USMEF receives outstanding support from the feed grain and oilseed industries because those producers understand that red meat exports boost the profitability of their largest customer, which is the U.S. livestock industry.” USMEF says, since 2015, one in every five bushels of added feed demand for corn is due to beef and pork exports.

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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