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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, January 3, 2019

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

New Congress Convenes as Shutdown Delays Farm Payments

New leaders convene in Congress Thursday with the need to find an end to the government shutdown. The Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies are reaching a “breaking point,” according to Politico, as many agencies are running out of carryover funding. Democrats who now control the House of Representatives were expected to vote on a spending package upon taking office Thursday, but the Senate isn’t expected to accept the plan. USDA has closed Farm Service Agency offices across the nation due to the shutdown. Producers who have certified 2018 production are expected to receive Market Facilitation Program payments, the aid package designed to offset trade losses to farmers stemming from the Trump administration’s trade agenda. However, producers who have yet to certify 2018 acres will have to wait until the shutdown concludes. USDA has continued some services, included meat and commodity inspections, along with Forest Service law enforcement, some research measurements and the continuation of SNAP benefits.

U.S. Remains Quiet on China Trade Front

The Trump administration remains quiet ahead of talks with China next week, fueling concerns that concessions by China may not be enough to satisfy U.S. demands. Bloomberg News reports the measures by China to open its economy “mostly fall short” of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s demands. Lighthizer wants changes on alleged forced technology transfer and theft of intellectual property. China’s moves to open its economy included renewed purchases of U.S. soybeans and rice, critical for a down ag economy. However, With Lighthizer demanding “structural changes” on technology transfers, China continues to complain “it’s not clear the U.S. side knows what it wants.” A Trade analyst recently told Blomberg “it’s hard to imagine” a deal can be reached by the U.S.-set deadline of March first. Trade officials from the U.S. and China will meet in Beijing next week.

Europe, Africa, Represent Strong U.S. Soybean Exports

U.S. soybean exports to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa have increased 140 million bushels compared with the last marketing year at this time. The U.S. Soybean Export Council called the markets “a bright spot,” as the data represents a 210 percent increase in whole soybeans and a 17 percent increase in soybean meal exports for the U.S. Soy industry. The U.S. Soybean Export Council recently held a major regional U.S. Soy Trade Exchange in Spain, attended by 300 participants, which increased focus in other key markets in the region. Countries with largest bushel increases this marketing year include Egypt at 30 million, Spain at 23 million, the Netherlands at 15 million, Italy at 12 million, and Portugal at 10 million. The data shows a shift in demand for U.S. soybeans as the U.S. tries to work out details to end a trade war with China.

New Meat Cuts, Breakfast Dishes, Top Expected 2019 Trends

New meat cuts and breakfast dishes are expected to lead the 2019 wave of food trends. The National Restaurant Association says alternative sources of protein, locally sourced meats and seafood, more veggie-carb substitutes, and globally inspired breakfast options are all trends expected this year. The Association released the details from an industry-wide survey in late December that shows consumers should expect to see more plant-based sausages and burgers, new cuts of meat, including oyster steak, Merlot cut and Vegas Strip Steak, plus ethnic-flavored breakfast items. The annual What’s Hot survey is considered a barometer of food and beverage trends at restaurants around the country. The results forecast food, beverage, and culinary concept trends for the year ahead. The annual survey looked at the responses of approximately 650 professional chefs, all members of the American Culinary Federation.

Secretary Perdue to Address AFBF Convention

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will address the closing general session at the 100th American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show. Perdue will give his remarks on January 14th in New Orleans, Louisiana, as part of the centennial celebration of AFBF. More than 6,000 Farm Bureau members from across the nation are expected to attend the annual event. AFBF President Zippy Duvall said AFBF is “honored” Perdue will join the event, calling the Secretary a “champion for farmers and ranchers.” Perdue has served as U.S. agriculture secretary since 2017 and joined Farm Bureau members at the 2018 Annual Convention. Farm Bureau members can register for the 100th AFBF Annual Convention and IDEAg Trade Show through their state Farm Bureaus or online through AFBF at

Canada Railways Top Federal Grain Transport Caps

Canada’s two biggest railways exceeded grain revenue caps set by the Canadian Transportation Agency. The agency reported this week that Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway overtopped their maximum revenue entitlements for the crop year by $1.5 million and $1.04 million respectively. The two companies now have 30 days to pay the overages, plus penalties of five percent to the Western Grains Research Foundation, the mandated beneficiary. The foundation is a Canada-based farmer-funded and directed research institute investing in agricultural research that benefits western Canadian produce. In all, the Canadian Transportation Agency said, the two railways moved 40.6 million metric tons of grains during 2017-18, down six percent from the previous crop year. The agency said the average length of haul in 2017-18 came in unchanged from 2016-17, at 953 miles.

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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