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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 2nd

Flooding Impact: More than One Million Acres of Farmland Damaged

More than one million acres of farmland are reported to be damaged from historic flooding so far this year. Satellite data analyzed for Reuters shows the “bomb cyclone” weather event left wide swaths of nine major grain producing states under water. Farms from the Dakotas to Missouri and beyond have been under water with weekend rains adding more concern. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned this spring could be an “unprecedented flood season” as it forecasts heavy spring rains, and cites flooding conditions already seen along major river basins. The report shows that nearly 1.1 million acres of cropland and more than 84,000 acres of pastureland in the Midwest was covered with floodwaters for at least seven days between March 8 and March 21. Still, the flooded areas represent less than one percent of U.S. land to grow corn, soybeans and other crops. Iowa, the top U.S. corn and second soy producing state, had the most water, covering 474,200 acres, followed by Missouri with 203,100 acres, according to Gro Intelligence, the agency that compiled the report.


NPPC Calls for Swift U.S./Japan Trade Negotiation

The National Pork Producers Council is urging the Trump administration to “expeditiously complete and deliver” a trade deal with Japan. The announcement follows reports that China and the U.S. will begin trade negotiations on April 15, 2019. NPPC President David Herring in a statement says the U.S. needs a level playing field in Japan, adding “U.S. pork producers are losing market share in Japan to international competitors that have recently negotiated more favorable trade terms.” Six countries,  Canada, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam, have implemented the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement of Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP replacement, and gained more favorable access to Japan. Dermot Hayes, an economist at Iowa State University, says U.S. pork will see exports to Japan grow from $1.6 billion in 2018 to more than $2.2 billion over the next 15 years if the United States quickly gains access on par with international competitors. Hayes reports that U.S. pork shipments to Japan will drop to $349 million if a trade deal on these terms is not quickly reached with Japan.

E15 Expansion, Consumer Adoption Driving Terminal Growth

Growth Energy Monday announced that consumers have surpassed eight billion miles on E15, a fuel blended with 15 percent renewable biofuel that is approved for all cars 2001 and newer. U.S. drivers just surpassed seven billion miles in January, and the six-billion-mile mark in November of last year. The organization says the milestone reflects the growing popularity of the fuel made possible by rapid retail adoption and more terminal availability across the nation. Growth Energy Vice President of Market Development Mike O’Brien says Growth Energy’s Prime the Pump program that works with retailers has “put pressure on terminals to follow suit, causing a domino effect in their offering of E15 at their locations across most of the country.”  The Prime the Pump program has helped increase E15 availability at terminals across the country, from five in 2017 to more than 100 today.

Perdue Applauds USDA Chief Financial Officer Appointment

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue applauded last week’s appointment by President Trump of Scott Soles as the Department of Agriculture Chief Financial Officer. Perdue welcomed Soles more than 30 years of experience to the agency in internal and external financial auditing, consulting, and finance operations. In the announcement, the White House noted that Soles currently works as a senior special financial projects analyst and has previously served in roles at global Fortune 500 companies. Perdue says Soles will “bring valuable financial management experience and knowledge to USDA,” an agency that is facing budget cuts from the Trump administration and the proposed relocation of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate. Perdue urged lawmakers to quickly consider and approve the nomination, along with the nominations not yet considered for Food Safety, Civil Rights, and Research, Education, and Economics, positions at the agency.

Montana Joins States Addressing Cell-Cultured Meats

Montana has joined the growing list of states to pass legislation clarifying the difference between animal meats and cell-cultured meats. The state’s House and Senate have passed legislation dubbed the Real Meat Act, which meat industry publication Meatingplace says will clarify what is hamburger and ground beef and provide a definition for “cell-cultured edible product.” The legislation says “cell-cultured edible product,” is derived from muscle cells, fat cells, connective tissue, blood and other components produced via cell culture rather than from a whole slaughtered animal. The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk for signature before it becomes law. The growing list of states seeking to enact similar measures includes Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington and Wyoming. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Illinois are considering a bill that identifies what a cell-cultured food product is and says that calling such a product meat or poultry is misbranding.

MLB Fans to Consume 18.3 Million Hotdogs in Ballparks

The Major League Baseball season is underway, and the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says fans will chow down on more than 18 million hot dogs in ballparks this year. A survey by the organization found fans are expected to consume 18.3 million hot dogs throughout the season in U.S. ballparks. The Los Angeles Dodgers home, Dodger Stadium, tops the list with projected sales of 2.7 million hot dogs. Cubs fans are Wrigley Field in Chicago are the runner up, with projected sales of 1.2 million hot dogs. Meanwhile, the Dodgers’ rivals up the coast, San Francisco Giants fans are expected to purchase 450,000 sausages, with Cubs fans not far behind at 400,000. As in past years, the Brewers’ Miller Park is the sole MLB venue where sausage sales will outpace hot dogs. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council was established in 1994 by the American Meat Institute and celebrates hot dogs and sausages as iconic American foods.

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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