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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 29th

Trump: U.S. and Japan to Accelerate Trade Talks

Japan and the U.S. are accelerating trade talks in hopes to reach a quick agreement. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (sheen-zoh ah-bay)  indicated the U.S. and Japan will speed up trade talks as Tokyo faces increased pressure to reach a deal in the next six months to avoid auto tariffs. However, Politico reports talks between the two likely won’t advance quickly until after Tokyo’s election in July. Trump, ending a summit and visit to Japan, says agriculture products are “heavily in play” in the talks, particularly U.S. beef. Farmers in the U.S. are eager to see an agreement since Japan and other nations entered the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, after the U.S. left the then-called Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017. Trump suggested an announcement on parts of an agreement could come sometime in August. Trade experts expect a deal to take longer, however, as the talks, focusing on automobiles and agriculture, will take more time than predicted by the U.S. and Japan.

Canada Takes First Step in Ratifying USMCA

Canada is taking the first step in ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement. Following the Trump administration’s decision to remove section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, Canada presented the trade agreement to lawmakers that must approve the deal. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered the trade agreement to Canada’s House of Commons, opening formal presentation of the bill. Freeland told lawmakers in Canada they “intend to move in tandem with the United States,” adding the government is “full steam ahead” in its work to ratify the agreement. Meanwhile, CNBC reports U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet with officials in Canada later this week to discuss advancing the trade agreement. Canada is the top trading partner for the U.S., receiving roughly 75 percent of U.S. goods. With a national election looming in five months, the Justin Trudeau regime is eager to complete the process quickly. Meanwhile, President Trump has yet to submit the agreement to Congress.

Planting Progress Continues to Lag as Wet Weather Lingers

The Midwest, on the tail end of a two-week inundation of rainfall, remains flooded and saturated, stalling planting progress that’s already well behind average. The Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress report, released Tuesday, reports that as of May 26, the 18 top producing states reached 58 percent completion of corn plantings, compared to the five-year average of 90 percent. Indiana, Ohio and South Dakota have planted less than 30 percent of their respective corn crops. Meanwhile, just 29 percent of the nation’s soybean crop is planted, compared to 74 percent last year, and the five-year average of 66 percent. Many states have planted less than 20 percent of their intended soybean acres, including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and South Dakota. Just 32 percent of the nation’s corn crop has emerged, along with just 11 percent of soybeans. Forecasters from the website Weather2020 suggest more wet conditions will continue through June, when the jet stream normally lifts and weakens weather systems across the corn belt, further hampering planting.

Canada Proposes Revising Made in Canada Label Guidelines

The Canadian government wants food labeling changes for “Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” label claims. The changes proposed to the labeling guidelines seek to improve upon information available to consumers to identify Canadian food products and make informed purchasing decisions, according to Marie-Claude Bibeau (Bee-boh), Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. They are also based on the recommendations following a recent survey of Canada’s food industry, led by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Amending the guidelines for “Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” labeling claims would support the Government of Canada’s $25 million Buy Canadian Promotion campaign as part of Food Policy for Canada. The current voluntary guidelines for “Product of Canada” and “Made in Canada” labeling claims came into force in December 2008, following consultations with industry and consumers. The guidelines promote compliance with the Food and Drug Act and Safe Food for Canadians Act, which prohibit false and misleading claims.

Marketing Loans Application Deadline Nears

Farmers have a few days left to apply for 2018 crop year marketing assistance loans. The Department of Agriculture says May 31, 2019, is the deadline for assistance loans for feed grains, upland cotton, soybean and minor oilseeds. Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce says the loans provide short-term financing, “allowing producers to meet interim cash flow needs and market their crops following a timeline that is the most advantageous.” The marketing assistance loans are considered nonrecourse, meaning they can either be redeemed by repaying the loan or delivering the pledged collateral, being the crop, at loan maturity to the Commodity Credit Corporation as full payment. In circumstances where the county commodity price falls below the county loan rate, producers may repay loans at less than the loan rate plus accrued interest and other charges, therefore, receiving a market loan gain. To apply for a loan, USDA says start by contacting your local FSA office.

Judge Orders Ban Against Bud Light Anti Corn Syrup Ads

A federal judge last week ordered Anheuser Busch to stop using advertisements that portray corn syrup negatively and suggests MillerCoors products contain corn syrup. The saga started with a Super Bowl commercial, drawing criticism from farmers and the National Corn Growers Association. MillerCoors sued Anheuser Busch in March, saying the company spent near $30 million on “a “false and misleading” campaign,” as reported by St Louis Post-Dispatch. The ad showed a medieval caravan pushing a huge barrel of corn syrup to castles for MillerCoors to make Miller Lite and Coors Light. MillerCoors says corn syrup is used in the brewing process, but not in the final product available to consumers. The judge’s ruling states Anheuser-Busch cannot use ads that describe Bud Light as containing “100 percent less corn syrup” than Miller Lite and Coors Light. However, other ads, including the Super Bowl commercial, were not banned. Anheuser-Busch says it was “pleased” with the ruling, and one of the ads were aired during game one the NHL Stanley Cup Final on Monday.

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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