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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, August 19th

Tyson Fire Boosting Beef Processor Margins

A recent fire at a large Kansas beef processor has boosted margins for other processors. The Tyson Foods facility in Holcomb, Kansas, represents about five percent of the U.S. daily slaughter, or roughly 6,000 head of cattle. The fire has closed the facility indefinitely as Tyson makes repairs. Reuters says the fire spiked margins for packers, such as Tyson, Cargill and JBS USA to $344 per head of cattle slaughtered, up from $153 the week before the fire. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association responded last week sending letters to federal watchdogs and agencies urging them to assist the market and closely monitor sales. In order to compensate for the loss of capacity at Holcomb, NCBA says major packing plants in Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa, would need to slaughter 8.2 percent more cattle per week, or run 3.3 more hours per week. Department of Agriculture undersecretary Greg Ibach says that “as the cattle industry adjusts, USDA stands ready to assist our customers however we can.”

17,000 Dairy Farmers Enroll in New Safety Net

Nearly 17,000 dairy producers have signed up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program. The Department of Agriculture Monday reported the data with a reminder the sign-up period closes September 20. The program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost, known as the margin, falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. USDA undersecretary Bill Northey calls the enrollment data encouraging but says, “we are hopeful that we will get more folks in the door.” To date, more than 60 percent of dairies with established production histories have enrolled in the program. Wisconsin has seen the most participants with more than 4,800 dairy operations, followed by Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan. USDA’s Farm Service Agency began issuing program payments to producers on July 11. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at the time called the choice to sign-up a “no-brainer” as the retroactive coverage through January has already assured 2019 payments will exceed the required premiums.

Trade Deals Spark More Compensation for Canada Dairy Farmers

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will provide 1.75 billion to dairy farmers to offset changes to market access in recent trade agreements. Canada is allowing other nations more access to enter the Canadian dairy market as a result of the trade agreements. Through Canada’s supply management system, the funds will be distributed to nearly 11,000 dairy farmers. $345 million will be paid in the first year in the form of direct payments and will benefit all dairy producers in proportion to their quota held. The federal government will continue to work with Dairy Farmers of Canada to determine terms and conditions for future years. Dairy Farmers of Canada welcomed the announcement, saying the funds will help mitigate the impact of trade agreements, such as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The three agreements are estimated to contribute to an 8.4 percent loss of domestic market access for Canadian dairy farmers.

Tariffs, Farm Income, Squeezing Sales for Deere

Low farm income, a challenging growing season and the impact of trade tariffs on agriculture have farmers putting off purchases of equipment. The depressed farm economy is part of the factors why Deere &Co. trimmed its earnings forecast for the year to $3.2 billion, from an expected $3.3 billion and a five percent increase in sales. The sales figures are still up four percent from last year. Deere reports quarterly sales of farm equipment fell six percent from 2018  levels as profit from the farm equipment business dropped 24 percent. Deere chairman and CEO Samuel Allen says the third-quarter results “reflected the high degree of uncertainty that continues to overshadow the agricultural sector.” Overall, Deere’s worldwide net sales and revenues decreased three percent to $10 billion, for the third quarter of 2019 and increased five percent to $29.4 billion, for nine months. Net sales of the equipment operations were $9 billion for the quarter and $26.2 billion for the year, compared with $9.3 billion and $25 billion last year.

Study Shows Decrease in Poultry Antibiotics Use

A new report on antimicrobial use in broiler chicken and turkey farms shows antibiotics use has decreased from 93 to 17 percent since 2013. The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association announced the findings as part of its commitment to transparency and sustainability. The report represents a five-year data set, collected between 2013 and 2017. The report shows that medically important in-feed antimicrobial use in broiler chickens decreased by as much as 95 percent. The findings also show there was a documented shift to the use of antimicrobial drugs that are not considered medically important to humans. Meanwhile, Turkeys receiving antimicrobials in the hatchery decreased from 96 percent to 41 percent. The report attributes the shift to changes in Food and Drug Administration regulations which were fully implemented in January 2017. The changes effectively eliminated the use of medically important antimicrobials for production purposes and placed all medically important antimicrobials administered in the feed or water of poultry under veterinary supervision.

Hearing Scheduled for Suspect in Missing Ranchers Case

A preliminary hearing for tampering with a motor vehicle charge is scheduled next month for Garland Nelson of Missouri. The Northwest Missouri farmer admitted to authorities he took the rental truck of two missing Wisconsin ranchers and abandoned it in a parking lot in mid-July. Human remains were found on Nelson’s farm a couple of weeks ago but have not been identified. No other charges have been filed. Nelson is the only named suspect in the disappearance of Nick and Justin Diemel who went to visit Nelson’s farm regarding cattle they owned in his care. Other farmers who have done business with Nelson admitted they feared he could hurt others, and several stories have surfaced regarding his lack of care for animals. In a recorded phone call with a Kansas rancher, Nelson mentioned he had no money to pay borrowers and may have to resort to turning a gun on himself, or someone else, to remedy his situation. Nelson was previously sentenced to two years in prison for cattle fraud.

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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