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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, August 28th

Beijing “Not Aware” of Weekend Calls with Trump

President Donald Trump claims China is ready to return to the negotiating table, but China says they don’t know who the President talked to over the weekend. A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry told reporters “I am not aware of the phone calls over the weekend.” Trump claims Chinese officials called top U.S. trade officials to say, “let’s get back to the table.” However, China refutes the claim, and hopes the U.S. will “remain calm, return to reason, and immediately stop its wrong approach,” referring to the trade war escalation and Trump’s order against U.S. companies doing business in China. However, the order met pushback from the stock market and the U.S. business sector. China replied, “We hope the U.S. will heed the views from various sectors, calculate its gains and losses, and come to prudent rather than hot-headed decisions.” Over the phone negotiations were set to resume this week and Chinese officials are scheduled to meet in Washington with the U.S. for negotiations next month.

RFA: EPA Rejected White House Recommendation on Waivers

The Renewable Fuels Association claims White House documents show the Environmental Protection Agency ignored Trump Administration recommendations on small refinery waivers. Documents obtained by the association apparently show the EPA ignored strong recommendations from within the Trump Administration to redistribute Renewable Fuel Standard  blending obligations lost to small refinery exemptions in the proposed rule for 2020 volumes. According to the documents, which detail the White House Office of Management and Budget’s interagency review of the 2020 RVO proposal, some reviewers within the administration raised concerns about EPA’s failure to redistribute exempted biofuel blending volumes to non-exempt parties. The documents recommended that EPA include prospective redistribution of waived volumes in the 2020 proposal and suggested a method for addressing a court order to restore 500 million gallons of blending obligations inappropriately waived in 2016. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the documents “will only exacerbate the outrage and anger in farm country over EPA’s abuse of the small refinery waiver provision.” Cooper says the EPA “must adopt the prospective reallocation approach.”

Hemp Crop Insurance Coverage Available for 2020

Certain industrial hemp growers will be able to obtain insurance coverage under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program for crop year 2020. The Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency Tuesday announced coverage for hemp grown for fiber, flower or seeds. The coverage will be available to producers who are in areas covered by USDA-approved hemp plans or who are part of approved state or university research pilot programs. RMA Administrator Martin Barbre says producers “are anxious for a way to protect their hemp crop,” adding that the policy will “provide a safety net for them.” Producers can obtain the coverage for hemp now if they are part of a Section 7606 state or university research pilot as authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Other producers cannot obtain coverage until a USDA-approved plan is in place. The program allows coverage of all revenue for commodities produced on a farm up to a total insured revenue of $8.5 million. It is popular for specialty crops, organic commodities and non-traditional crops.

Vilsack, Grassley, Tout USMCA in Iowa

Senator Chuck Grassley and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack touted the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement this week while touring an Iowa dairy processor. Grassley, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a prominent Agriculture Committee member, says “There’s going to be tens of thousands of jobs created” stemming from USMCA. The two toured AE Dairy in Des Moines, Iowa, a dairy plant that will benefit from the trade agreement, once signed. Vilsack of Iowa, who served as Agriculture Secretary for President Obama, is the current CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Speaking during the event, Vilsack stated, “USMCA makes vital improvements to NAFTA and its passage is necessary to modernize trade in North America.” According to a recent International Trade Commission Report, USMCA could mean up to $314 million in additional dairy sales. Agriculture remains hopeful lawmakers will consider the agreement when they return from the August recess. Washington insiders expect Congress won’t consider the agreement until November or December of this year.

National Pork Board to Host First-Ever Swine Innovation Summit

The National Pork Board will host the inaugural Swine Innovation Summit in Indianapolis on September 17, 2019. NPB bills the Summit as a special event, prior to the Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis. The program seeks to help pork producers and food influencers better understand emerging technology trends facing today’s food production systems. NPB says today’s food production systems are undergoing explosive change and the animal agriculture industry needs to prepare in order to keep pace. The Swine Innovation Summit will focus on three key drivers of change including emerging technology, new and dynamic business models and consumer behaviors which impact shopping preferences and food choices. An NPB spokesperson says, “In the span of a few short hours, we intend to educate today’s pig farmers on what they need to know and how they must adapt to the changing world in which we live.” NPB is offering the conference free of charge to pig farmers, swine veterinarians, authorized academics and allied industry. Learn more at pork.org.

KFC Testing Beyond Fried Chicken

KFC announced the brief introduction of Beyond Fried Chicken in a trial run, a meat-free alternative to its staple products. In partnership with Beyond Meat, the fast food chain tested the new offering briefly Tuesday at an Atlanta, Georgia, location. Customer feedback from the Atlanta test will be considered as KFC evaluates a broader test or potential national rollout. Beyond Fried Chicken is fried to order. It is available as a nugget or as a boneless wing. The products are 100 percent plant-based, and Beyond Meat says they are prepared in a dedicated fryer. In a news release, , KFC president and chief concept officer Kevin Hochman stated, “our customers will find it difficult to tell that it’s plant-based.” Beyond Meat continues to grow its line of meat-imitating products through fast food restaurant chains. Within the last month, Beyond Meat announced product offerings at Subway and Dunkin Donuts, along with including in meal delivery companies Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.

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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