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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 5th

Citibank Reports on Trade War: No End Before 2020 Election

A top U.S. investment bank sees no conclusion to the U.S.-China trade war before the 2020 presidential elections. In a new report, Citibank says the “Implied probabilities of a 2020 recession are now high enough to warrant caution,” due to the ongoing trade war. The report suggests U.S. economic metrics will “likely deteriorate further” as the trade war continues. CNBC reports Citi’s shift represents a departure from others on Wall Street who see a trade deal likely happening before the election next year. Farmers recently reported similar expectations in the August Ag Economy Barometer released by Purdue University and CME Group this week, but that changed slightly last month. Of 400 farmers surveyed, 71 percent say a quick resolution is unlikely, down from 78 percent in July. Agriculture is taking the brunt of trade war retaliatory tariffs from China. And, China appears poised to hold out to see if President Trump will be reelected or not, potentially shifting the U.S. negotiation views and tactics.

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Trump Says Tariff Income to Help Hurricane-Damaged Farms

President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday that money the U.S. receives from tariffs on China will help farmers recover from Hurricane Dorian. Trump says, “we’ve taken in many billions of dollars of tariffs from China and we will have a lot of money to be helping our farmers along the coast if they get hit.” The President made the statement as part of an update to members of the press inside the Oval Office. Trump says China has paid for most of the tariffs, adding, “We have a lot of money to help our farmers.” Trump pointed to the trade mitigation payments to farmers, as well, saying he is making up the trade war impact “dollar-for-dollar” to farmers. The brunt of the hurricane appeared to spare Florida and was expected to travel up the Eastern Seaboard, hitting the Carolinas Thursday and Friday. The North Carolina Agriculture Department says hurricane Dorian “creates an imminent threat of severe economic loss of livestock, poultry and crops ready to be harvested.”

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ARC, PLC Enrollment Open

The Department of Agriculture this week opened enrollment for the Agriculture Risk Coverage, and Price Loss Coverage programs. Agriculture Risk Coverage, known as ARC, provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guarantee level. Price Loss Coverage, known as PLC,  provides income support payments on historical base acres when the price for a covered commodity falls below its effective reference price. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue called the programs “the bedrock of the farm safety net,” for crop farmers. Updated provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill allow producers with an interest in a farm to enroll and elect coverage in crop-by-crop ARC-County or PLC, or ARC-Individual for the entire farm, for program year 2019. For crop years 2021 through 2023, producers will have an opportunity to make new elections. Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share of interest in the farm. Interested producers must sign up for either program by March 15, 2020.

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Lawsuit Alleges Chicken Processors Fixed Wages

A class-action lawsuit claims 18 chicken processors have conspired to fix wages for workers. Three poultry plant workers filed the lawsuit last week claiming the industry has conspired to fix and depress wages since 2009. The lawsuit named defendants including chicken processors Perdue Farms, Tyson Foods, Keystone Foods, and Pilgrim’s Pride, among others. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the lawsuit claims leadership for the processors held “off the books” meetings to fix wages and benefits, along with exchanging wage data. The companies named in the lawsuit operate approximately 200 processing plants in the United States, employing hundreds of thousands of workers, and produce roughly 90 percent of the nation’s chicken processed chicken. The lawsuit also claims the price-fixing has held employees of processors in poverty. A spokesperson for Perdue Farms told Meatingplace “we do not believe this suit has any merit,” adding employees receive wage increases, and that the company makes adjustments as wage trends shift in the United States.

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NCGA Supports EPA’s Interim Decision on Glyphosate Registration

The National Corn Growers Association recently submitted comments in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed interim registration review decision for glyphosate. EPA is required to review pesticide registrations every 15 years to comply with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, but may choose to issue interim decisions as needed to account for completed risk assessments and the availability of new data. Lynn Chrisp, NCGA president from Nebraska, says NCGA “appreciate the EPA’s recognition of the sound science behind this product in its interim review decision.” In the decision at hand, EPA states it is issuing an interim decision to move forward with aspects of the registration review that are complete, including the human health and ecological risk assessments. Glyphosate continues to be the cornerstone for comprehensive and sustainable weed management, Chrisp noted, though growers understand that a diverse plan is necessary for both season-long control and resistance management. The EPA expects to issue its final registration decision for glyphosate once the Endangered Species Act evaluation is complete.

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Alltech Forms Strategic Research Alliance for Sustainable Beef Production

Alltech and Archbold Biological Station’s Buck Island Ranch in Florida recently formed a research alliance to develop beef management approaches. Specifically, the partnership seeks to increase the quality and quantity of beef produced in subtropical regions while maintaining and enhancing the environment. The collaboration brings together scientists from two different disciplines, ecologists from Archbold and ruminant nutritionists from Alltech, to understand the impact that cattle production has on an ecosystem. A spokesperson for the program says the research may lead to improved supplemental feed strategies and reducing cattle methane emissions. The research at Buck Island Ranch has long been focused on the relationships between agricultural production, management and natural resources, including water and soils, as well as biodiversity and addressing threats like invasive species and climate change. An Alltech spokesperson says the collaborations aims to demonstrate that the maintenance of the ecosystem is a critical factor in sustainable beef production and also to show how cattle can be a critical part of maintaining natural ecosystems.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian 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.