READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 20th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Study Confirms Value of Red Meat Exports to U.S. Corn, Soybeans

The U.S. Meat Export Federation released an updated version of an independent study aimed at quantifying the value that red meat exports provide U.S. corn and soybean farmers. The independent study was conducted by a company called World Perspectives, Incorporated. Since 2015, indirect exports of corn and soybeans through beef and pork exports have been the fastest-growing category of corn and soybean use. That’s delivered critical returns for corn and soybean producers. These farmers support the international promotion of U.S. beef, pork, and lamb, by investing a portion of their checkoff dollars in market development efforts conducted by USMEF. In 2019, U.S. beef and pork exports used 480 million bushels of corn. Corn revenue generated by pork exports totaled $1.8 billion. Last year, U.S. pork exports used 2.12 million tons of soybean meal, equivalent to 89.2 million bushels of soybeans, that generated $751.7 million in revenue. Beef and pork exports also used approximately three million tons of DDGS, which generated $411.8 million in revenue for ethanol’s co-products. USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom says, “We greatly appreciate the foresight and confidence shown by the corn and soybean sectors when they invest in red meat exports. This study proves the value delivered by that investment.”

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USDA Report says China Continues to Buy U.S. Ag Products

Trade reports released by USDA last week show that China is picking up the pace of buying U.S. ag commodities, making both old-crop and new-crop purchases. Chinese buyers are purchasing a lot of U.S. corn, soybeans, and wheat in their recent run on commodities during the week of July 3-9. USDA reported 768,300 metric tons of old-crop corn sales, as well as 600,000 tons of new-crop sales. Additional corn exports during the week were 119,700 tons. The USDA trade report also showed that new export sales of soybeans were for 552,000 tons, 390,000 of which will be delivered during the next marketing year that starts on September 1st. The export sales report says new soybean crop sales came in at 389,000 tons, and exports were almost 228,000 tons. Chinese buyers also purchased more than 323,000 tons of wheat during the same week. That pushed the total sales up to the highest point for 2020-2021. The USDA also says weekly exports totaled 113,700 tons. Net sales of cotton, rice, and barley were all lower than the previous week. Net sorghum sales were up 35 percent from the prior week.

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Iowa Senators Pushing for Ethanol Aid in COVID Aid Package

Chuck Grassley, Senate Finance Committee Chair, says he and fellow Iowa Senator Joni Ernst will push for ethanol plant assistance as Congress begins developing another COVID-19 aid package this week. Grassley says he visited Iowa counties over the past two weeks while the Senate was in recess, noting that he heard plenty of people asking for ethanol assistance because the price of corn is still low. “Ernst and I are going to try to get something that would subsidize feedstock for the ethanol industry,” Grassley says. “What would make our appeal credible will be the oil industry getting help or a recognition that the oil industry got help through the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” However, Grassley says the best thing to happen to the ethanol industry in the long-term is for people to start driving again as the economy picks up. “We’re seeing a little shoot up in the production of ethanol, but it will be a slow turnaround,” he adds. Grassley also says he believes there will be more aid to agriculture in the coronavirus bill, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is determined to keep the cost of the next aid package under $1 trillion.

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Water Resources Development Act Heads to House Floor

Legislation regarding U.S. investments in locks and dams and other inland waterways investments passed out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week. The Water Resources Development Act of 2020 authorizes construction on 34 pending water infrastructure projects. It also gives the go-ahead on 35 separate feasibility studies on other projects. A DTN report says the bipartisan bill that passed out of committee unanimously will now head to the House floor. Sam Graves of Missouri, the ranking member on the committee, recalled the devastating flooding in Missouri and other Midwest states in 2019. He says the bill includes language to implement changes that will help non-federal levees improve their flood protection. The bill also includes continuing to study the Lower Missouri River Basin Flood Risk and Resiliency Plan. That study will look at flood-control projects on the Missouri River south of the Gavin’s Point Dam in South Dakota. For flood-prone communities, the legislation also provides new authority for water projects to those communities who see repetitive flood challenges up to $15 million in federal cost-share. The Waterways Council says this bill is a step in the right direction for inland waterways infrastructure improvements.

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CommonGround Approaching its Tenth Birthday

CommonGround is about to turn ten years old, so the National Corn Growers released a video that celebrates the work getting done by more than 200 volunteers across the country. Through the support and work of state associations, these women who make up CommonGround serve as resources for customers who have questions about how their food is grown. The volunteers share their personal stories that help off-the-farm moms discover that they can feel good about the food they feed their families. America’s farm families provide an amazing array of options. However, there are so many competing claims about food, honest questions about the topic are understandable. By serving as information resources, these women are sharing their unique understanding of important topics, such as the difference between organic and conventional crops and how ranchers care for their animals more than a billion times since 2010. CommonGround began a decade ago as a grassroots movement to foster conversation among women, both on farms and in cities, about where our food comes from. The National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board both had a hand in forming CommonGround.

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The U.S., Japan Organic Trade Pact Now Includes Livestock

The USDA says livestock is now added to the list of products included in the organic trade arrangement between the U.S. and Japan. The Fence Post Dot Com says livestock can now be certified to either country’s organic standards for sale as organic in both markets. “Opening new markets for America’s organic farmers and ranchers continues to be a priority for USDA,” says Marketing and Regulatory Programs Undersecretary Greg Ibach (Eye-baw). “Japan is already one of the top export markets for U.S. organic products. This new agreement opens even more opportunities for everyone involved in the international supply chain for livestock.” The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud says Japan is a key international partner for the U.S. in the organic sector. “This expanded arrangement increases access for American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to the third-largest U.S. organic export market,” Doud says. The USDA also says equivalency arrangements reduce required certification costs, fees, inspections, and paperwork for American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses across the supply chain.

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.