READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, August 10th

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Pork Exports Lower, Beef Exports Struggle During June

June pork exports fell below year-ago levels, the first time that’s happened in 2020. However, pork exports remain at a record pace. Data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation shows that beef exports were down sharply from last year during June. That drop reflects the lingering impact of a temporary slowdown in beef production combined with restrictions on foodservice and weakening economies in major import markets. June’s lamb exports trended higher. “We expected the interruptions in red meat production would continue to weigh on June exports, but anticipated more of a rebound from the low May totals, particularly in beef,” says USMEF President Dan Halstrom. June pork exports hit 207,181 metric tons, three percent lower than last year, while export value dropped nine percent to $516.3 million. Despite the decline, first-half pork exports were 24 percent ahead of last year’s record pace in volume and 29 percent higher in value. June beef exports were close to the May lows, down 33 percent from last year at just-over 79,000 metric tons, with value dropping 32 percent to $492 million. June lamb exports hit the second-largest total of 2020 at 2,229 metric tons, 113 percent higher than a year ago.


Ag Groups say Farmers Need More Time to Access Aid

A total of 28 agricultural organizations are asking the USDA to extend the application deadline for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The groups sent a letter to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue asking that the deadline be pushed past August 28, 2020. The funding, approved through the CARES Act, is providing much-needed financial support to livestock, dairy, non-specialty, and specialty crop producers. The letter says the current deadline “may exclude producers from participating in the program, including producers of commodities that were recently added to the list of eligible commodities, as well as those commodities likely to become eligible through the Notice of Funding Availability process.” Along with extending the deadline, the letter strongly encourages the USDA to increase producer and stakeholder engagement initiatives. The 499,156 applications received so far makeup just 24 percent of all the eligible farm operations. Several commodities have extremely low participation rates, including carrots, oranges, tomatoes, and apples. Those numbers may indicate many farmers aren’t aware that they qualify for CFAP assistance.


Growth Energy Applauds House Push for Biofuel Relief

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor thanks members of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus for their efforts to deliver long-overdue relief for biofuels in the next round of COVID-19 relief. The effort is being led by Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Dave Loebsack (LOWB-sack) of Iowa, and Roger Marshall of Kansas. Members of the caucus sent a letter to House and Senate leadership calling for negotiators to adopt “language explicitly directing” relief to producers and processors of renewable fuels. “We’re grateful for our congressional champions who are working overtime to stop the bleeding and offer hope for farm communities,” says Skor. “With continued uncertainty around COVID-19, and states like California, Texas, and Florida returning to lockdown, the stakes are far too high to leave any stone unturned.” She’s asking congressional leaders to “work quickly” to protect rural jobs and give rural America the certainty it needs to rebuild the country’s agricultural supply chain. Direct assistance was included in the House-passed HEROS Act, as well as in bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate. House and Senate lawmakers will try to hammer out the final deal this month.


Trump Adds 10 Percent Tariff on Canadian Aluminum

Last Thursday, President Trump announced he has reimposed a 10 percent tariff on Canadian aluminum, saying American’s northern neighbor was flooding the U.S. with the metal. During a speech at a Whirlpool washing machine factory in Ohio, the president said, “Canada was taking advantage of us, as usual. I signed a proclamation that defends the American industry by reimposing aluminum tariffs on Canada.” Trump had exempted Canadian products from tariffs as part of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Deal on the condition that they “not flood the country with exports and kill our aluminum jobs.” While in Ohio, Trump said, “Canadian aluminum producers have broken that commitment.” The Jakarta (Ja-KAR-tah) Post says the tariffs take effect on August 16, in response to what Washington calls a 27 percent surge in aluminum imports from Canada during the past year which threatens to harm our domestic production. Canada’s aluminum-industry officials dispute the U.S. data and urged swift and strong retaliation, asking the Canadian government to consider all of its options. Trump first imposed punitive tariffs on aluminum and steel from Canada in June of 2018 while USMCA negotiations were ongoing.


Corn Checkoff Funded Curriculum Filling the Virtual Learning Gap

With another school year drawing closer, many teachers and parents will be looking for solid, professional teaching materials that will lend themselves to a virtual classroom. The National Corn Growers Association is offering a program called “Nourish the Future” which will meet state-learning guidelines. Nourish the Future is a national education initiative developed by science teachers for science teachers, with assistance from the NCGA. The goal is to inspire a network of educators to foster critical thinking, connect students to modern agriculture, and provide sound science-based resources to meet teachers’ and students’ needs in the classroom. Agriculture is a vital partner in engaging students with STEM concepts in ways that directly and indirectly impact their lives. Nourish the Future will help kids learn just how science connects with agriculture. Not only does teaching ag-based curriculum in the science classroom inspire students to solve real-world science issues, reaching students is critical to address the job gap in agriculture-related careers, many of which are unfilled. Through the curriculum, teachers and parents can get free hands-on lessons addressing current science topics. It also invests in teachers by helping them enhance their skills. More information is available at


Child ATV Injuries Rising During COVID-19

ATVs are a popular vehicle for both work and play on many farmyards across rural America. The Hagstrom Report says child injuries on all-terrain vehicles typically surge in summer when children are out of school. The National Children’s’ Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety says that surge began earlier than normal when schools shut down because of COVID-19. “When schools went out and kids were home, we saw more injuries than we normally do,” says Charles Jennissen, a pediatric emergency physician and professor at the University of Iowa. “The overall number of injuries are probably four-to-five times higher because many don’t end up in the ER.” The American Academy of Pediatrics says in the U.S., about 40,000 children under the age of 16 are treated in emergency departments for ATV-related injuries each year. The academy recommends that children younger than 16 not operate ATVs. Jennissen says ATVs have a saddle-seat and handlebars that make the vehicle relatively unsteady. A high center of gravity and a narrow track is a combination that makes them a higher risk for rolling over. “More kids in the U.S. under 16 die from ATVs than bicycle crashes,” Jennissen adds, emphasizing the statistic applies primarily to younger children.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


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.