READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, October 22nd…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

China Forecast Higher Domestic Pork Supplies

Pork Supplies for China’s upcoming Lunar New Year are projected 30 percent higher than year-ago levels. A Chinese agriculture official says the recovery will reduce prices compared with last year during the holiday. China’s Lunar New Year holiday is known as the country’s most important holiday where pork is traditionally served at millions of family meals. It will begin February 11, 2021. Chinese agriculture officials tell Reuters that pig producers have built 12,500 new large-scale pig farms in the first three quarters of the year and restarted more than 13,000 empty farms. Officials say the recovery had been “better than expected” from African swine fever, which impacted at least 40 percent of China’s hog herd. The increased pork supplies reflect the recovery, but also large imports of pork. The U.S. Meat Export Federation says through August, exports to China and Hong Kong more than doubled last year’s totals in both volume and value.

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August Derecho Costliest Thunderstorm Event

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calls the August derecho the most expensive thunderstorm event in modern history. As part of NOAA’s Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters list, the August derecho is estimated to have caused $7.5 billion in damages. The storm traveled from southeast South Dakota to Ohio, a path of 770 miles in 14 hours producing widespread winds greater than 100 mph. The states most affected included Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio. The storm caused widespread damage to millions of acres of corn and soybean crops across central Iowa. There was also severe damage to homes, businesses and vehicles. In addition, there were 15 tornadoes across northeastern Illinois, with several affecting the Chicago metropolitan area. While noting wildfire damages are to be determined, NOAA says the thunderstorm is second to Hurricane Laura in 2020, which caused $14 billion in damages. Other 2020-billion-dollar weather events include tornado outbreaks in the Southeast and Tennessee, and several severe thunderstorm events this spring.

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Smith Urges USDA to Provide Incentives to Stop CRP Enrollment Decline

A Senator from Minnesota wants the Department of Agriculture to increase incentive payments to stop the enrollment decline in the Conservation Reserve Program. Senate Democrat Tina Smith sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week asking him to significantly increase Practice Incentive Payments and begin making rental rate incentive payments, both tools that past Administrations have used to maintain strong enrollment in CRP. Joined by four other Democratic colleagues in the Senate, the lawmakers pointed out that during a time of declining CRP enrollment, USDA has offered Practice Incentive Payments at only five percent of the cost of the practice, even after the 2018 Farm Bill authorized USDA to pay farmers up to 50 percent of the cost. Past Administrations have also offered rental rate payments to incentivize enrollment, something the Trump Administration has not done. In 2020, 5.36 million acres of CRP land are scheduled to expire, while just 3.54 million acres have enrolled in the program, resulting in the loss of nearly two million acres.

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State Cattle Groups Support Cattle Market Transparency Act

More than a dozen state cattle organization voice their support for the Cattle Market Transparency Act. In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee leadership, 16 state cattle groups say the bill “will aid in cattle market transparency for all producers.” Led by the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association, the group says, “our respective organizations do not ask for any type of market manipulation or guaranteed profit.” Rather, they seek readily available information to allow cattle producers the ability to make informed and educated decisions. Introduced by Senator Deb Fischer, a Nebraska Republican, the bill includes the cattle contract library, 14-day packer purchase commitment outlook, and clarification of Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting confidentiality guidelines to avoid non-reporting of collected data on a regional and national basis. Additionally, the bill directs the Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Marketing Service to establish regionally negotiated cash plus negotiated grid marketing volume minimums thresholds that enhance price discovery goals and commitments.

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USDA NIFA Providing Citrus Disease Research Grants

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture recently awarded 12 grants totaling over $45 million for researchers to combat citrus greening disease. A NIFA spokesperson says the research “is critical to help farmers find scientifically sound solutions to citrus greening.” Although citrus greening is a serious threat to the citrus industry worldwide, significant progress has been made to coordinate a multipronged approach for citrus greening management. The progress includes the suppression of an insect that carries and spreads the disease. The 12 grants were awarded to the University of California Riverside, University of California Davis, Yale University, and University of Florida Gainesville, among other higher education institutions. Earlier this month, the Department of Agriculture projected Florida orange production for 2020-21 down 15 percent. Citrus greening is one of many factors for the lower production, a trend occurring over the past decade. It’s estimated citrus greening has caused a 21 percent reduction in fresh citrus fruit and a 72 percent decline in orange production in the United States.

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Impossible Foods Expanding, Calls Animal Ag “Most Destructive Technology on Earth”

Impossible Foods is expanding its multifaceted technology platform, accelerating product development, and plans to double its research and development team’s size over the next 12 months. Based in California’s Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods makes meat and dairy imitation products from plants. The company says the expansion helps it reach its goal to reverse global warming. Impossible Foods takes aim at animal agriculture, calling it “the most destructive technology in human history.” The company claims producing the Impossible Burger uses about 87 percent less water, generates about 89 percent less greenhouse gases and requires around 96 percent less land than conventional ground beef. Impossible Foods is self-described as one of America’s fastest-growing brands and the leading driver of growth in the plant-based food category. Impossible Foods has more than 250 patents and patents pending. Its intellectual property includes methods to decode and reverse-engineer the molecular foundations and entire sensory experience of animal-derived meat, including how it tastes, cooks, sizzles and smells, and how to recreate the experience without animals.

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.