READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, November 6th…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Trump Administration Seeks Extension to Respond to Biofuel Petition

The Trump Administration is requesting the U.S. Supreme Court extend the response deadline to a petition from oil refiners that the court review a prior court decision. The request would push their response deadline to December 14 from November 12, according to Reuters. The case relates to waivers issued to refiners under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Earlier this year, an appeals court ruled the Environmental Protection Agency waivers granted to small refineries after 2010 should only be approved as extensions. Farm and biofuel groups welcomed the ruling, and the EPA later tossed out several exemptions. Still, more than 50 waivers are pending action by the EPA, and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said this week, any action should wait until after the Supreme Court petition is wrapped up. Oil refiners filed the petition in September. The EPA says it needs more time to provide a full government response to the petition. Biofuel groups say the delay provides further uncertainty of the matter.

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Trade Deficit Shrinks for First Time in Three Months

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced the goods and services trade deficit was $63.9 billion in September, down $3.2 billion from $67.0 billion in August. This is the first time in three months the trade deficit has shrunk. September total exports were $176.4 billion, $4.4 billion more than August exports. September imports were $240.2 billion, $1.2 billion more than August imports. Exports of goods increased $3.7 billion to $122.8 billion in September. The export figures note that exports of foods, feeds, and beverages increased $1.6 billion, including a $1.4 billion increase in soybean exports. The deficit with China decreased $2.1 billion to $24.3 billion in September. U.S. farmers are enjoying the increased sales to China, with a bump in commodity markets this fall. The Department of Agriculture reports weekly corn sales were 16 percent higher than a week ago. Weekly soybean sales slipped but remained at the highest pace in two years.

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University Policy Center Urges Return of COOL

A recent publication by the University of Tennessee’s Agriculture Policy Analysis Center urged the return of mandatory country of origin labeling for beef, pork, and bison. The center states that COOL could give consumers information they need to buy products that meet their individual buying preferences. The publication also claims the cost of providing this information would be negligible because the information already exists in the meat supply chain. The systems developed within the meat supply chain before the 2015 repeal of COOL for beef and pork still remain today but are not being used. However, COOL faces stiff opposition from meatpackers and importers. A pending ruling by the World Trade Organization authorizes Canada and Mexico to institute retaliatory tariffs if beef and pork were re-added to the COOL law. But, R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard argues that Congress can avoid retaliatory tariffs by passing a new law to reinstate COOL for beef rather than re-adding beef to the old law.

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Canada Creates New Pork Promotion and Research Agency

Canadian Agriculture officials Thursday announced the Canadian Pork Promotion and Research Agency. The agency will support Canada’s pork sector’s competitiveness and sustainability by enabling the development and implementation of promotional and research activities, much like the U.S. Pork Checkoff. The agency was first proposed in March of this year, but requested in July of 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The creation of a national levy system will fund the activities, at a rate of 75 cents, Canadian dollars, per-head. USDA says the proposed import levy is considered WTO compliant on the basis of national treatment obligations. Levies will also be collected on imported pork products, at a rate that is no more than the minimum levy paid by producers across Canada. Rick Bergmann, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council, says the agency “will result in improving the long-term growth and competitiveness of the sector.”

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Missouri River Water Releases to Reach Winter Rates Late This Month

Missouri River water releases from the Gavins Point dam will reach winter levels at the end of the month. The Army Corps of Engineers says reductions are scheduled to begin around November 22. Releases will be stepped down by approximately 3,000 cubic feet per second each day until reaching the winter release rate of 17,000, ending the 2020 navigation season. The move also signals a fresh start again for the 2021 spring season, with all flood control space available in the reservoir system. That’s another relief for farmers along the river, who in 2019 suffered from flooding, and a breakdown of levee systems and the navigation control system. The 2019 flooding started with the March bomb cyclone winter storm that devastated Nebraska agriculture. Now, most of the Missouri River basin is experiencing some form of drought. The drought and low river levels have hindered the transit of products along the river this year.

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USDA Co-hosting Webinar on Livestock Risk Management

The Department of Agriculture will co-host a webinar focused on livestock risk management. Along with the Extension Risk Management Education Program, USDA will host the webinar on November 12. The webinar is free to attend and will provide information on livestock markets, price risk, and risk management options. USDA’s Bill Northey says, “The information that will be presented here will be invaluable to livestock producers who have an interest in the various risk management tools available to them through USDA.” The webinar is scheduled for 2-3 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, November 12. Producers can register at farm.unl.edu/webinars. Meanwhile, on Tuesday, November 17, USDA will host the first in a series of four evening webinars from 7-9 p.m. Eastern. The Cattle and Carcass Training series is designed to assist producers, feeders, and others who want to better understand the reporting, delivery, and grading of feeder cattle, live cattle, and carcasses, particularly relating to CME live cattle futures. The webinars are free, but registration is required.

For the Cattle and Carcass Training webinars, register here: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_Z7DidEWfSiatvVRwdPXTVg

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.