READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, November 10th…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Ag Groups Respond to Presidential Election Results

Farm groups congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his called victory while seeking to shape the roadmap for the future. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says, “President-elect Biden will be presented with opportunities to improve the lives of rural Americans and this nation’s farmers and ranchers.” For agriculture, AFBF says the priorities include expanding trade and market access, rural broadband, addressing the farm labor shortage and strengthening the farm bill. National Farmers Union President Rob Larew says, “The last four years haven’t been too kind to family farmers and ranchers.” Larew adds, “We stand ready to work with his administration to ensure that its policies and programs adequately represent the interests of family farmers and rural communities.” In congratulating the incoming administration, Growth Energy says biofuels are the most affordable and effective solution available now to take climate action, adding “the new administration must harness those environmental and economic benefits by strengthening the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

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Climate Change a Priority for Biden-Harris Administration

The Biden-Harris administration will focus on climate change. On the incoming administration’s transition website, www.buildbackbetter.com, climate change is listed as one of four priorities. The website states, “we have the opportunity to build a more resilient, sustainable economy — one that will put the United States on an irreversible path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.” Specific to agriculture, the administration plans to create jobs in climate-smart agriculture, resilience and conservation. President-elect Biden’s climate plan also calls for the U.S. to reenter the Paris Climate Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius. The plan also includes rebuilding infrastructure, including broadband, electric vehicles, zero-emissions transit, and a move to clean, American made electricity. Additionally, the plan calls for upgrading buildings and homes to be more energy-efficient, and ensuring that environmental justice is a key consideration for the future. Other listed priorities include COVID-19 recovery, economic recovery and racial equity.

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American Farmland Trust Shares Transition Recommendations

American Farmland Trust has outlined five policy recommendations to ensure the nation’s agricultural land remains available to produce food and help fight climate change. The recommendations are focused on the Department of Agriculture under the upcoming Joe Biden administration. Broadly, the organization says the policies address farmland protection and viability, farmland access for the next generation of farmers and ranchers and regenerative agriculture to “harness agriculture’s ability to fight climate change and become more resilient to its impacts.” The recommendations include a National Cover Crop Initiative, establishing the Commission on Farm Transitions, and maximizing the potential of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program’s Agricultural Land Easements. Additionally, the recommendations call for the administration to strengthen the Farmland Protection Policy Act and create a debt for the Working Lands Initiative. Tim Fink, AFT policy director, says the recommendations are just a starting point. Fink adds, “We look forward to working with the Biden Administration and the new Congress to achieve lasting solutions.”

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Lame-Duck Session Brings Hope of More COVID Relief for Agriculture

With the election over and a lame-duck Congress getting to work this week, agriculture’s attention turns to the potential of more COVID-19 relief. The Senate is back in session this week. The House will return next week. There is optimism that both chambers can reach an agreement and pass more coronavirus aid. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel indicated the Senate would get to work on creating another coronavirus package. What the package may include and if agriculture relief will be part of the plan remains in question. However, the biggest priority for lawmakers will be funding the federal government. The current funding legislation ends December 11. Last week, McConnell stated that he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had agreed to work on a budget bill that would provide funding for the federal government through September 30, 2021, the end of the current fiscal year. Without action by December 11, the federal government will face a partial shutdown.

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Pork Cutout Futures Now Available for Trading

CME Group Pork Cutout futures and options are now live and available for trading. Announced earlier this fall, the Pork Cutout futures and options are designed to give the U.S. pork industry and export markets tailored risk-management tools on the cutout. The contracts are cash-settled to the CME Pork Cutout Index and complement CME Lean Hog futures and options. CME Group says arrangements between hog producers and packers or processors today are diverse and ever-evolving. Once based almost exclusively on the value of live hogs, many agreements now pay greater attention on prices further down the value chain. CME Group says hogs are increasingly bought and sold in the physical market based on a formula which uses the cutout. The Pork Cutout reflects the approximate value of a hog calculated using the prices paid for wholesale cuts of pork. The new contracts are quoted in U.S. cents per pound and have a contract size of 40,000 pounds.

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Injuries and Illnesses in Poultry Processing Fall Below All Manufacturing

On the job illnesses and injuries in the poultry processing sector has fallen below all manufacturing. This is the first time the poultry sector scored better than manufacturing since the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording injuries and illnesses information in 1994. The total recordable poultry processing illness and injury rate for 2019 was 3.2 cases per 100 full-time workers annually, down from 3.5 in 2018. The poultry industry’s rate of 3.2 was below the rate of 5.1 for similar agricultural industries in terms of injuries per 100 full-time workers and lower than the rate of 4.0 for the entire food manufacturing sector and all of manufacturing at 3.3. Injury and illness rates within the poultry sector’s slaughter and processing workforce has fallen by 86 percent over the last 25 years and continues to decline. The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council, which included the National Chicken Council, stated the data, “acknowledges the excellent safety performance achievements the poultry industry has accomplished.

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.