READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, January 12th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

AFBF President: Turn the Page on Partisanship

A top farm organization leader says it is time to “turn the page” on partisan politics. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall made the comments during an opening press conference as part of the American Farm Bureau Federation Virtual Annual Convention. Duvall’s remarks follow last week’s rally and attack on the U.S. capitol. Duvall says, “we have got to work together, as one country, one people, for the good of all the people in this country.” Farm Bureau members will develop policy priorities this week for the organization to follow in 2021. With the incoming Biden administration, top priorities are expected to be climate change, taxes and labor, along with strengthening the farm bill. Duvall says, “We must make sure that we are at the table for the discussions around addressing climate change,” adding, “I believe agriculture’s great track record shows just how much we can achieve when farmers and ranchers are at the table when we develop solutions.”

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USMEF Releases November Export Data

U.S. beef exports posted one of the best months on record in November, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. November was also a strong month for pork exports, which already surpassed the full-year volume and value records set in 2019. November beef exports totaled 115,300 metric tons, up six percent from a year ago and the largest since July 2019. Export value climbed eight percent year-over-year to $707.5 million. November beef muscle cut exports were the third largest on record at 91,300 metric tons, valued at $630 million. November pork export volume was steady year-over-year at 258,800 metric tons, with value down two percent to $697.5 million. Although China/Hong Kong remained the largest destination for U.S. pork in November, momentum continued to build in other markets, including Japan, Mexico and Central America. January-November pork exports set new annual records for both volume and value. Pork muscle cut exports also shattered previous annual records, increasing 18 percent year-over-year to 2.29 million metric tons, valued at $6 billion.

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Supreme Court to Review Biofuel Blending Case

The U.S. Supreme Court last week announced it will review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit’s decision in a case against the Environmental Protection Agency. The decision overturned three inappropriately granted small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard. Plaintiffs in the case include the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union and American Coalition for Ethanol. In a joint statement, the organization says, “Our groups believe the Tenth Circuit got it right the first time, and we will continue to defend the court’s ruling.” In January of last year, the Tenth Circuit court struck down the exemptions by the Environmental Protection Agency. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a recommendation against a Supreme Court review. The Justice Department says in its brief that, “The issue didn’t warrant the high court’s review and stated that the refiners’ petition asking for a review ‘should be denied.”

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USDA Announces Details of the 2021 Agricultural Outlook Forum Program

The Department of Agriculture Monday announced details of the 97th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, which will be held virtually on February 18-19, 2021.  The 2021 Forum, themed “Building on Innovation: A Pathway to Resilience,” will focus on the central role science and innovation have played in helping agriculture overcome challenges and build resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Forum’s program will begin with a presentation by USDA’s new Chief Economist, Dr. Seth Meyer, on the Department’s outlook for U.S. commodity markets and trade for 2021 and U.S. farm income. A keynote address by the incoming Agriculture Secretary, presentations by Congressional leaders, and a session on genetic literacy are also scheduled on the first day of the Forum. The program will also cover five key areas, including supply chain resilience, food price and farm income outlooks, trade, managing risks, and finally, innovation. The 2021 Forum is expected to bring together more than 3,000 participants. The Forum’s program includes more than 30 sessions and 100 expert speakers.

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USITC Launches Cucumber and Squash Imports Investigation

The U.S. International Trade Commission seeks input for two new investigations on the effects of imported cucumbers and squashes on the U.S. seasonal cucumber and squash markets. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer requested the investigations in a letter to the USITC on December 7, 2020. As requested, the USITC will examine the effect of imports on the domestic seasonal markets of cucumbers and squash in separate but concurrent investigations and produce two separate reports. The investigation will detail the effects of imports on the domestic seasonal markets, focusing on production and the competitiveness of cucumbers and squash grown in the Southeastern United States. The investigation will track monthly price trends and compare prices of domestically produced cucumbers and squash along with imported products. The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigations in April, and expects to complete the investigations no later than December 7, 2021.

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Farm Equipment Manufacturing trends to Watch in 2021

Both the immediate and long-term future of the manufacturing industry will be defined by the development of several evolving and prominent trends. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers says these trends are poised to have a significant impact in 2021. The organization has identified five key trends, including COVID-19 and enhancing employee safety. Other trends are a more connected workforce through technology, expanding the Internet of Things, localized production and predictive maintenance. The Internet of Things has long been a trend to watch in manufacturing. According to a recent study conducted by the MPI Group, approximately 31 percent of manufacturing production processes now incorporate smart devices and embedded intelligence. Furthermore, more than one-third of manufacturers have established plans to implement IoT technology into their processes, while 32 percent plan to embed the technology into their products. The technology offers both remote monitoring and predictive maintenance capabilities, making it even more valuable for organizations looking to maintain visibility of equipment performance from afar.

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.