READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

China Surpasses U.S., Becomes EU’s Biggest Trading Partner

New data from the European Union puts China ahead of the United States as the EU’s biggest trading partner. A spokesperson from China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry calls the data “great news for both sides.” 2020 saw China-EU economic and trade ties grow stronger against the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 60 percent of EU companies in China are ready to increase investment, according to the latest survey by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China. At the end of last year, China and the EU announced the conclusion of negations on a China-EU investment agreement that elevates relations and cooperation between the two. China claims that for mutual investment, the agreement means wider market access, better business environment and a brighter prospect of cooperation. In 2020, EU imports from China increased 5.6 percent, while exports increased 2.2 percent. Although the US and the UK remain the EU’s largest export markets, trade with both countries dropped significantly.

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USDA Announces Dealer Statutory Trust to Protect Livestock Sellers

The Department of Agriculture this week announced a new Dealer Statutory Trust to Protect Livestock Sellers. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed in December, amended the Packers and Stockyards Act by adding language to establish a “Dealer Statutory Trust” for the benefit of unpaid cash sellers of livestock. Much like the existing packer and poultry trusts, the amendment requires livestock dealers to hold all livestock purchased. If livestock has been resold, the receivables or proceeds from such sale, in trust for the benefit of all unpaid cash sellers of livestock until full payment has been received by those sellers. Dealers whose average annual livestock purchases do not exceed $100,000 are exempt. Livestock sellers who do not receive timely payment from a dealer may file claims on the dealer’s statutory trust. Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California applauded the move. The Democrat states, “I am pleased that USDA has taken the necessary steps to put these protections in place for the benefit of livestock sellers throughout our country.”

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Farm Groups Submit Comment on Phosphate Duties

Farm groups this week submitted comments to the U.S. International Trade Commission regarding duties on Russian and Moroccan imports of phosphate fertilizer. The groups include the American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Cotton Council. The groups say, “countervailing duties on these imports will adversely impact the availability of phosphate fertilizer in the United States and adversely affect crop production and farmer livelihoods.” The comments are part of the USITC’s hearing on a petition from the Mosaic Company for the countervailing duties on Russian and Moroccan imports. Mosaic says the company’s survival depends on stopping unfairly subsidized imports. However, the farm groups say countervailing duties impact availability of phosphate fertilizers and lead to shortages. Additionally, the groups say the duties will reduce competition and choice available to farmers in the U.S. marketplace. The farm groups request that the USITC remove the countervailing duties. Phosphate fertilizers are widely used by corn, cotton, soybean, and other crop producers throughout the United States.

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NPPC Applauds USDA For Extending COVID Vaccine Support

Farm groups welcome plans by the Department of Agriculture to assist states in administering the COVID-19 vaccine. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service this week announced it has deployed 119 employees to assist in several states, largely in Nevada and Oklahoma. The USDA employees are helping to vaccinate people at various rapid points of distribution, including mobile teams and pop-up clinics. Farm groups, such as the National Pork Producers Council, welcomed the news from USDA. NPPC says that, declared essential by the Department of Homeland Security, hog farmers, veterinarians, livestock haulers, harvest facility employees and other workers across the supply chain, play a vital role in food security and rural economies. This week, NPPC also launched a campaign, “You’re Essential, So It’s Essential,” to encourage U.S. pork industry workers to get vaccinated as soon as possible. visit nppc.org/essential to learn more about the NPPC vaccination campaign.

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USB Sets 2022 Investment Directions

Directors of the United Soybean Board this week met virtually to define strategies and goals for 2022 investments. Those priorities include strengthening soy’s position in the U.S. and global marketplaces related to soybean meal, oil and sustainability. USB’s financial stewardship and program development responsibilities include investing in projects to promote the sustainability of U.S. soy as a market differentiator domestically and to build new markets abroad. In addition, the soy checkoff funds education to enhance end-user awareness of soy products and research to strengthen the resilience of soybean production, improve meal quality and develop new uses for soybean oil. Nearly 500 proposals were submitted to achieve checkoff objectives in research education and promotion. The shared goal of all selected proposals is to strengthen U.S. soy’s reputation and competitive advantage when it comes to nutrition, quality and sustainability. Between now and USB’s next meeting in July, checkoff farmer-leaders will review proposals in detail to determine strategic fit ahead of making their final 2022 project portfolio recommendations.

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CattleFax Cow-Calf Survey Announced

CattleFax has introduced its annual Cow-Calf Survey. Information requested in the survey provides participants and the industry with valuable data regarding industry benchmarks and trends. Survey participants will receive a results summary packet, with useful benchmarking information that will allow managers and owners to evaluate their own operations. Items such as cow-calf profitability, tendencies of high and low return producers, regional data, and other valuable material are included. To receive the summary packet, a valid email address must be submitted. All individual results will be confidential and remain anonymous. By completing the survey and submitting a valid email address, participants will also be entered into a drawing to win a $700 CattleFax voucher. The credit can be used for any CattleFax memberships, registration fees for education seminars, including Corporate College and Risk Management Seminars, and/or registration fees for the annual Outlook and Strategies Session. The survey can be accessed by going to CattleFax.com. The deadline to complete the survey is February 22, 2021.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Tucker 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.