READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Lawmakers Urge DOJ to Continue Cattle Industry Investigation

Lawmakers from South Dakota this week led an effort urging the Department of Justice to continue its investigation into the nation’s four biggest meatpackers. Republican Senator John Thune and Republican Representative Dusty Johnson also requested that DOJ provide Congress with updates on its investigation and encouraged ongoing vigilance. The lawmakers write, “It is critically important that producers have fair and transparent markets for the commodities they produce.” The letter comes as last week a group of six livestock and farm groups held a rare meeting unifying the diverse backgrounds of the organizations focusing on cattle market transparency. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association welcomed the letter. NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane says, “We have a high supply of cattle at one end of this equation and a high demand for U.S. beef at the other, but the middle is being absolutely choked by the lack of processing capacity.”

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USTR Raises Ag Concerns with Mexico, Canada

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai raised agriculture concerns with Mexico and Canada on the sidelines of the Free Trade Commission of the United States, Mexico and Canada meeting Monday. A readout document posted to the USTR website noted Tai engaged with counterparts from Canada and Mexico. Regarding Canada, Tai stressed, “the importance of Canada fully meeting its USMCA commitments, including its allocation of dairy tariff-rate quotas and home-shopping.” They also discussed softwood lumber and WTO reform and agreed to continue collaborating on addressing these issues and others. As for Mexico, Tai emphasized the importance of several issues, including science- and risk-based regulatory approaches in agriculture, access for U.S. fresh potatoes to all of Mexico, and an immediate resumption of authorizations of agricultural biotechnology products in Mexico. The U.S., Canada and Mexico, this week took part in the inaugural meeting of the trade commission. The meeting helps all three countries discuss cooperation and trade issues regarding USMCA.

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Drought Forces California Farmers to Leave Fields Empty

For some farmers in California, there’s not enough water to grow a crop this year. Bloomberg News reports farmers north of San Francisco are not participating in farmers’ markets or produce box programs and are leaving fields empty. California grows one-third of U.S. vegetables and two-thirds of U.S. fruits and nuts. Normally, California receives the bulk of its water needs from the winter season. However, the current drought has diminished the supply, leaving growers of specialty crops without enough water, as the La Nina weather pattern pulled winter storms away from the state. Nearly all of the 11 states in the U.S. Drought Monitor western region are suffering from some form of drought. Much of the southwest is in an extreme or exceptional drought classification. In the Four Corners states, the last 12- and 24-month periods were both the driest on record for the region. And, the western fire season, typically starting in the summer months, is already underway.

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West Texas Cattle Ranch to hit International Marketplace

The massive Turkey Track Ranch hits the international market later this year. After 120 years, the family owners have decided to sell the near 80,000 acres of ranchland, known as the Prize of the Panhandle. Land brokers representing the ranch state, “It is simply revered and respected for being good, diverse, stout, and solid. It is both beautiful and productive and has been well managed at every level.” Located in the Texas panhandle, the ranch is one of the largest in the state. The Whittenburg and Coble families, current owners of the ranch, state, “Due to our family’s increasing numbers and geographical distances, we recognize that it is time to find a new steward for this historic holding.” The Turkey Track Ranch was first established around 1878, making it one of the first five ranches in the Texas Panhandle. The property is also the site of the two famed battles of the Adobe Walls of 1864 and 1874.

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Piglets Pay the Price of Mom’s Heat Stress

Piglets born to heat-stressed sows may carry the burden of their mother’s discomfort later in life in the form of health complications and diminished performance. Now, this so-called “in utero heat stress” may also hypersensitize the piglet’s immune system, potentially doing more harm than good to the young animals, according to the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Pigs are more susceptible to heat stress due to an inability to sweat. This places them at greater risk of health and production problems that can add up to millions of dollars annually in revenue losses to swine producers. Research has shown that pigs experiencing heat stress during pregnancy can predispose their offspring to complications later in life that can lead to diminished performance, including efficient feed use, growth rate and ultimately, pork production. However, less is known about how heat stress affects their offspring’s innate immunity. The USDA research is helping the industry learn more.

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Bayer COO Begemann Retires

Bayer this week announced that Brett Begemann, Chief Operating Officer for Crop Science, will retire from his role after 38 years with the company. Rodrigo Santos, currently Head of Crop Science Commercial Operations for Latin America, will succeed Begemann and assume global responsibility for the division’s commercial organization. During his tenure with the company, Begemann held several global and regional leadership positions and had responsibility for global commercial and operations teams at Monsanto before the acquisition by Bayer. As President and Chief Operating Officer at Monsanto Company, he led global efforts to increase manufacturing and supply chain efficiency, as well as the company’s growth agenda. Santos, a Brazilian national, has spent over 23 years with the company and has led the Latin American Crop Science business for Bayer since the integration of Monsanto and Bayer in 2018. Earlier in his career, Santos worked in sales, marketing, strategy and business development roles, including a leadership role in Eastern Europe.

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.