READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, June 4th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

JBS Plants Reopening After Cyber Attack

JBS employees began to return to work on Wednesday at U.S. meat plants, one day after the company’s beef operations stopped following a cyber-attack. The attack disrupted meat production in North America and Australia. A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that a Russian-linked hacking group is behind the cyber-attack against JBS. Brazil’s JBS controls approximately 20 percent of the cattle and hog slaughter capacity in the U.S. Getting the plants back in operation should prevent a severe disruption to the American supply chain. The world’s largest meatpacker, JBS said Wednesday that most operations had already resumed, including all their pork, poultry, and prepared foods facilities around the world. That included most the company’s beef facilities in the U.S. and Australia. The company’s chief executive issued a statement saying they already anticipated being close to full capacity across their global operations by Thursday. The attack followed one last month by a group with ties to Russia on the Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. The attacks will be discussed at President Biden’s mid-June summit with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

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Farm Bureau Urging Administration to Address Southern Border Crisis

The American Farm Bureau Federation joined all 50 state Farm Bureaus and Puerto Rico Farm Bureau sent a letter to the Biden Administration regarding the country’s southern border. They’re asking the White House to address the surge of undocumented immigrants entering the United States. The increase in illegal immigration is severely impacting farm and ranch families, putting property and personal safety at risk. The letter was sent to the Secretaries of Homeland Security, USDA, and the Interior Department. “We’ve been listening to the concerns of our members and hearing how their livelihoods are being affected by the surge at the border,” the letter says. “Farmers are sharing how their crops and property are being damaged, which is causing financial hardship.” Farm Bureau says landowners are seeing their fences cut, crops destroyed, water sources compromised, vandalism, and litter on their property. The letter points out that local and state border security resources are exhausted and ask the federal government to provide additional resources to secure the border.

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House Ag Chair Opposes Biden Tax Proposals

House Ag Committee Chair David Scott (D-GA) sent a letter to President Biden regarding his American Jobs Plan and American Family Plan. While he supports the historic nature of the plans, he’s unhappy with some of Biden’s tax proposals to help pay for the plans. Scott says the tax plan will likely hurt farmers even though the tax liability would be put off as long as a farm stays within the same family. “In particular, the stepped-up basis is a critical tool enabling family farming operations to continue from generation to generation,” Scott says in the letter. “The potential for capital gains to be imposed on heirs at death of the landowner would impose a significant financial burden on these operations.” As he understands the exemptions, they would delay the tax liability for those continuing the farming operation until the time of sale, which could result in further consolidation in farmland ownership. That would make it more difficult for young or socially disadvantaged farmers to get into the business. “While I appreciate that the proposal provides for some exemptions, the provisions could still result in significant tax burdens on many family farming operations,” Scott adds in the letter to Biden.

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Farmers Paying Higher Rental Rates in Iowa

Most farmers in Iowa are seeing a significant increase in what they’re paying for land rents in 2021. That’s according to a new survey from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The “Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2021 Survey” shows that rental rates increased by an average of 4.5 percent, which equates to an increase of about $10 per acre. That’s pushed the total per-acre average rental price to $232. Land considered to be high quality saw an average increase of 3.9 percent from $257 to $267 per acre this year. Medium quality land saw a 4.5 percent increase, going from $223 an acre last year to $233 this year. An ISU Economist says this is the first substantial increase in cash rents since 2013, when rents peaked, and four years of declining rents and three years of relatively stable rents followed. The 2021 cash rent survey is based on more than 1,300 responses from Iowans about typical cash rental rates in their counties for land producing corn, soybean, hay, oats, and other land set aside as pasture. ISU Extension reminds producers and landowners it’s not intended to be a price-setter, but to provide something to share between landowners and tenants as they discuss rental rates in future negotiations.

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Registration Open for 2021 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show

Registration is now open for the annual Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Trade Show. The event is In Nashville, Tennessee, August 10-12, and filled with activities for the entire family. Cattlemen and women from around the country gather for education, entertainment, and excitement. The importance of gathering face-to-face this year is even more important after the uncertainty of 2020. Convention participants have an opportunity to gain insights on market trends during the CattleFax Outlook Seminar, hear a state of the industry update from NCBA leadership, learn about the cattle industry’s role in sustainability, and wander through the NCBA Trade Show. The trade show is the industry’s largest, featuring more than 350 exhibitors on more than seven acres of space. “The convention always brings producers together, but I think this year’s event will mean even more because we get to see people face to face,” says NCBA President Jerry Bohn. It’s recommended that attendees get registered early as housing fills quickly. For more information, go to convention.ncba.org.

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28 Congressional Members Join Letter to U.S. Attorney General

Earlier this week 28 members of Congress joined a letter authored by Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Tina Smith (D-MN) calling for reform of policies impacting U.S. cattle and beef markets. R-CALF-USA says 16 Senators and 12 Representatives from both the Republican and Democratic parties, along with an independent, co-signed the letter, calling on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to take action to protect the nation’s cattle farmers and ranchers from going broke due to inexplicably low cattle prices. The congressional signers represent 23 states are also asking Garland to protect American consumers from paying over-inflated prices for beef at their local grocery store. R-CALF USA President Gerald Schreiber says, “We are grateful to the 28 congressional signers on the Rounds/Smith letter who have identified the key factors hindering cattle farmers and ranchers’ ability to continue providing American consumers with an abundant, safe, and affordable supply of beef.” The letter raises concerns that U.S. antitrust laws are either not being properly enforced or they are “not capable of addressing the apparent oligopoly that so plainly exists in cattle and beef markets.”

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.