READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 26th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Soy Sustainability Protocol Reaches 100-Million Metric Tons of Exports

The U.S. Soybean Export Council, United Soybean Board, and the American Soybean Association are happy to announce a new milestone for U.S. soy exports. More than 100 million metric tons of U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol verified soy has been exported internationally over the seven years since the program launched in 2014. With the growing demand for sustainable soy globally, the SSAP has been recognized as compliant with the European Manufacturers’ Federation Soy Sourcing Guidelines, the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee’s sustainable sourcing code for ag products, the Consumer Goods Forum, and more. “As consumer consciousness about health, the environment, and the need to meet global nutrition and food security continue to drive demand for nutritious and sustainable protein, the U.S. SSAP enables us to provide our global food, feed, consumer packaged goods, and retail sector customers with verified, sustainable U.S. soy,” says Jim Sutter, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council. “A reliable supply of high-quality, sustainably-produced U.S. soy plays a vitally important role in enabling families and the food-feed industry around the world to feed our growing planet sustainably.” The U.S. soy industry worked together with non-governmental organizations to develop the SSAP to back up U.S. soybean farmers’ commitment to sustainability.

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Chinese Soybean Imports to Drop Later in 2021

China’s soybean imports are likely to slow sharply during the second half of this year after a record first-half buying spree. Reuters says that puts a dent in expectations for sustained growth from the top global soybean buyer and hurts U.S. market sentiment just as farmers will need to sell their new crop. A serious drop in hog profitability and a sharp rise in the use of wheat for feed are slowing down Chinese demand for soybeans, just as farmers are expecting to pull in their third-largest harvest in history. That will add further volatility to a critical crop, which rallied earlier in 2021 to nine-year highs. The manager of a crush plant in northern China told Reuters that, “Soymeal demand is reaching rock bottom as the basis hit its lowest point so far this year. We can’t place a lot of orders to make purchases, so U.S. soybean exports will surely be hit.” China imported a record 48.95 million tons in the first half of 2021, up nearly nine percent on the year as hog herds recovered from African Swine Fever and top producer Brazil shipped a record crop to the Asian nation.

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New Ad Campaign Asks Washington to Stop Big Oil

Growth Energy launched a new digital ad campaign urging President Biden and congressional leaders to stop oil industry handouts. The campaign also asks Washington to uphold its commitments to reducing carbon emissions and supporting low-carbon fuels. The ads will appear online in the Washington Post and Politico and run until August. Readers will be directed to an action page focused on restoring year-round sales of E15 and emphasizing the importance of strong Renewable Volume Obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard. In the wake of recent court decisions that could limit the market for U.S. biofuels, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor emphasized the urgent need for action by regulators and lawmakers. “It’s time for leaders in Washington to make good on their commitments to clean, renewable energy and put a stop to Big Oil’s efforts to restore its monopoly over the U.S. fuel mix. The evidence is clear – Congress and the administration cannot decarbonize transportation without a growing role for low-carbon biofuels, which are vital to our climate, working families, and the economy.” She also says policymakers must act swiftly to ensure uninterrupted, year-round access to E15 and set ambitious biofuel blending levels.

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Brazil Coffee Growers Hit Hard by Frost

A surprise frost that struck Brazil’s coffee belt last week hit farmers hard. Financial Post says industry experts fear farmers may default on deliveries of recently-harvested coffee that were sold to traders months ago at prices that are half of the current value. Temperatures dropped below the freezing level on the morning of July 20, delivering a big blow to the heart of the coffee belt, damaging trees so much that it may harm prospects for next year’s coffee crop. Late last week, industry estimates on possible losses to next year’s coffee crop varied widely. Initial forecasts for a loss of 1-2 million bags quickly increased. One Brazilian exporter expects a cut of approximately 4.5 million bags. Initial 2022 production estimates totaled almost 70 million bags. Judy Gaines, a U.S.-based commodity analyst, says it might be too soon to speculate on the damage. “There are a lot of aerial photos going around,” she says. “But nobody knows if those trees will only have to be pruned, which will result in zero production next year, or if they need to be taken out, which means no production for the next two or three years.”

**********************************************************************************************    NFU Praises FTC Decision on Right to Repair

The National Farmers Union praised the Federal Trade Commission’s 5-0 vote to adopt a policy statement to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions on equipment. Those restrictions prevent small businesses, workers, consumers, and government entities from fixing their products. “Farmers are among the most affected by such restrictions; currently, farm equipment manufacturers refuse to sell software repair tools to farmers or independent mechanics,” the organization says in a news release. “This all but forces farmers to take their broken machinery to a licensed dealership, which can be expensive and inconvenient.” The Hagstrom Report says the NFU has long supported a farmer’s right to repair. The organization is encouraged that the administration is finally taking action to eliminate unnecessary and unfair repair restrictions that will give farmers greater freedom to fix their equipment. The FTC says, “The policy statement adopted today is aimed at manufacturers’ practices that make it extremely difficult for purchasers to repair their products or shop around for service providers to do it for them.” By taking action against the restrictions that violate antitrust or consumer protection laws, the commission says it’s taking important steps to restore the right to repair.

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Nutrition Research Improving Public Perception of Beef

The Beef Checkoff is celebrating its 35th anniversary, and the NCBA is talking about the successful promotion and research programs driving beef demand. The NCBA says consumers are more open to the nutritional benefits of beef than at any other time since the Checkoff first began more than three decades ago. The Beef Checkoff was implemented during a time when U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggested Americans should limit beef in their diet and reduce their intake of fat and cholesterol. “I’ve seen firsthand the evolution of nutrition behavior over the years,” says Becky Walth, a South Dakota producer and member of the Nutrition and Health Checkoff Committee. “The Beef Checkoff has been ahead of the curve, conducting research to demonstrate the importance of beef in a balanced diet.” Two landmark studies commissioned by the Beef Checkoff reinforced the idea that beef fits a heart-healthy diet. Because of checkoff-funded research, beef can now be Americans’ protein of choice in any gold standard, heart-healthy diet. Beef is also consistently recommended by scientists, physicians, and registered dieticians. In addition, 75 percent of consumers now agree that beef is nutritious.

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.