National Ag News for June 13, 2022

Smithfield Foods Closing Plant in California

Smithfield Foods says it will stop all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California, in early 2023 due to the rising cost of doing business in the state. At the same time, the company will align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in the western region. The company will shrink the size of its sow herd in Utah and is looking at options to exit its farms in Arizona and California. Smithfield harvests only company-owned hogs in Vernon. “We are grateful to our team members in the Western region for their dedication and invaluable contributions to our mission,” says Smithfield Chief Operating Officer Brady Stewart. “We are committed to providing financial and other transition assistance to employees impacted by this difficult decision.” The transition options for employees include relocation options to other company facilities and farms and retention incentives to ensure the business stays in operation until next year.

Dairy Leader Wants More Congressional Focus on Trade

Sheryl Meshke (MESH-key), CEO of Associated Milk Producers Incorporated, told a Senate subcommittee that the government must pursue expanded trade opportunities. The U.S. dairy industry is asking Congress to pursue additional market access opportunities and address export supply-chain delays so that the U.S. dairy industry can keep up with its global competitors. Meshke serves on the board of directors for the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “In pursuing exports, the U.S dairy industry faces experienced and well-established competitors who’ve been very active with free trade agreements,” Meshke said in testimony before the Subcommittee on Commodities, Risk Management, and Trade. She says the global playing field is slowly tilting against the U.S. due to competitors’ trade agreements with key dairy import markets. U.S. trade negotiators should also look for more access to priority markets like Southeast Asia, Japan, China, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.

Corn Yield Unchanged in June WASDE Report

The June World Ag Supply and Demand Estimate report is calling for a U.S. corn planted area and yield forecast unchanged from May. This month’s 2022-2023 corn outlook is for larger beginning stocks, slightly higher use, and increased ending stocks. USDA will release its survey-based Acreage report on June 30. Corn’s season-average farm price is unchanged at $6.75 a bushel. The soybean supply and use projections include lower beginning and ending stocks and higher prices. Soybean export projections are raised 30 million bushels to 2.17 billion, reflecting strong export sales and reduced Brazilian exports. Soybean ending stocks are projected to be 280 million bushels, down 30 million from last month. The soybean season-average price is forecast at $14.70 a bushel, 30 cents higher than last month. The wheat outlook is for increased supplies, unchanged domestic use and exports, and higher stocks. All-wheat production is forecast at 1.7 billion bushels, with the season-average price unchanged at $10.75 a bushel.

Growth Energy Testifies on Advanced Clean Cars Regulation

Growth Energy Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Chris Bliley (BLY-lee) testified last week before the California Air Resources Board. He spoke to the board in response to its proposed Advanced Clean Cars II Regulation. The proposal set a goal of 100 percent zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035. During his testimony, Bliley encouraged CARB to develop clear policies reflecting the reality that liquid fuels will continue to play an important role in the transportation sector for decades. “In the existing light-duty fleet, higher bioethanol blends like E15 and E85 can get immediately deployed to achieve immediate GHG reductions, reduce harmful air toxics, and reduce consumer costs at the pump,” says Bliley. “Additionally, greater use of E85 will promote even further reductions in GHG and toxic emissions, as well as lower consumer costs because it sells for nearly $2 less per gallon than gasoline.” Consumers are facing record-high gas prices at the pump.

NCGA Celebrates June Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month, and the National Corn Growers Association is celebrating the occasion by focusing on the relationship between the corn and dairy industries. Dairy cattle consume 30 percent of the dried distiller’s grains with solubles that are a co-product of producing ethanol. In 2021, DDGs used 1.05 billion bushels of corn. The NCGA engages with the dairy industry through the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which recently hosted the 2022 Dairy Sustainability Alliance Spring Meeting in Illinois. NCGA’s Market Development Manager Michael Granche (GRAHN-chay) attended the conference and says it was great to take part in the high-energy conversations. “I enjoyed talking about sustainability in the dairy industry,” Granche says. “Now that it’s National Dairy Month, it’s a great time to celebrate all the hard work that goes into producing all the delicious dairy products we enjoy.” NCGA also says there are currently 93 million dairy cows in the U.S.

2022 “Rock the Crop” Concert Sweepstakes Underway

Firestone Ag kicked off the 2022 Rock the Crop Concert Sweepstakes with Nashville-based country music artist Dillon Carmichael. The sweepstakes event is billed as a celebration of U.S. agriculture. Building on a successful giveaway of a private concert last year, the farm tire manufacturer and the musician are collaborating again to unite music and agriculture in honor of America’s hard-working farmers and ranchers. “The past couple of years have been especially challenging for agriculture workers, so we’re excited to have Dillon Carmichael back on board to join us in thanking one lucky farmer or rancher with a private concert,” says Matt Frank, Firestone marketing product manager. Indiana farmer Carey Garwood won the inaugural concert in 2021. This year’s winner will host that private concert with Carmichael on their farm or ranch. “I’m thrilled to continue this partnership with Firestone and to have such a unique opportunity to personally celebrate America’s farmers,” Carmichael says.


By Tucker 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.

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