National Ag News for March 10, 2023

Pork Exports Start 2023 Quickly

America’s pork exports finished strong in 2022 and kept going into January. January pork exports were 236,767 metric tons, up 13 percent year-over-year, and export value rose 16 percent to $634 million. Exports to Mexico set a record in 2022 and hit another record in January. Pork exports also were significantly higher in China/Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, and other locations. “While Mexico leads the way, it’s encouraging to see broad-based growth,” says U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Market diversification is always a big point of emphasis.” Beef exports slowed late in 2022, and that carried into January, when exports fell 15 percent to 100,942 metric tons. The value dropped 32 percent to just over $702 million. While beef exports declined to several major destinations, shipments increased sharply to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, and Africa. “We expect post-COVID foodservice demand to rise this year,” Halstrom says.

Farm Bureau Signs MOU on Right to Repair

The American Farm Bureau Federation and CNH Industrial brands Case IH and New Holland signed a memorandum of understanding, allowing farmers and ranchers to repair their equipment. The MOU follows a similar agreement Farm Bureau signed with John Deere earlier this year. “Farmers and ranchers are more dependent on technology than ever before,” says Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, “so it’s critical they have access to the tools to keep things running on the farm, so the food supply chain keeps running too.” The MOU sets a framework for farmers and independent repair facilities in all 50 states and Puerto Rico to access CNH Industrial brand manuals, tools, product guides, and information to self-diagnose and self-repair machines. The MOU respects intellectual property rights and recognizes the need for safety controls and emission systems don’t get altered. CNH and AFBF will meet semiannually to review the agreement to address any concerns.

Bipartisan Reps Reintroduce DAIRY PRIDE Act in the House

Representatives from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Idaho, and Connecticut introduced the bipartisan DAIRY PRIDE Act. The legislation will prevent non-dairy products from using a dairy label and misaligning nutrient-scant products with the nutritious dairy products produced by American farmers. “Milk comes from a mammal, and it’s that simple,” says Wisconsin Rep Derrick Van Orden, one of the bill’s sponsors. “The nutritional value of whole milk for child development and as an integral part of a healthy diet can’t be overstated.” The Act will require products derived from seeds, plants, algae, and nuts to no longer get mislabeled with milk terms like milk, yogurt, and cheese. Plant-based products have completely different nutritional values, and the Reps say allowing these products to disguise themselves as otherwise is unacceptable to farming communities and the families they feed. The DAIRY PRIDE Act has broad support from a large number of agricultural organizations across the nation.

Cattle Inventories Drop in the U.S. and Canada

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says all cattle and calves in the U.S. and Canada combined totaled 101 million head on January 1, 2023, down three percent from January 1 of last year. All cows and heifers that have calved inventory totaled 42.9 million head, three percent lower than last year. All cattle and calves in the U.S. as of January 1 totaled 89.3 million head, down three percent from 92.1 million last January 1. All U.S. cows and heifers that have calved were 38.3 million head, down three percent from last year. All cattle and calves in Canada were at 11.3 million head on January 1, down two percent from the 11.5 million head on January 1, 2022. All cows and heifers that have calved inventory was 4.53 million head, two percent lower than last year. All sheep and lambs in the U.S. and Canada totaled 5.87 million head on January 1.

NCBA Welcomes Black Vulture Relief Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association applauded the Black Vulture Relief Act, introduced by Representatives John Rose (R-TN) and Darren Soto (D-FL). “Cattle producers across the country are coping with extreme input costs and the worst inflation rate in 40 years,” says NCBA Government Affairs Director Sigrid Johannes. “Livestock deaths due to black vultures are a financial loss that no one can afford right now.” The bill would allow cattle producers to “take” (capture, kill, disperse, or transport) black vultures that pose a risk to livestock. The bill also reduces permitting burdens and red tape by instituting a simple report that producers submit once a year detailing the number of black vultures they took. Black Vulture depredation rates have recently increased in the Southeast U.S., surpassing 30 percent in some states like Florida. “The Florida Cattlemen’s Association appreciates this commonsense bill,” says Jim Handley, executive vice president of the association.

USSEC Seats New Board of Directors

The U.S. Soybean Exports Council chose its 2023-2024 Board of Directors during the organization’s annual meeting prior to the Commodity Classic. The board is made up of 15 members representing various stakeholders from the U.S. soy industry. Four members are from the American Soybean Association, four are from the United Soybean Board, and seven represent trade, industry, and state organizations. “The unique composition of USSEC’s board provides us with exemplary leadership with representation from across the U.S. Soy industry,” says Jim Sutter, USSEC CEO. Stan Born, an ASA director and soybean farmer from Illinois, was elected as USSEC chair for a 12-month term. “I’m honored to have the trust and confidence of the USSEC board to serve as chair,” Born says. “As members of the soy value chain, we are fortunate to have such a strong global team representing our industry in markets around the world.” Lance Rezac was elected vice-chair.


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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