NPPC weighs-in with Congress on Japan/TPP

The National Pork Producers Council has weighed in on Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations with congressional committee members. The NPPC has submitted written testimony to the Senate Finance subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness saying Japan should open trade to U.S. pork as South Korea did in spite of farmers’ objections in both those… Read more »

Gray to lead US Grains Council

Illinois farmer Ron Gray is the new U.S. Grains Council chairman.  Gray, who farms at Claremont, Illinois, was elected during the organization’s 54th Annual Board of Delegates meeting in Omaha. Gray has spent almost 35 years in production agriculture and has also been a crop insurance agent for almost a decade. As past chairman of… Read more »

TPP needs to be good for US agriculture

Lawmakers are pushing to protect the US agriculture industry in Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement negotiations. A letter sent to the President earlier this week indicated that congressional support for the TPP would be jeopardized if US negotiators accept anything less than elimination of all trade barriers to US ag products. Currently, Japan is demanding… Read more »

Strong week for new crop soybean, corn sales

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USDA reports corn, soybean, and wheat export sales for the week ending July 24 were larger than expected. Physical shipments of soybeans were above what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year, but corn and wheat fell short of their respective marks. Wheat came out at 801,000 tons (29.4 million bushels),… Read more »

U.S. poultry could be caught-up in Russian sanctions

U.S. poultry exports could be caught-up in the sanctions battle between the U.S. and Russia.  President Obama announced increased sanctions against Russian state-owned banks, oil companies and weapons makers this week.  They also target some close personal friends of Vladimir Putin.  The European Union has agreed to go along with the sanctions in an effort… Read more »

Dairy industry wary of European GIs

National Milk Producers Federation vice president and U.S. Dairy Export Council member Shawna Morris told a Senate subcommittee the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement would be a fine model for the Trans Pacific Partnership…with one exception; Geographical Indicators. Morris told the Senate Finance Committee trade subcommittee that the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement eliminated nearly all… Read more »

Fonterra reduces milk price estimate

New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra has reduced its forecast farmgate milk price for the 2014/15 season from $7 (NZ) to $6 (NZ) per kilogram of milk solids.  The cut translates into about a $1.6 billion reduction from the co-op’s earlier prediction and around $4 billion less in total farm income compared to last year. Fonterra… Read more »

Illinois company revamping Chinese operation

The CEO of Illinois-based OSI Group says he will not try to defend or explain the actions of his company’s meat plant in Shanghai.  In a statement on the company website, Sheldon Lavin states “what happened at Husi Shanghai is completely unacceptable” and he promised they will take all the steps needed; “to make sure… Read more »

Slow week for export inspections

USDA reports soybean export inspections for the week ending July 24 were larger than expected, while wheat was within the anticipated range and corn was below pre-report estimates. All three were less than what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for their respective marketing years. Wheat came out at 395,963 tons, down 131,670 tons from… Read more »

China issues new rule on U.S. DDGS imports

China says it wants all imports of distiller’s dried grains (DDGS) from the U.S. to be officially certified free of the MIR 162 GMO trait. The new requirement is effective immediately. But U.S. Grains Council (USGC) president and CEO Tom Sleight says China is asking for something that cannot be done. “This certificate they’re asking… Read more »