IARN — President Donald Trump at the White House Tuesday suggested the United States should consider terminating trade deals that bring live cattle into the United States. Most cattle imported into the United States come from Mexico and Canada, thus falling under Trump’s new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. However, a recent Trump administration decision to allow fresh beef imports from Brazil is something the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association urged the President to reconsider. The association says there continue to be concerned with foot-and-mouth disease and USDA’s decision to reopen the American market to Brazilian beef. Read more
IARN — Senate Democrats want Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide more worker safety protection to meat processing employees. A group of 29 Senators, led by Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, penned a letter to Perdue outlining recommendations for ways the Department of Agriculture should improve worker safety. The Senators wrote, “While we recognize the importance of keeping these plants running, it is wrong and shortsighted to use the Defense Production Act to mandate plants to stay open without effectively addressing worker safety issues.” Read more
IARN — Biofuel producers, who fell victim to coronavirus, greatly scaled back their output. Geoff Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of the Renewable Fuels Association, offers production comparisons, further highlighting coronavirus’ impact.
“The ethanol industry was producing at an annualized rate of 16.5 billion gallons during the last week of February. Demand began to collapse in mid-March, ethanol stocks built to record levels, and storage began to fill up. We saw operating margins plunge deep into the red. By late April, the ethanol industry was producing at an annualized rate of 8.2 billion gallons. In six to seven weeks, we saw production drop by more than 50-percent.”
Cooper, however, says, “The worst may be behind us.” Read more
IARN — Iowa is one of many states who has eased the restrictions on dining out. The foodservice sector was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw much of our demand lost because of the shutdown of restaurants and other foodservice businesses. Will their restart mean things are getting back to normal? The National Pork Board says not necessarily, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Read more
IARN — Trying something new can be intimidating. I do not care how adventurous you are, there is always at least a moment of hesitation. While trying someone else’s recipe for tater tot hotdish is much less intimidating than changing the way your farming operation does business, but in both the biggest challenge is changing your perspective from what you have always perceived is the only way to do things. That is what Kossuth County farmer Nancy Bormann told me, on Monday, when it came to their conservation practices on their farm. Read more
IARN — R-CALF USA is asking Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to consider opening the 24 million acres of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to emergency grazing. The group says it would help to alleviate the backlog in the live cattle supply chain caused by COVID-19, which has reduced overall slaughter capacity. Read more