Monday, May 13, 2019

Friday May 10 Ag News

NDEQ Fact Sheet:  Potential options for removing sand deposited by floods

Once waters receded following the March 2019 floods, many Nebraskans found sand and sediment deposited on their fields and properties. Landowners can consider a number of potential options for sand removal, according to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

Can I push the sand back into the river?

Potentially, sand can be pushed back into the river. Those who are interested in this option need to apply for – and receive – a permit from the United States Army Corps of Engineers. This permit is a general regional permit for flood-related work and is called RGP-11-02-WEH.

To apply for this permit, call (402) 896-0896, or find the application online and related guidance by following instructions at the bottom of this fact sheet.*  The permit may have conditions that are location-specific, including:
·       The amount of sand that can be pushed to the river per day
·       If sand can only be pushed into flowing water
·       Endangered species restrictions
·       If the sediment must return to the stream it came from
·       The time of year
·       Restrictions on pushing trees, large debris, fencing, white goods and/or trash into the stream.

What are other options for sand?

Farmers and landowners may be able to work the sand into their soil.  If there is too much sand for this option, the following issues should be considered relating to the disposal or reuse of sand:

Sand Disposal

Sand that is contaminated with fecal matter, oil, or other chemical products should be disposed of in a municipal solid waste landfill.

Uncontaminated sand may also be disposed of in a municipal solid waste landfill or in a construction and demolition landfill.

NDEQ maintains lists of these types of landfills on its website at:  Contact the facility nearest you for disposal costs or other requirements.

Sand Reuse

Potential areas of reuse of sand include:
·       Municipal solid waste landfills use soil to cover the waste on a daily basis.  Contact the nearest municipal solid waste landfill to determine if they will accept the sand for use as daily cover.
·       Erosion repair
·       Landscaping
·       At dairy operations for bedding
·       Road repair and new roadbed construction
·       For fracking projects
·       Having stockpiles for future use in winter on roads
·       Other land improvements and developing opportunities.

Sand used for these purposes should not involve direct human contact such as use in children play areas or residential gardening.  The sand should be free of other materials such as flood debris, trash, or other wastes.  Those materials should be disposed of in a municipal landfill.

Contact local government or other contractors that routinely use soil as a fill material.  These entities include construction contractors, county and city road departments and landscaping businesses.

Another resource for potential reuse of sand is your local Emergency Manager.

*Instructions on viewing general permit and obtaining form: To obtain the application online, go to  If you select “Application Form” and the form does not open, right click on the link, and save the form.  This website also contains instructions and guidance.

To view the general regional permit for flood-related work, go to: and select RGP-11-02-WEH.

Smith Supports Disaster Relief Bill

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) spoke today in the House of Representatives before voting in support of H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2019, to provide additional assistance to disaster areas, including the March 2019 “bomb cyclone” which struck Nebraska.  The legislation passed the House by a vote of 257-150, and now moves to the Senate.

Text of Smith’s remarks, as prepared:
I rise to reflect on the importance of the disaster supplemental bill we are considering today.

In Nebraska we continue our work to recover from the storm which hit our state.

The storm brought with it blizzard conditions and large amounts of rain, followed rapidly by destructive flooding.

The impact of this storm continues to be felt across our state, particularly by our agricultural producers.  In the west, the extreme blizzard conditions compounded an already hard winter, leading to cattle losses. In the east, grain stores were washed away or damaged by the floods and extensive silting of fields has impeding planting as the season is now underway.

I particularly appreciate both this bill and the most recent Senate package including language to ensure our disaster programs can address losses of stored grain.

While crop insurance covers producers from planting, including coverage for prevented planting, up through harvest, it does not provide coverage for harvest grain which is stored and has not yet been sold.

Our producers need this relief.

I realize this bill is not perfect, and there are a number of issues I hope we can address moving forward.

I would prefer to be considering legislation which addresses the concerns of some Senators and the President and would be signed into law.

This bill does not, and I hope negotiations will get us there soon.

I have long advocated for disaster packages to be paid for – this package is not, and my amendment to cover the cost was unfortunately not made in order.

We have traditionally extended a number of tax relief provisions to families and businesses in disaster areas.  I have introduced legislation to do this and hope we can act on this relief soon.

Nebraskans need assistance.

Considering this bill moves us closer to providing them relief, and for that reason I support it.

Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation Announces Scholarship Recipients

The Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation (NCF) is pleased to announce it has awarded $56,200 in scholarships to students furthering their education goals in the 2019-2020 academic year.

“The Foundation strongly believes in the importance of a sound education for tomorrow’s industry leaders,” says Scott Knobbe, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation.  “Due to the generosity of many donors and the success of our Retail Value Steer Challenge fundraising project, the Foundation is able to provide this funding to these outstanding students to aid in their academic career.”

The 2019 Nebraska Cattlemen Beef State Scholarship was awarded to McKenzie Beals Weber of Friend.  This premier scholarship is a $10,000 scholarship that was established in 2014 to support outstanding junior, senior or graduate level Nebraska resident students enrolled in a Nebraska college or university pursuing a beef industry related degree.  McKenzie will be a third year veterinary student this fall in the Professional Program of Veterinary Medicine with the University of Nebraska and Iowa State University.

In addition to the Beef State Scholarship, the Foundation awarded 43 additional scholarships to the following students:
    Henry Beel, Johnstown – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Sheldon Beierman, Albion – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Colten Bergt, Amherst – $1,200 Martin Viersen Range Management/Conservation Memorial Scholarship
    Jamie Bonifas, Blue Hill – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Taylor Cammack, DeWitt – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Corey Conway, Campbell – $1,200 Frank and Shirley Sibert Scholarship
    Ashtyn Cooper, Elmwood – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Caitlyn Deal, Sidney – $1,200 Bill Pullen Scholarship
    Jais Ford, Cody – $1,200 Donavan Yoachim Memorial Scholarship
    Austin Freeman, Pierce – $1,200 Nebraska Cattlemen Beef Pit Scholarship
    Jacy Hafer, Anselmo – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Kaitlyn Hansen, North Platte – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Emily Hatterman, Wisner – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Kathlyn Hauxwell,  McCook – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Kyle Henderson, Scottsbluff – $1,200 Robert F. Lute II Memorial Scholarship
    Brea Hostert, Atkinson – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    TaraLee Hudson, Belvidere – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Colin Ibach, Sumner – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Loyal Johnson, Burr – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Natalie Jones, Stapleton – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Marissa Kegley, Kearney – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Eric Klitz, West Point – $1,200 Bill Briggs Family Memorial Scholarship
    Felicia Knoerzer, Elwood – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Korbin Kudera, Clarkson – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Weston Kunkee, Lexington – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Tanner Lemke, Lawrence – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Malina Lindstrom, Elm Creek – $1,200 Ron and Shirley Huss Scholarship
    Kelsey Loseke, Blair – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Shalyn Miller, Norfolk – $1,200 Donavan Yoachim Memorial Scholarship

    Amanda Most, Ogallala – $1,200 Robert F. Lute II Memorial Scholarship
    Laura Reiling, Lincoln – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Brittany Reynolds, Ansley – $1,000 West Central Affiliate Scholarship
    Ralston Ripp, Kearney – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Megan Schroeder, Wisner – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Joshua Sebade, Emerson – $1,200 Col. Melvin Huss Memorial Scholarship
    Jace Stagemeyer, Page – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Isaac Stallbaumer, Oconto – $1,200 Cattlemen’s Open Scholarship
    Jacqueline Stauffer, Ashland – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship
    Colton Thompson, Eustis – $1,200 Bill Heller Memorial Scholarship
    Lydia Vinton, Whitman – $1,200 Todd Ricenbaw Memorial Scholarship
    Wesley Wach, Wauneta – $1,200 Clarence and Lois Jean Hartmann Scholarship
    Anna Whyman, Lincoln – $1,200 Jim and Helen Gran Scholarship
    Elizabeth Yrkoski, Fullerton – $1,000 Retail Value Steer Challenge Scholarship

All scholarship recipients will be recognized at the Nebraska Cattlemen Midyear Meeting in Columbus, Wednesday, June 5, during the Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation Lunch.

2019 Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest

The Nebraska Cattlewomen are excited to announce the 2019 Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest that will be held June 4th, 2019 at the River’s Edge Convention Center, Columbus starting at 1:00 pm.

The Nebraska Beef Ambassador Program provides an opportunity for youth, ages 14 – 24 years old, to become spokespersons and future leaders for the beef industry. The two divisions, senior and collegiate, will be judged upon three different areas of the industry consisting of a mock consumer promotional event, mock media interview and an issues response.

Place holders will receive a cash prize while the winners, in addition to a cash prize, will take home a custom belt buckle. To sweeten the deal, the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Foundation will be providing a scholarship to the winner of the collegiate division.

“The beef ambassador contest is a great opportunity to get more involved in the beef industry. It gives you the opportunity to tell the store about why we do what we do and promote beef in a positive way. I have had the chance to work with younger students in the schools and to talk to consumers at the State Fair, helping them understand more about beef production and visiting with them about their concerns. Helping them learn so they know more about what is on their plate” said Devin Jakub, 2018 Beef Ambassador Collegiate Winner.

If you or someone you know enjoys advocating and are passionate about the beef industry then take a shot at becoming the next Beef Ambassador! Application deadline is set for May 31, 2019.

Please contact The Nebraska Cattlewomen at or call (402)450-0223 for a complete set of rules and to register.

NE Corn Board to Meet

The Nebraska Corn Board will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at Embassy Suites Omaha – Downtown/Old Market, 555 S 10th Street in Omaha, Nebraska.

The meeting is open to the public, providing the opportunity for public comment.  The Board will conduct regular board business, consider funding requests and set the budget for fiscal year 2019-2020.  A copy of the agenda is available by writing the Nebraska Corn Board, PO Box 95107, Lincoln, NE  68509, sending an email to or calling 402/471-2676.


Based on May 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2019 winter wheat crop is forecast at 50.0 million bushels, up 1 percent from last year's crop, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average yield is forecast at 50 bushels per acre, up 1 bushels from last year.

Acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 1,000,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from last year. This would be 91 percent of the planted acres, below last year's 92 percent harvested.

May 1 hay stocks of 1,070,000 tons are up 53 percent from last year.


All hay stored on Iowa farms as of May 1, 2019, is estimated at 345,000 tons, a decrease of 4 percent from May 1, 2018, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Crop Production report. Disappearance from December 1, 2018, through May 1, 2019, totaled 1.72 million tons, compared with 1.92 million tons for the same period a year earlier.

US Winter Wheat Production Up 7 Percent from 2018

Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.27 billion bushels, up 7 percent from 2018. As of May 1, the United States yield is forecast at 50.3 bushels per acre, up 2.4 bushels from last year's average yield of 47.9 bushels per acre.

Hard Red Winter production, at 780 million bushels, is up 18 percent from a year ago. Soft Red Winter, at 265 million bushels, is down 7 percent from 2018. White Winter, at 224 million bushels, is down 5 percent from last year. Of the White Winter production, 22.3 million bushels are Hard White and 201 million bushels are Soft White.

Leading Agriculture Commodities Oppose Additional Tariffs on Chinese Goods

Today, the U.S. Trade Representative moved forward with increasing the tariff rate from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Farmers across the country are extremely concerned by the actions taken today by President Trump and his Administration. The National Association of Wheat Growers, the American Soybean Association, and the National Corn Growers Association were expecting a deal by March 1 before farmers went back into the fields but today saw an escalation of the trade war instead. The three commodities represent around 171 million of acres of farmland in the United States.

“U.S. wheat growers are facing tough times right now, and these additional tariffs will continue to put a strain on our export markets and threaten many decades worth of market development,” stated NAWG President and Texas wheat farmer Ben Scholz. “Further, members from both sides of the aisle and Chambers have reservations about the Section 232 tariffs in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Today’s announcement adds on another political barrier, which may hinder Congressional consideration of the Agreement.”

“We have heard and believed the President when he says he supports farmers, but we’d like the President to hear us and believe what we are saying about the real-life consequences to our farms and families as this trade war drags on,” said Davie Stephens, soy grower from Clinton, Ky., and ASA President. “Adding to current problems, it took us more than 40 years to develop the China soy market. For most of us in farming, that is two thirds of our lives. If we don’t get this trade deal sorted out and the tariffs rescinded soon, those of us who worked to build this market likely won’t see it recover in our lifetime.”

“Corn farmers are watching commodity prices decline amid ongoing tariff threats, even while many can’t get to spring planting because of wet weather. Holding China accountable for objectionable behavior is an admirable goal, but the ripple effects are causing harm to farmers and rural communities. Farmers have been patient and willing to let negotiations play out, but with each passing day, patience is wearing thin. Agriculture needs certainty, not more tariffs,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp.

Growers have been reeling for almost a year now after the President first imposed a 25 percent duty on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in July 2018, and later, a 10 percent duty on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products, which resulted in the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. These are having a compounding impact not only on agriculture but all industries across the United States.

NPPC Statement on Planned Trade Relief Package

The Trump administration today indicated it is planning a trade relief package in response to the U.S. trade dispute with China. The following statement may be attributed to David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina and president of the National Pork Producers Council:

"U.S. pork has suffered from a disproportionate share of retaliation due to trade disputes with Mexico and China. This retaliation turned last year — which analysts had forecast to be profitable — into a very unprofitable time for U.S. pork producers. The financial pain continues; the 20% punitive tariff on pork exported to Mexico alone amounts to a whopping $12 loss per animal.

"While there is no substitute for resolving these trade disputes and getting back to normal trade, NPPC welcomes the offer of assistance from President Trump. We stand ready to work with the USDA to facilitate U.S. pork exports as food aid to a number of nations. This assistance should not cannibalize commercial trade. Rather, it should help people in need who otherwise would not have access to this high-quality U.S. protein.

"Pork producers have been innocent bystanders in these trade disputes. Unlike most of the population, they have suffered severe economic dislocations as a result of trade disputes.  It is fair and right that the U.S. government purchase significant quantities of pork over the next 18 months to ship as food aid to help ease the financial burden placed on producers."

First Quarter Beef, Pork Exports below Last Year’s Pace; Lamb Exports Trend Higher

For the first quarter of 2019, U.S. beef exports were slightly below last year’s record pace while pork exports continued to be slowed by trade barriers, according to March data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. lamb exports were a first quarter bright spot, trending significantly higher than a year ago.

March beef exports totaled 107,655 metric tons (mt), down 4% year-over-year, while value fell 2% to $678 million. For the first quarter, exports were down 3% at 307,306 mt valued at $1.9 billion (down 0.8%).

March beef exports were very strong on a per-head basis, with export value per head of fed slaughter averaging $335.81 – up 1% from a year ago and the highest since December. The first quarter average was $309.32/head, down 2% from a year ago. March exports accounted for 13.6% of total U.S. beef production and 11% for muscle cuts only, which was fairly steady with last March. For the first quarter these ratios were 12.9% and 10.2%, down from 13.2% and 10.7%, respectively, a year ago.

Pork exports totaled 211,688 mt in March, down 7% from a year ago, valued at $520.7 million (down 15%). First quarter exports were 6% below last year’s pace in volume (600,268 mt) and down 14% in value ($1.47 billion).

Pork export value averaged $48.55 per head slaughtered in March, down 15% from a year ago. For January through March, export value averaged $46.15 per head, down 16% from the first quarter of 2018. March exports accounted for 25.6% of total U.S. pork production and 22.7% for muscle cuts only – down from 27.5% and 23.5%, respectively in March 2018. First quarter exports accounted for 24.4% of total pork production (down from 26.6%) and 21.3% for muscle cuts (down from 23%).

Beef exports to Korea still red-hot; Japan cools slightly in March

South Korea continues to be the growth leader for U.S. beef exports, with first quarter volume climbing 8% year-over-year to 56,173 mt, while value ($414.2 million) was 13% above last year’s record-shattering pace. U.S. beef has achieved remarkable success in Korea’s traditional retail and restaurant sectors but is also rapidly gaining popularity in outlets such as convenience stores and e-commerce platforms. Recent export growth is not only in the ever-popular short rib category, but also in short plate, briskets, clods and rounds, as end-users recognize the versatility and affordability of high-quality U.S. beef.

Beef exports to Japan were moderately lower than a year ago in March, but still finished the first quarter 2% above last year’s pace in volume (74,147 mt) and 5% higher in value ($480.4 million). This was fueled by growth in variety meat exports, with the U.S. shipping more tongues and skirt meat to Japan. U.S. beef faces a widening tariff disadvantage in Japan compared to imports from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Mexico, and the latest tariff reduction for these countries didn’t take effect until April 1.

“U.S. beef cuts are still subject to a 38.5% tariff in Japan while our competitors’ rate is nearly one-third lower at 26.6%,” explained Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “This really underscores the urgency of the U.S.-Japan trade negotiations, which must progress quickly if we are going to continue to have success in the leading value market for U.S. beef and pork.”

Japan’s tariffs on beef variety meat are lower, but U.S. shipments are subject to a duty of 12.8% while competitors pay less than half that rate.

Other first quarter highlights for U.S. beef include:

-    Beef muscle cut exports to Mexico continued to shine, with first quarter volume up 14% from a year ago to 35,481 mt and value climbing 16% to $220.7 million. While variety meat exports trended lower year-over-year, combined beef/beef variety volume still increased 1% to 57,591 mt while value jumped 12% to $280.2 million.
-    Exports to Taiwan were 3% above last year’s record pace at 13,487 mt, though value slipped 7% to $117.8 million. U.S. beef dominates Taiwan’s chilled beef market with nearly 75% market share – the highest of any Asian destination.
-    CAFTA-DR markets continue to be an excellent source of growth for U.S. beef exports, with first quarter volume to Central America up 15% from a year ago to 3,628 mt and value up 19% to $21.2 million. Exports to the Dominican Republic soared 71% to 2,345 mt valued at $18.9 million (up 65%).
-    Lower exports to Hong Kong and Canada offset some of the first quarter growth in other markets. Exports to Hong Kong trailed last year’s pace by 36% in volume (21,304 mt) and 30% in value ($177.1 million). Exports to Canada were down 14% in both volume (23,199 mt) and value ($143.8 million).
-    U.S. exports to China were up 4% from a year ago to 1,723 mt, but this came at lower prices as export value fell 17% to $13.2 million. There is tremendous potential in the Chinese market for U.S. beef, but due to China’s restrictive import requirements and retaliatory duties pushing the tariff rate to 37%, U.S. prices are significantly higher than the competition. By comparison, most beef suppliers are subject to a 12% tariff in China while beef from New Zealand is duty-free and Australian beef pays only a 6% rate. Australia’s grain-fed beef exports to China in the first quarter totaled 14,347 mt, up 77% year-over-year.

Market access obstacles take toll on first quarter pork exports

Since mid-2018, most U.S. pork entering Mexico has faced a 20% retaliatory duty imposed in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. This turn of events ended six consecutive years of record export volumes to Mexico, and early 2019 is showing no signs of relief. First quarter exports to Mexico were down 13% year-over-year in volume (177,420 mt) and sank 29% in value ($261.9 million). The U.S. is still Mexico’s primary supplier of imported pork but Canada, Chile and the European Union have gained market share in 2019 and Mexico’s domestic pork production is trending significantly higher.

U.S. pork also faces retaliatory duties in China, raising the total tariff rate from the normal 12% to 62%. This will make it difficult for U.S. pork to capitalize on any increase in China’s demand for imported pork, which analysts are projecting in the second half of 2019 and beyond, due to the spread of African swine fever. Through March, U.S. exports to the China/Hong Kong region were 20% below last year’s pace in volume (89,689 mt) and down 34% in value ($172.1 million).

Leading value market Japan has not imposed any new tariffs on U.S. pork, but U.S. exports are at a disadvantage compared to pork from the European Union, Canada and Mexico due to their new trade agreements with Japan. As with beef, this gap will widen unless the U.S. and Japan reach a trade agreement. Through the first quarter, U.S. exports to Japan were 9% below last year’s pace in volume (92,503 mt) and 11% lower in value ($374.9 million).

“The current environment for U.S. pork is a good illustration of why it has been such a high priority for the U.S. industry to develop a wider range of international destinations,” Halstrom said. “Though we absolutely must get back on a level playing field in Mexico, China and Japan, larger exports to emerging markets have offset some of the decline.”

First quarter highlights for U.S. pork include:

-    Continued strong growth in Colombia and a large increase in shipments to Chile and Peru pushed exports to South America 41% above last year’s record pace in volume (40,998 mt) and 40% higher in value ($99.3 million).
-    Exports to Central America and the Dominican Republic also continue to exceed the record pace of 2018. Strong growth in Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama along with continued growth to top market Honduras pushed exports to Central America 12% higher in volume (20,903 mt) and 7% higher in value ($48.1 million). Export volume to the Dominican Republic increased 15% to 10,969 mt while value was up 13% to $24.2 million.
-    Oceania is a key market for hams and other muscle cuts destined for further processing, and first quarter exports increased significantly to both Australia and New Zealand. Export volume to the region was up 31% from a year ago to 30,070 mt while value increased 14% to $78.6 million.
-    Exports to Taiwan surged 83% in volume (6,584 mt, the highest first quarter since 2011) and 57% in value ($14.3 million). U.S. pork has been limited in Taiwan by a zero-tolerance policy for beta agonists, but exports have still trended higher over the past two years. In 2019, the U.S. is the only major pork supplier reporting larger exports to Taiwan.

Demand for U.S. lamb still climbing

Fueled by strong variety meat demand in Mexico and strong muscle cut growth in the Caribbean, the Middle East and Central America, U.S. lamb exports posted a solid first quarter. Exports increased 68% in volume to 4,173 mt while value was up 29% to $6.9 million. For muscle cuts only, exports were lower year-over-year in March, but first quarter exports still increased 25% in volume (659 mt) and 19% in value (just over $4 million).


Preliminary trade talks begin this week in Washington, D.C. with senior officials from the U.S. and the European Union (EU), although there is not an agreement on whether agriculture will be included in the negotiations. The negotiating teams are laying the groundwork for a meeting between EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer later this month. In October 2018, the White House announced plans to begin negotiating a trade agreement with the EU.


Thailand has a number of trade barriers that operate as a de facto ban on U.S. pork exports. It has been unresponsive to calls from the United States to lift the restrictions. Thailand is a top beneficiary of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which gives duty-free treatment to certain goods entering the U.S. The program allows for removal of a country's benefits if it fails to provide the U.S. "equitable and reasonable access" to its market.

The Nationanl Pork Producers Council has called for Thailand's preferential access to the U.S. market to be revoked or reduced if it does not end its ban on U.S. pork, and in May 2018 petitioned the U.S. Trade Representative to review the country's GSP eligibility. NPPC's GSP petition is moving through the process.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has terminated Turkey's Eligibility for the GSP program and may also revoke India's GSP status. NPPC is hopeful that Thailand understands that the U.S. is serious about enforcing trade obligations such as providing reciprocal market access to pork and other U.S. products.

Cargill Recalls Nearly 300,000 Pounds of Animal Feed

Cargill Inc. pulled nearly 300,000 pounds of animal feed from the market over the past three months due to elevated aflatoxin levels, a toxin found on moldy crops that if ingested can kill animals.

According to the StarTribute, the voluntary recall, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, includes chicken, horse and cattle feed, as well as some sheep and goat feed, sold under the Southern States brand.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture discovered the contamination when testing a specific product of the feed brand.

Minnetonka-based Cargill traced the problem to moldy corn from a supplier of the company’s plant in Cleveland, N.C.

“We are actively working with the supplier to understand where the mold may have come from. As a result, we are now sourcing corn from other suppliers,” said April Nelson, a Cargill spokeswoman.

Cargill has removed all the product from retail shelves and contacted some customers, asking them to throw away the affected product. The recalled products were distributed in Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

The company gave those customers a credit for the lost product, Nelson said, and no adverse health effects have been reported.

2020 Commodity Classic Trade Show Opens to New Exhibitors May 15

Booking space on the trade show floor at Commodity Classic—America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience—will open to new exhibitors on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Central. The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, February 27 through Saturday, February 29 in San Antonio, Texas.

Exhibit space is already limited.  For exhibitor information, visit, call 636.745.3008 or email:  Prospective new exhibitors can visit the website to view the 2020 floor plan to identify potential locations for their booth.  The exhibitor application and contract will be available on May 15 by clicking here.

The 2019 Commodity Classic in Orlando attracted 9,120 registrants—the third largest crowd in the event’s 23-year history.  Included in that total were 4,528 farmer attendees—the second largest farmer number ever. The 2019 trade show featured 405 exhibiting companies commanding a total of 2,105 booth spaces.

Farmers attending Commodity Classic represent big acres, big purchasing power and big influence.  Commodity Classic analysis indicates that the average farm operation at the 2019 show represented 3,136 total acres and $1.63 million in total gross farm income. The average individual farmer attendee in 2019 represented more than $400,000 in total annual equipment purchases, more than $311,000 in annual seed and crop protection purchases, and more than $221,000 in annual fertilizer purchases.

Additionally, the typical farmer-attendee says that more than nine other farmers in their area ask their opinion on new agricultural products and practices. The fact that attendees pay a significant registration fee to attend is also an indication of the seriousness and importance they place on being at Commodity Classic.

Exhibitors who showcase their brands at Commodity Classic frequently remark on the “decision-maker” role of the farmers in attendance as well as the quality and depth of the conversations they have with those decision-makers.  In addition to the trade show, exhibitors have opportunities for increased visibility through sponsorships, special events and unique signage throughout the venue.

Commodity Classic also offers a robust schedule of high-quality educational sessions and seminars on a wide range of topics of critical importance to farmers.

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