Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday December 22 Cattle on Feed - Hogs & Pigs - Cold Storage reports + Ag News


Nebraska feedlots, with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.59 million cattle on feed on December 1, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This inventory was up 9 percent from last year.  Placements during November totaled 545,000 head, up 7 percent from 2016. Fed cattle marketings for the month of November totaled 460,000 head, up 3 percent from last year. Other disappearance during November totaled 15,000 head, unchanged from last year.


Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 700,000 head on December 1, 2017, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Cattle on Feed report. This was up 1 percent from November 1, 2017, and up 17 percent from December 1, 2016. Iowa feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head had 500,000 head on feed, up 6 percent from last month but down 9 percent from last year. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in all Iowa feedlots totaled 1,200,000 head, up 3 percent from last month and up 4 percent from last year.

Placements of cattle and calves in Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during November totaled 122,000 head, a decrease of 14 percent from last month but up 20 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head placed 101,000 head, down 5 percent from last month but up 15 percent from last year. Placements for all feedlots in Iowa totaled 223,000 head, down 10 percent from last month but up 17 percent from last year.

Marketings of fed cattle from Iowa feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 or more head during November totaled 110,000 head, up 11 percent from last month and up 10 percent from last year. Feedlots with a capacity of less than 1,000 head marketed 69,000 head, down 1 percent from last month but up 23 percent from last year. Marketings for all feedlots in Iowa were 179,000 head, up 6 percent from last month and up 15 percent from last year. Other disappearance from all feedlots in Iowa totaled 4,000 head.

United States Cattle on Feed Up 8 Percent

Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.5 million head on December 1, 2017. The inventory was 8 percent above December 1, 2016.

Number of Cattle on Feed

       by State               (1,000 hd   -    % Dec 1 '16)

Colorado .......:                990                  109      
Iowa .............:                700                   117         
Kansas ..........:              2,310                  104      
Nebraska ......:              2,590                  109          
Texas ............:              2,660                  109      

Placements in feedlots during November totaled 2.10 million head, 14 percent above 2016. Net placements were 2.03 million head. During November, placements of cattle and calves weighing less than 600 pounds were 610,000 head, 600-699 pounds were 545,000 head, 700-799 pounds were 455,000 head,800-899 pounds were 294,000 head, 900-999 pounds were 75,000 head, and 1,000 pounds and greater were 120,000 head.

Number of Cattle Placed

       by State               (1,000 hd   -    % Nov '16)

Colorado ......:                  150                107     
Iowa .............:                  122                120      
Kansas ..........:                  420                114      
Nebraska ......:                  545                107      
Texas ............:                  480                123      

Marketings of fed cattle during November totaled 1.84 million head, 3 percent above 2016.  Marketings were the highest for November since the series began in 1996. Other disappearance totaled 71,000 head during November, 3 percent above 2016.

Number of Cattle Marketed

       by State               (1,000 hd   -    % Nov '16)

Colorado ......:                  135                 100    
Iowa .............:                  110                 110   
Kansas ..........:                  380                 103  
Nebraska ......:                  460                 103   
Texas ............:                  445                 102    


Nebraska inventory of all hogs and pigs on December 1, 2017, was 3.60 million head, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This was up 6 percent from December 1, 2016, and up 4 percent from September 1, 2017.

Breeding hog inventory, at 430,000 head, was up 4 percent from December 1, 2016, and up 5 percent from last quarter. Market hog inventory, at 3.17 million head, was up 6 percent from last year, and up 4 percent from last quarter.

The September – November 2017 Nebraska pig crop, at 2.28 million head, was up 9 percent from 2016. Sows farrowed during the period totaled 195,000 head, up 8 percent from last year. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high 11.70 for the September – November period, compared to 11.60 last year.

Nebraska hog producers intend to farrow 190,000 sows during the December 2017 – February 2018 quarter, up 9 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period a year ago. Intended farrowings for March – May 2018 quarter are 190,000 sows, up 3 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period the previous year.


On December 1, 2017, there were 22.8 million hogs and pigs on Iowa farms, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Hogs and Pigs report. The December 1 inventory is a record high, up 3 percent from the previous year.

The September-November quarterly pig crop was 6.13 million head, up 197,000 head from the previous quarter and 2 percent above last year. A total of 550,000 sows farrowed during this quarter. The average pigs saved per litter was 11.15, down slightly from last quarter.

As of December 1, producers planned to farrow 530,000 sows and gilts in the December 2017-February 2018 quarter and 535,000 head during the March-May 2018 quarter.

United States Hog Inventory Up 2 Percent

United States inventory of all hogs and pigs on December 1, 2017 was 73.2 million head. This was up 2 percent from December 1, 2016, but down slightly from September 1, 2017.   Breeding inventory, at 6.18 million head, was up 1 percent from last year, and up 1 percent from the previous quarter.  Market hog inventory, at 67.1 million head, was up 2 percent from last year, but down slightly from last quarter.

US Total Hog Inventory

          by State             (1,000 hd    -     % of Dec 1 '16)

Iowa ................:           22,800.00              103   
North Carolina .:             9,000.00               97   
Minnesota .......:             8,500.00              100   
Illinois .............:             5,350.00              105   
Indiana ............:             4,000.00               98   
Nebraska .........:             3,600.00              106   
Missouri ..........:             3,400.00              110   
Kansas .............:             2,100.00              110   

The September-November 2017 pig crop, at 33.4 million head, was up 3 percent from 2016. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 3.11 million head, up 2 percent from 2016. The sows farrowed during this quarter represented 51 percent of the breeding herd. The average pigs saved per litter was a record high of 10.74 for the September-November period, compared to 10.63 last year. Pigs saved per litter by size of operation ranged from 7.90 for operations with 1-99 hogs and pigs to 10.80 for operations with more than 5,000 hogs and pigs.

United States hog producers intend to have 3.07 million sows farrow during the December-February 2018 quarter, up 3 percent from the actual farrowings during the same period in 2017, and up 5 percent from 2016. Intended farrowings for March-May 2018, at 3.08 million sows, are up 2 percent from 2017, and up 4 percent from 2016.

The total number of hogs under contract owned by operations with over 5,000 head, but raised by contractees, accounted for 47 percent of the total United States hog inventory, unchanged from the previous year.


All layers in Nebraska during November 2017 totaled 7.69 million, down from 8.96 million the previous year, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Nebraska egg production during November totaled 195 million eggs, down from 223 million in 2016. November egg production per 100 layers was 2,534 eggs, compared to 2,493 eggs in 2016.


Iowa egg production during November 2017 was 1.31 billion eggs, down 2 percent from last month but up 1 percent from last year, according to the latest Chickens and Eggs report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The average number of all layers on hand during November 2017 was 55.7 million, up slightly from last month and up 2 percent from last year. Eggs per 100 layers for November were 2,351, down 2 percent from last month and down 1 percent from last year.

November Egg Production Up Slightly

United States egg production totaled 8.72 billion during November 2017, up slightly from last year. Production included 7.60 billion table eggs, and 1.11 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.04 billion were broiler-type and 74.8 million were egg-type. The average number of layers during November 2017 totaled 378 million, up 1 percent from last year. November egg production per 100 layers was 2,306 eggs, down 1 percent from November 2016.
All layers in the United States on December 1, 2017 totaled 380 million, up 1 percent from last year. The 380 million layers consisted of 320 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 56.6 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 3.39 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on December 1, 2017, averaged 77.3 eggs per 100 layers, down 1 percent from December 1, 2016.

Egg-Type Chicks Hatched Up 15 Percent

Egg-type chicks hatched during November 2017 totaled 48.0 million, up 15 percent from November 2016. Eggs in incubators totaled 48.5 million on December 1, 2017, up 7 percent from a year ago.

Domestic placements of egg-type pullet chicks for future hatchery supply flocks by leading breeders totaled 150 thousand during November 2017, down 44 percent from November 2016.

Broiler-Type Chicks Hatched Up 2 Percent

Broiler-type chicks hatched during November 2017 totaled 773 million, up 2 percent from November 2016. Eggs in incubators totaled 681 million on December 1, 2017, up 3 percent from a year ago.

Leading breeders placed 7.94 million broiler-type pullet chicks for future domestic hatchery supply flocks during November 2017, up 3 percent from November 2016.

USDA Cold Storage November 2017 Highlights

Total red meat supplies in freezers on November 30, 2017 were down 10 percent from the previous month and down 4 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were down 4 percent from the previous month and down 8 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were down 16 percent from the previous month and down 3 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were up 12 percent from last month and up 94 percent from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies on November 30, 2017 were down 11 percent from the previous month but up 15 percent from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were up 3 percent from the previous month and up 13 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were down 37 percent from last month but up 22 percent from November 30, 2016.

Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on November 30, 2017 were down 1 percent from the previous month but up 6 percent from November 30, 2016.  Butter stocks were down 27 percent from last month and down 1 percent from a year ago.

Total frozen fruit stocks were down 3 percent from last month and down 15 percent from a year ago.  Total frozen vegetable stocks were down 2 percent from last month but up 4 percent from a year ago.


According to Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) State Veterinarian Dr. Dennis Hughes, NDA and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) veterinarians have discovered a bovine tuberculosis (TB) positive cow in a beef cattle herd in Wheeler County.  The Nebraska herd was identified through an epidemiological investigation from an infected herd in South Dakota.

“Nebraska was contacted by the South Dakota Animal Industry Board earlier this year as they began to trace the movement of cattle into and out of their infected herd,” said Hughes.  “We have been diligently working with our counterparts in South Dakota and the USDA to locate and test the cattle that were moved into Nebraska, and through that testing procedure we discovered the TB positive cow in Wheeler County.”

NDA and USDA are currently working together with the producer, who has been cooperating with both agencies.  The herd is under quarantine.

“Our staff will be conducting a thorough investigation tracing the movement of cattle into and out of the Wheeler County herd,” said Hughes.  “We will also be working to locate any cattle that may have been pastured next to and had fence line contact with the infected herd.  TB is primarily transmitted through nose to nose contact, so it is imperative that we work with those neighboring producers to test their cattle as well.”

TB is a slow, progressive disease and is difficult to diagnose in the early stages; however, as the disease progresses, animals can exhibit emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, low-grade fever, and a pneumonia with a chronic, moist cough.  If a producer sees any of these symptoms in their herd, they should contact their local veterinarian. 

Further information, including FAQ sheets on TB can be found on the NDA website at

Nebraska Corn Board to Meet

The Nebraska Corn Board will hold its next meeting on Thursday, January 11, 2018, at The Cornerstone Bank, located at 529 North Lincoln Avenue in York, Nebraska.

The Board will address regular board business. These meetings are open to the public, providing the opportunity for public comment. A copy of the agenda will be available by writing the Nebraska Corn Board, PO Box 95107, Lincoln, NE 68509, emailing or calling 402/471-2676.

Nebraska Beef Council January Meeting

The Nebraska Beef Council Board of Directors will meet at the NBC office located in Kearney at 1319 Central Ave on January 8, 2018 beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST. The NBC Board of Directors will have election of officers and review the final audit report for FY-2016-2017.  For a copy of the board agenda, please contact Pam Esslinger at 

Nebraska Cattlemen Announce Young Cattlemen's Conference Class of 2018

NC announced the 2018 class of the Young Cattlemen's Conference (YCC). YCC nominees were accepted from throughout the state and selected by committee to participate in the two-year leadership program.  The Class of 2018 includes:
  - Annie Doerr, Brunswick
  - Trey Duensing, Byron
  - Spencer Eisenmenger, Humphrey
  - Beau Klug, Columbus
  - Jaslyn Livingston, Broadwater
  - Brandon Nuttelman, Amherst
  - Bill Pohlmeier, Edgar
  - Braden Rieker, Eustis
  - Robert Star, North Platte
  - Lee Woltman, Hemingford

"The next generation of Nebraska Cattlemen will ensure Nebraska remains the global epicenter of the beef industry," said NC Executive Vice President Pete McClymont. "Our Young Cattlemen's Conference delivers a strong foundation of industry knowledge and provides the tools these producers need to build a successful future."

The goal of the Young Cattlemen's Conference is to expose young and emerging leaders to a variety of areas of the beef industry and provide them with necessary leadership tools. During the two-year program, YCC members are provided training on professional communication, given the opportunity to tour multiple Nebraska-based agriculture production facilities and learn to navigate state agencies and legislative processes.

All of this could not happen without generous sponsorship from Farm Credit Services of America and Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation. 

Ricketts Highlights Success of Yangling-Based Demonstration Farm

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts applauded the news that the Nebraska (Yangling) Agricultural Sci-Tech Park is fully operational.  The 200-hectare project, also known as a demonstration farm, is located in the Yangling Hi-Tech Agricultural Demonstration Zone west of Xi’an in Nebraska’s sister province, Shaanxi.  Governor Ricketts broke ground on the Yangling demonstration farm during his 2016 trade mission to China. 

“China’s increasing demand for Nebraska’s 21st-century ag technology is helping our state’s manufacturers grow and expand internationally,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The Yangling demonstration farm is a great example of the opportunities that international partnerships create for Nebraska companies looking to do business globally.  Congratulations and thank you to the team that brought this project to fruition.  It is exciting to see how the project is showcasing Nebraska’s world-class agriculture and manufacturing industries.”

The demonstration farm is assisting Nebraska agricultural manufacturers in entering and expanding Chinese markets by demonstrating Nebraska products and technology which help improve ag production.  Under an agreement signed between the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and Chinese officials during the Governor’s visit in 2016, Chinese partners capitalize and manage the farm, which features the equipment of Nebraska-based farm equipment manufacturers.

Lt. Governor Mike Foley recently visited the demonstration farm in November 2017.  During his visit, he was able to see the fully-operational model farm with Nebraska-designed pivots watering a newly planted winter wheat crop.

“Nebraska is a leader in developing and manufacturing international ag technology,” said Lt. Governor Foley.  “The success of the farm in Yangling is an example of how China and countries around the world are looking to leaders in agriculture, like Nebraska, to improve their ag production and achieve food security.”

In addition to showcasing Nebraska farm equipment, the farm is meant to provide training for Chinese farmers interested in using modern agricultural equipment.  Grain storage facilities will also be built on-site in early 2018.

Shaanxi Province is an important hub for ag production in China, and Yangling hosts China’s largest agriculture fair for one week every November.

The demonstration farm is a cooperative project between Nebraska-based agriculture machinery manufacturing companies, the State of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the Yangling Demonstration Zone, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, and Datong Seed Company.  Nebraska companies that have participated in the project include Behlen Manufacturing, Lindsay Manufacturing, Reinke Manufacturing, and Valmont Industries.

“The Yangling Demonstration Farm is a great example of how UNL’s global engagement efforts can benefit the state of Nebraska,” said Josh Davis, UNL Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement.  “The Institute of Agriculture & Natural Resources has relationships in China that cut across our mission areas of education, research, and extension and, where possible, we want to leverage those relationships to open doors for Nebraska companies.  That’s exactly what has happened in Shaanxi province – the State of Nebraska, Nebraska companies, and the University are working together to maximize our impact in a key market. We believe this is a model to replicate elsewhere.”

“I thank Governor Ricketts, the State of Nebraska and the University of Nebraska for their continued leadership on this project,” said Reinke President Chris Roth.  “Reinke is excited for the opportunity to showcase Nebraska-based irrigation technologies in China.  We understand our obligation to help feed the world’s growing population, and we are committed to helping farmers increase their agriculture production while recognizing labor savings and environmental efficiencies.”

 Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding President Trump Signing Tax Reform Package into Law

“Today’s action by President Trump to sign into law Congress’s first major tax reform package in more than 30 years is truly a “win” for Nebraska farm and ranch families. As I’ve stated before, this bill will lower the tax burden for most Americans, including Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers. We appreciate the work of the Nebraska Congressional delegation who helped make this possible. Federal tax reform has been a major priority for Farm Bureau and we’re pleased we’ve been able to contribute to bettering the tax climate for farmers and ranchers.”

Iowa Farm Bureau applauds passage of sweeping tax reform bill

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, (IFBF) long a champion for tax reform, says family farmers just got an early Christmas present with the passage of a sweeping tax reform bill.   The reform doubles their exemption for the death tax and lowers tax brackets for all tax payers while offering a new 20 percent deduction of pass-through income for farms and small businesses.

IFBF, Iowa’s largest grassroots farm organization, applauds long-awaited tax reform, seeing benefits for all Iowans.  “The measure does a number of positive things for farmers; it doubles the amount of business expenses they can deduct from taxes and allows them to deduct paid interest on loans.  And, it also provides much needed relief for families passing the farm to the next generation, by doubling the estate tax exemption,” says IFBF President, Craig Hill.  “Helping Iowa farmers keep more money at home is a step in assuring sustainability of family farming as we’re staring down a fourth year of a stifled ag economy.   Ag is central to the state’s economy, accounting for one out of every five jobs in this state, while contributing 33 percent of Iowa’s economy.  Tax reform means Iowa farmers can reinvest more of their hard-earned income for critical needs, such as upgrading equipment or the expansion of conservation practices,” says Hill. 

China Tightens Quality Standards of U.S. Soybean Imports

China, the world's top soybean buyer, will reduce the amount of foreign material allowed in shipments of U.S. soybeans as of January 1, the USDA announced. Shipments arriving at Chinese ports containing up to 1 percent of foreign material would be expedited while shipments with more than 1 percent could be held back for testing, according to Will Wepsala, a spokesman at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Quality specifications for No 2 yellow soybeans -- the variety most common in U.S. export contracts -- allow for up to 2 percent foreign material.

The more stringent standards will be another headache for grain handlers already facing dwindling profit margins due to record global soybean supplies.

China requested the change in specifications due mostly to concerns over weed seeds in U.S. cargoes, Wepsala said.

Soybean farmers in recent years have been battling herbicide-resistant weeds, the remnants of which show up in harvested beans.

China accounts for roughly two-thirds of global soy imports, buying primarily from the United States, Brazil and Argentina. Exports of US soybeans to China in 2016 were valued at more than $14 billion.

U.S. Soy's Superior Value is Demonstrated Through More Nutrients, Greater Consistency

Exceptional composition is a key element of the U.S. Soy Advantage. When it comes to soybean quality, the U.S. soy industry wants to be sure that its customers are armed with the right information. The U.S. Soy Family, which includes the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), American Soybean Association (ASA), and United Soybean Board (USB), promotes numerous studies around soy quality, providing international customers with the necessary information to make the right soy choice.

Annually since 1986, USSEC partners with the University of Minnesota Department of Agronomy & Plant Genetics to gather samples from soybean producers across the United States’ growing regions to analyze them for protein, oil, and amino acid concentration – yielding scientific data that verifies the exceptional composition and high nutritional value of U.S. soy.

In 2017, sample kits were mailed to 6,688 producers selected based on total land devoted to soybean production in each state, so that response distribution would closely match that of soybean production. By early December, 1,837 samples were received, which were analyzed for protein, oil, and amino acid concentration.

Preliminary survey results show that, across U.S. growing areas, protein concentrations were unusually consistent across the U.S. in 2017, although slightly lower overall than 2016 levels and historical averages. However, oil concentrations in 2017 were nearly equal to 2016 levels and were higher than historical averages. Additionally, essential amino acid results varied very little by state and region and the U.S. average of essential amino acids was slightly higher than last year.

The quality study also found an increase in protein concentrations in some northern states. For example, Minnesota and South Dakota soybeans had higher protein in 2017 than 2016, with South Dakota increasing protein by nearly one percentage point.

Because protein levels were similar across all U.S. growing areas, this indicates that the U.S. will be exporting soybeans with a more consistent nutritional bundle from all port locations.

Recent studies comparing soybeans of different origins continue to reinforce the understanding that U.S. soy provides the nutritional bundle needed to optimize animal nutrition and profitability. The full value of U.S. soybean products is found when buyers consider total metabolizable energy, batch-to-batch consistency, essential amino acid profile and digestibility.

Dr. Gonzalo G. Mateos, professor of animal science at the University of Madrid [Spain], conducted research study on the nutritive value and energy quality of soybean meal for pigs and poultry. His team compiled data, gathered over eight consecutive years, to map out the energy and protein levels of samples of the world’s largest exporters of soybean meal: the United States, Brazil and Argentina. In his peer-reviewed and published study, Mateos concluded that composition and quality of protein is the best indicator of nutrition. He said that U.S. soybean meal is the world’s top and most convenient of the world’s protein meals’ supply.

Dr. Hans H. Stein, professor of animal nutrition at the University of Illinois, analyzed digestible, metabolizable energy in swine by analyzing soybean meal from China, Argentina, Brazil, and the U.S., and 4 sources from India. Stein’s peer-reviewed and published study showed that U.S. soybean meal had more digestible amino acids than that of other origins and that soybean meal from the U.S. has greater digestibility and less variability in composition and digestibility.

This global research continues to demonstrate that soybeans and soy products can vary widely depending on their origin. Year after year, U.S. Soy can be counted on by nutritionists and managers to consistently maximize animal performance and reduce production costs.

 FDA Clarifies Feeding Options for Cattle Anaplasmosis Control

In January, the Food and Drug Administration and animal drug manufacturers completed the voluntary transition of antimicrobial drugs of medical importance used in animal feed to Veterinary Feed Directive marketing status under the Guidance for Industry. Since that time, the FDA has received questions from stakeholders relating to certain uses of free-choice medicated feeds (products that contain one or more animal drugs and are placed in feeding or grazing areas for animals to freely consume) for the control of active infection of anaplasmosis in cattle. Some of these questions involved uses of such feeds that are not in compliance with currently approved use conditions.

"We acknowledge that anaplasmosis is an important animal health concern for the cattle industry and that practical control measures are needed, particularly during the time of year in which insects associated with spreading disease are most active," the agency said. "While the FDA understands that free-choice medicated feeds can be an important tool for controlling this disease, the agency needs to ensure that the feeds are used in compliance with the approved conditions of use."

The FDA is reminding veterinarians, animal producers, and feed manufacturers that when medicating animals through free-choice mineral supplements, the only legal options are approved free-choice medicated feed formulations. While the agency continues to consider ways to address these concerns, it is providing Question and Answers: FDA Approved Free-Choice Feeding Options for Anaplasmosis Control in Cattle to clarify the issues and assist with the appropriate selection and use of approved VFD free-choice medicated feed products for the control of active infection of anaplasmosis in cattle.

The FDA expects that any use of free-choice medicated feeds for controlling anaplasmosis in cattle would be limited to situations when active anaplasmosis is a significant concern, such use is consistent with the approved dose, and these feeds are used under veterinarian oversight.


Following two rounds of public hearings, the South Korean government this week submitted to parliament its plan for renegotiating the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and announced that it is now ready to begin renegotiations. This comes after the United States and South Korea in early November agreed to update KORUS. For the United States to officially begin the renegotiation process, the Trump administration must send a letter to Congress notifying lawmakers of its intention to launch KORUS talks in 90 days, hold two public hearings and disclose 30 days prior to the launch of the talks its goals for the renegotiation. 

USDA Issues Permit for Santa’s Reindeer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a movement permit to Mr. S. Claus of the North Pole, a broker with Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited. The permit will allow reindeer to enter and exit the United States between the hours of 7 p.m. December 24, 2017 and 7 a.m. December 25, 2017, through or over any U.S. border port.

“It’s the season of giving and joy. Here at USDA we don’t want anything to delay these very important reindeer at our borders,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We know that children all over the country – including my own fourteen grandchildren – are eagerly awaiting a visit from Mr. Claus and his team before they wake on Christmas morning. USDA issued this permit in advance and waived all applicable fees to help ensure a smooth trip on Christmas Eve night.”

In addition to the normal disease testing requirements, flying reindeer must undergo additional tests to ensure they will be able to safely handle significant changes in altitude and temperature throughout their journey, and are fit for landing on rooftops. On this year’s health certificate, the accredited veterinarian noted that one of the reindeer named Rudolph was positive for “red nose syndrome,” however, it was also explained that this is normal for him and not an animal health concern. The veterinarian also verified the reindeer have been vaccinated against any diseases they could encounter on their trip around the world.

At the request of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, APHIS also completed a courtesy welfare and humane treatment check of the reindeer facility.  Mr. Claus and his staff passed with flying colors.

They will arrive pulling a wooden sleigh with jingling bells attached, filled with brightly wrapped gifts. Port personnel will clean and disinfect the runners and underside of the sleigh at the time of entry, and will also conduct a short visual inspection of the reindeer. Mr. Claus will also have his boots disinfected and will thoroughly wash his hands. These measures are intended to prevent the entry of any livestock diseases the team may encounter during deliveries to farms around the world prior to entering the United States.

“It would be a disaster for Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited, if my reindeer were to unintentionally bring in foot and mouth disease along with all the gifts,” explained Mr. Claus. “Why, something like that could put me out of business. That’s why we work all year to keep the reindeer healthy and take all possible precautions before and during our trip.”

Mr. Claus has also provided an advance list of what port personnel should expect upon their arrival. This includes a variety of food items, all of which come from approved locations and none of which pose a threat to U.S. animal or plant health.

“As we do every day, we work diligently to ensure the health of American agriculture. Mr. Claus and the reindeer can safely continue their journey across the country and around the world, spreading holiday cheer as they go,” said Secretary Perdue.

USDA Announces Dairy Board Appointments

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 13 individuals, including 12 dairy producers and one importer, to serve three-year terms on the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. Their terms begin immediately and end on Oct. 31, 2020.  Newly appointed producers are:

Region 1 (Alaska, Oregon, and Washington)
Dolores J. Werkhoven, Monroe, Wash.

Region 4 (Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)
Orville D. Miller, Hutchinson, Kan.

Region 6 (Wisconsin)
Stacy Eberle, Monroe, Wis.
Becky L. Levzow, Rio, Wis.

Region 7 (Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska)
Alex D. Peterson, Trenton, Mo.

Region 9 (Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia)
Gregory A. Gibson, Bruceton Mills, W.Va.

Region 10 (Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia)
John M. Larson, Okeechobee, Fla.

Region 12 (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont)
Melissa C. Dziurgot, Durham, Conn.

Reappointed Producers are:
Region 3 (Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming)
James E. Webb, Delta, Colo.

Region 4 (Arkansas, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas)
William R. Anglin, Bentonville, Ark.

Region 5 (Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota)
Kathleen A. Skiba, North Branch, Minn.

Region 8 (Idaho)
John S. Ballard, Gooding, Idaho

Newly appointed Dairy Importer:
Ralph B. Hofman, Basking Ridge, N.J.

“These appointees will be valuable assets for the National Dairy Board as it carries out its coordinated program of promotion designed to strengthen the dairy industry’s position in the marketplace and to maintain and expand domestic and international markets for dairy products.  They represent a cross section of the dairy industry and I know that it will be well served by them," said Perdue.

USDA established the 37-member Board under the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983. Since 1966, Congress has authorized the establishment of 22 research and promotion boards that are industry-funded and empower agricultural industries with a framework to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

More information about the board is available on the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board page on the AMS website, including a link to the Board’s membership under the heading Organizational Structure.

More information about research and promotion programs is available on the Research and Promotion Programs page on the AMS website.

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