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china farm billThe National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sent a coalition letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to raise the restoration of U.S. beef access to China when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. Leaders from the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the North American Meat Institute also signed the letter. Continue reading

meat importsBans on meat imports from Brazil following the announced investigation into alleged bribery over meat safety issues were short-lived as China, Chile and Egypt have resumed imports from Brazil. Continue reading

pacific region cattle feedCattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the United States for feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 10.8 million head on March 1, 2017. The inventory was slightly above March 1, 2016.

Placements in feedlots during February totaled 1.69 million head, 1 percent below from 2016. Continue reading

Pacific Region Commercial Slaughter

Pacific region livestock
California’s production of red meat during February 2017 totaled 114 million pounds (dressed weight), slightly above than February 2016. This figure includes slaughter in Federally-inspected and state-inspected plants, but excludes farm slaughter. In February 2017, the average live weight of cattle slaughtered in California was 1,307 pounds, calves averaged 91 pounds, sheep and lambs averaged 148 pounds, and hogs averaged 257 pounds. In Hawaii, 700,000 pounds of red meat were produced in February 2017, and 100,000 pounds of red meat were produced in Nevada. Continue reading

Citing grave concerns that they would “cause serious harm to the pork industry,” the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in comments submitted said the U.S. Department of Agriculture should not finalize – or at least exempt pork producers from – regulations related to the buying and selling of livestock.

According to NPPC, the so-called Farmer Fair Practices Rules – an interim final rule and a proposed regulation – would “enable a torrent of lawsuits against members of the pork industry,” replace carefully negotiated contracts with standard terms that are unworkable, ignore crucial differences among the various sectors of the meat industry and raise serious constitutional concerns under the First Amendment.” The regulations were issued in the last weeks of the Obama administration by USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). Continue reading

Amid a meat safety issue in Brazil and a trade priorities list from President Trump, some groups are calling for the reconsideration of country-of-origin meat labeling. COOL was repealed by Congress in late 2015 when the World Trade Organization authorized retaliatory measures against the U.S. because of the legislation. Continue reading

Beef, turkey, sheep and pork industry representatives all testified in favor of a stronger program to protect animals from disease, especially foot-and-mouth disease. The Hagstrom Report says the groups gave testimony on Tuesday at a hearing before the House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council both testified in favor of spending $150 million on an FMD vaccine bank. Continue reading

Brazil President Michel Temer (Mee’-shell Tuh-mehr’) called the recent scandal around Brazil’s sale of expired meats to other countries an “economic embarrassment” on Tuesday while more countries suspended meat imports from his nation. Continue reading

None Has Entered U.S., 100 Percent Re-Inspection Instituted

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced additional steps to keep the food supply safe for American families in light of the recent investigations of Brazil’s meat industry.

While none of the slaughter or processing facilities implicated in the Brazilian scandal have shipped meat products to the United States, FSIS immediately instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil upon hearing reports of the Brazilian investigation.  FSIS has also increased its examination of all these products at ports-of-entry across the country. The agency will indefinitely maintain its 100% re-inspection and pathogen testing of all lots of FSIS-regulated products imported from Brazil. Continue reading

milk production
The California Dairy Statistics Annual for 2015 reported total milk production was down 3.4 percent, the number of dairy cows was down 2.3 percent, milk per cow was down 1.1 percent, and the number of dairies decreased 2.2 percent compared to 2014. The annual average price paid to producers was $15.40 per hundredweight (cwt.), with the lowest average price in 2015 at $14.69/cwt. in March and the highest average price at $16.65/cwt. in November. Continue reading

dairy policy
The House Agriculture Committee held a hearing to review current dairy policy and explore options to make it more effective for farmers. This hearing is a continuation of the committee’s series to examine all aspects of the next farm bill. Committee members heard from industry representatives who gave a general overview of the current state of the dairy industry and highlighted some of the challenges they are facing. Continue reading

As Congress begins its deliberations on the next farm bill, improvements to the dairy Margin Protection Program must be a top priority for lawmakers, said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, who spoke today before the House Agriculture Committee.

During the farm bill hearing on Capitol Hill, Mulhern told committee members that the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) is failing to live up to its intended role as a viable economic safety net for farmers, and that a series of changes is needed to restore dairy producers’ confidence in the program. Mulhern’s full testimony can be found here. Continue reading

California Egg Production

California’s egg production during February totaled 264 million, down 37 million from January’s production and down 11 million from February 2016. The all layers during the month totaled 12.2 million, down 1 percent from last month, and down 1 percent from February 2016. Eggs per 100 layers during the month were 2,167, compared to 2,448 a month earlier, and 2,237 in February 2016. Continue reading

brazil beef global
A sanitary inspection bribery scheme in Brazil means less options for global buyers of beef. That could mean more opportunity to export U.S. beef to nations seeking to block imports from Brazil. Continue reading

livestock producers
Rep. David Rouzer (NC-7), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, held a hearing to gather perspectives from key members of the livestock community as part of the committee’s hearing series on the next farm bill. Members of the committee heard from representatives of four major livestock producer groups who discussed the issues facing their respective industries as well as their priorities for the upcoming farm bill. Continue reading

vaccine bank
The U.S. pork industry’s top priority for the next Farm Bill is establishing a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank, the National Pork Producers Council told a House Agriculture subcommittee in testimony.

“If this country ever had an FMD outbreak, it not only would devastate my farm and the whole livestock industry but the entire U.S. economy,” said NPPC Vice President David Herring, a pork producer from Newtown Grove, N.C., who testified on behalf of the organization before the agriculture panel’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. Continue reading

stabenow avian bird flu
Senate Agriculture Committee ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is asking the Agriculture Department to outline its avian influenza response. Continue reading

mexico dairy leadersThe leaders of three major U.S. dairy organizations Wednesday promised to continue a strong commitment to their time-tested partnership with Mexico’s dairy industry and consumers. Continue reading

avian flu iowa
The Iowa Department of Agriculture is prepping for a potential avian influenza outbreak by recommending producers continue and improve biosecurity efforts. Continue reading

Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and New Mexico have asked for a temporary suspension of grazing restrictions for farmers and ranchers. In a letter to acting Agriculture Secretary Mike Young, governors from the four states ask that the restrictions in the Conservation Reserve Program be lifted to provide more land for grazing. Continue reading

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