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Articles from 2019 In November


This Week in Agribusiness – Nov. 30, 2019

Note: Start the video and all parts will play through as the full show

Part 1

Mike Pearson and Chad Colby open this week’s show talking about the unstable weather ahead from Greg Soulje, which is not good news. Patrick Haggerty talks with Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and chair of the House Ag Committee, about the uncertainty of the trade situation. Max Armstrong talks with Colin Woodall, CEO, National Cattlemens Beef Association, about some trade wins that have occurred this year. Mike and Chad get an update on the land market with Ray Brownfield, Land Pro LLC.

Part 2

Mike Pearson and Chad Colby continue their conversation with Ray Brownfield, Land Pro LLC, including a look at land rents. In Colby AgTech, Chad shares some interesting gift ideas for the holiday season.

Part 3

Mike Pearson and Chad Colby talk with Farm Broadcaster Don Wick, Red River Ag Network, Grand Forks, N.D., about what farmers are facing in that part of the country, including lost crops of potatoes and sugar beets. Max Armstrong shares the story of an 875-hp tractor that showed up at the Half Century of Progress event last summer. Max talks with Lee Randall owner of the Rite Earthquake tractor, including some history about the tractor.

Part 4

Mike Pearson and Chad Colby open this segment with a look at the controversy occurring in the renewable fuels community and Max Armstrong talks with Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Assocation about the situation. In a Best of the Farm Progress Show, Max talks with Jim Hedges, vice president, seed marketing, Winfield United about the cooperative and the work they're doinig. Ag Meteorologist Greg Soulje offers a first-look at weather for the week ahead.

Part 5

Ag Meteorologist Greg Soulje looks at the long-range weather forecast for agriculture including some major challenges in December.

Part 6

In Max’s Tractor Shed, Max Armstrong shares the story of a International Harvester Hydro 86 owned by Harry Knobbe, West Point, Neb. Max shared that earlier this year Harry had an accident, but he is working to recover, including getting back behind the wheel of this legacy tractor. Max Armstrong profiles Chillicothe FFA in Chillicothe, Mo. Member Abby Hayen shares insight on a couple community activities. Max also shares that the chapter is supported by the Litton Foundation, and Member Clara Leamer, shares more information about the support of the Litton Ag Center. And Member Delaney May shares how the center helps members who show livestock, including for those who live in town.

Part 7

Mike Pearson and Chad Colby close this week’s show talking turkeys, specifically Max Armstrong's report on the 2019 White House turkeys that came from the Clinton, N.C. turkey farm owned by Wellie Jackson. Of course "Bread" and "Butter" are a little different; they've been media trained. And Chad and Mike recognized Steve Bridge who was honored with the Doane Award for his report from China last year; and you can see a montage of that coverage.

MIDDAY-Midwest Digest, November 29, 2019

Max Armstrong wraps up the week with news of the big storm headed to the Northern Plains, which will bring snow to a wide region. A Missouri tattoo artist, Justin Fleetwood, started covering racist tattoos at no charge, which is keeping him very busy. From This Week in Agribusiness, there will be a wide number of meetings starting in December, and Max will be attending many of those including the Farm Futures Business Summit. And Max warns of the items you can't take on a plane in your carry on luggage, including such things as tools, and homemade jam.

Midwest Digest is a twice-daily audio feature produced by Max Armstrong, offering news and commentary from across the Midwest.

And don’t miss Farm Progress America, which runs every day online.

MORNING-Midwest Digest, November 29, 2019

Max Armstrong shares news that a safari park in Ohio was hit by fire that killed some animals. In Brownsburg, Ind., police are looking into the murder of a popular orthopedic surgeon. From This Week in Agribusiness, the difficult harvest drags on as Max shares what he's seen on social media; and there's more wet weather ahead. Max shares the story of a radio station tower that was hit by high winds in Louisville, Ky. And could Black Friday kill you?

Midwest Digest is a twice-daily audio feature produced by Max Armstrong, offering news and commentary from across the Midwest.

And don’t miss Farm Progress America, which runs every day online.

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/stringer/Getty Images News

Farm Progress America, November 29, 2019

Max Armstrong shares that talk of 'sustainability' isn't always in the same language. Max shares insight from the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance survey that showed that there are a lot of tools that are not harmonized. Erin Fitzgerald, CEO, offers tactics that has to happen to get everyone closer to the same page.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: Stanley45/iStock/Getty Images Plus

MIDDAY-Midwest Digest, November 28, 2019

Max Armstrong shares that folks in northeast Ohio are thankful after an 88-year-old veteran saved a child being mauled by a pit bull. Leonard Miller used a yard Christmas decoration to beat the dog off the child. Max also shares the story of neighbors in Indiana who came together to mourn the loss of a young man in a grain accident. The farmers in the region brought their equipment and lined it up along a road in honor of the young man – Colten Lee Howard. From trucks to sprayers to combines to tractors, tens of millions of dollars of equipment were lined up.

Midwest Digest is a twice-daily audio feature produced by Max Armstrong, offering news and commentary from across the Midwest.

And don’t miss Farm Progress America, which runs every day online.

MORNING-Midwest Digest, November 28, 2019

Max Armstrong offers his Thanksgiving Day edition of Midwest Digest with a story about Leonard Miller, 88, who saved a child being mauled by a pit bull, with the help of a holiday nutcracker poll. Miller is a combat veteran who served in the Korean War. From This Week in Agribusiness, even in times of heated neighborly competition, farmers still come together. This time it was for a funeral Wednesday for an 18-year-old killed in a farm accident. In Park County, Indiana, farmers lined up their equipment in tribute to the young man, Colten Lee Howard, killed in a grain bin accident.

Midwest Digest is a twice-daily audio feature produced by Max Armstrong, offering news and commentary from across the Midwest.

And don’t miss Farm Progress America, which runs every day online.

Farm Progress America, November 28, 2019

Max Armstrong offers news that the week of Thanksgiving has traditionally been National Farm-City Week, a celebration that has dwindled in attention. Max shares some of the thinking behind the concept the celebration with comments from a presidential proclamation in 2010 from President Obama.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Max Armstrong, veteran farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

Photo: SuzanaMarinkovic/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Ham sandwiches and pork sticks donated to at-risk youth

Iowa Select Farms Allyson Ladd with Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation delivers PowerSnack Teacher kits to Alden South Side Elementary Secretary, Jodi Wohlford. Power Snack Teacher Kits contain pork sticks and four Power Snack booklets for each child.
Allyson Ladd with Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation delivers PowerSnack Teacher kits to Alden South Side Elementary Secretary, Jodi Wohlford. Power Snack Teacher Kits contain pork sticks and four Power Snack booklets for each child containing a $5 coupon for deli ham and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread — the ingredients needed to make their own “Power Snacks” at home.

Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation are continuing to reduce childhood hunger in Iowa with the Power Snack program. This year, food-insecure children across Iowa received pork sticks in addition to existing Power Snack coupons for deli ham and whole wheat bread. Between Nov. 11-26, Foundation volunteers and Iowa Select Farms employees distributed 10,000 pork sticks and coupons for 1 million ham sandwiches to 22,571 children at 125 schools.

"We are excited about the addition of pork sticks because they'll serve as an immediate, nutritious resource for kids," says Jen Sorenson, Communications director of Iowa Select Farms. "They pack a powerful protein punch and can help students curb hunger and focus on learning."

In Iowa, 1 in 5 children are considered food insecure. According to Scott Jeske, principal at Robert Blue Middle School in Eagle Grove, weekends and extended holiday breaks are especially difficult on children who regularly eat breakfast and lunch at school. "Being well-nourished is a basic need that has to be filled before students can start learning," Jeske says. "We see a difference in students that come to school hungry versus those that don't, and Power Snack continues to be a great asset for our kids."

Power Snack Teacher Kits contain 80 pork sticks and four Power Snack booklets for each child containing a $5 coupon for deli ham and a $3 coupon for a loaf of whole wheat bread — the ingredients needed to make their own "Power Snacks" at home. In total, 91,004 Power Snack deli ham and whole wheat bread coupon packs and 10,000 pork sticks were delivered to school principals, teachers and nurses and are intended for distribution to at-risk children right before Thanksgiving, winter, spring and summer breaks.

Ham is lean, nutrient-rich protein
"Kids love ham," explains Sorenson. "It's easy to prepare, full of flavor and promotes growth and development. Combining the energy and carbohydrates of whole wheat bread with the protein of ham means the children will have made themselves a real Power Snack."

According to the National Pork Board, pork loin, tenderloin and ham are excellent sources of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein, and a good source of zinc and potassium. The USDA MyPlate guidelines recommend children eat up to six ounces of lean protein daily, depending on age and gender.

Sources: Iowa Select Farms and Deb & Jeff Hansen Foundation, which are solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly own the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
 

Relativity in the numbers

National Pork Board Young pigs around a feeder inside a barn

I've never been able to get my head around really large numbers, such as when talking of what top professional athletes and celebrities make for playing games or singing songs.

I do not begrudge Lionel Messi for making $127 million playing soccer, or Taylor Swift for making $185 million for using her vocal chords to entertain endearing crowds. They are both taking full advantage of the talents that God has given them to make a very comfortable living for themselves, and their children, and their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren, and their …. Well, you get the point.

Don't get me wrong, I am not jealous (OK, maybe a little), because my wife and I make a decent living, but our children will have to fend for themselves (sorry kids). I just cannot fathom that amount of money that today's celebrities bring in.

Same goes for when we discuss any numbers surrounding China. I remember decades ago in my previous news gathering life, the United States was trying to increase exports, and China was seen as a growth market, much as it is today. Back then there was talk of the hopes of increasing ag exports to reach a minuscule percentage of the Chinese populace. A minuscule percentage increase of 1.25 billion consumers would be real nice padding to the U.S. wallet.

Now, for the last year or so we have watched from afar as the Chinese hog herd is being decimated by African swine fever. The sheer numbers of the Chinese herd are daunting. Estimates are that 40 to 55% of the Chinese hog herd has either been culled or died from ASF. Those numbers are large percentages, but that becomes even larger when you align numbers of animals to those percentages.

Just throwing out general numbers: the Chinese had 400 million hogs, then ASF took 40 to 55%. According to the USDA, as of Sept. 1, there were 77.7 million hogs and pigs on U.S. farms. ASF has diminished the Chinese swine herd by the entire U.S. hog herd and then some.

I can't even fathom those kinds of numbers. The Chinese hog herd versus the U.S. swine herd is like the Swift household compared to the Schulz household. I've never hung out with Taylor Swift, and I imagine she feels that she has a pretty nice lifestyle, but I'm happy with mine.

Same goes for the Chinese swine herd. I've never been to China, not sure if I ever will go, or at least not until this whole ASF thing dies down, which could be quite some time. For the time being, I am content with the "little" U.S. pork industry to keep plugging along just fine, producing the safest, most-nutritious pork product in the world. A pork product that can help feed the Chinese who are getting hungry for good pork.

Busy December for Congress

Getty Images/iStockphoto Scenic view of the U.S. Capitol and U.S. flag in the foreground

Congress has a number of major items to consider before the end of the year. There are only eight legislative days scheduled for the rest of this year. However, Congress is expected to be in session more days. The question will be how many things can be finished this year and how many items will be carried over until next year.

  • Fiscal year '20 federal funding: The continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating ends on Dec. 20. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees leadership have reached an agreement on funding levels for the various appropriations bills. Congress will now try and pass as many FY '20 appropriations bills, including agriculture, before the end of the year.
  • Tax extenders: The $1-a-gallon biodiesel tax credit expired nearly two years ago, along with a number of other tax extenders. It is still to be determined if an agreement can be reached on tax extenders before the end of the year. A bill has been introduced in the House that would extend the biodiesel tax credit at $1 per gallon through 2021 and then reduce it to 75 cents in 2022, 50 cents in 2023 and 33 cents in 2024. The credit would end in 2025.
  • U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Negotiations are continuing between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the House Democratic Working Group. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) this week said, "We are within range of a substantially improved agreement for America's workers." She is waiting on the USTR to send what has been agreed to in writing for "final" review. If an agreement is announced, there still may not be enough time to vote on the USMCA this year because of the various procedural requirements under the Trade Promotion Authority. Thus, a vote would take place early next year.

Court denies NAMI in Prop 12 case
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied the North American Meat Institute's motion for a preliminary injunction of California's Proposition 12 law.

NAMI argues its members would "suffer irreparable harm by constitutional injury and noncompensable money damages" if Prop. 12 is permitted to go into effect. The court rules that NAMI did not establish the requisite likelihood of success regarding the merits of its claims. According to the Court, Prop. 12 "applies evenly no matter where production takes place."

Prop. 12 mandates space requirements for breeding pigs, veal calves and egg-laying hens within California. The law also requires out-of-state producers to meet these new standards to be able to sell their products in California.

NAMI plans to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Thanksgiving dinner increased 1 cent
This year's Thanksgiving dinner cost $48.91 for a family of 10 according to the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual survey. This is an increase of one penny over last year's meal.

The items in AFBF's annual survey includes turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk.

The first AFBF Thanksgiving survey was conducted in 1986.

Source: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.