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Articles from 2013 In March


Hamming it Up for Easter!

Pork Be Inspired Ham for Easter

We all know that there is a pork recipe for every season, but Easter in particular is made for ham! Recently Chef Michael Formichella, president and co-owner of Chella Foods, noted that the combination of versatility, variety and value have helped make pork the “it” protein.  The vast array of tasty recipes available for all occasions complement the product pork producers proudly offer to their customers.

This week, Formichella devotes considerable space in his “Chef’s Table” blog at the Meatingplace.com Web site to the topic of family holiday traditions—and shares the secrets behind his Easter ham recipe. In preparation for Easter, ham is a hot topic. The New York Times recently provided substantial coverage about ham, explaining the art of choosing a flavorful Easter ham, and offering a pictorial guide in their “Dining and Wine” section.

The Pork Checkoff has been busy promoting ham, too, with a “Ham a Day” giveaway on Facebook.  Fans of the Pork Be Inspired Facebook page were invited to share their favorite Easter ham recipes. Fans who posted their ideas up to March 22 were eligible for a daily drawing to win a ham coupon.

 

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Pork Checkoff research has shown that 82% of North American households own a grill or smoker.  It seems  that 56% of those grill owners are grilling year-round. Responding to those figures, the Pork Checkoff sent out a nationwide media kit this spring promoting a recipe for Spiced Grilled Ham with Citrus Glaze.  Groups such as the Ohio Pork Producers Council then built on this idea while promoting ham (and pork) in their own backyards. The Ohio Pork Producers Council Web site invites visitors to learn more about ham and meet a “ham farmer.” Central Ohio pork producer Mike Videkovich explains how he raises pigs as part of a 3-minute video on the Ohio Pork Producers Council YouTube channel.

I’ve got a 17-lb. ham in my freezer that is slated for my Easter Sunday dinner table. I’ve been browsing the Pork Be Inspired Web site, (drooling) and contemplating the perfect recipe to help please my dinner guests.  I think I’m going to try the Cola Pineapple Glazed Ham recipe this year.

The Pork Be Inspired Web site offers a variety of ham recipes from which to choose. They’ve even provided some recipe options just in case you have ham leftovers! Is ham going to be part of your Easter menu? How do you like your ham? Do you have a recipe to share? Post it in the “comments” section here, or email lora.berg@penton.com.  Best wishes for your Easter celebration from the National Hog Farmer staff.

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Group Asks Supreme Court to Review E15

The Engine Products Group, a coalition of automakers and small engine manufacturers, has filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Washington, DC, Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision regarding E-15.  The Circuit Court ruled in August of last year that none of the trade associations had standing in the case in which the group had challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to allow for the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E-15). 

 

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The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) said, “This appeal reflects the seriousness of this issue for the outdoor equipment and small engine industry.  We feel strongly that this challenge to the E-15 partial waiver needs to be considered on its merits and not held back on a procedural issue.  The coalition members include Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of Global Automakers, OPEI and the National Marine Manufacturers Association. 

2013 Record-High Combined Corn & Soybean Acreage

According to USDA’s Prospective Plantings report, U.S. farmers intend to plant a record-high combined 174.4 million acres of corn and soybeans this year.  The report indicates that corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres which is the highest planted acreage since 1936 (102 million acres).  States with expected record corn acreage includes Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota and Oregon.  States with expected decreases in acres are Illinois, Missouri and South Dakota. 

 

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Producers plan to plant 77.1 million acres of soybeans, down slightly from last year but 3% than 2011.  USDA’s acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March and reflect a sample of more than 83,500 farm operators across the nation. 

 

Ag Coalition Favors Adding Japan to TPP Negotiations

A coalition of 75 food and agricultural organizations and companies are urging the United States and other countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to welcome Japan into the trade talks.  The coalition said in a letter to President Barack Obama that the “addition of Japan to the negotiations will exponentially increase the importance of the TPP to U.S. farmers and ranchers, processors and exporters, as well as other sectors of the U.S. economy.  Furthermore, it will spur interest in the TPP among other countries in Asia and Latin America.”  Current members of the TPP are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States. Japan is the fourth-largest agricultural export market for the United States.  In 2012, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Japan totaled $13.5 billion. 

 

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Coalition members signing the letter included the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Sheep Industry Association, American Soybean Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Corn Growers Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, North American Meat Association and the Pet Food Institute.

FSIS Furloughs Averted

President Barack Obama signed the continuing resolution (CR) that funds the federal government until Sept. 30, 2013.  The CR provides additional funds for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSISI) to help forgo furloughs of meat and poultry inspectors. 

 

Senator Tim Johnson to Retire

Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) announced that he will not seek reelection next year.  He has been a strong advocate for packer ban legislation and mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL).  Other senators who have announced that they are retiring are Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Frank Lautenberg (D-NF), Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). 

Congress in Recess

Congress is halfway through its two-week spring recess. When members return next week, a number of issues remain on the docket, including FY ’14 appropriations, debt ceiling, immigration reform, farm bill, etc. 

 

New Zealand Court Ruling Grants Market Access to U.S. Pork

New Zealand Court Ruling Grants Market Access to U.S. Pork

New Zealand’s Court of Appeals last week rejected the New Zealand pork industry’s (NZPork) appeal of a decision issued by the country’s High Court last May that further liberalized market access for U.S. pork. The High Court found in favor of the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries and its Import Health Standard (IHS) for pork, pork products and by-products from countries with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), including the United States.

The IHS would allow the importation of consumer-ready cuts of uncooked pork less than about 6 lb. Thanks to the work of experts nominated by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) to the New Zealand Independent Working Group and the New Zealand PRRS Expert Working Group, scientific evidence was used to illustrate the minimal risk of spreading the virus.

 

 

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In fact, based on a conservative risk assessment model, New Zealand’s chances of getting PRRS from legally imported uncooked pork products are about one case every 1,227 years.

The country’s draft IHS originally was issued in November 2007, but because of the New Zealand pork industry’s strong political opposition, the process was stalled for several years while the expert groups convened.

NPPC is urging U.S. trade negotiators to ask New Zealand and Australia, which also imposes unscientific restrictions on U.S. pork because of PRRS, to remove all PRRS-related restrictions and allow full and open access for U.S. pork and pork products as a part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. NZPork has 20 working days to decide whether to appeal the case to the New Zealand Supreme Court.

 

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Farm Bureau Comments on USDA Crop Planting Report

 

A crop report issued Thursday by the Agriculture Department indicates that America’s farmers are preparing to plant 97.3 million acres of corn, one of the largest crops in history, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). The forecast is on target with what grain industry analysts had expected.

“The forecast gives us an indication of what farmers intend to plant as of early March, but between now and fall harvest the influence of still-dry soils, volatile commodity prices and weather uncertainty will play out, which may change what farmers plant,” says AFBF crops economist Todd Davis.

According to Davis, if realized, this year’s corn planting would be the largest acreage since 1936, when 102 million acres were planted. The most recent modern era production year that comes close to this year’s corn planting outlook was 2012, when 97.1 million acres were planted. This year’s planting and a trend yield of 163.54 bushels per acre could result in a final U.S. corn yield of around 14.6 billion bushels.

The soybean planting estimate came in at 77.1 million acres, which is slightly less than the 2012 crop. However, according to USDA’s February yield projection of 44.4 bushels per acre, 77.1 million soybean acres would produce a record soybean crop of 3.38 billion bushels, Davis notes.

“If these early planting and yield projections are realized, corn and soybeans stocks will increase, which would ultimately lead to lower feed costs for livestock and poultry farmers,” Davis says.

USDA’s March 1 survey of grain stocks pegged the nation’s corn inventory at 5.4 billion bushels, down 10% compared to a year ago, while soybean stocks were measured at 999 million bushels, down 27% from a year prior. 

“The drought is forecast to ease in the Western Corn Belt but will persist in Nebraska and Kansas, intensifying in Texas and Oklahoma. However, just because the drought may be easing doesn’t guarantee record crop yields in those areas,” Davis cautions.

Acreage of other feedgrains is projected to be up from last year as well, with grain sorghum, and oat plantings forecast to be up by 22%, and 5%, respectively. Barley acreage is expected to remain flat.

Wheat plantings are projected to be up 1% from last year. Cotton plantings are projected to be 10 million acres, 19% lower than last year.

 

Record Plantings Expected for Corn and Soybeans

Record Plantings Expected for Corn and Soybeans

Determined to make up for a crop that was adversely affected by historic drought last year, U.S. farmers intend to plant a record-high combined 174.4 million acres of corn and soybeans in 2013, according to the Prospective Plantings report released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

If realized, corn will represent the highest-planted acreage in the United States since 1936 (102 million planted acres) and for soybeans the fourth-highest acreage on record.

Corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres in 2013, up for the fifth consecutive year, slightly higher than last year and 6% higher than in 2011. With expected returns for corn historically high going into 2013, producers throughout the south and the northern Great Plains intend to plant more corn. Record high corn acreage is expected in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota and Oregon.

Conversely, most states in the Corn Belt, which experienced severe drought in 2012, expect to plant slightly less acres to corn in 2013. The largest year-over-year decreases are expected in Illinois, Missouri and South Dakota. Iowa continues to lead the nation with 14.2 million acres of corn.

Farmers in some areas of the country remain challenged by persistent drought conditions, which is limiting the amount of expected soybean acreage in some states. Therefore, nationally 77.1 million acres of soybeans are expected to be planted, down slightly from last year but up 3% from 2011.

 

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Compared with 2012, planting intentions are down across all of the Great Plains, with the exception of North Dakota. The year-over-year national decrease is only 72,000 acres. With planted area in most of the eastern Corn Belt and parts of the Southeast expected to rise, these increases nearly balance out the declines in the Great Plains. If realized, farmers in New York, North Dakota and Pennsylvania will also set new records for planted soybean acres.

Prospective Plantings provides the first official, survey- based estimates of U.S. farmers’ 2013 planting intentions. NASS’s acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March from a sample of more than 83,500 farm operators across the United States. Prospective Plantings and all NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

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