USDA and USTR Release Report on China Trade

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

An interim report from the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) highlights the progress made so far in implementing the agricultural provisions in the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement.

To date, China has implemented at least 50 of the 57 technical commitments under the Phase One Agreement. These structural changes will benefit American farmers for decades to come. China also has substantially ramped up its purchases of U.S. agricultural products. To date, China has purchased over $23 billion in agricultural products, approximately 71% of its target under the Phase One Agreement.

Highlights in the report include:
Outstanding sales of U.S. corn to China are record high 8.7 million tons. Soybeans sales for marketing year 2021 are off to the strongest start in history, double 2017 levels. U.S. pork exports to China hit an all-time record in the first five months of 2020 as beef and beef products exports through August 2020 are already more than triple the total for 2017.

In addition to these products, USDA expects 2020 sales to China to hit record or near-record levels for numerous other U.S. agricultural products including pet food, alfalfa hay, pecans, peanuts, and prepared foods.

Read the full report

Exports, Trade, USDA

Industry Ag News 10/23

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • Record potato sales continued at retail from July through September 2020. Total store potato sales increased by 13.6% in dollar sales and 10.6% in volume sales, compared to the same time frame in 2019. These sales levels are also the highest they have been for the past five years.
  • FFA members and supporters from across the country will log on to their smart devices next week to celebrate agricultural education and agriculture during the 93rd National FFA Convention & Expo. The event, which is traditionally the largest student convention in the country, will be held virtually this year, allowing even more people to participate.
  • As part of its ongoing efforts to support the next generation of American agriculture, National Farmers Union announced that fourteen participants had been selected for its tenth Beginning Farmer Institute cohort. Over the course of ten months, these beginning farmers and ranchers will attend three sessions focused on technical training, mentorship, and leadership development.
  • Charleston│Orwig is now C.O.nxt, amplifying the agency’s focus on guiding clients toward new possibilities and unexpected solutions. Pronounced “c o next,” C.O.nxt reflects an appreciation for the organization’s roots as well as optimism for the future. To align with the rebranding, the agency also launches a new logo and website,
  • The GROWMARK Foundation continues its commitment to FFA by giving away 25 more jackets this fall. The effort honors the legacy of Mike Builta, a GROWMARK vice president and long-time employee who passed away unexpectedly in 2019. Mike’s wife Sheila, along with daughters Haley and Kelsey, wished to honor his memory by providing 100 FFA jackets to Illinois FFA members – 25 each year from 2019-2022.
  • Farm Foundation and USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) are partnering to host a conference dedicated to economic research into the challenges and opportunities experienced by beginning farmers and ranchers. This is a unique chance for attendees to learn, discuss and connect around these issues to improve future outcomes for new agriculture professionals. The virtual conference is scheduled for November 9-10, 2020. Register at
  • The 2020 NAFB Foundation Auction is going virtual this year . . . and it is now LIVE! The online auction will be built into the virtual convention page at the top of the screen as a main-menu selection as well as a separate link. Those who want to bid on items will need to register within the auction site. Bidders will have from today until 12 a.m. Eastern, Tuesday, December 1, 2020 (11 p.m. Central, Monday, November 30, 2020), to place bids.
  • The winner of this year’s NAFB Membership Directory Cover Photo Contest is Chabella Guzman of KRVN/Rural Radio Network. Guzman submitted the winning photo and will receive a $100 Visa gift card from NAFB. Her photo will appear on the cover of the 2021 NAFB Membership Directory, as well. Guzman’s photo features Wyoming wheat, soaking in the sun, north of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. The wheat is part of several plots in a University of Wyoming variety trial project.
  • U.S. Custom Harvesters will host its 37th annual convention in Des Moines, Iowa, January 21-23, 2021. The convention will be an in-person event. For the first time in five years, the annual convention will feature the four main U.S. forage harvester equipment companies. Krone, CLAAS, New Holland and John Deere will be showcasing their newest equipment to USCHI members in January.
Zimfo Bytes

Debate Mentions Farmers, Discusses Energy

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

President Donald Trump highlighted his support for U.S. farmers and ranchers during the presidential debate with Democrat challenger Joe Biden Thursday night.

“China is paying … I just gave 28 billion dollars to our farmers,” President Trump said when asked what he would do to make China pay for its lack of transparency about the coronavirus.

Interrupted by Biden saying it was “taxpayers’ money,” President Trump argued that China paid for its treatment of farmers. “They devalued their currency and also paid up. And you know who got the money? Our farmers, our great farmers, because they were targeted.”

Presidential debate Trump on China and farmers (:22)

Former Vice President Biden expressed support for “complete zero emissions by 2025” by transitioning away from oil during climate change portion of the debate.

“Because the oil industry pollutes significantly,” said Biden. “It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time.”

Biden mentioned solar and wind energy, but renewable fuels were not specifically mentioned by either candidate. Later in the segment on climate change, Biden stretched the deadline for zero emissions beyond 2025. “We have to move toward net zero emissions. The first place to do that by the year 2035 is in energy production, by 2050 totally.”

The former vice president also said he is does “rule out banning fracking,” but wants to make sure we can “capture the emissions from the fracking.”

Listen to some of the debate on energy here:
Presidential debate discussion on energy (2:16)

Audio, Energy, politics

Precision Ag News 10/21

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • University of Florida scientists achieved a major milestone in their quest to develop a citrus greening-resistant tree by sequencing the genome of a fruit plant that’s a close cousin to citrus trees.
  • Farmers will have 20 new Channel® XtendFlex® soybean products for their farms and fields in 2021. During the 2020 season, these XtendFlex products have been widely planted and evaluated in monitored field trials across the country, providing Channel team members and farmers a reliable assessment of agronomic vigor and yield potential.
  • Truterra, LLC, the sustainability business at Land O’Lakes, Inc., one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives, announced a new collaboration with Ag Growth International Inc., a leading provider of equipment solutions for agriculture bulk commodities including seed, fertilizer, grain, feed and food processing systems.
  • The Soil Health Institute released a series of virtual soil health field days. The video tours include conversations with cotton growers and soil health specialists in Arkansas and South Carolina, according to David Lamm, Project Manager of Healthy Soils for Sustainable Cotton. The series of 13 videos are publicly available on SHI’s YouTube Channel.
  • Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. announces that Ron Restum, former VP Sales and Commercial Development for Concentric Ag, has joined Ostara as Chief Revenue Officer.
  • Ranch Systems, Inc. announced they have completed integration with John Deere Operations Center allowing data flow from Ranch Systems’ telemetry solutions and field monitoring platform. Ranch Systems has also completed integration work necessary to remotely read the John Deere Field Connect soil moisture probes.
  • The next Water for Food Global Webinar Series session on Thursday, Oct. 22, will examine the environmental and man-made challenges to water quality and how to find solutions to ensure healthy water for personal needs, agriculture and the environment. Register here.
  • HELM Agro US, Inc. announced that Gamma™ herbicide has received federal registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Gamma is a non-selective PPO-inhibitor herbicide with a novel active ingredient called Tergeo™ for directed postemergence applications in grapes.
  • CoverCress, Inc., announced a new collaboration with the Salk Institute to improve plant yield, soil health and soil organic carbon storage in cover crops via cutting-edge technologies developed by the Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative.
  • Case IH is launching updates to Puma® series tractors — models 185, 200, 220 and 240 — to enhance the efficiency, comfort and convenience. From an updated hood with new styling to increased service intervals and enhanced drivability, the new features and advancements aim to improve the operator’s experience and boost productivity.
AgWired Precision, Precision Ag Bytes, Precision Agriculture

Field Notes from Koch Agronomic Services – Episode 7

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

The Field Notes podcast series from Koch Agronomic Services (Koch) breaks down the science and technology behind agronomy to help growers do more with less.

The experts we’ve heard from on our previous episodes have covered topics ranging from how different crops use nitrogen to the 4R’s of Nutrient Stewardship and how growers and retailers work together to choose the best input for an operation. If you haven’t checked out the previous prior six episodes, you can find them on your favorite podcast platform.

Nitrogen Protection and Cold Weather Myths

This episode addresses nitrogen protection and cold weather myths. Technical agronomist Derek Rapp and product marketing manager Eric Vogel with Koch Agronomic Services discuss the misconceptions that cold temperatures stop nitrogen loss and ammonia volatilization is the only cause of fall-applied nitrogen losses. The two also talk about what growers in the wheat belt should know this winter.

You can listen to the program here: Nitrogen Protection and Cold Weather Myths

And to make sure you don’t miss an episode, choose an option to subscribe

For Spotify on your computer download the desktop app.

Agribusiness, Agronomy, Audio, Koch Agronomic Services, Podcasts

Free Agri-Pulse Webinar to Explore Pork Exports

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

With COVID-19 disrupting millions of lives and the ability to process protein, thousands of pork producers were forced to pivot to an unprecedented new reality in 2020 and international exports became even more important to producer profitability.

Agri-Pulse will explore the export situation for U.S. pork producers during a free one-hour webinar Oct. 29, from noon to 1 pm EST. The webinar is sponsored by the National Pork Board.

“Some might wonder why U.S. producers are working to expand exports when the domestic supply chain was so disrupted this year,” said Agri-Pulse Editor Sara Wyant. “But when you look at the types of products that are exported plus the factors that enable producers to stay in business, it’s a much more complex conversation.”

Wyant will moderate a panel on the topic with Ted Mckinney, USDA Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs; North Carolina pork producer Jan Archer; and Dr. Dermot Hayes, Iowa State University agricultural economist.

Click for more information and registration.

Agri-Pulse, Pork, Pork Checkoff

Georgia Deere Season

Chuck Zimmerman Leave a Comment

That’s not a typo. For members of the Crystal Pig Hunt Club it is Deer and Deere season. Opening day was this past Saturday and there is deer meat in camp. The weather has been almost perfect. Last year was not since it rained hard all of opening day and then things were a mess.

So, we’re test driving a new John Deere Gator XUV855M, diesel. It has been a joy to drive to do maintenance on feeders, fill them, get to stands and get our deer back to camp. We have some steep and narrow trails so being able to just push 4-wheel drive and go is simple. During the season I’ll have some more detailed analysis of what we like or might not like. For now though we’re off to a good start with all members going home with meat in the cooler. I’ll have plenty of field photos and some video too.

Hunting, John Deere

Animal Ag News 10/19

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The ONE Virtual Experience looks at a sea of opportunity awaiting the global aquaculture market, which is expected to see an increase in demand of more than 30% by 2030. Explore what awaits the world’s fastest-growing protein sector and learn how aquaculture will play a vital role in feeding the world in a healthy, sustainable way. Access the ONE Virtual Experience now.
  • Due to the recent postponement of the 2021 National Western Stock Show, the American Gelbvieh Association board of directors made the decision to hold the 2021 Gelbvieh and Balancer® National Show and 2021 Gelbvieh and Balancer National Sale at the Cattlemen’s Congress taking place January 4-17, 2021, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This board decision comes from recommendations of both the Association’s national show committee and national sale committee.
  • It’s difficult to imagine operating a finishing facility in today’s era of thin margins without real-time information on finishing pig weight and performance. Yet that’s how typical finishing barns were built and equipped prior to the development of automation technology. Research shows automated pig sorting technology increased revenues by $7,000-$10,000 per year per 1,000-head barn. Visit to learn more.
  • The Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association, in cooperation with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, have worked closely with USDA to ensure cattle producers in the state of Louisiana have access to needed disaster resources to help with losses incurred as a result of this year’s devastating hurricanes.
  • President Trump expressed disappointment regarding the ongoing stalemate in the development of new COVID-relief legislation, saying his lead negotiator “hasn’t come home with the bacon.” Without immediate relief for hog farmers in crisis, the treasury secretary may not be the only one not bringing home the bacon, according to the National Pork Producers Council. U.S. hog farmers are facing $5 billion in collective pandemic-related losses this year following two challenging years due to trade retaliation. NPPC is seeking several provisions in a new COVID-relief package.
  • USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, in which researchers evaluated a novel method to vaccinate for infectious bronchitis viruses. The research was made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Fieldale Farms and is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing.
  • NovaQuest Capital Management LLC announced a $20 million product financing agreement with Mileutis Ltd., an Israeli biopharmaceutical company, to help mitigate the use of antibiotics in animals. NovaQuest’s investment will drive the continued development and commercialization of Mileutis’ novel, biologically sourced, and residue-free therapies for animal health. NovaQuest’s investment is its first ever in the animal health care field and in an Israeli company.
AgWired Animal, Animal Agriculture, Animal Bites

Industry Ag News 10/16

Carrie Muehling Leave a Comment

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an export sale of 420,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to China.
  • The American Soybean Association (ASA) wants to award a scholarship to an outstanding high school senior interested in pursuing agriculture. The Soy Scholarship is a $5,000 one-time award presented to a high school senior who plans to pursue agriculture as an area of study at any accredited college or university in the 2021-22 academic year. The scholarship is managed by ASA and made possible through a grant the by BASF Corporation. High school seniors may apply online Oct. 14-Dec. 6, 2020. Click here to apply.
  • The success of Farm Journal’s inaugural Farm Journal Field Days has led to a 365-day expansion of the event, giving agricultural suppliers and service providers timely access to target audiences while also providing farmers, ranchers and growers with the critical information they need for upcoming seasons.
  • A huge ‘75’ artwork visible from outer space was carved into a recently combined field in Staffordshire, UK to mark JCB’s impending 75th birthday. The giant logo was created in a field eight miles away from the company’s World Headquarters at Rocester and covered almost eight acres – equivalent to four soccer fields. The birthday tribute was so distinctive is could be seen by imaging satellites orbiting high above the earth. The special artwork was created ahead of JCB’s 75th anniversary on October 23rd by one of the company’s most famous products – the Fastrac tractor, which was equipped with a hi-tech precision guidance system.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. States Trade Representative (USTR) are accepting applications for new members to serve on seven agricultural trade advisory committees. Application instructions are available at Applications must be received by 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 13, 2020.
  • Dr. Rattan Lal was awarded the 2020 World Food Prize in a virtual award ceremony. The annual Laureate Award Ceremony rivals that of the Nobel Prize, often drawing over 800 people from more than 50 countries and is traditionally held in the Iowa State Capitol building. This year, due to the global pandemic, this event and the rest of the annual World Food Prize Week is being conducted virtually.
  • IFAJ is providing the opportunity for five agricultural journalists and communicators to attend the Financial Times digital Global Food Systems Summit 2020 on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Recipients of passes will be chosen by a random drawing. Register here by October 22 for the chance to be selected for a free pass.
  • Atlanta nonprofit Food Well Alliance (FWA) announced it is one of 23 organizations across the nation – and the only organization in Georgia – receiving a brand-new grant awarded by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The new Regional Food System Partnerships grant program joins the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion grant programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. The $250,000 grant awarded to FWA will advance implementation of the Atlanta region’s first-ever City Agriculture Plan being piloted in the City of East Point and guided by FWA and city planning experts from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).
  • On Monday, November 2, Mindi Vanden Bosch will move to the role of Managing Director of Forage Solutions at Vermeer Corporation. After gaining wide experiences across different parts of the Vermeer business for the past 12 years, Vanden Bosch will lead the product development, commercialization and customer support of the company’s comprehensive lineup of innovative hay tools and feeding solutions. Vanden Bosch is the granddaughter of Vermeer founder Gary Vermeer.
  • The American Agri-Women (AAW) Foundation has chosen five scholarship recipients that play a positive role in their communities, encourage the present generation of agriculture, and desire to continue their education in agricultural pursuits. For more information and applications to AAW scholarships visit
  • UPL North America recently announced the addition of Robert Sergeant as a Territory Sales Manager. In this role, Bob will be working directly with customers in western New York and Pennsylvania. He will report to Scott Janes, Eastern Regional Sales Manager.
  • A new hemp membership association has been started in Missouri. The Show-Me Hemp Association LLC officially opened for business on October 1st with a goal of serving hemp growers and businesses throughout the Midwest.
  • Max J. Molleston, 85, of Coralville, Iowa, formerly of Davenport, passed away October 8, 2020, at his home after a sudden illness. Max was a long-time media personality in the Quad Cities who lent his time and talents to many community organizations. Max Molleston joined NAFB as an associate member at WHBF in 1976 then continued his broadcast career there before moving to WHBF, WKBF/WPXR, and WOC/WLLR Radio.
  • The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association have announced the annual MN AG EXPO, the state’s premier indoor agriculture trade show, will be pared down to a virtual format in 2021 due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions.
Zimfo Bytes

2021 American Farm Bureau Convention Goes Virtual

Cindy Zimmerman Leave a Comment

It is starting to look like most conventions kicking off 2021 will be going virtual.

The American Farm Bureau Federation announced today that its 102nd Annual Convention will be held virtually following the cancellation of all events through Jan. 31, 2021, at the San Diego Convention Center where the convention was scheduled to take place. The AFBF virtual convention will be held Jan. 10-13, 2021.

AFBF joins a growing list of January events that will be virtual in 2021.

The National Biodiesel Board announced earlier this week that the annual Biodiesel Conference & Expo will be virtual for the 2021 event January 18-21. The National Cotton Council has replaced the in-person 2021 Beltwide Cotton Conference in New Orleans, LA with a fully virtual meeting January 5 through 7. The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE), which was scheduled for Jan. 26-28 in Atlanta, will now instead offer digital exhibitor engagement and virtual educational opportunities during the week of Jan. 25.

We will be working with both the National Biodiesel Board and the National Cotton Council to help get content to media from their events on AgNewsWire.

AFBF, Ag Groups, Beltwide Cotton, Biodiesel, Cotton, IPPE, National Biodiesel Conference, Poultry, Poultry Expo