Ag Chat with Kristin Smith - Nov. 9

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- President Donald Trump is in Asia this week and it was successful for the soybean industry. According to Reuters, Chinese soybean buyers will sign a letter of intent with the U.S. Soybean Export Council committing to purchasing a certain volume of soybeans in the future. The volume under the new deal will be 'much less' and will reflect orders due to be signed in the current marketing year, that were not included in the July agreement. But China will also promise to buy more U.S. soybeans in future, as well as more U.S. beef, barley and dairy products, including cheese. China is the world's biggest soybean importer and the U.S. is its second largest supplier.

Exports of U.S. feed grains and related products provide critical support across the U.S. economy, offering billions in economic benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation as a whole. New research commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council and the National Corn Growers Association show that U.S. feed grain and grain products exports were worth $18.9 billion in 2015 and supported $55.5 billion in economic output. These exports were linked to nearly 262,000 jobs. If exports were halted, more than 46,000 jobs and $2.6 billion would be adversely impacted on the farm, ethanol production and meat production levels before accounting for losses in linked industries. Informa Economics conducted the study, and the numbers showed for every $1 of grain exports generated supported an additional $2.19 in business sales. And every job directly created by the export of grain and grain products supported an additional 4.7 jobs in the United States.

The National Pork Producer Council says a ban on disease prevention uses of antibiotics in food-animal production being advocated by the World Health Organization would be ill-advised and wrong. Denying pigs, cows and chickens necessary antibiotics would be unethical and immoral, leading to animal suffering and possibly death, and could compromise the nation's food system. America's pork farmers share the WHO's concern about the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and are complying with an FDA directive that prohibits the use of antibiotics important to human medicine for promoting animal growth and that requires feed and water uses of those same antibiotics to be under a veterinary prescription. Prevention uses of antibiotics involve administering antimicrobial drugs to animals that aren't exhibiting clinical signs of disease but that likely will get disease if a drug isn't administered. The U.S. pork industry's goal is to reduce the need for antibiotics.

California has banned farmers from using certain pesticides near schools and day care centers under a new rule announced Tuesday that regulators said is among the toughest in the U.S. Under the new rule, California farmers will be prohibited from spraying pesticides within a quarter mile of public K-12 schools and licensed daycare centers from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the school week, according to the state Department of Pesticide Regulation. The new regulations take effect January 1 and under the rule, farmers will be limited to spraying near schools at night and on weekends, when students are usually not on campus.



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