05 AUG

U.S. farmers increase corn acreage

Despite an unusually wet spring followed by an unusually cool June, U.S. corn farmers planted even more than they did last year. U.S. farmers have planted 91.7 million acres of corn in 2019, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That’s about 3% more corn than last year, far more acres than the next largest crop, soybeans.

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) in its monthly Feed Outlook report said corn farmers faced one of the most challenging planting seasons in recent memory, and while the corn did get planted, farmers planted much of it later than usual. In early July, 57% of the crop was reported to be in good or excellent condition, while last year 75% was reported good or excellent by that time. Based on the late start to the crop and the continued cool weather, the USDA is forecasting slightly lower yields than last year. At present, however, the USDA forecasts that corn supplies will be sufficient to meet demand because farmers have plenty of corn stored from last year’s crop.  Read more

05 AUG

Report: Agribusiness puts heavy focus on sustainability

Sustainability is transcending traditionally scrutinized industries to become a central issue in agribusiness, according to a new report from Fitch Solutions Macro Research.

Consumer facing industries are rapidly adapting to shifts in public environmental consciousness and engagement, propelling faster government and corporate action. Legislation on plastic bags has had a major impact on mass grocery retail in recent years. Sixty-six percent of countries worldwide have enacted some form of national legislation addressing plastic bags, with a growing number of local governments doing the same, according to the United Nations Environmental Program. Read more

29 JUL

U.S. truck driver shortage Is on course to double in a decade

The U.S. trucker shortage is expected to more than double over the next decade as the industry struggles to replace aging drivers and recruit more women.
The driver deficit swelled by more than 10,000 to 60,800 in 2018 from a year earlier, according to a study by the American Trucking Associations. The shortage is expected to ease slightly this year as U.S.-China trade friction slows freight demand and after trucking companies boosted pay to attract recruits.  Read more
29 JUL

The F Word: Flexitarian is not a curse to the meat industry

Contrary to popular opinion, plant-based alternatives will not be the demise of traditional meat-thanks in part to the rising concept of “flexitarian.” Not familiar with the term? It’s the latest dietary trend in the food arena, except it’s far less restrictive than options like keto, alkaline and tapeworm diets. That’s because it’s perfect for consumers who are willing to delve heavily into both traditional meat and plant-based alternatives-and they’re ushering in a new area of protein consumption in the process. Read more

26 JUL

DOT seeks input on revisions for farmers, commercial drivers

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced July 22 that it is seeking public comment on revising agricultural commodity or livestock definitions in Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations, saying it has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide clarity for the nation’s farmers and commercial drivers. Read more

26 JUL

Why African swine fever might create a boom in poultry production

People in the industry are concerned, rightly or wrongly, that some farmers – and even countries – are under-reporting the extent of the disease so they can keep trading despite the risks of spreading it further. Nevertheless, a report published by The Economist in May estimated that over the course of 2019 Chinese pork production would fall by 20 to 50 percent. This will have a massive impact considering that half of all the pork in the world is produced and eaten in China. Read more

22 JUL

US consumers buy chicken for versatility, value, variety

Chicken purchasers cite more positive attributes than purchasers of beef, pork, fish and plant-based meat proteins, according to new research presented today at the 2019 Chicken Marketing Summit.
The National Chicken Council (NCC) and WATT Global Media presented the results of a study that explored the drivers for grocery purchases of chicken compared to other meat and plant-based proteins. IRI provided supporting data from its retail databases. The study was commissioned by the NCC and conducted online by IRI July 1-10, 2019, among 780 adults. Funding was provided by Elanco, WATT Global Media, NCC and Meyn. Read more

22 JUL

APHIS Administrator announces several senior leadership changes

Dear Stakeholders:
I want to share with you several changes taking place in important APHIS leadership positions.
Dr. Mark Davidson will be an Associate Administrator, filling the position previously held by Mike Gregoire, who retired earlier this year. Most recently, Dr. Davidson has been serving as Deputy Administrator for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business Services (MRPBS) after many years in Veterinary Services (VS). In this position, he will oversee the work of VS, Animal Care (AC), and MRPBS.
Ms. Bernadette Juarez will be the Deputy Administrator for Biotechnology Regulatory Services, succeeding Dr. Mike Firko, who is retiring at the end of the month. Ms. Juarez has been serving as the Deputy Administrator for AC since early 2016, after earlier service as the Director of APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services and before that as an attorney with USDA’s Office of the General Counsel. While we recruit for a permanent successor, Dr. Betty Goldentyer, currently AC’s Associate Deputy Administrator, will serve as Acting Deputy Administrator. Dr. Jerry Rushin will act as AC’s Associate Deputy Administrator.  Read more
12 JUL

USPOULTRY now accepting nominations for 2020 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award

USPOULTRY is now accepting nominations for the 2020 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award. The award recognizes exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production. Those eligible for the award include any family-owned poultry grower or egg producer supplying product to a USPOULTRY member or an independent producer who is a USPOULTRY member. Nominations are due Oct. 31.  Read more

12 JUL

GIPSA reboot coming this fall

The Agriculture Department is taking another shot at rewriting regulations restricting how meat and poultry processors can treat producers, and familiar battle lines are being redrawn ahead of an anticipated release.

USDA is revising a provision in an Obama-era Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Inspection, or GIPSA, rule that would have clarified violations for processors who give “undue preference” to some producers over others, a practice banned by the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921. The department submitted the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget Tuesday.  Read more