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NLPA News Brief
July 1, 2015
Livestock and Ag Credit News

Livestock Producers Need to Make Coverage Decisions Starting July 1

Ag Weekly, 06/23/15—The USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds livestock producers of upcoming important dates for federal livestock risk management programs available. The Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) program for fed cattle, feeder cattle, and swine and the Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) program for swine begin sales for the 2016 crop year on July 1, 2015. Sales will continue through June 30, 2016, or until the maximum underwriting capacity is reached. Livestock producers are encouraged to review their insurance coverage and talk to their livestock insurance agents before renewing or buying a policy.

LRP coverage protects the policyholder from the risk of prices dropping during the insurance period. LGM provides protection against the livestock's loss of market value after feed costs. LRP and LGM do not cover any other peril such as mortality, condemnation, physical damage, disease, individual marketing decisions, local price deviations, or any other cause of loss.


GIPSA NEWS: No new posts this week.


Livestock and Ag Credit News

Will El Niño Bust California's Drought?

By Angela Bowman, Dovers CattleNetwork, 06/24/15—It's time to say "hola" to El Niño. It is back and picking up steam with forecasters favoring a strong event later in the fall and winter. But what does a weak El Niño summer really mean?

Anthony Barnston with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), looked at what climate impacts are favored for summer in the United States. It will likely peak in the fall, which leads federal forecasters to believe it won't have a gangbuster influence on NOAA's seasonal forecasts for coming summer months, "While El Niño is the 800–pound gorilla in winter forecasts in the US, it is more like a tame, 6–pound Chihuahua in summer, as it is joined with, or preempted by, other considerations going into CPC's seasonal outlook," Barnston wrote.

CBS News adds in an article here that if El Niño does strength to become a strong El Niño event during the summer, it would steer heavy rainstorms toward the southern Plains and intermountain West. It is worth noting that California isn't expected to see the drought–busting it rain it so needs.

Changing the Debate on Antibiotics

By Rick Berman, Bovine Veterinarian, 06/23/15—Activist groups including PETA and HSUS never run out of issues. If you change one practice to appease these vegans, such as sow housing, they'll come back next week with more demands. Groups in the "conflict industry" have nothing else to do.

Witness the new focus on antibiotics. It's an issue that has been on the periphery for years among food–safety and animal–rights groups. Activists are now more seriously engaging on the issue, which no doubt is due to the failure of HSUS to pass any legislative bans on sow maternity pens over the past three years. And they've also focused on a new target: the chicken industry.

The issue is a bit of a mess. Sanderson Farms has come out publicly to say why they judiciously use antibiotics as a preventive measure. Perdue has been phasing out antibiotics over the past decade. McDonald's has come out in favor of phasing out classes of antibiotics in production that are also used in human medicine. Chipotle flaunts its "no–antibiotics–ever" philosophy.

Meanwhile, polling shows the issue hasn't—yet—gained the public's concern. The majority of people believe that antibiotic resistance is not due to antibiotic use on farms, but due to doctor over–prescription of antibiotics in human medicine.

Pork Checkoff Announces #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces Team

By Cindy Cunningham, PORKNetwork, 06/26/15—The Pork Checkoff has selected 12 college students to be a part of the #RealPigFarming Student Social Forces team this year. Participants were selected based on their involvement in the pork industry and their strong communication skills. The team will be active through the end of the year. "Social media is ingrained in young people's daily lives," said Claire Masker, public relations manager for the Pork Checkoff. "It's easy for them to share their thoughts about an industry that they are proud to be a part of."

Consumers continue to have questions about how pigs are raised, and no one knows the answers better than pork producers. The Pork Checkoff's social media outreach program is helping real farmers share real stories with consumers through #RealPigFarming. The hashtag (#) before Real Pig Farming helps people search social media posts with the same phrase, making it easier for them to follow conversations.

MSU Researchers Win Grant for 'Beef to School' Research

Montana State University News Release, 06/25/15—A team of Montana State University researchers and community partners has been awarded a three–year, $220,000 grant to help Montana beef producers and meat processors and increase the use of local beef in Montana's schools and communities.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, is intended to increase the availability and consumption of local beef in Montana's schools and communities and help improve Montana beef producers' and meat processors' viability and sustainability. It is also intended to discern which "beef to school" methods are most sustainable for producers, processors and schools.

McDonald’s Working on Bridging Gaps Between Beef Production and Customer Expectations

By Jon Condon, BEEF Central, 06/26/15—There's plenty of potential for beef producers and McDonald's to work together to bridge the gap between beef production and consumer expectations, one of the company's senior global supply chain executives says.

Global Livestock News

Veterinarian Helps Dairies in India, China Improve Food Safety

Bovine Veterinarian, 06/24/15—This spring, James Cullor, DVM, PhD, visited dairies in developing regions of India and China to help local farmers improve the health and wellbeing of their cattle, food safety, environment, and their own economic wellbeing. Cullor is a professor at the University of California–Davis.

Using Dairy Dynamic Management (DDM) techniques, Cullor worked with farmers and thousands of cows in four locations of India where many cows are milked by hand and their milk sold raw. He also visited dairies near Harbin, Xian, Inner Mongolia and South of Beijing in China. Farmers were trained in areas like reproduction, milking parlor and fresh cow management for a safe and wholesome milk supply, waste management techniques and animal welfare approaches.

Stabenow Proposes COOL Alternative

By Dave Natzke, Drovers CattleNetwork, 06/24/15—U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D–Mich.), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Ag Committee, released an alternative Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) legislative proposal she said offers a pathway forward in the wake of the recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling. Stabenow said her draft proposal is modeled on WTO–consistent standards, and affirms voluntary labels for beef and pork.

A link to Stabenow's proposal can be found here.

Global Livestock News

U.S. Congress Victory Moves Obama's Pacific Trade Pact Forward

By Krista Hughes and Richard Cowan, Reutuers, 06/25/15—Legislation vital to securing the largest U.S. trade deal in decades was passed by the Senate on Wednesday by a comfortable margin, advancing President Barack Obama's efforts to strengthen U.S. economic ties around the Pacific Rim.

After a six–week congressional battle including two brushes with failure, some fancy legislative footwork and myriad backroom deals to keep the legislation alive, the Senate voted 60 to 38 to grant Obama "fast–track" power to negotiate trade deals and speed them through Congress. The bill next goes to the president for his signature.

Up to $10 Million Available for Federal Lamb Purchase

American Sheep Industry Association Weekly Newsletter, 06/26/15—USDA opens the bid process for 640,000 pounds of lamb roast. Huge volumes of imported lamb, record levels of inventory in the coolers and a major swing in currency-exchange rates to the advantage of the importer have all pressured American lamb movement and price. The American Sheep Industry Association requested a Section 32 lamb purchase in an effort to strengthen a market that has faltered since late 2014, and to prompt stronger prices for lambs at the farm and ranch gate.

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's Administrator Anne Alonzo announced on May 22 the agency's intent to make available up to $10 million to purchase lamb products for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks. The Bid Invitation was issued on Wednesday, June 24, for 640,000 pounds of lamb leg roast, bone-in and boneless. Bids must be submitted by July 13 with acceptances being announced by midnight, July 17.


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Prepared by Polly Welden

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