October 22, 2016

Ag Related Issues of Trade and Immigration – Presidential Debate

The topics of international trade and immigration reform came up during the final televised presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

More than half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented immigrants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

With fewer workers, farm owners say costs are rising and they often must leave unpicked fruit to rot in the fields.

And costs keep rising. Just recently, California said it will expand its overtime rules to include migrant farm workers starting in 2019.

The topic of immigration — and trade — led to this exchange between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on Wednesday in Las Vegas.          Listen —->   Debate

FarmBureau_78x37In a 2014 study, research from the American Farm Bureau found that America will lose an estimated $60 billion in agriculture production if we increase immigration enforcement without also increasing access to a reliable migrant workforce.

Rural voters can learn more about the importance of agricultural policy and where the candidates stand on these issues at Farm Bureau’s special election blog, http://election16.fb.org/.      #vote4ag



Record Corn Harvest Sets Tone for Next Week’s Export Exchange – Our Visit with Melissa Kessler

With U.S. farmers anticipating a record corn harvest and U.S. ethanol producers expecting record production of animal feed co-products, the timing could not be better for Export Exchange 2016, scheduled for next week in Detroit.

harvest corn 2More than 200 international buyers and end-users of coarse grains and co-products, including distiller’s dried grains with solubles, are expected in the Motor City for this premier biennial networking event.

Co-sponsored by the U.S. Grains Council and the Renewable Fuels Association, Export Exchange offers attendees an unparalleled opportunity to meet and build relationships with domestic suppliers of corn, DDGS, sorghum, barley and other commodities.

This year’s anticipated attendees represent a diverse cross-section of customers for U.S. grains.

We visited with Melissa Kessler of the U.S. Grains Council.

Melissa Kessler & Rusty Halvorson

Export Exchange will host more than 200 international buyers from more than 35 countries as well as members of the U.S. grain supply chain.

In addition to networking opportunities, the conference will feature engaging speakers addressing critical issues facing U.S. agricultural exports, offering customers and sellers in attendance an increased awareness of the benefits of U.S. coarse grains and co-products.

Scheduled sessions include:

– “Balancing Customer Expectations with the Realities of a Growing Population” – Todd A. Armstrong, Sr. Director, Global Market Access, Elanco

– “Co-product Supply and Demand in a Turbulent Global Market” – Geoff Cooper, Senior Vice President, Renewable Fuels Association

– “Global Grains Outlook” – Nancy DeVore, President, DHF Team LLC

– “The 2016 U.S. Elections: What’s at Stake for Global Trade?” – Bob Dinneen, CEO, Renewable Fuels Association

– “Keeping Grain and Product Trade Moving, the Transportation Issues and Challenges Outlook” – Ken A. Eriksen, Senior Vice, Head of Client Advisory and Development, Informa Economics

– “Sorghum: The Smart Choice” – Florentino Lopez, Executive Director, United Sorghum Checkoff Program

– “Global Megatrends Affecting Agribusiness” – Chris Nolan, Managing Director, Pricewaterhouse Coopers Corporate Finance LLC

– “DDGS: All Species, All Markets” – Dr. Gerald ‘Jerry’ Shurson, Professor, University of Minnesota

– “Weather Trends and the Global Grain Markets” – Kyle Tapley, Senior Agricultural Meteorologist, MDA Weather Services

The conference will also feature a panel discussion on DDGS utilization between USGC consultants from North Africa and Southeast Asia.

Registration is available on site for those making last minute plans to attend the Export Exchange event.

News and updates from Export Exchange will be available at www.exportexchange.org or on social media using the hashtag #ExEx16.





ASA, NOPA Signal Strong Push on TPP in Lame Duck Session of Congress

With the release of a new document on the benefits to soybean farmers, processors, and exporters from the Trans-Pacific Partnership this week, the American Soybean Association and the National Oilseed Processors Association put Congress on notice that the groups will continue their push to approve TPP in the lame duck session following the presidential election.

Designed for delivery to congressional staff, the document contains detailed infographics showing the ways in which the TPP benefits soybean farmers, as well as the processors and exporters that take U.S. soybeans to markets around the world.

Wilkins“The TPP has huge potential benefits for soybean farmers,” said ASA President and Greenwood, Del., farmer Richard Wilkins. “First, we achieve better market access for soybeans and soy products in 11 partner nations. More impactfully, though, we will increase sales of soybean meal for animal feed as a result of a dramatic increase in the sale of poultry, pork, beef, dairy and eggs to TPP markets. There is too much promise in the TPP for us to give up.”

Prospects for passage of TPP are dim, with both presidential candidates opposed, and a crowded lame duck congressional calendar. ASA and NOPA aren’t giving up, however.

“NOPA strongly supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership because the Asia-Pacific region—comprising almost 40 percent of global GDP—is where the future growth markets will be for U.S. soybean farmers, processors and exporters, as well as domestic meat and poultry producers, which are our industry’s largest customers.” said Tom Hammer, NOPA President. “Unfortunately, the benefits of a TPP that has the potential to become the largest U.S. regional trade agreement in history, cannot be realized if it is not approved by the United States Congress.”

Together, the organizations are confident that this new document depicting the strong benefits to soybean farmers, processors, and exporters helps to provide some weight to the ongoing National debate on the positive trade value of the TPP.

“We’ve heard repeatedly from lawmakers that what they need to not only support the agreement but also to help grow that support is hard data on the benefits of TPP for their constituents,” added Wilkins. “This document does exactly that.”

American Soybean Association