Hemp industry pivots toward grain and fiber
After a brutal shake-out that chopped hemp acreage in half in two years, the industry is focusing on hemp as a source of grain and fiber, a less profitable but possibly steadier market than cannabinoid (CBD) oil, used in food, beverages and dietary supplements. Analysts say the unclear regulatory status of CBD has throttled sales.
Bird flu confirmed in wild duck in South Carolina
Poultry farmers should review their biosecurity safeguards for their flocks against avian influenza following the discovery of the highly pathogenic Eurasian H5 variant in a wild duck in South Carolina, said the USDA.
Today’s Quick Hits
Covid-19 at JBS: Meatpacker JBS USA said it was “actively working to prevent any potential spread” of Covid-19 at its mammoth beef processing plant in Greeley, Colorado, where union officials said around 40 workers recently tested positive for the disease. (Meat and Poultry)
Parched Brazil soybeans: Drought in key parts of Brazil’s soybean-growing region will limit the 2021/22 crop to 139 million tonnes, a decrease of 5 million tonnes from a month ago, but still 1 million tonnes larger than the record set by last season’s crop. (USDA)
Jerry Bange dies: Jerry Bange, chairman of the USDA’s influential World Agricultural Outlook Board for 20 years and organizer of the annual Ag Outlook Forum, died at the age of 77 on Jan. 13. (FERN’s Ag Insider)
LA train looting: The Union Pacific railroad says it has been hit by a 160 percent increase in thefts from its trains in Los Angeles County from “organized and opportunistic criminal rail theft;” up to 90 cargo containers are breached each day. (Los Angeles Times)
Valley Proteins union drive: Workers at Valley Proteins say their drive for a unionized workplace will not be derailed by the purchase of the rendering company, based in Virginia, by multinational Darling Industries. (Facing South)
On The Calendar
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sen. Mark Kelly, Arizona Democrat, join farmers to discuss Biden administration initiatives for increased competition in meatpacking, 10:10 a.m. ET, Glendale, Arizona.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Forest Service Chief Randy Moore make a “major announcement” on protecting communities in the West from wildfires, 1:10 p.m. ET, Phoenix. The USDA said the event will be livestreamed on its YouTube page, available here.
The National Biodiesel Board holds the annual National Biodiesel Conference and Expo, through Thursday, Las Vegas. The group said it would announce its new name, Clean Fuels Alliance America, on Tuesday to reflect the growing fields of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.
The American Sheep Industry Association holds annual convention, through Saturday, San Diego.
The Ecological Farming Association holds the annual EcoFarm Conference, through Saturday, Pacific Grove, California.
The National Bison Association holds 2022 Winter Conference, through Saturday, Denver.
USDA releases monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, 3 p.m. ET
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is lead witness at the House Agriculture Committee online hearing on the state of the rural economy, 10 a.m. ET.
Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City holds “annual legal update” of issues in agriculture, 12:30 p.m. ET, Kansas City.
President Biden meets Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan online “to further deepen ties between our governments, economies and our people,” said the White House. Japan is the fourth-largest market for U.S. farm exports, with purchases estimated at $13.6 billion this year.
USDA issues monthly Cattle on Feed report and annual Coffee report, 3 p.m. ET.