U.S. Farm Population Concerns – April 12, 2019

On average, U.S. farmers are aging, but a quarter of them are newcomers

One-third of America’s 3.4 million farmers are over the age of 65, and nearly a million more of them are within a decade of that milestone, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, released by the USDA on Thursday. For decades, the aging U.S. farmer has been a cause for concern, expressed in this question: Who will feed America in the future?

Beef packing merger threatens last competitive cash cattle market in U.S.

Last month, the nation’s fourth-largest beef packer, National Beef, announced plans to take over Sysco-owned Iowa Premium, a regional packer focused on processing Black Angus steers for the Upper Midwest. National Beef is majority-owned by the Brazilian firm Marfrig.


Looking for a sign from China (Ag Insider): If Sino-U.S. trade negotiations drag on, the administration should advocate for China to buy more U.S. farm exports “as a sign of good faith,” said North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven during a budget hearing with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

High on cannabis futures (Bloomberg): New Leaf Data Services is in talks with a globally recognized exchange to begin trade in futures contracts for marijuana and hemp, said the company’s chief executive.

China makes a big pork buy (Reuters): China made its largest one-week purchase of pork — 77,732 tonnes — in at least six years as analysts say an epidemic of African swine fever will slash domestic production in the world’s largest pork-producing, and consuming, nation.

Remove Section 232 tariffs (NPPC): The top priority for the National Pork Producers Council, which speaks for hog farmers, is removal of the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum that have resulted in restricted pork shipments to Mexico, one of the largest markets for the meat, said NPPC president David Herring.

Perdue defends glyphosate (USDA): Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Vietnam was wrong to ban imports of glyphosate, because the weedkiller is safe and because if it is not available, Vietnamese farmers may resort to using illegal chemicals.

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