California ag exports down by $2.1 billion due to ‘Containergeddon’ – December 23, 2021

California ag exports down by $2.1 billion due to ‘Containergeddon’

The cargo pileup at West Coast ports may have had a greater impact on farm exports from California than the Sino-U.S. trade war did, said three economists on Wednesday. They estimated losses of $2.1 billion in foreign sales during a five-month period because of port congestion, compared to economic losses of about $500 million for California agriculture during the first year of the trade war.

Massachusetts delays hog cruelty law amid fear of pork shortage

On Wednesday, two days after legislators rewrote a voter-approved animal welfare law, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed the bill into law, averting a possible shortage of eggs and pork. The new law revamps housing standards for egg-laying hens and delays a prohibition on the sale of pork products from farms that do not give pigs room to lie down, stand up, fully extend their legs or turn around freely.

Today’s Quick Hits

Thune mulls retirement: South Dakota Sen. John Thune, No. 2 in the Senate GOP leadership and a member of the Agriculture Committee, “is seriously considering retiring” in 2022 rather than running for a fourth term. (New York Times)
Sugar supply increase: Responding to high sugar prices, the USDA raised by 4 percent the allotment of sugar allowed on the domestic market from U.S. sources and Mexican exports. (USDA)

New price-fixing trial: After jurors failed to reach a verdict, a mistrial was declared in a case against 10 poultry processing executives accused of conspiring to fix prices of chicken products. A new trial was set to begin Feb. 22. (Food Business News)

Branstad forms consultancy: Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, making use of his tenure as U.S. ambassador to China during the Trump era, has set up a consultancy to advise companies and investors on conducting business with China. (Associated Press)

Organic deadline extended: Farmers have until Feb. 4, instead of the original deadline of Jan. 7, to apply for cost-share assistance through the Organic and Transitional Assistance Education and Certification Program. (USDA)

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