A monthly measure of meat exports shows U.S. beef posted another outstanding performance in August, remaining well above last year’s pace, and August pork exports increased from the previous month but were down slightly year-over-year. The U.S. Meat Export Federation reports For January through August, beef exports increased ten percent in volume and 16 percent in value compared to the first eight months of 2016. Meanwhile, Pork exports were down in August, and down two percent year-over-year, valued.
Microsoft Investing in Rural Tech Jobs, Broadband Projects
Microsoft announced last week it will team up with communities in six states to invest in technology jobs and broadband in rural areas. The Microsoft initiative TechSpark is a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investment to help teach computer science to students, expand rural broadband and help create and fill jobs, according to AgriMarketing. The communities involved are in North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. A Microsoft executive said there are 23.4 million Americans living in rural communities who don’t have broadband coverage and the TechSpark program is going to focus on bringing coverage to those six regions.
China Imports More U.S. Trash than Ag Products
China imports more U.S. trash than agricultural commodities, but that could soon change. China earlier this year filed a notice with the World Trade Organization about its plans to limit the entry of “foreign waste.” The Wall Street Journal reports that under the new rules, China by year’s end would ban imports of used plastics and require paper-scrap imports to meet a strict 0.3 percent standard for “carried waste”—the staples, glue, sticky residue and smelly garbage bits that are nearly impossible to eliminate. In 2016, nearly a quarter of America’s biggest exporters by volume were recyclers of paper, plastic or metals, at 11.23 million metric tons.