Exports remain an important part of the U.S. agriculture industry. U.S. Meat Export Federation spokesman Joe Schuele says Mexico is importing a record amount of pork…
“On the pork side it’s really important to know how well Mexico has performed; we’ve set record volumes to Mexico for several years in a row, and we’re on pace to do the same thing this year, Really, moving a lot of product to Mexico at good, strong prices.
“We move a lot of hams, a lot of variety meats, a lot of shanks, cuts like that, but the price we’re receiving is holding up really well. So, Mexico is definitely a key driver of growth.”
South Korea is another top-performer. Japan is the highest-value market for U.S. pork. North Carolina is the second largest pork producing state in the country.
Ethanol Production May Outpace Demand in Future
A new report from Cobank says the ethanol industry could soon face declining slim-to-negative profit margins. The report is titled “Ethanol’s Growth Path: Output and Export Uncertainties Both Rising.” It outlines how an ethanol market fueled by corn prices at multi-year lows, together with reinvestment into expanding production capacity, will push supplies past demand growth. Ethanol producers will be facing a downturn in the next few years without a substantial increase in domestic demand or a boost in exports to clear out extra supplies.
WOTUS Comment Period Extended
Producers received favorable decisions on regulatory matters last week. National Pork Producers Council spokesman Dave Warner explains the EPA has extended ‘til September 27th, the public comment period on the Trump Administration’s plans to repeal the much criticized WOTUS rule…
“We’re confident that it the very horrible, badly written regulation will go away. The EPA just wants to get all the comments in on how to go about rescinding it, and then it will work with agriculture and other regulated communities to come up with something that will actually protect our nation’s water without killing businesses and farmers.”
The Obama Administration proposed a sweeping expansion of EPA permitting authority over waterways, including upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams that farmers use for drainage and irrigation. Farmlands adjacent to these waters would also be affected.
Major farm groups, homebuilders, and others spent years fighting the proposal, defended by environmental groups.
Farm Debt Likely to Reach All-Time High in 2017
Low commodity prices have made things tough by bringing down land values, tightening balance sheets, and increasing the stress level of America’s producers. Unfortunately, that means farmers are continuing to take on more debt. The amount of outstanding farm debt is likely to reach an all-time high this year. Brent Gloy of Agricultural Economic Insights says if the debt level climbs another five percent from current levels, it will reach an all-time high. USDA historical data shows that in spite of that large amount of debt, farmers are still in good position. The Economic Research Service shows debt-to-asset ratio is 14 percent.
Vegetarian Men More Likely to be Depressed
Vegetarian men showed more symptoms of depression than non-vegetarians, possibly due to nutritional deficiencies, a University of Bristol study said.
Researchers analyzed data from 9,668 men in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in southwest England, of which 350 identified themselves as vegetarians. Those who were vegetarian for a longer period of time tended to have higher depression scores.
Deficiencies in nutrients such as iron or vitamin B12 are a possible explanation for the findings,