Tag Archives: USDA

Arkansas-based meat processor Tyson Foods is suing a federal agency for $2.4 million, saying it had to destroy 8,000 carcasses because a federal meat inspector lied about checking hogs at a plant in Iowa.

Yolanda Thompson, who works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, signed certificates suggesting she had checked slaughtered hogs at the Storm Lake plant in March 2018, Tyson said. The company noted that video footage indicated Thompson never entered the plant and actually approved the inspections while sitting in her automobile.

Tyson filed suit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Sioux City alleging the USDA and Food Safety Inspection Service knew of Thompson’s inadequate inspection practices and physical difficulties walking around the plant, the Sioux City Journal reported.

“The United States should have recognized Thompson’s unfitness to perform the inspections that were necessary for the protection of Tyson’s property. However, the United States failed to so recognize, resulting in the destruction of approximately 8,000 hog carcasses, causing injury to Tyson,” the company said in the lawsuit.

Inspectors are mandated to visually examine all hogs slaughtered at the plant to decide whether they have health conditions that could make them unsuitable for human consumption.

On March 26, 2018, Tyson killed roughly 4,622 hogs at the Storm Lake plant, and Thompson gave signed inspection cards to plant supervisors. The lawsuit states that plant administrators were told by Food Safety staffers the next day that Thompson had not executed the inspections. On March 30, 2018, the USDA declared that it was not feasible to determine whether the hogs that had not been checked were subject to any health conditions that would have led to disapproval of the carcasses.

Tyson had no choice but to destroy about 8,000 carcasses, which included the inspected and uninspected, the lawsuit said.

USDA and Tyson officials declined to comment.

U.S. farmers fell further behind in the race to plant corn, soybean and spring wheat last week, according to USDA NASS’ weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

As of Sunday, an estimated 30% of the nation’s corn was planted, up only 7 percentage points from the previous week, well behind 59% at the same time last year and 36 percentage points behind the five-year average of 66%. That was further behind normal than the previous week when corn planting was 23 percentage points behind the average pace.

Clay Patton Break Down the Report Here: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/crop-progress-report-5-13-planting-slows-even-more-6711.html

It’s also lowest percentage of corn planted by May 12 since 28% in 2013 and 27% in 1993, noted DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman.

Corn emergence was also slow with an estimated 10% of the crop emerged as of Sunday, behind 25% last year and 19 percentage points behind the five-year average of 29%.

Soybean planting progress also fell further behind the average pace. As of Sunday, an estimated 9% of the crop was planted, up only 3 percentage points from the previous week, down from last year’s 32% and 20 percentage points behind the five-year average of 29%. In last week’s report, soybean planting was 8 percentage points behind average.

Meanwhile, spring wheat growers made some headway in closing the gap between 2019 planting progress and the five-year average, though progress remained well behind normal. NASS estimated that 45% of spring wheat was planted as of Sunday, 22 percentage points behind the five-year average of 67%. That was slightly closer to the five-year average than the previous week when planting was 27 percentage points behind normal.

“Significant spring wheat planting progress was made the past week from Montana to Minnesota,” Hultman said.

Winter wheat was 42% headed as of Sunday, near last year’s 43% but still 12 percentage points behind the five-year average of 54%.

USDA said 64% of winter wheat was rated in good-to-excellent condition last week, the same breakdown as was seen two weeks ago and still the highest good-to-excellent rating in nine years, Hultman said.

“Fifty-six percent of Kansas wheat and 74% of Montana’s wheat are rated good to excellent,” Hultman said. “Ohio, Michigan and Illinois have poor-to-very poor ratings above 20%.”

Sorghum was 24% planted, compared to 32% last year and a five-year average of 33%. Oats were 62% planted as of May 12, compared to 70% last year and an average of 83%. Oats emerged were at 43%, compared to 46% last year and an average of 64%.

Cotton planting was 26% complete, compared to 34% last year and an average of 32%. Rice was 55% planted, compared to 81% last year and an average of 82%. Forty-two percent of rice was emerged, compared to 59% last year and an average of 63%.

Hultman also noted that USDA’s measure of surplus topsoil moistures remains high in the eastern Midwest. Illinois is at 77%, Indiana at 60% and Ohio at 76%.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 30 23 59 60
Corn Emerged 10 6 25 29
Soybeans Planted 9 6 32 29
Winter Wheat Headed 42 29 43 54
Spring Wheat Planted 45 22 54 67
Spring Wheat Emerged 10 4 13 34
Cotton Planted 26 18 34 32
Sorghum Planted 24 22 32 33
Barley Planted 59 37 59 72
Barley Emerged 25 12 20 42
Oats Planted 62 50 70 83
Oats Emerged 43 36 46 64
Rice Planted 55 48 81 82
Rice Emerged 42 35 59 63

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Winter Wheat 2 6 28 49 15 2 6 28 52 12 14 22 28 29 7

**

National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SR = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR VS SH AD SR
Topsoil Moisture 1 6 59 34 1 6 61 32 10 21 60 9
Subsoil Moisture 1 6 63 30 1 6 65 28 9 22 61 8
Niigata, Japan– Western Hemisphere agriculture leaders met Sunday on the margins of the G-20 Agricultural Ministerial in Niigata, Japan, affirming their intent to work together to champion global food security and agricultural trade on the basis of sound science and risk analysis principles. Following the meeting, top agricultural officials from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States issued the following statement.
“Together, we stand to work in partnership, and jointly with additional countries, to support regulatory approaches that are risk- and science-based, predictable, consistent, and transparent. Our five nations recognize that innovations in the agriculture sector contribute to improved productivity, including by smallholder and young farmers, and rural women, in a safe and sustainable manner, and to our countries’ ability to meet the ever-growing global demand for food. With the world’s population projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, science and innovation will play a key role in enabling agriculture producers to safely feed everyone.
“As Western Hemisphere agricultural leaders, we affirm our intent to work together to champion global agricultural trade based on sound science and risk analysis principles. We also affirm our intent to allow farmers and ranchers access to the tools needed to: increase productivity; reduce food loss and waste; protect soil, water and biodiversity; and produce safe, nutritious, affordable food products year-round, to the benefit of the world population.”

U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is in Japan this week, talking with officials from America’s fourth-largest agricultural customer. In a Twitter post, the secretary says he was on the phone with President Trump and discussed the increase in tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports and the negative impact it will have on farmers.

Perdue’s tweet says, “While China may backtrack, @POTUS is steadfast in his support for U.S. farmers. He directed @USDA to quickly put together a plan to help American farmers. @POTUS loves his farmers and will not let them down!” Perdue will make stops in Japan and South Korea, participating in the G-20 Agriculture Minister’s Meeting.

President Trump said in a Friday Twitter post that the increase in the tariffs will be used to buy farm goods. He expects the new duties to generate more than $100 billion in extra revenue. The president was unhappy with the pace of negotiations and increased duties from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. In a Friday tweet, Trump said, “You’re all-time favorite president got tired of waiting for China to help out and start buying from our FARMERS, the greatest anywhere in the world!” Beijing has promised to retaliate in kind.

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has picked up his barbeque tongs to convey his message to Japan: Buy more American beef. Perdue said Monday that as a top consumer of U.S. beef, Japan should treat the U.S. fairly.

He said he hoped President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will strike a trade deal during his boss’s visit to Japan later this month, but acknowledged more time might be needed.

Employees within The Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service voted to unionize Thursday afternoon. The vote, 138-4, is part of the employees’ efforts to slow down or stop a plan to move the agency out of the Washington, DC area.

The Economic Research Service employees will be represented by the American Federation of Government Employees, according to the Hagstrom report. USDA, under the direction of the Trump Administration, has proposed to move the Economic Research Service, along with the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, out of the Washington, DC area. Critics say the move will trigger the loss of valuable staff members and isolate the agencies from the Washington, DC community and its resources.

Earlier this week, USDA announced the final three potential sites for the two agencies, being the Kansa City metro area, Indiana’s Purdue University and Research Triangle Park of North Carolina. USDA says the moves will cut costs, improve employee quality of life and bring the agencies closer to stakeholders. Employees of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture are scheduled to vote on unionizing next month.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will travel to Japan and South Korea next week to participate in the G-20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting. The travel itinerary also includes meetings with his counterparts on global agriculture issues.

The Secretary will deliver a keynote address at the G-20 Innovation and Agriculture seminar this Saturday and speak at the Cotton Council International’s annual Cotton Day on May 14. As part of his meetings, Perdue will join his counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico to discuss global agriculture issues.

The Secretary has planned meetings with U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, and Japan’s State Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare, along with Korea’s Agriculture Minister.

During the trip, Perdue will attend a U.S. Meat Export Federation promotional event highlighting the importance of the Japanese market for U.S. meat, as USDA says Japan is the top overseas market for U.S. beef and pork. Finally, Perdue will attend the U.S.-Japan Agriculture Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, as part of his travels.

Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $68 million  to build or improve community facilities and essential services for nearly 715,000 rural residents in 13 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
“Having access to high-quality education, health care, public safety, community infrastructure and municipal services is crucial to achieving prosperity,” Baxley said. “Under the leadership of Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural community leaders to improve quality of life and economic development in rural America by building or modernizing the essential community facilities that provide these building-block opportunities.”
USDA is funding 20 projects through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. The funding helps rural small towns, cities and communities make infrastructure improvements. For example:
  • The city of Atka, Alaska, will receive a $3 million loan to help build a new 3,850-square-foot community health clinic. Atka is an extremely isolated community on the Aleutian chain. The current clinic is the only one within a 350-mile radius, is in disrepair and does not meet the community’s health care needs. The new facility will provide primary and preventative care, integrated behavioral health, dental, optometry and emergency care.
  • In North Carolina, the town of Winfall is receiving an $85,000 loan to purchase a multi-use fire and rescue vehicle for the fire department. The vehicle will provide reliable transportation and contain equipment to fight and contain small fires and respond to other emergencies.
The projects announced today are in rural communities in Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, California, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Texas.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Applicants and projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

OMAHA (DTN) — U.S. corn, soybean and spring wheat planting fell further behind the average pace last week as wet, cool conditions persisted in parts of the Midwest and Upper Midwest, according to USDA NASS’ weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

As of Sunday, an estimated 23% of the nation’s corn was planted, behind 36% at the same time last year and 23 percentage points behind the five-year average of 46%. That was further behind normal than the previous week when corn planting was 12 percentage points behind average.

“Noticeable progress was made in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas,” noted DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini. “Key states of Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are well behind the five-year average, and South Dakota has yet to start.”

Corn emerged was estimated at 6%, near 7% last year but 6 percentage points behind the five-year average of 13%.

Soybean planting progress also slipped further behind the average pace. As of Sunday, an estimated 6% of the crop was planted, down from last year’s 14% and 8 percentage points behind the five-year average of 14%. In last week’s report, soybean planting was 3 percentage points behind average.

Soybean planting is still mainly occurring in Southern states, Mantini said. “However, Nebraska is 1 percentage point above the average at 14%, Iowa is at 8% compared to an 11% average, but Minnesota has zero planted compared to a 15% average.”

Spring wheat planting, too, continued to fall further behind the five-year average. NASS estimated that 22% of spring wheat was planted as of Sunday, 27 percentage points behind the five-year average of 49%. In last Monday’s report, planting was 20 percentage points behind average.

“Idaho and Washington are each 72% done, while little progress is being made in key states, with North Dakota at 13% versus 37% average, Minnesota at only 7% done versus 51% average and South Dakota at 19% compared to a 76% average,” Mantini said.

Winter wheat was 29% headed as of Sunday, near last year’s 31% but down 12 percentage points from the five-year average of 41%.

Winter wheat condition held steady last week at 64% good to excellent. “However, the portion that was rated ‘excellent’ dropped by 3 percentage points, moving into the ‘good’ category,” Mantini said.

The condition of the crop in top-winter-wheat-producing state Kansas also held steady from the previous week, at 58% good to excellent. In other major winter-wheat-growing states, 74% of Oklahoma’s crop and 63% of Texas’ crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition.

“States in the eastern Midwest show poor-to-very-poor winter wheat ratings in the double digits, with key states Illinois at just 38% good to excellent and 20% poor to very poor and Ohio at 30% good to excellent but 30% poor to very poor also.”

Sorghum was 22% planted, compared to 29% last year and a five-year average of 29%. Cotton planting was 18% complete, compared to 19% last year and an average of 19%. Rice was 48% planted, compared to 66% last year and an average of 69%. Thirty-five percent of rice was emerged, compared to 42% last year and an average of 50%.

Oats were 50% planted as of May 5, compared to 54% last year and an average of 72%. Oats emerged were at 36%, compared to 33% last year and an average of 51%.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 23 15 36 46
Corn Emerged 6 3 7 13
Soybeans Planted 6 3 14 14
Winter Wheat Headed 29 19 31 41
Spring Wheat Planted 22 13 27 49
Spring Wheat Emerged 4 NA 4 19
Cotton Planted 18 11 19 19
Sorghum Planted 22 20 29 29
Barley Planted 37 28 40 56
Barley Emerged 12 6 12 27
Oats Planted 50 43 54 72
Oats Emerged 36 31 33 51
Rice Planted 48 38 66 69
Rice Emerged 35 27 42 50

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Winter Wheat 2 6 28 52 12 2 6 28 49 15 16 21 29 27 7

**

National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SP = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VS SH AD SP VS SH AD SP VS SH AD SP
Topsoil Moisture 1 6 61 32 1 7 65 27 8 18 63 11
Subsoil Moisture 1 6 65 28 1 6 69 24 9 19 63 9

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service launched an interactive website that provides livestock producers with important information. The site contains web links for obtaining premises identification numbers and location identifiers within livestock producers’ respective states.

Federal PINs or state specific LIDs are unique codes permanently assigned to a physical location. PIN and LID registrations – administered by the states – allow animal health officials to quickly identify and locate animals in the event of an animal health or food safety emergency. A PIN or LID is required to purchase official animal identification tags.

A new interactive map is part of APHIS’ efforts to advance the Animal Disease Traceability program. ADT is a key component of the country’s domestic livestock disease programs. ADT is also critical to sustaining domestic and international trade.

On Sept. 25, 2018, USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach announced the agency’s four overarching goals for advancing ADT to protect the long-term health and economic viability of the American livestock industry. These goals include efforts to:

  • Advance the electronic sharing of data among federal and state animal health officials, veterinarians and industry; including sharing basic animal disease traceability data with the federal animal health events repository;
  • Deploy electronic identification tags for animals requiring individual identification to make the transmission of data more efficient;
  • Enhance the ability to track animals from birth to slaughter through a system that allows tracking data points connection;
  • Elevate the discussion with states and industry to work toward an electronic transmitting system for animal health certificates from private veterinarians to state animal health officials.

Click Here for an interactive map that compliments the infrastructure investments already made by livestock industry sectors and states in developing their traceability programs.