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Chinese delegation to visit U.S. farms, USDA changes hog slaughter rules and fish farming in the ocean among news of the week

Janet Kubat Willette, E-Content Editor

September 20, 2019

2 Min Read

Missed some ag news this week? Here are seven stories to catch up you.

1. A Chinese delegation will visit American farms with U.S. officials next week in an effort to build goodwill amid ongoing trade negotiations, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. – Reuters

2. Under rule changes announced this week, hog slaughter can be faster and maximum speeds have been removed. USDA estimates average annual savings for large pork processing plants at $3.78 million as they increase production by 12.5%. The United Food and CommercialsWorkers International Union has called increasing line speeds dangerous to workers in pork plants. The National Pork Producers Council praised the change, saying it the new rule “incentivizes investment in new technologies while ensuring a safe supply of wholesome American pork.” – Farm Futures

3. Agco CEO Martin Richenhagen says his company has avoided a lot of the U.S.-China trade war’s impacts because of its large international exposure. Agco’s stock has risen more than 35% year-to-date. – CNBC

4. The dairy checkoff program, which began in 1983, would cost a farmer milking 100 Holstein cows about $3,400 a year. Yet per-capita milk consumption in the United States has fallen, or remained flat, every year since 1985. Meanwhile, the executives at Dairy Management Inc. were paid more than $8 million, an average of more than $800,000 each. DMI promotes milk, cheese and other dairy products. – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/USA Today

5. A growing contingent of farmers and activists say the U.S. agricultural system is going to need to be overhauled if it’s going to survive as the climate changes. – Yahoo

6. A pilot project would allow Kampachi Farms to raise 20,000 Almaco jack fish in a net pen in the ocean 45 miles southwest of Sarasota, Florida. Kampachi CEO Neil Anthony Sims says the Gulf of Mexico pilot project is essential to helping aquaculture's critics understand the many upsides of bringing open ocean fish farming to the U.S. Groups that disagree with offshore fish farming see this project as a precedent-setting act by federal regulators that will move the country closer to opening the oceans, a public resource, to farming. They fear a threat too wild fish. – Minnesota Public Radio News

7. Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley says the Trump administration has a 13-point plan for helping the ethanol industry, but he declined to say what was in it. He is also holding his support for a plan until he sees it on paper. – Des Moines Register

And your bonus.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection works to keep U.S. citizens safe from all kinds of threats, including threats in the form of fruits and vegetables. Watch the video. – CBS New York

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