For The Week Ending Oct. 18, 2013





USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) yesterday resumed publishing its Market News reports on various commodities, including pork. The reports help producers, processors, consumers and distributors in the sale and purchase of agricultural commodities, “providing current and unbiased, price and sales information to assist in [their] orderly marketing and distribution.” The recent partial shutdown of the federal government prompted USDA to suspend from Oct. 1 through Oct. 16 publication of the reports, which for livestock are required under the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act. Yesterday’s and today’s reports were missing some of the information normally contained in a report. AMS is working to have its system operating normally on Monday. In addition, it is working on a general recap of the markets for the shutdown period. To view reports, click here.


After a 16-day partial shutdown, Congress late Wednesday night voted to re-open the federal government and raise the debt ceiling. The House, in a 285-144 vote, approved H.R. 2775, which funds government agencies through Jan. 15 and avoids a debt default through Feb. 7. The bill included provisions that all entitlements under the 2008 Farm Bill be sustained. The bill also created a conference committee, led by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to craft a negotiated budget resolution in December.


The House and Senate Agriculture committees’ top four members (House Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., Senate Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ranking Member Thad Cochran, R-Miss.) Wednesday met to devise plans for the Farm Bill conference. The four members have allowed their staff to accelerate discussions on the commodity title. The Farm Bill conference between the House and Senate is likely to begin the week of October 28. Congress is on track to complete a farm bill before the end of the year. The Farm Bill conferees include:


Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla.
Steve King, R-Iowa
Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas
Mike Rogers, R-Ala.
Michael Conaway, R-Texas
Glenn Thompson, R-Pa.
Austin Scott, R-Ga.
Rick Crawford, R-Ark.
Martha Roby, R-Ala.
Kristi Noem, R-S.D.
Jeff Denham, R-Calif.
Rodney Davis, R-Ill.
Steve Southerland, R-Fla.
Ed Royce, R-Calif.
Tom Marino, R-Pa.
Dave Camp, R-Mich.
Sam Johnson, R-Texas
Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn.
Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.
Jim Costa, D-Calif.
Tim Walz, D-Minn.
Kurt Schrader, D-Ore.
Jim McGovern, D-Mass.
Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.
Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Calif.
Filemon Vela, D-Texas
Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.
Sandy Levin, D-Mich.
Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio


Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
Tom Harkin, D-Iowa
Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran, R-Miss.
Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga.
John Boozman, R-Ark.
John Hoeven, R-N.D.


President Barack Obama Thursday made remarks regarding the reopening of the federal government, including mention of the need to pass a Farm Bill. Obama said, “… we should pass a Farm Bill, one that American farmers and ranchers can depend on; one that protects vulnerable children and adults in times of need; one that gives rural communities opportunities to grow and the long-term certainty that they deserve. Again, the Senate has already passed a solid bipartisan bill. It’s got support from Democrats and Republicans. It’s sitting in the House waiting for passage. If House Republicans have ideas that they think would improve the Farm Bill, let’s see them. Let’s negotiate. What are we waiting for? Let’s get this done.” The House Agriculture Committee responded with a “fact check” that it already has adopted a motion to go to conference, named conferees and the four principals of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees met Wednesday to discuss next steps.


NPPC is continuing to accept applications for the 2014 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship Program, sponsored by the CME Group. Four $2,500 scholarships will be awarded to students pursuing a career in the pork industry. Students should be an undergraduate in a two-year swine program or four-year college of agriculture. Applications should include a letter indicating the student’s role in the pork industry after graduation, an essay of 750 words or less describing and providing solutions to an issue facing the industry today, two letters of reference from current or former professors or industry professionals and a cover sheet that includes name, mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, school name, year in school and permanent mailing address and telephone number. All of the items should be submitted in a single envelope to: National Pork Producers Council, ATTN: Craig Boelling, PO Box 10383, Des Moines, Iowa 50306. Additional information can be found on NPPC’s website or by calling Craig Boelling at (515) 278-8012.


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