Florence aftermath: Lower chicken production for a top processor

The third-largest U.S. poultry processor lost at least 8 percent of its chickens in North Carolina due to flooding from Hurricane Florence, and expects lower meat production through December as a result. Sanderson Farms was the first meat processor to announce livestock losses: 1.7 million chickens.

NFU opposes USDA plan to relocate research agencies

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue may jeopardize the objectivity of two USDA agencies by taking control of the Economic Research Service and moving it and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) out of Washington, said the National Farmers Union on Tuesday. The second-largest U.S. farm group announced its opposition to the reorganization in a letter to Perdue, saying the USDA has failed to justify the reorganization announced a month ago.

China soaks up Brazilian soybeans

As a consequence of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Brazil is likely to ship nearly 60 million tonnes of soybeans to China this calendar year, a 9-percent increase from 2017, say USDA analysts. While the United States is effectively shut out of China because of high tariffs, "U.S. trade opportunities for markets outside of China would rise by nearly 13 million tonnes in the coming (trade) year, compared to 2016/17," according to the monthly Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade report.

Today’s quick hits, September 19, 2018

McDonald’s employees walk out (Jezebel): Women employees of McDonald’s in nine cities across the country participated in a walk-out to protest the company’s treatment of sexual harassment claims at its restaurants. America has a farmland problem (New Food Economy): Lots of …

Hurricane Florence swamps hog lagoons in North Carolina

At least eight manure lagoons in hog-heavy southeastern North Carolina were breached, flooded or "overtopped" due to relentless rainfall from Hurricane Florence and flooding that is expected to continue for days, said a state official on Monday. The North Carolina Pork Council, a farm group, said "we remain concerned about the the potential impact of these record-shattering floods."

D.C. city council may overturn voter measure on tipped minimum wage

In a packed hearing that ran into the late evening, Washington, D.C.’s city council debated Monday whether the council should repeal a recently-passed ballot initiative to raise the city’s tipped minimum wage. Initiative 77, passed in June by District voters, would raise the tipped minimum wage to match the non-tipped minimum wage by 2026.

Trump orders tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports

With a warning against retaliation that targets "our farmers or other industries," President Trump ordered a new wave of tariffs on Chinese products, this time on $200 billion of goods that will face a 10 percent duty initially and rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1. "Once again, I urge China’s leaders to take swift action to end their country’s unfair trade practices," said Trump, suggesting he and Chinese President Xi Jinping could end the trade war through face-to-face negotiations.

If it’s not cage-free, California referendum would bar sale of eggs, pork and veal

A decade ago, California voters rattled the U.S. farm sector and set off years of lawsuits by approving a referendum to give egg-laying chickens, sows and veal calves the room to stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their limbs. On Nov. 6, the electorate could do it again, this time by specifying how many square feet each animal would get and by banning the sale of meat and eggs from farms that do not comply with the rules.

Today’s quick hits, September 18, 2018

Tyson CEO steps down (Reuters): Tom Hayes, who has served as CEO of Tyson Foods since 2016, stepped down from the post for personal reasons. Hot food for SNAP in North Carolina (USDA): In a waiver that recognizes the impact of Hurricane Florence, SNAP recipients in North Carolina, an estimated …