Foods announced plans to build a $320 million poultry complex near Tonganoxie,
Kansas. The company will construct a
processing plant, hatchery, and feed mill, and will employ nearly 1,600 people. The operation, currently scheduled to begin
production in mid-2019, will produce pre-packaged trays of fresh chicken for
retail grocery stores nationwide. The
poultry plant will be capable of processing 1.25 million birds per week.
US and Argentina recently announced they have reached an agreement that will
allow US pork to be exported to Argentina for the first time since 1992. No exact timeline has been established, but
the market is expected to open once Argentina officials have completed an audit
of the US meat inspection system.
Brazil currently has captured more than 90% of the Argentina market for
Pride Corp. has bought poultry supplier Moy Pork from Brazil's JBS SA in a deal
valued at about $1 billion. Pilgrim's
(which is also majority owned by JBS) says the move is expected to generate $50
million in cost savings a year. Moy
Pork supplies 25% of chicken consumed in western Europe. JBS has been shedding assets and
renegotiating its debt to finance its legal fees. JBS recently sold its paper-pulp business for about $4.8 billion.
and range conditions continue to deteriorate, especially in the northwest and
northern plains. The pasture and range
condition score for the week ending September 10th was 22%
"poor-very poor" compared to 16% a year ago. The states that had a "poor-very
poor" rating at 40% or higher are:
Iowa (41%), Montana (77%), North Dakota (66%), Oregon (68%), South
Dakota (54%), and Washington (63%).
US chicken industry has petitioned the FSIS to lift the speed limit on bird
processing lines for some plants.
Processing lines face a 140-bird-per-minute limit, but the National
Chicken Council asked for an exemption for plants that opt into the New Poultry
Inspection System. The petition comes
as companies such as Tyson and Sanderson Farms are planning new plants that
will each process more than 1 million birds a week.
Boersen Farms, Inc., of
Zeeland, Michigan, has been sued for defaulting on a $145 million loan. Boersen Farms bought the bulk of Stamp Farms
LLC's land-lease agreements and other assets in what was considered the largest
farm bankruptcy in 2013. The farm
defaulted on more than $145.3 million it owes CHS Capital, LLC based in
Minnesota and part of CHS, Inc. The
lawsuit levels a number of allegations against Boersen Farms. First, CHS alleges the farm fraudulently and
intentionally misrepresented the quantity of 2016 harvested grain available for
sale. CHS also alleges the farm sold
grain to third parties without notifying the lender. Boersen Farms also faces a number of other smaller lawsuits
totaling about $3 million, including equipment companies.
President Trump announced
three nominees for key USDA posts.
Gregory Ibach was named under secretary for Marketing and Regulatory
Programs (MRP) which oversees three USDA agencies: the Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service; the Agricultural Marketing Service; and the Grain
Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration. Ibach has been director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture
since 2005. Bill Northey was named
under secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, which oversees the Farm
Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk
Management Agency. Northey is currently
serving his third term as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Stephen Vaden was named USDA's general
Vietnam has notified the US
it will resume imports of US distillers dried grains after having suspended
them in December 2016. Prior to the
2016 action, Vietnam was the third-largest market for US DDG's.
John Deere announced a $305
million agreement to buy Blue River Technology, a 6-year old Silicon Valley
company that specializes in artificial intelligence for agriculture. Founded in 2011 by a couple of Stanford grad
students, Jorge Herard and Lee Redden, Blue River says its mission is to make
farming more sustainable through robotics and computer vision. Blue River developed a device called See
& Spray which uses technology to locate, recognize, and destroy weeds in row
crops. It has been tested in cotton
fields in Texas and Arkansas. Testing
in soybeans is next.