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TPA bill clears congressional committees

TPA bill clears congressional committees

THE Senate Finance Committee marked up and approved the proposed trade promotion authority (TPA) bill last Wednesday by a vote of 20-6, and the House Ways & Means Committee followed suit Thursday with its own debate on the bill, which it approved by a bipartisan vote of 25-13.

TPA, seen as an essential assurance to foreign trading partners that Congress won't amend any negotiated package, offers Congress the ability to vote up or down on any free trade agreement. It also defines 150 negotiating standards and includes transparency by providing public access to any negotiated text and congressional access during the negotiation process.

House Ways & Means Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) said TPA shows negotiators currently working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that the U.S. is trustworthy. "They are waiting to put the best and final offers on the table," Ryan said of Congress passing TPA.

He noted that the prime minister of Japan is coming to the U.S. the week of April 27 and said Japan is one of those countries "waiting" for assurances from TPA passage before putting its best offer on the table.

The Senate is expected to make the first move on advancing its TPA bill to the floor for a full vote sometime in early May.

Ahead of the Senate markup, during a hearing on tariff policy, Thomas Donohue, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, explained that the 20 regions and countries the U.S. currently has trade agreements with represent a mere 6% of the world's population, but they buy nearly half of America's exports.

He added that when new trade agreements come into effect, they create an annual average growth rate of 18% over the first five-year period.

Donohue said for American farmers and ranchers, the stakes are particularly high as foreign markets place the highest tariffs on their agricultural products.

"Agricultural exports have soared under new trade agreements," he added.

 

Other trade bills

Both committees also took up original bills to extend the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Generalized System of Preferences and the preferential duty treatment program for Haiti.

AGOA includes a trade agreement between the U.S. and sub-Saharan African countries. A bipartisan amendment in the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Tom Carper (D., Del.) and Mark Warner (D., Va.), would put pressure on South Africa to remove unfair limits on imports of U.S. chicken. The amendment would require the president to conduct an out-of-cycle review of South Africa within 30 days of enacting AGOA.

The National Chicken Council (NCC), which has supported AGOA, said for the past 15 years, while South Africa has benefitted from preferential duties under AGOA, it has simultaneously excluded chicken from its market.

"This should send a clear message to South Africa and their poultry industry that they will not be given a 'get out of jail free' card every time AGOA rounds the turn to pass 'go.' It makes no sense for the United States to give special preferences to countries that treat our trade unfairly," NCC president Mike Brown said.

South Africa also maintains a de facto ban on U.S. pork, blocking imports with a number of non-science-based barriers. The U.S. is at a significant disadvantage when it comes to gaining access to South Africa's large and growing market for pork because the nation accepts pork from key competitors Brazil, Canada and the European Union.

The National Pork Producers Council said it has been working with U.S. and South African officials to open that market to U.S. pork.

Volume:87 Issue:16

EU biotech proposal could restrict world trade

EU biotech proposal could restrict world trade

Europe moves to amend biotech approval process so individual members may reject approved traits.

THE European Commission has proposed to amend its approval process for biotechnology traits to allow individual member states to opt out of importing products that contain those traits, even though such traits have been fully approved by European Union food safety officials.

U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman expressed disappointment in the announcement of a "regulatory proposal that appears hard to reconcile with the EU's international obligations."

In 2006, a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel found that EU member state bans on the import and cultivation of biotech products violated WTO rules because the safeguards were not based on risk assessments. Since then, the U.S. has been working to normalize agricultural trade with the EU.

Froman noted, "At a time when the U.S. and the EU are working to create further opportunities and jobs through the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (T-TIP), proposing this kind of trade-restrictive action is not constructive."

House Agriculture Committee chairman Mike Conaway (R., Texas) added that "this decision raises serious questions regarding Europe's commitment to these negotiations."

The American Soybean Assn. said the biotech proposal is bad for the EU's own livestock producers and feed industries as it will make those industries less competitive, and it's bad for EU consumers who ultimately will pay more for meat.

Association vice president Richard Wilkins said, "The EU feed and livestock industries have reacted very negatively to the (European) Commission's action, warning that it would make livestock production uncompetitive and disrupt trade into and within the EU market. Currently, the EU feed industry imports 75% of the (soybean meal) it requires for livestock uses."

Wilkins also expressed strong concerns about the proposal's compatibility with existing EU international trade obligations as well as the ongoing T-TIP negotiations between the U.S. and EU.

"The World Trade Organization has ruled against the EU for not operating a timely and science-based approval process, and today's decision would create new WTO violations by allowing member states to restrict these imports based on something as trivial as political or popular whims. It also runs completely contrary to the very spirit of eliminating barriers to U.S.-EU trade under the T-TIP. We believe this proposal, if finalized, would negatively impact U.S. soy trade with the EU," Wilkins said.

"What is particularly troubling about this proposal is that it hardly squares with the EU's goal of presenting one coordinated, economic face to the rest of the world," Wilkins added. "Instead of standing with science, with modern agriculture and with the realities of the global economy, the EU has divided itself with this proposal between those member states that choose to recognize the promise and potential of biotechnology to provide for their citizens and those that do not."

Next, the proposal must be adopted by the 28 EU member states and the European Parliament through the co-decision process, a timeline for which has not been set.

This decision could affect the exports and economies of countries around the world. In 2014, the EU imported 3.1 billion euros worth of potentially affected products from the U.S., Argentina, Brazil and Canada. Regulatory uncertainty in the EU has the capacity to unnecessarily restrict trade in these products, USTR said.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Vast potential of Cuba trade

Vast potential of Cuba trade

THE Senate Agriculture Committee renewed its focus on expanding agricultural trade with Cuba during a hearing evaluating the challenges and potential opportunities.

In addition, a new bill was introduced that demonstrates congressional support for expanding trade with Cuba.

The tone of the hearing was positive, with senators focusing their remarks on understanding what, in the view of the witnesses, Congress could and should do to improve opportunities for U.S. agricultural trade with Cuba.

Cuba has the potential to become a major market for U.S. agricultural exports and one that is quite diverse, with bulk staple products such as corn, wheat, soybeans and rice being important in the near term, Texas A&M University economist C. Parr Rosson testified at the hearing.

"With a more open economy, less regulation by both governments, strong tourism and remittances, U.S. food and agricultural exports have the potential to exceed $1.2 billion annually within five years," Rosson said.

Most exports lately have been concentrated in poultry, the soybean complex and corn.

It has been estimated that wheat from the U.S. has an upward potential of the entire 30 million bu. currently imported by Cuba, according to Kansas Wheat commissioner Doug Keesling.

Today, Cuba buys no wheat from the U.S. The state-owned grain buyer Alimport buys almost all of the country's wheat from Canada and Europe, even though Cuba is much closer to U.S. Gulf ports. Keesling said that's a $200 million opportunity the U.S. wheat industry misses out on every year.

"Normalized and barrier-free trade with Cuba — an emerging market only 90 miles from our shores — would have a positive impact on soybean exports in the form of increased demand for pork, poultry, dairy and eggs, as well as vegetable oil for cooking," American Soybean Assn. first vice president Richard Wilkins added.

U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary Michael Scuse testified at the hearing and used rice as an example of a key opportunity for U.S. agriculture.

Scuse noted that half of the rice consumed in Cuba is imported, but "it's coming from Vietnam; it's not coming from the United States, and it should be."

Terry Harris, Riceland Food senior vice president for marketing and risk management, put a price tag on the market during his own testimony.

"Cuba is a significant market for rice, importing about $300 million worth of rice annually. ... With the lifting of the embargo and the restoration of trade and travel with Cuba, we estimate that the U.S. could regain 20-30% of the Cuban rice business within two years," he told the committee. "We would anticipate the U.S. share of the market would exceed 50% within five years and could reach 75% or more within 10 years."

There is some concern from Florida growers that lifting the embargo would also increase U.S. imports from Cuba. Products such as sugar, citrus fruit, vegetables, tropical fruit and fish could be affected by increased competition.

 

Legislative fixes

In December, President Barack Obama decided to normalize trade relations with Cuba, although the 1962 trade embargo remains in place. The Administration altered export rules to make it easier for Cuba to route payments to U.S. sellers, but a requirement for cash payment remains.

In February, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to lift the more than 50-year-long embargo on trade with Cuba. The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would allow U.S. companies to export products — including agricultural commodities and farm equipment — directly to Cuba.

While the legislation would permit American consumers to purchase Cuban-made products, the bill would not lift travel restrictions.

Additionally, the bill would remove financial restrictions on business transactions and allow U.S. banks to extend credit to Cubans for the purchase of American farm goods, auto parts and other consumer products.

Under a bill introduced April 22 by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) and John Boozman (R., Ark.), U.S. banks would be allowed to offer a line of credit on exports of agricultural products to Cuba.

In a statement, Heitkamp said the biggest barrier to sales is the current requirement that all sales be cash on delivery.

"Especially in light of our country's new policy toward Cuba, there isn't any reason why Cuba should buy its black beans, peas and lentils from Canada instead of North Dakota," she said by way of example.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Stronger dollar highlights significance of trade

Stronger dollar highlights significance of trade

Trade group says currency competitiveness is one more challenge to U.S. export growth.

AS the U.S. dollar strengthens and makes U.S. grain relatively more expensive in the global marketplace, the impact favorable trade policies have on sales is coming to the forefront in marketers' minds, according to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC).

Over the last year, the U.S. dollar has strengthened against most currencies, including 15% against the currencies of most major corn customers since 2012. In the time between 2001 and 2009, the dollar strengthened but did not significantly affect the price of U.S. corn to export customers. This year will likely follow that pattern, USGC said.

However, the effects of a stronger dollar are more pronounced in comparison with U.S. corn export competitors, with the greenback strengthening by 42.5% against an index of major competitor currencies.

"The most important implication of a strong dollar will be for U.S. market share, as competitor countries will be able to export corn at lower prices than the United States," USGC vice president Erick Erickson said. "With expanded production in South America and the Ukraine, U.S. competitiveness in major corn markets may be reduced up to the capacity of these major competitors."

According to USGC, currency competitiveness is one more challenge for U.S. export growth and an added incentive to move forward with pending trade agreements to strengthen the U.S. market position.

"We have to remember to keep a long-term perspective," Erickson said. "So many different factors that influence exports are beyond our country's control, including the strength of the dollar, world acres planted, weather and more. However, sound trade policy is not one of those uncontrollable factors. It's one of the things our policy-makers can influence, so it's important to get it right."

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (T-TIP) are two potential multilateral agreements that would offer the U.S. greater market access to countries in the Pacific Rim and the European Union, respectively. Negotiations on both are underway but could be stymied by a lack of trade promotion authority, which allows U.S. negotiators to send finalized trade agreements to Congress for an up or down vote, USGC explained.

Additionally, USGC said as the dollar strengthens — and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture projecting an increase of 3.2 million metric tons (126 million bu.) in global corn production in 2015 — agreements like these would give U.S. coarse grains and co-products more access to critical markets, which would, in turn, help lessen the impact from factors like the strengthening dollar on U.S. agricultural exports.

"These trade agreements hold great promise for expanding trade opportunities for U.S. agriculture," Erickson said. "The countries engaged in the TPP negotiations are responsible for 40% of global trade and have a combined population of 800 million people. T-TIP has the potential to boost U.S. trade with the EU by more than $140 billion within five years and increase (gross domestic product) by $180 billion."

"We can't control the weather, and we can't control the value of the dollar, but we can unlock some important doors if we can finalize these agreements," he said.

Volume:87 Issue:16

U.S. fisheries continue to rebuild

U.S. fisheries continue to rebuild

Fish stocks on overfishing and overfished lists at all-time lows.

THE number of domestic fish stocks listed as overfished or subject to overfishing has dropped to an all-time low since 1997, when the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began tracking stock status, according to the agency's "2014 Status of U.S. Fisheries" report to Congress.

The report, produced annually since 1997, highlights the nation's continued progress towards sustainably managing fish stocks. This progress is a result of the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, regional fishery management councils, the fishing industry and other partners.

Six stocks — snowy grouper on the southern Atlantic coast, north Atlantic albacore, haddock in the Gulf of Maine, gag grouper in the south Atlantic, the Jacks complex in the Gulf of Mexico and Bluefin tuna in the western Atlantic — were removed from the overfishing list. Two stocks were no longer listed as overfished: gag grouper in the Gulf of Mexico and north Atlantic albacore, which was removed from both lists.

A stock is on the overfishing list when the annual catch rate is too high. A stock is on the overfished list when the population size of a stock is too low, whether because of fishing or other causes.

"This report illustrates that the science-based management process under the Magnuson-Stevens Act is working to end overfishing and rebuild stocks," said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries. "While we have made tremendous progress, we know there's more work to be done — especially as we continue to document changes to our world's oceans and ecosystems. We will continue to strive toward sustainable management of our nation's fisheries in order to preserve our oceans for future generations."

The report also shows that three more fish stocks — Gulf of Maine/Cape Hatteras butterfish, Gulf of Mexico gag grouper and mid-Atlantic Coast golden tilefish — were rebuilt to target levels in 2014, bringing the total number of rebuilt U.S. marine fish stocks to 37 since 2000.

"Our agency wants to let consumers know that the United States' global leadership in responsible fisheries and sustainable seafood is paying off," Sobeck said. "We are moving forward more than ever with efforts to replicate and export stewardship practices internationally. As a result of the combined efforts of NOAA Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils and all of our partners, the number of stocks listed as subject to overfishing or overfished continues to decline and is at an all-time low."

The full "2014 Status of U.S. Fisheries" report is on the NOAA Fisheries website at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/news/2015/status_of_stocks_2014.html.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Cargill exec talks global food security

Cargill exec talks global food security

Cargill encourages four principles to improve access to food and enhance diet and health.

CARGILL executive chairman Greg Page, speaking at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Global Food Security Symposium April 16 in Washington, D.C., urged attendees to be mindful of four principles that can help ensure that all people have access to safe, affordable and nutritious food.

Noting the symposium's focus on leveraging the global food system to fight malnutrition and improve health, Page said Cargill has a role to play in ensuring access to enough food for the undernourished as well as in bringing healthier foods to the market to help improve diet and health.

"There are four things we ought to be mindful of when we think about creating a more food-secure world," Page said, and these include:

1. Appreciating the importance of price;

2. Honoring the principle of comparative advantage;

3. Embracing the power of emulation, and

4. Ensuring society's comfort with the science of producing food.

On the first point, Page said it is necessary to appreciate the value of prices in signaling the world's farmers what to produce.

"We saw this in 2012 when, in the face of a severe drought in the U.S. Midwest, prices motivated farmers from South America and Central Europe to increase production, ultimately mitigating the drought's impact on global food production and ensuring people's access to safe, affordable, nutritious food," Page said.

Additionally, it will be increasingly important to honor the principle of comparative advantage in food production, he said.

"To produce the food the world will need in the most economically and environmentally sustainable way, we need agriculture and trade policies that encourage farmers to cultivate the crops best suited for their growing conditions and then trade the surpluses with others," Page explained.

He also said the cumulative effects of individual behaviors can be a powerful force for improving food security and fighting malnutrition.

"The Chicago Council's 'Healthy Food for a Healthy World' report acknowledges the power of emulation in its findings that women — in part because of their influence over their families' diets — will be critically important to combatting malnutrition," Page said.

Expanding on this point, Page said food industry leaders need to enlist and engage consumers in understanding the role of science in the food system, both nutritionally and environmentally.

"Science and technology are important not only to producing more food in a more sustainable way but also to our ability to improve food safety, reduce food waste and make food more nutritious and healthful," he said.

"Finding solutions to end hunger and reverse the consequences of poor nutrition requires trust, transparency and collaboration," Page said.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Reliable grain inspection standards needed

Reliable grain inspection standards needed

SEVERAL provisions of the Grain Standards Act will expire in September, leading House legislators to hold a hearing to highlight what currently works and what changes are needed before finalizing legislation to reauthorize the act — well in advance of its expiration — to achieve bipartisan consensus.

During an April 22 hearing, Rep. Rick Crawford (R., Ark.), chairman of the House agriculture subcommittee on general farm commodities and risk management, said legislative drafts are "nearly concluded"; proposals have been reviewed from grain industry organizations, and majority and minority offices have worked very closely in an effort to develop a bipartisan consensus in advance of a markup in the "near future."

The U.S. Grain Standards Act, which was first passed in 1916, authorizes the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration to establish official marketing standards for grains and oilseeds and requires exported grains and oilseeds to be officially weighed and inspected. It also sets rules for the voluntary inspection of domestic grain.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) performs the essential role of maintaining the official U.S. grain standards, which are critical to establishing value and price discovery in the grain and oilseed marketplace.

Expiring provisions include FGIS's authority to collect user fees that fund its operations and the authority for a USDA Grain Advisory Committee.

Members of the panel as well as legislators noted the importance of addressing the shortcomings that have led to intermittent disruptions in official inspection and weighing services, such as what happened at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., in 2013 and 2014.

Nick Friant, business unit food safety leader for Cargill, testifying on behalf of the National Grain & Feed Assn. (NGFA) and the North American Export Grain Assn. (NAEGA), urged that existing language be strengthened to reinforce the secretary of agriculture's ability to restore official inspection in a prompt manner, which was not followed last year.

"Make no mistake, U.S. foreign buyers took note of this very visible and extreme disruption, which damaged the reputation of FGIS and undermined confidence of international buyers in the reliability of the U.S. official grain inspection system at export locations," Friant said.

David Winkles, South Carolina Farm Bureau president, testified that these types of disruptions bring chaos to the marketplace and threaten customer relationships that have taken years to build, while farmers, local businesses and consumers pay the price.

The bureau believes it is essential to have a contingency plan in place to ensure that official grain inspection activities still occur, regardless of service disruptions.

"We need to have a reliable, third-party inspection and grading program for emergency situations to assure both seller and buyer that every contract can be expected to be fulfilled in a timely manner," Winkles said.

Friant added that use of independent, third-party inspections should be utilized in those cases when disruptions in official service occur. He testified that some have attempted to denigrate, undermine or obfuscate this concept by labeling it as "privatization."

"That emphatically is not what NGFA and NAEGA are proposing. Instead, what we propose is a process to further strengthen the federal system we seek to improve and preserve by enabling qualified individuals working under federal oversight and employed by independent, private third parties to be licensed under Section 84 of the (Grain Standards Act) utilizing the same process USDA already does to license personnel from designated official state and private entities in the domestic market," Friant said.

David Cox, who testified on behalf of the American Federation of Government Employees for the AFL-CIO, said FGIS has had a successful record over four decades of inspecting and weighing nearly 90% of the grain shipped to customers around the world. FGIS currently employs approximately 200 inspectors. Cox said privatization would "undermine America's guarantee of impartial and honest, government-backed trading, which is relied upon by world buyers."

NGFA and NAEGA also urged that FGIS be required to base the tonnage component of export inspection user fees on a fluctuating and more market-responsive basis that takes into account shifts in actual shipment volumes that are officially inspected rather than the current static formula that is based on what were erroneously low projections in export volumes. Specifically, they recommended that FGIS use a rolling five-year average as the basis for the tonnage user fee calculation.

The Grains Standards Act is typically reauthorized every 10 years. However, NGFA and NAEGA recommended that the time period be changed to every five years given the "dynamic, changing and highly competitive nature of the global grain export marketplace," Friant said.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Algae from wastewater solves two problems

Algae from wastewater solves two problems

Algae production with wastewater may solve two problems at once: industry sustainability and nutrient pollution.

IN one of the first studies to examine the potential for using municipal wastewater as a feedstock for algae-based biofuels, Rice University scientists found that they could easily grow high-value strains of oil-rich algae while simultaneously removing more than 90% of nitrates and more than 50% of phosphorous from the wastewater.

The findings, which are based on a five-month study at a wastewater treatment facility in Houston, Texas, are available online in the journal Algae.

"Biofuels were the hot topic in algaculture five years ago, but interest cooled as the algae industry moved toward producing higher-value, lower-volume products for pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, cosmetics and other products," said study lead author Meenakshi Bhattacharjee, a 28-year veteran of algal research who joined Rice University's biosciences faculty in June.

"The move to high-value products has allowed the algaculture industry to become firmly established, but producers remain heavily dependent on chemical fertilizers. Moving forward, they must address sustainability if they are to progress toward producing higher-volume products, 'green' petrochemical substitutes and fuels," Bhattacharjee added.

She said the industry's reliance on chemical fertilizers not only reduces algae producers' profit margins but puts them in competition with food producers for fertilizers.

A 2012 National Research Council report on algal biofuels found that "with current technologies, scaling up production of algal biofuels to meet even 5% of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for energy, water and nutrient resources."

That report also pointed to wastewater-based cultivation as a potential way to make algae production sustainable. An added appeal is that the method could potentially address a looming environmental problem: nutrient pollution in U.S. waterways.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nutrient pollution from excess nitrogen and phosphorous — the two primary components of chemical fertilizers — is "one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems."

Wastewater treatment facilities currently have no cost-effective means of removing large volumes of nitrates or phosphorous from treated water, so algae production with wastewater has the potential to solve two problems at once, said study co-author Evan Siemann, the Harry C. & Olga K. Wiess professor of biosciences at Rice.

"The idea has been on the books for quite a while, but there are questions, including whether it can be done in open tanks and whether it will be adaptable for monoculture — a preferred process where producers grow one algal strain that's optimized to yield particular products," he said. "We were surprised at how little had been done to test these questions. There are a number of laboratory studies, but we found only one previous large-scale study, which was conducted at a wastewater facility in Kansas."

Siemann said the Rice study was made possible with the participation of the Houston Department of Public Works & Engineering, which helped Rice's research team set up a test involving 12 open-topped, 600 gal. tanks at one of the city's satellite wastewater treatment plants in July 2013.

The tanks were fed with filtered wastewater from the plant's clarifiers, which removed suspended solids from sewage. Various formulations of algae were tested in each tank. Some were monocultures of oil-rich algal strains, and others contained mixed cultures, including some with local algal strains from Houston bayous. Some tanks contained fish that preyed upon algae-eating zooplankton.

"Prior research had suggested that diverse assemblages of algal species might perform better in open tanks and that fish might keep algae-eating zooplankton from adversely affecting yields," Siemann said.

"We recorded prolific algal growth in all 12 tanks," he said. "Our results are likely to be very encouraging to algae producers because the case they would prefer — monocultures with no fish and no cross-contamination — was the case where we saw optimal performance."

Bhattacharjee said more research is needed to determine whether wastewater-based algaculture will be cost effective, and under what circumstances.

For instance, the algae in the Rice study was four times more effective at removing phosphorous than the algae in the Kansas study were. She said that could be because the Houston test was performed in summer and fall, so the tanks were about 30 degrees warmer, on average, than the tanks in Kansas.

"Using wastewater would be one of the best solutions to make algaculture sustainable," Bhattacharjee said. "If temperature is key, then cultivation may be more economical in the Southeast and Southwest."

She noted that other factors, like the starting levels of nitrogen and phosphorous, might have caused a rate-limiting effect.

"These are the kinds of questions future studies would need to address to optimize this process and make it more attractive for investors," she noted.

Siemann said he hopes to partner with the city for future studies to further investigate the use of wastewater for algaculture.

"We are excited to be collaborating with Rice to develop innovative, sustainable approaches that remove excess nutrients from wastewater while producing algae-based biofuels, all to the benefit of Houston's bayous," said Carol La Breche, supervising engineering of wastewater operations at the Beltway Lab of the Houston Department of Public Works & Engineering.

Volume:87 Issue:14

Sanderson expands stock buyback program

Sanderson expands stock buyback program

SANDERSON Farms Inc. announced that its board of directors has expanded and extended to April 23, 2018, its stock repurchase program to repurchase up to 1.0 million shares of the company's common stock from time to time at prevailing prices in open market transactions or in negotiated purchases, subject to market conditions, share price and other considerations.

The repurchase program was originally approved on Oct. 22, 2009, and was extended on both Feb. 16, 2012, and Feb. 25, 2014. The company has repurchased 1.482 million shares under this stock repurchase program since its inception, including 700,003 shares repurchased in March 2015.

The latest action increases the number of shares that may be repurchased under the program by an additional 700,003 shares, returning the total number of shares remaining to be repurchased under the program to 1.0 million.

"As in the past, we plan to use our stock repurchase program to offset shares issued through our equity compensation programs," said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Sanderson Farms. "The shares repurchased in March, when added to those shares previously repurchased under the program, fully offset shares of stock issued through our compensation programs since 2005. We believe this program represents a good use of corporate funds while minimizing potential dilution related to our equity compensation programs."

The company also has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of 22 cents per share, payable May 19 to stockholders of record on May 5.

Sanderson Farms is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken and other prepared food items.

Volume:87 Issue:16

Pork expo exhibitors surveyed

Pork expo exhibitors surveyed

THE 2015 World Pork Expo, which is organized by the National Pork Producers Council, will be held June 3-5 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.

The expo gives exhibitors the chance to reveal new products and connect with producers who are looking for solutions to make their operations more efficient.

The trade show provides an opportunity to identify new business prospects, develop relationships with existing clients and introduce producers to the people behind the products.

Each year, business seminars are offered on profitability, animal health and current issues. Attendees can see the newest products, services and technologies offered by the more than 500 commercial exhibitors.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to watch junior showmen and swine breeders exhibit their market hogs and breeding animals.

The trade show will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 3-4 and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 5.

For your convenience, Feedstuffs surveyed the exhibitors that plan to attend the 2015 expo to find out which products and services they will be highlighting. Their responses are outlined in the following list.

Key to booth number locations: "AG" is Agricultural Building, "G" is hospitality tent, "SV" and "RI" are outdoor space, "SB" is Swine Barn and "V" is Varied Industries Building.

Surveys were sent to companies registered as of March 24, although more companies may have reserved booth spaces after that date.

Further information on each exhibitor is available at the company's website.

Additional information on the expo can be found at www.worldpork.org.

 

Animal health

AgCreate Solutions Inc. and Pork Avenue Training Portal, www.porkavenuetraining.com. Booth SV1607. Showcasing: It takes people to make pork. We create and deliver educational material for stockpeople.

BIOMIN USA, www.biomin.net. Booth V231. Showcasing: BIOMIN develops and produces feed additives, premixes and services for healthy and profitable animals.

Dosatron International Inc., www.dosatronusa.com. Booth G230. Showcasing: chemical dispensers and medicators.

Elanco Animal Health, www.elanco.us. Booth V443. Showcasing: Skycis, high-performance ionophore that represents a new standard in swine.

Lofton Label Inc., www.loftonlabel.com. Booth not yet assigned. Showcasing: labels, booklets, outserts, packaging films and labeling equipment.

Olmix, www.olmixna.com. Booth V701. Showcasing: Mistral drying agent, MMi mold inhibitor, MFeed+ for digestive well-being.

Pharmgate Animal Health, www.pharmgateah.com. Booth V582. Showcasing: animal health pharmaceuticals.

 

Buildings

Art's Way, www.buildingsforscience.com. Booth SV500. Showcasing: swine farrowing and nursery building options; grinder mixer.

Onduline North America, www.tuftexpanel.com. Booth not yet assigned. Showcasing: Tuftex PVC ag liner panels, PolyCarb skylight, Sidelight panels.

 

Environmental

Pinnacle Group, www.pinnacleiowa.com. Booth V430. Showcasing: manure management services, soil sampling, property/casual and crop insurance and soybean and corn seed.

 

Equipment

A.J. O'Mara Group LLC, www.ajomara.com. Booth V118. Showcasing: FEED Ease wet/dry stainless hog feeders and equipment.

Ag Works International, www.agworksintl.com. Booths SV106 and V100. Showcasing: along with high-quality flooring, watering and filtering equipment, Ag Works will be debuting the next generation of Newnion livestock trailers.

Cam Spray, www.camspray.com. Booth V409. Showcasing: pressure-washing and drain jetting equipment for the pork industry since 1971.

dol-sensors, www.dol-sensors.com. Booth V730. Showcasing: robust capacitive sensors and climate sensors for the agriculture industry.

EIP Manufacturing Inc., eipmfg.com. Booth V644. Showcasing: agricultural equipment.

Feedlogic Corp., www.feedlogic.com. Booth not yet assigned. Showcasing: farm monitoring systems and production management software.

Kane Manufacturing, www.kanemfg.com. Booth V485. Showcasing: baby pig heat mats, nursery feeders, sorting panels, grain scales.

Luckhart Transport, www.luckhart.com. Booth RI124. Showcasing: state-of-the-art livestock trailers.

Maximum Ag Technologies, www.maxagtech.com. Booth AG512. Showcasing: Maximus-System Control, a centralized controller system.

Midwest Livestock Systems Inc., www.midwestlivestock.com. Booth V551. Showcasing: Agrificient lighting products.

MPSAgri Inc., www.mpsagri.com. Booth V157. Showcasing: electronic sow feeding.

PigEasy LLC. Booth V729. Showcasing: MealMeter feed systems and other products.

QC Supply, www.qcsupply.com. Booth V489. Showcasing: new Meal Meter, biosecurity products, work apparel, light-emitting diode lighting.

Rotary Composters, www.rotarycomposters.com. Booth SV410. Showcasing: Rotoposter — making composting simpler and safer while improving biosecurity.

Shandong Homa Machinery Co. Ltd. Booth V1033. Showcasing: cast-iron pig flooring, cast-iron T-bolt, elevator buckets, cast-iron wheel.

 

Feed ingredients

Advanced Ag Products, www.byoreg.com. Booth V369. Showcasing: all-natural feed supplement.

DPI Global, www.dpiglobal.com. Booths V461 and G416. Showcasing: 50th anniversary of DPI Global and Micro-Aid value and benefits.

DuPont, www.animalnutrition.dupont.com. Booth V734. Showcasing: innovative enzyme, betaine and probiotic feed technologies to solve livestock challenges.

Furst-McNess Co., www.mcness.com. Booth V141. Showcasing: Wean Fuel for newly weaned piglets.

King Techina, www.kingtechina.com. Booth not yet assigned. Showcasing: microencapsulated products with a focus on gut health.

Nutriad Inc., www.nutriad.com. Booth V556. Showcasing: palatability, digestive performance, mycotoxin management and preservation and other feed additives.

NUTRIQUEST, www.nutriquest.com. Booths G409 and V785. Showcasing: customized breakthrough nutrition and technology solutions for animal producers.

RopaPharm International B.V., www.ropapharm.com. Booth RI154. Showcasing: oregano-based nutrition products for feed and water.

Soppe Systems Inc., www.supplemilk.com. Booth V721. Showcasing: milk making milk and resistant potato starch, early pig care solutions.

 

Industry services

Feedstuffs, www.feedstuffs.com. Booth V416. Showcasing: latest news and information for animal agriculture.

National Hog Farmer, www.nationalhogfarmer.com. Booth V625. Showcasing: publications and New Product Tour attendee judging.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service-Veterinary Services, www.aphis.usda.gov. Booth AG607. Showcasing: continuing and new changes to swine disease programs and information about swine enteric coronavirus disease.

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, www.nass.usda.gov. Booth V317. Showcasing: data on inventory of hogs and pigs, farm numbers, grain stocks, etc.

 

Swine genetics

PIC North America, www.pic.com. Booths G246, V465. Showcasing: swine genetics, technical support, reliable animal health.

Volume:87 Issue:16