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Articles from 2020 In May

Second fire at Feed Energy’s Sioux City plant

Second fire at Feed Energy’s Sioux City plant

At approximately 7:00 pm CDT Friday, May 29, there was a fire at Feed Energy’s processing plant in Sioux City, Iowa. The fire was in the same area as a fire that occurred May 1.

As with the fire at the beginning of the month, which started at about 4:30 p.m., there were 4
employees at the plant at the time and fortunately all got out safely. 

The Sioux City fire department was called immediately and after they arrived, they contacted the 185th Air National Guard at the Sioux City airport to dispatch their foam truck. The fire was extinguished by approximately 7:45 p.m. and posed little risk to the surrounding community.  

The Sioux City plant processes vegetable oil for use in poultry and swine feeds. According to a local fire official, it is believed that the fire started due to “latent heating in the remaining materials in and around the vegetable oil tanks.”

Established in 1987, Feed Energy is headquartered in Pleasant Hill, Iowa with two plants – one in Des Moines and one in Sioux City.  The company is a manufacturer of energy and nutraceutical ingredients for animal nutrition and innovative products for crops and plants. For over 30 years, the company has been providing customers with the highest quality products and services, together called the “Feed Energy Experience.”


This Week in Agribusiness, May 30, 2020

Part 1

Note: The video automatically plays through all show parts once you start.

Max Armstrong starts off hearing from Steve Moest from High Plains Pork about the struggles his business faces currently. Mike Pearson is on the desk and chats quickly with Greg Soulje previewing the weather report. Dale Durchholz of Grain Cycles joins the show to talk about the weather’s impact on the 2020 crop and how ethanol’s return is lifting the market. Next they turn some attention to livestock.

Part 2

Dale Durchholz of Grain Cycles rejoins Mike to discuss the challenges with international trade. In the Colby Ag Tech segment Chad Colby is chatting with Matt Foes who’s describes how tech is helping out with cover crops and tillage.

Part 3

Max is talking to Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture to discuss the Iowa hog industry and the Iowa Disposal Assistance Program.  

Part 4

Max Armstrong checks in with Polly Ruhland of the United Soybean Board where they are developing many new uses for soybeans, including asphalt and tennis shoes. Agricultural Meteorologist Greg Soulje joins Max and Steve to look at the forecast for the week ahead.

Part 5

Agricultural Meteorologist Greg Soulje returns to take a look at the long-range weather picture.

Part 6

In Max’s Tractor Shed, Max is teasing us with a peak at the tractor for next week’s broadcast. Mike Pearson profiles Woodbury FFA in Woodbury, Connecticut, way out of the corn belt they produce maple syrup and raise tilapia. Member Aiden Usher tells us about their greenhouse program’s “Peddle it Forward” program. In Samuelson Sez, Orion Samuelson say that the “natives are getting restless” and is responding to viewer e-mails as he looks towards a return to whatever normal is.

Part 7

Max chats with Lisa Safarian of Bayer Crop Science who tells us how COVID-19  has challenged her work, both on a personal level and across the Bayer Crop Science.


SwineTech SmartGuard garners Producer's Choice award

SwineTech Inc. nhf-swinetech.jpg
SwineTech SmartGuard was named the Producer's Choice Award winner after online voting during the 2020 New Product Tour.

Animal welfare and saving piglets is important for any hog operation and apparently it's also important to those who followed along to this year's New Product Tour, as SwineTech's SmartGuard technology garnered the Producer's Choice award.

SmartGuard provides the technologies necessary to automate and augment farrowing management, allowing for reduced labor and energy costs as well as sow and piglet mortalities. This is accomplished by leveraging voice recognition and smart cameras, as well as environmental and behavioral sensors that constantly monitor a designated farrowing environment.

SmartGuard has been proven to reduce piglet crushing by 30% and overall piglet mortalities by 25.3% on a large commercial sow farm in Iowa.

After learning that his company was chosen as the 2020 Producer's Choice winner, Matthew Rooda, SwineTech CEO and president, says "I am very proud of the SwineTech team and thankful for the support that we have received from our customers in the U.S. and Canada. It means a lot to receive this award, however our work doesn't stop here. We are continuing to build innovative tools to improve the way we approach sow farm management. "

SmartGuard was one of nine products featured during the New Product Tour portion of the 2020 Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference earlier this week.

"It means a lot (earning Producer's Choice) because it is difficult bringing something new to market. It's not just about saving the piglets, it's about the sow welfare and the people taking care of them," Rooda says. "It's about making the lives of people working in the farms better and more efficient. We're just trying to figure out how we can use technology to improve the overall experience of working in a sow farm, allowing caregivers to offer the very best care to the pigs."

Rooda says market development continues for his company's product, "we are currently interested in working with all pork producers in the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, we are currently evaluating what other countries we will expand to over the next couple of years."

As with most of the world, COVID-19 has not left SwineTech untouched, but in a good way for producers as Rooda says potential customers should inquire about a deal for producers. Check out the SwineTech website for more information.

Oh, Jonny, my boy, the end of meat is not near

This old barn doesn39t seem to be out of place as a backdrop for a golf course and upscale homes

Jonathon Safran Foer, a professional vegan and occasional novelist, has been heralding the end of carnivorism since he learned to spell. He did it again in a May 24 New York Times opinion piece whimsically entitled "The End of Meat is Near."

Wikipedia says Jonathan Safran Foer is an American novelist. He's known for his fictional novels Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and Here I Am. His non-fiction books are Eating Animals, and We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast. Personally, I think all his works are fiction.

"Extremely Close" is a post 9/11 novel about a boy named Oskar Schell, who lost his father in that terrorist attack. He's nine years old, eccentric, intelligent and clever. He sees himself as an inventor, an amateur entomologist and archaeologist, and an origamist. Like many small boys, he tends to fantasize. He's not imaging himself to be the next Stephen Curry or Patrick Mahomes, though. He suspects passing ambulances can alert him to the severity of their passengers' conditions and sees plantlike skyscrapers.

Little Oskar's mental makeup might contain a little bit of Foer who lives a rich fantasy life, too, when he writes oddly unsubstantiated claims about the coming end of world meat consumption. He wrote his lengthy op/ed about his fantasy-driven expectation of worldwide turn toward veganism, suggesting, "If you care about the poor and climate change, you must stop eating animals."

Like so many other zealots, he loves to make disconnected statements. It's mental shorthand, sweetly pleasing mind candy that appeals to less than deep thinkers. It's a false equivalency and a cheap plucking of emotional heartstrings. If I insist on eating a hamburger, I hate the poor? If I have a ham sandwich for lunch, I'm promoting a hotter, drier world? Give me a break!

To be precise, this (veganism) is not that (a more just and fair world).

Foer claimed The Economist, a well-respected magazine, reported that "a quarter of Americans between 25 and 34 say they are vegetarians or vegans." Googling for the source of that claim, I found the publication accurately states, "In America, roughly 2% of adults consider themselves vegans, according to YouGov, another pollster. Another 5% identify as vegetarians and 3% as pescatarians." Those are numbers that have held steady for decades. There is no provable jump in the number of people who limit their diet to foods like tofu and ancient grains.

He goes a step further when he writes, "The CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention) reports that three out of four new or emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic – the result of our broken relationship with animals. His suggestion seems to be those new diseases are primarily caused by factory farming, a direct result of the confinement of chickens, pigs and cows. A serious look at zoonotic diseases, though, rarely points a gnarled and nasty finger at animal agriculture with the possible exception of 2009's swine flu. Bird flu, a health problem half a decade ago, was spread by migratory birds. Rats, dogs, fleas and ticks have always been the primary villains. Here is a link to a paper by the National Institutes of Health that outlines the long history of death caused by wildlife and your favorite creepy, crawly woodland pests: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3323390/.

He's correct on one thing. Most of us have a severely broken relationship with fleas and ticks

A more realistic approach comes from a vegan friend. "On the one hand," he said, "it's impossible to claim with any authority a reliable number of people who've been killed from influenza viruses arising from North American meat producers. On the other hand, I think every CAFO anywhere creates at least the possibility of being the one to kick off a COVID-19 style pandemic. The chance that any one CAFO being responsible is immeasurably tiny, but collectively the risk is real, especially if evaluated over decades."

He believes much of the generation of new annual flu viruses comes from chicken and pork farms in Southeast Asia, aiming the blame at the "wet" markets that tend to breed new generations of viruses. "It's fair to say that the global meat industry has been responsible for creating circumstances that generate annual flu variants. But it's painting with too broad a brush to lump North American and Asian meat producers together."

Want to know how far Foer is willing to go to promote his preferred diet? Here is a quote from his column: "Factory farming is to actual farming what criminal monopolies are to entrepreneurship."

Let's stop that out-of-control, driverless bus right now. First, exactly how does Foer define factory farming? Reading his various screeds, he seems to confuse the raising of animals (the farm) with the slaughter of animals (the factory). To be fair, he objects to large farms as well as factories, especially when the numbers of animals raised or slaughtered in any one location surpass a few dozen. He leaves us with that nostalgic little house on the prairie sitting behind a white picket fence with a big red barn out back. Toss in a few chickens, a free-ranging pig or two and ol' Bossie, everyone's favorite milk cow, grazing peacefully in the pasture.

Yeah, that Norman Rockwellian scene will feed a real America just as it accurately portrays a fictional America.

If Foer likes to eat, he should listen to real, genuine, Grade A experts like Dr. Frank Mitloehner, a professor and air quality specialist at the University of California-Davis. He's known far and wide as the Greenhouse Gas Guru. Speaking at the recent Alltech ONE Virtual Experience, he said, "But then I hear statistics from the current Agricultural Census that we have 2 million farmers in this country, but 1.5 million of those are hobby farmers making less than $25,000 per year. And then you add that just 80,000 farmers produce two-thirds of all food. Now that, in addition to the information that the average age of our farmers is 60, makes me very nervous. We have to pay more attention to our food-growing sector because it is of strategic importance."

With that in mind, I would love to hear Foer or any other opponent of our current ag system, tell me exactly how they would reorder things to 'improve' how modern American agriculture works. How many of those critical 80,000 fit into his dodgy definition of factory farming? Should we allow our food supply to fall entirely in the hands of 1.5 million hobby farmers? Should we continue to stand by as too many our farmers age out and retire, leaving millions of acres untended?

Foer and friends would see that as the end of animal agriculture, of course. But that vegan diet would disappear, too. We would be forced to roll back to subsistence farming, feeding the family who tilled the soil first with just a few leftovers for people who are convinced food comes from their neighborhood supermarket.


Dairy & specialty livestock markets, 5/29/2020


Names in the News: June 2020

Rawpixel/iStock/Getty Images Names in the News business people silhouettes

To submit an announcement for Names in the News, please email it to Kristin Bakker at [email protected]


AB VISTA, Plantation, Fla. — Dr. Michelle Stewart has joined the company as technical services team member. Stewart will focus on the monogastric business, supporting customers in determining how or why leg health issues evolve in the field.


ALGAENERGY S.A., Madrid, Spain — Fabricio Benatti has been appointed vice president of the new subsidiary being established in Brazil. Benatti will be responsible for building the international business in South America and Latin America.


ALLTECH, Lexington, Ky. — Sal Costilla has joined the company as forage specialist on the California dairy team. Costilla will provide on-farm forage service and support to California and Nevada. He was previously with Clauss Dairy Farms.

Dennis Miguel has joined the company as territory sales representative on the California dairy team. Miguel will focus on sales support to the dairy market in the central to southern part of California's San Joaquin Valley. He was previously with Van Beek Natural Science.


AMERICAN SEED TRADE ASSN., Alexandria, Va. — Dr. Fan-Li Chou has joined the association as vice president, scientific affairs and policy. Chou will work with the association membership, government officials and stakeholders at the domestic and global levels regarding the future of innovation in plant breeding and plant sciences. She was previously with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


AMERICAN SOYBEAN ASSN., Washington, D.C. — Scott Gerlt has joined the organization as economist, effective July 20. Gerlt will provide insight on relevant agricultural economics and analysis of current and future policy for the association. He was previously with the Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute.


BLUENALU INC., San Diego, Cal. — Amir Feder has joined the company as chief financial officer. Feder will work on investor relations, corporate governance and long-term corporate strategy. He was previously with Hughes Marino.


CARGILL, Minneapolis, Minn. — Hank Gray has joined the company as U.S. origination manager for cotton within the Agricultural Supply Chain business. Gray will focus on setting and executing on the farmer-facing strategy in the cotton space.

Brett Mackay has joined the company as dairy focus consultant for the western region. Mackay will focus on serving and developing the dairy business in the Granger, Wash., market. He was previously with All West/Select Sires.


COBB-VANTRESS INC., Siloam Springs, Ark. — Dr. Suttisak Boonyoung has joined the Cobb Asia technical service team as regional nutritionist. Boonyoung will provide flock health and nutrition support and expertise to customers across the region. He was previously with Cargill Meats Thailand.

Dr. Magali Charles has joined the Cobb Asia technical service team as regional veterinarian. Charles will provide flock health and nutrition support and expertise to customers across the region. She was previously with Hendrix Genetics.


CORBION, Amsterdam, Netherlands — Geir Ivar Lanes has been appointed senior business development manager. Lanes will lead the application of the AlgaPrime DHA ingredient in salmonid feed. He was previously with Havbrukskontroll AS.

Ruud Peerbooms has been appointed president of the Algae Ingredients team. Peerbooms will drive strategic initiatives to expand the algae business, including overseeing partnerships for the development of the next generation of algae ingredients. He was most recently senior vice president of food.

Paula Arriagada Strodthoff has been appointed senior business development manager. Strodthoff will lead the AlgaPrime DHA work with salmon farmers and feed companies in Chile. She was previously with EWOS Chile.


DREXEL CHEMICAL CO., Memphis, Tenn. — Ben Johnson will retire as president in mid-September.

Mark Stewart has been promoted to president. Stewart was most recently director of sales and marketing.


EW NUTRITION, Adel, Iowa — Dr. Tim Fakler has joined the company as technical manager, swine. Fakler will work with current and prospective customers to deliver programs, products and advisory for profitability with customized solutions.


FARMERS NATIONAL CO., Omaha, Neb. — Matt Gunderson has been promoted to senior vice president of sales and marketing. Gunderson will be responsible for overseeing the planning, development and execution of sales, marketing and advertising initiatives and leading the long-range plan growth goals for company business lines. He was most recently vice president of farm and ranch management.


GROWERS EDGE FINANCIAL INC., Johnston, Iowa — Tracy Linbo has been appointed executive vice president and chief commercial officer. Linbo will drive the commercial strategy and continued development of the sales organization. She was previously with Agtegra Cooperative.


INTERNATIONAL DAIRY FOODS ASSN., Washington, D.C. — Becky Rasdall has been named vice president of trade policy and international affairs within the Legislative Affairs & Economic Policy team. Rasdall will develop and advocate industry positions on international trade issues, including U.S. and international trade policy, and will monitor and address international regulatory issues affecting trade in dairy products. She was previously with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service.


MAXAM TIRE, Danvers, Mass. — Gregory Gilland has been appointment vice president of the Global Agricultural Program. Gilland will lead the team providing solutions to the agriculture industry. He was most recently North American segment manager of agricultural tires.


NOBIS AGRI SCIENCE, Plainwell, Mich. — Megan Versau has been promoted to chief operating officer. Versau will oversee day-to-day administrative and operational functions with a focus on operational excellence, customer satisfaction and implementation of strategic goals. She most recently managed the marketing, compliance and human resources department.


QUALITY TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL, Elgin, Ill. — Dr. Miloud Araba has been appointed poultry nutritionist, research and technical services. Araba will be responsible for technical sales support with poultry producers, veterinarians and nutritionists as well as for implementing field research on existing and potential future products. He was previously with Syngenta Seeds.


TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY, Lubbock, Texas — Alexandra Calle has joined the new School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo, Texas, as assistant professor of microbiology. Calle was most recently a faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.

Dr. Michael Josue Cruz Penn has joined the School of Veterinary Medicine as assistant professor of anatomic pathology. Cruz Penn will lead pathology courses and provide anatomic pathology services for teaching and research. He was previously with the University of Kentucky.


TYSON FOODS INC., Springdale, Ark. — Dan Turton has been named senior vice president, global government affairs, effective June 29. Turton will lead worldwide government relations activities for the company from Washington, D.C. He was previously a senior advisor to the House Rules Committee.


UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN, Lincoln, Neb. — Dr. Rebecca Funk has been named interim Nebraska Beef Quality Assurance coordinator. Funk was most recently assistant professor of practice in the School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.


U.S. CATTLETRACE INC., Manhattan, Kan. — Callahan Grund has been named executive director. Grund was previously with Farm Strategy LLC.


VITA PLUS CORP., Madison, Wis. — Dr. Lucas Mitchell has joined the company as calf and heifer specialist. Mitchell will provide on-farm support with sales staff in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio for all calf- and heifer-related projects and also will work with members of the calf team to utilize current research and provide custom solutions to help dairy producers meet their calf and heifer program goals.


WILBUR-ELLIS NUTRITION, Vancouver, Wash. — Gerardo Quintero has joined the company as vice president. Quintero was previously with Cargill Animal Nutrition.

What’s ahead for hog prices, profitability in 2020?

During National Hog Farmer's Global Hog Industry Virtual Conference on May 27, David Bauer of Provimi and Dennis Smith of Archer Financial, provided their insight on what’s ahead for the hog market in regard to prices and profitability. They shared a bit of their insight and then the floor was open for questions. Take a listen.

Ann Hess, Editor, National Hog Farmer (moderator)
David Bauer, market analyst, Provimi, and voice of Feedstuffs Precision Pork podcast
Dennis Smith, National Hog Farmer market columnist and analyst with Archer Financial


Large number of COVID-19 cases closes Iowa plant

Tyson Foods Tyson Foods blue logo horizontal

Tyson Foods is voluntarily closing its Storm Lake, Iowa plant after approximately 22% of the plant’s employees tested positive for COVID-19. The plant processes about 17,250 hogs per day. Harvesting animals and finish processing was expected to be wrapped up by this weekend.

The company said the closure is “due in part to a delay in COVID-19 testing results and team member absences related to quarantine and other factors.”

Deep cleaning and sanitizing of the entire facility will be conducted before resuming operations later next week, the company said, adding that it is working closely with local health officials after completing testing of team members and contractors at the plant.

Tyson said it will share verified test results, once complete data is available, with health and government officials, team members, and other stakeholders as part of its efforts to help communities where it operates better understand the coronavirus and the protective measures that can be taken to help prevent its spread.

Further, once operations resume, team members at Tyson’s Storm Lake facility will continue to have access to additional testing, daily clinical symptom screenings, nurse practitioners and enhanced education through Matrix Medical which has a mobile unit onsite.

A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Health relayed during a press conference Thursday that 555 employees tested positive among its 2,517 employees.

Despite the closure announcement, Jayson Lusk, professor and department head in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, reported this week that appears the worst of the COVID-related disruptions to meat and livestock markets may be over. 

“The worst of the disruptions occurred in late April and early May when we were running about 40% below last year, but significant improvements have been made since then.”

He relayed that beef and pork are mainly back online but running at a reduced capacity of about 10-15% below last year due to social distancing of workers, etc.  Chicken processing, on the other hand, hasn’t deviated more than plus or minus 10% from last year at any point during this period, Lusk said.

Weekly Export Sales – Corn sales disappoint

3dmentat/ThinkstockPhotos CargoShip
AG SHIPPERS SPEAK OUT: During House subcommittee hearing June 15, ag industry members discuss lasting negative impact as ocean carriers to decline to carry U.S. agriculture commodity exports.

USDA didn’t offer a lot of bullish data in its latest export sales report, out Friday morning. The report, which showed sales for the week ending May 21, saw volume for corn, soybeans and wheat all slide lower compared to their prior four-week averages.

Corn saw 16.8 million bushels in old crop sales plus just 1.8 million bushels in new crop sales for a total tally of 18.6 million bushels. Analysts were expecting a much more robust tally, with trade guesses ranging between 21.7 million and 51.2 million bushels. Old crop sales tanked 58% below the prior four-week tally. Cumulative sales for the 2019/20 marketing year are still significantly below last year’s pace, now at 1.089 billion bushels.

Corn export shipments were better but still 16% below the prior four-week average, with 41.8 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 12.6 million bushels. Japan, Colombia, Israel and Honduras rounded out the top five.

Sorghum export sales continue to perform handsomely this year, notching another 7.1 million bushels last week. China bought nearly all of that total. Cumulative sales for the 2019/20 marketing year are still more than double last year’s pace after reaching 99.6 million bushels.

Soybean export sales were also down significantly week-over-week, falling to 23.7 million bushels in old crop sales plus another 7.5 million bushels in new crop sales. That was on the low end of analyst expectations, with trade guesses ranging between 22.0 million and 51.4 million bushels. One silver lining – China returned as the No.1 buyer, accounting for nearly half the total with 14.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are still slightly ahead of last year’s pace, with 1.302 billion bushels.

Soybean export shipments tumbled to a marketing-year low, with just 12.2 million bushels. Mexico led the way, with 4.3 million bushels. Japan, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia filled out the top five.

Wheat export sales improved slightly week-over-week but still fell 23% below the prior four-week average, with 7.7 million bushels in old crop sales. New crop sales were more robust, at 18.2 million bushels. Totals sales still bested trade estimates, which ranged between 5.5 million and 22.0 million bushels. And cumulative sales for the 2019/20 marketing year still maintain a modest lead over last year’s pace, with 871.7 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments fared much better, jumping 53% higher week-over-week and 29% above the prior four-week average, with 20.6 million bushels. China was the No. 1 destination, with 6.1 million bushels. Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Mexico filled out the top five.

Click here to see the entire latest export sales data from USDA.

Lower Vietnamese tariffs could boost U.S. exports

nevodka/iStock/Thinkstock Dairy products including milk, cheese, butter and yogurt displayed on white wood

Vietnam has signed a decree unilaterally lowering tariffs on key dairy products and ingredients, including skim milk powder, whole milk powder, cheese, milk albumin and protein isolate. It also lowered tariffs on frozen pork products. The decree goes into effect on July 10, and will last until the end of the year.

Most tariffs on dairy products and ingredients will decrease by 50% or more. The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) received confirmation May 28 that the decree has officially been announced by Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

USDEC said it worked for more than a year to secure the measure. It reduces a competitive disadvantage created when the Trans-Pacific Partnership went into effect without U.S. participation, along with other free-trade agreements, including one with the European Union.

Since 2017, U.S. dairy exports to Vietnam have grown by more than 50%, to $170.5 million (86,230 metric tons) last year, making it the U.S. dairy industry’s eighth-largest export market.

“Vietnam’s decision to unilaterally lower tariffs will better position the U.S. dairy industry to provide a consistent supply of high-quality and competitively priced dairy products to the mutual benefit of both nations,” said USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack. “The effort illustrates how the U.S. Dairy Export Council delivers value to its member companies and dairy farmers.”

With Australia/New Zealand and the European Union all gaining preferred access to Vietnam through the Comprehensive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement, USDEC saw that U.S. suppliers would soon be facing a significant competitive disadvantage. The Trade Policy team, working with the Market Access and Strategy and Insights teams, began a campaign to reduce that competitive disadvantage.

USDEC submitted a petition to reduce tariffs to the Vietnamese government in April 2019, traveled to Vietnam to meet with government officials and utilized a focused local team to conduct follow-up contact in-market with Vietnam.

“While this is certainly a development to celebrate,” Vilsack said, “USDEC will continue working toward a free-trade agreement with Vietnam that expands U.S. market share by removing all dairy tariffs and ensuring that the access afforded to U.S. suppliers is second to none.”

Vietnam also announced it will temporarily reduce its Most Favored Nation (MFN) tariff rates from 15% to 10% percent for frozen pork products. The United States is among countries able to receive the MFN rates and once implemented, this will level the playing field with other Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) countries that have free trade agreements with Vietnam.

A trade agreement with Vietnam is a top priority for U.S. pork producers, especially as the country battles African swine fever and needs safe, reliable and affordable sources of pork. In August 2019, The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said it helped secure a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant enabling the Swine Health Information Center to run a research project in Vietnam to better under the disease in an active-outbreak setting.