Ag Briefs: China’s ag imports up from 2019

Wisconsin State Farmer
National briefs


WFBF to host Legislative Advocacy training

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Promotion and Education Committee is hosting a one-day Leadership Boot Camp on November 14 at Heartland Farms in Hancock. WFBF’s governmental relations team will lead the training focused on engaging in legislative advocacy at the local level. 

The in-person event will start with an optional tour of Heartland Farms, a fifth-generation potato and vegetable farm. The training will begin with information on local affairs and how to monitor activities at the town and county level. Training will continue with tips for contacting elected officials and how members can best make an impact on local, state and federal legislation.

The Leadership Boot Camp is open to all Farm Bureau members. Registration is $10 and includes the training, boxed lunch and an optional tour of Heartland Farms. The registration deadline is November 2.

For more information, or to register, visit


Pricing soars on iceberg lettuce

Increased demand, disease issues and weather have all combined to decrease the supply of iceberg lettuce across the industry as a whole and push prices upward.

According to an Associated Press report, said currentl supplies are coming out of the Salinas Valley, CA, area with Canadian supplies winding down. Lettuce from the Huron, CA will start in mid to late October for shippers that still produce there.

The next supply district is Yuma, AZ which starts in early November. Industry officials say supplies will likely not increase until Yuma gets into full swing on production.

Along with Canada, competing product currently comes from Colorado and New Mexico.


Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic goes virtual for 2021

The ag trade show Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic will continue as a virtual event Jan. 11-14. The event was originally scheduled to take place at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension co-hosts the event, details of which will be available later online.

Wisconsin Agri-Business Association executive director Tom Bressner said the conference is adapting to COVID-19 by hosting the event online, saying that event staff are still "committed as ever to delivering an exceptional event."


State fair to honor 2020 YQCA certification for 2021 junior exhibitors

The Wisconsin State Fair announced they will honor this year's Youth for the Quality of Animals certifications for next year's junior exhibition shows. Exhibitors planning to show in the fair's 2021 competitions must email a copy of their certification to

The fair urged exhibitors to check their own county's requirements on YQCA certification because they may be different than the Wisconsin State Fair's requirements. The fair also reminded exhibitors that you must be 12-19 years old as of Jan. 1, 2021 in order to qualify for the junior shows. More information will be available this coming winter.


WI 4-H Program laid out for 2021 

The Wisconsin 4-H Program is launching the NEW Wisconsin 4-H Movement! 

“Now more than ever, it’s important for our youth to build strong relationships and develop skills that will help them as they enter into adulthood,” says Wisconsin 4-H Program Manager Dondieneita Fleary-Simmons in a news release. 

The Wisconsin 4-H Movement asks youth across the state to share their story of how they live out Wisconsin 4-H values. Today, Wisconsin 4-H is calling on members, volunteers, and communities to display their #wi4hmovement values as they work together to Make the Best, Better. How do you live out the Wisconsin 4-H Movement?


DMI and Subway team up for youth, hunger programs

Dairy Management, Inc. has partnered with 21,000 Subway restaurants to collect donations for GENYOUth’s Emergency School Meal Delivery Fund, a program to help hungry children receive school meals. The program has raised nearly $10 million so far for 8,845 schools and will continue raising money through Nov. 30. 

As National Football League partners, DMI and Subway are also supporting the Fuel Up to Play 60 Homeroom program, which supports youth health and wellness to keep young students engaged while doing e-learning at home. The program provides information on how farms work and the nutrition of dairy foods.

DMI chief marketing communications officer Beth Engelmann said she hopes the programs will bring awareness to families struggling with food insecurity during the pandemic. She said she also wants to "highlight dairy as essential in every home moment" while families are cooped up indoors due to COVID-19.


China’s ag imports up from 2019

According to Reuters, China’s August imports of soybeans from Brazil rose 22% from a year ago, customs data showed, as buyers increased their purchases to take advantage of higher margins earlier this year.

According to the report, China, the world’s top buyer of soybeans, brought in 8.15M tons of the oilseed from Brazil in August, up from 6.68M tons last year, data from the General Administration of customs showed.

Crushers ramped up buying from the South American country to meet strong demand for feed from the recovering pig raising industry.

The Reuters article pointed out that, “Soybean arrivals in the coming months are expected to remain high, however, with more cargoes coming from the United States while Brazilian shipments slow, according to analysts and traders.”


Cattle producers welcome HAULS Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) hailed the introduction of legislation by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-NE, that would provide livestock haulers flexibility and critical relief from hours-of-service (HOS) rules.

The Haulers of Agriculture and Livestock Safety (HAULS) Act, S. 4720, would add a 150 air-mile exemption to HOS regulations to the backend of hauls for those transporting livestock or agricultural commodities.

 This legislation also eliminates the seasonal harvest  requirements for the agriculture hours-of-service exemption, making the exemption available year round in all states.

NCBA President Marty Smith said the pandemic has only further illustrated how important it is to allow drivers to quickly and safely reach their destinations, and in turn keep grocery store shelves stocked with beef. 

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka to ban cattle slaughter

Sri Lanka's government announced that it will ban cattle slaughter, saying it would help the dairy industry and thereby save money used to purchase imported milk powder.

But an analyst said the decision was politically motivated to please the Buddhist majority and would harm dairy farmers, according to an AP report.

The government's information department said the Cabinet believed that an increase in cattle slaughter was making it hard for traditional farmers to acquire cows for dairy farming.

Independent political analyst Kusal Perera called the decision “totally counter-productive” because “no milk industry can sustain itself without a beef industry.”

Perera said the slaughter ban will particularly target Muslim traders who have a monopoly on the beef trade, “but they will shift to other businesses such as poultry and mutton.”