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Ag Journal agriculture briefs for Nov. 6, 2020

Candace Krebs
Special to Ag Journal

NCBA convention postponed until August 2021

The Cattle Industry Annual Convention and National Cattlemen's Beef Association Trade Show has been postponed until August 2021.

The NCBA convention is one of the industry’s biggest events of the year for cattle producers. Originally scheduled for Feb. 3-5, the convention and trade show will now take place Aug. 10-12, 2021.

While the event has a new date, the convention and trade show will still be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. NCBA will hold some of its traditional business meetings in January or February, in accordance with association bylaws.

Commodity Classic goes virtual

Commodity Classic, the annual gathering of corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers, has announced it will transition its annual conference and trade show to a digital format. The event was originally scheduled for March 4-6, in San Antonio. The move to virtual is due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dicamba approvals issued

The Environmental Protection Agency agreed to approve new five-year registrations for two dicamba products and extended the registration of a third dicamba product.

All three registrations include new control measures to ensure these products can be used effectively while protecting the environment, including non-target plants, animals, and other crops not tolerant to dicamba, according to EPA.

New registrations approved include “over-the-top” products XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology and Engenia Herbicide, while the registration for an additional product, Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology, was extended. These registrations are only for use on dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans and will expire in 2025.

CSU SPUR to host water symposium

Colorado State University’s SPUR Center in Denver will present the 2020 Water in the West Symposium virtually on Nov. 18-19. The event will feature a diverse group of speakers discussing water issues and solutions.

Gary Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners, will deliver the keynote address on the role of storytelling in addressing water-related concerns.

NCBA urges Congress to hold off on Transparency Act

Nineteen state cattle organizations, including the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Kansas Livestock Association and Texas Cattle Feeders Association are asking the leadership of the House and Senate Ag Committees to delay action on the Cattle Transparency Act of 2020 to allow work by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to take effect.

An association task force previously outlined a set of goals and triggers that are intended to provide improved price discovery in a market-driven way. State affiliate groups that have previously come out in support of Congress’ market transparency proposal include Missouri Cattlemen's Association, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and Arkansas Cattlemen's Association.

China flies in hogs to replenish herds

China is seeking to improve genetics and boost productivity by flying in more than 15,000 hogs so far this year, according to Bloomberg News. The move comes as China seeks to increase its hog herd following the African swine fever outbreak.

The hogs are worth an estimated $32 million, compared to just $3 million in imports a year ago. China is also seeking to modernize its hog production by shifting to a model of large-scale growing operations.

The new pigs have come to the country from Denmark, France and the United Kingdom. The number of breeding sows rose 28 percent from a year earlier to 38 million by the end of September. China is also importing a record value and volume of processed pork to fill the protein gap while the herd is repopulated.

Bayer kicks off environmental payments to farmers

The Bayer Carbon Initiative pilot program kicked off this summer and is now paying farmers $10 an acre to engage in new conservation practices such as cover cropping.

The carbon incentive pilot is available to corn and soybean growers in nine Midwestern states. About 600 growers in the U.S. and 600 in Brazil are involved so far. There’s currently a waiting list to participate, but Bayer promised more opportunities to sign up in the future.

Barry Flinchbaugh attends a Kansas State Univeristy football game inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium in 2019.

Passing of noted ag economist announced

Iconic Kansas State University agricultural economist Barry Flinchbaugh passed away on Nov. 2 at the age of 78. At the time of his death, he was professor emeritus in K-State's agricultural economics department and still teaching a 400-level course in agricultural policy each fall.

Flinchbaugh was involved to some degree in every U.S. farm bill written since 1968, and served on many national boards, advisory groups and task forces, providing input on domestic food and agricultural policy.