APHIS and Covid-19 efforts | AMS on table eggs | Pro Farmer answers your questions
— USDA’s APHIS to allow electronic transmission of documents in Covid-19 efforts. While USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced it has continued to conduct “all” of their regular plan and plant product import and export services, the agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service will now “accept electronically produced versions of phytosanitary certificates, effective immediately.” Importers and brokers can now provide them via the Automated Commercial Environment using the Document Imaging System or via other means like email attachments.
— Ag Marketing Service taking actions on table eggs. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced it will immediately waive the provision “which prohibits official grading for eggs over 21 days in age or which have previously shipped for sale.” The move to address what USDA says is a “temporary misalignment” in the supply chain where supermarkets have seen shortages of eggs. The action will allow eggs recently shipped to foodservice to be returned to the origin farms for reprocessing, repackaging and grading for retail distribution. Plus, AMS will allow a temporary extension of the age restriction for eggs bearing the USDA grade shield from no more than 21 days to 30 days including the date of lay. Roughly 55% of table eggs in the U.S. are voluntarily graded for quality by AMS.
— State Dept. Q&A on H-2 visa changes. Link
— Charlie Cook, founder of the Cook Political Report, on Covid-19: “Anyone who loses a loved one because of a resurgence in the coronavirus is not likely to accept excuses that economic activity was more important than a life lost. These are decisions that I wouldn’t want to make.”
— USDA announced national average loan rates for 2020 wheat, feedgrains, oilseeds, rice and pulse crops. FSA also issued the county loan rates for those crops in 2020. Link to access national average and county loan rates.
— Page Four of Pro Farmer published later today will have questions we have received from Members and our responses. Here is a link to that page. If you are not a subscriber to Pro Farmer newsletter, you should be. You get an ID and Password to profarmer.com, and you can link to the Policy Updates directly and go back and search them. That and more items are available with member access, of course including the weekly Pro Farmer newsletter. www.tryprofarmer.com gives you the option to try the website for 1 week free or get a Preferred membership for $1 for the first month.