South Korea Stops U.S. Poultry and Farm Bill Debate
**South Korea is a major poultry and egg importer, but has closed its market to the U.S. following the new detection of highly pathogenic bird flu at a Tennessee broiler breeding operation.
Employees at the broiler operation, a contract grower for Tyson Foods, noticed "unusual mortality" in one of eight barns on Thursday and testing proved the presence of bird flu.
USDA announced the detection Sunday, by which time the company had destroyed the chickens in all eight barns to prevent spread of the virus.
** The Purdue/CME Ag Economy Barometer fell in February after three months of strong gains. The barometer dropped nearly 20 points to 134 after January's record high of 153.
Jim Mintert, the director of Purdue's Center for Commercial Agriculture says the concern producers expressed about current economic conditions is consistent with other measures of conditions in the farm economy.
The barometer is comprised of indicators from the Index of Current Conditions and the Index of Future Expectations. Both dropped from their January levels.
** The 2018 Farm Bill debate is heating up and a former deputy ag secretary is telling Rural America to hold its ground.
Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, says farmers can't afford to lose their safety net.
He says there's been a lot of wringing of hands, but don't apologize.
Already, Connor says Ag has voluntarily reformed farm programs and now is not the time to allow more budget cuts.