County Fair Cash Crunch and Beef-Pork Exports Down Slightly
**County fairgrounds face a cash crunch, as the pandemic forces ongoing cancellations of events.
A number of county fair boards have already voted to cancel their 2021 fairs.
Some fairs have made accommodations for junior livestock sales, so students can still market their animals.
In other locations, fairs have pushed back their traditional start dates, in hope pandemic restrictions will ease in time.
**February's Ag Economy Barometer reading of 165 was down 2 points from January.
And, according to www.agrimarketing.com, producers continue to report strong current conditions on their farms as February's Current Conditions Index value of 200 is near its all-time high.
However, continuing a trend from last fall, the Index of Future Expectations drifted lower at 148, 3 points below January’s reading.
February marked the third time in the last 4 months that Future Expectations declined, leaving it 20% below its October peak.
**U.S. beef and pork exports opened 2021 below the large volumes posted a year ago, according to January data from the USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
USMEF President Dan Halstrom says that January BEEF exports were very strong to South Korea and continued to gain momentum in China.
And, while PORK exports to China declined as expected, shipments increased to a range of markets including Japan, Central America and the Philippines.