ASF Confirmed in Dominican Republic and Grassley on Small Livestock Producers
**The USDA reports the Dominican Republic has confirmed cases of African swine fever.
National Pork Producers Council chief veterinarian, Liz Wagstrom tells www.agrimarketing.com the U.S. remains free of ASF and has significantly bolstered biosecurity to protect the U.S. swine herd since ASF broke in China nearly three years ago.
Wagstrom says these measures are particularly important now that ASF has been detected in the Western hemisphere for the first time in roughly 40 years.
**Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the USDA is providing
$67 million in competitive loans through the new Heirs’ Property Relending Program, which aims to help ag producers and landowners resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues.
Intermediary lenders, cooperatives, credit unions, and nonprofit organizations, can apply for loans up to $5 million at 1% interest once the Farm Service Agency opens the two-month signup window later this month.
**U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, of Iowa, has his eyes on leveling the playing field for smaller livestock producers who have to compete with “big companies” that wield so much industry control.
Speaking with AgriTalk, Grassley said we expect to make a case that four companies having 80% of the slaughter means the spot person can’t market when they want.
Grassley supports legislative action and says he’s asked Ag Secretary Vilsack to “look into the situation.”