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African Swine Fever Shrinks Pork Production in China, Swells Demand for Imported Pork

Although the rapid spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) across China decimated the world’s largest swine herd in 2019, it has created significant export opportunities for the U.S. pork industry. In the United States, recent industry expansion and low prices helped the industry export more pork to China, despite high retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork.

After the first cases of ASF in China were reported in August 2018, the virus spread to every province by mid-2019. Assessments by industry observers suggest that the number of ASF outbreaks and losses of swine far exceeded officially reported numbers. As mentioned earlier, China’s swine herd was decimated—both by...

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Feb 5 11:48 AM, General News



Food Insecurity Among Children has Declined Overall but Remains High for Some Groups

Food security—access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life—provides an important foundation for nutrition and health. Food security is especially important for children. The nutritional content of their diets affects not only their current health, but also their physical, mental, and social development—and thus, their future health and well-being. Prior research has shown that children in food-insecure homes, where parents and caregivers struggle to put enough food on the table, are more likely to have adverse outcomes, such as more chronic health conditions, slower progress in math and reading, and more difficulties with social development than do otherwise similar children in...

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Feb 4 8:16 AM, General News


U.S. Per Capita Availability of Red Meat, Poultry, and Seafood on the Rise

After falling from 148.6 pounds in 2004 to 133.5 pounds in 2014, the per capita supply of red meat, poultry, and fish/shellfish available for Americans to eat after adjusting for losses rose to 143.9 pounds in 2017. Red meat (beef, pork, veal, and lamb) accounted for 51 percent of 2017’s 143.9-pound total, compared with 42 percent for poultry (chicken and turkey) and 7 percent for fish and shellfish.

ERS calculates per capita loss-adjusted food availability in a given year by taking per capita supplies of food available for human consumption and adjusting for some of the spoilage, plate waste, and other losses in grocery stores, restaurants, and homes to more closely approximate consumption. Over 2015-17, beef had the...

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Jan 14 8:16 AM, General News


Quantifying the Impact of SNAP Benefits on the U.S. Economy and Jobs

USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the Nation’s largest food assistance program. In fiscal year 2018, SNAP served an average 40.3 million people per month and issued $60.9 billion in benefits to be spent in food stores authorized to accept SNAP benefits. The primary goal of SNAP is to provide low-income households with additional resources for buying food.

But SNAP also serves as an automatic stabilizer for the economy. For example, during an economic downturn, when unemployment increases and wages fall, more individuals become eligible for SNAP and enroll in the program. As SNAP participants spend this increased Federal assistance, income is generated for those involved in producing, transporting, and...

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Jul 19 11:48 AM, General News


Brazil Once Again Becomes the World’s Largest Beef Exporter

In 2018, Brazil was the world’s largest exporter of beef, providing close to 20 percent of total global beef exports, outpacing India, the second-largest exporter, by 527,000 metric tons carcass weight equivalent (CWE). Moreover, USDA projects that Brazil will continue its export growth trajectory for the next decade, reaching 2.9 million metric tons, or 23 percent of the world’s total beef exports, by 2028.

Brazil has the world’s second-largest cattle herd—232 million head—and its production is largely based on grass. Increased beef demand worldwide has stimulated increased production and productivity gains. In 2018, Brazil reached its highest level of beef production at 9.9 million metric tons. According to a September 2018 report by USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), programs...

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Jul 3 10:03 AM, General News




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