Montana Ag Network: Japan eliminating restrictions on U.S. beef exports

Posted at 4:25 PM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 20:27:46-04

HELENA – Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester praised a Department of Agriculture announcement that US beef producers have been granted full access to Japan.

According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the new trade terms allow US products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter japan for the first time since 2003.

The USDA estimates beef exports from the US to Japan could increase by up to $200 million annually.

According to the office of the United States Trade Representatives, beef and veal were the number two agricultural exports for Montana in 2017.

And Montana ranked 13th in the nation with beef exports totaling $161 million.

Japan banned US beef products in 2003 after an animal tested positive for BSE, the neurological disease also known as Mad Cow Disease.

Partial imports were allowed again in 2005, and restrictions have been slowly loosened since.

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency will accept applications beginning June 3 for certain practices under the continuous Conservation Reserve Program signup and will offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts.

The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized CRP, which is one of the country’s largest conservation programs.

“USDA offers a variety of conservation programs to farmers and ranchers, and the Conservation Reserve Program is an important tool for private lands management,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “CRP allows agricultural producers to set aside land to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health.”

A program to offer student debt assistance to young farmers and ranchers in Montana has been signed into law and will encourage young people to pursue a career in agriculture.

Governor Steve Bullock signed HB 431, which will create a student loan debt assistance program to aid young farmers and ranchers in paying off up to 50 percent of their student loans when they commit to at least 5 years of farming or ranching.

Students must have graduated from a Montana University System university or college to qualify.

The program will be funded through the Montana Growth Through Agriculture grant program, which has provided funds for strengthening and diversifying agriculture since 1987.

For more information, contact the Montana Department of Agriculture in Helena at (406)444-3144.

Reporting by Russell Nemetz for MTN News