**The USDA’s latest cold storage report showed strong retail and export demand for meat.

Pork was down 10% on the year, despite record pork production during March, including a 68% drop in bellies, and beef supplies were 4% lower, even after a 7% year to year increase in production last month. Red meat stocks were 7% less than on March 31st, 2016.

The USDA’s next set of supply and demand numbers is out May 10th.

**Ag businesses are still planning to invest in their employees this year despite a down ag economy.

Erika Osmundson with AgCareers.com tells Brownfield their annual Agribusiness Review found 95 percent of ag companies will provide staff with salary increases.

She says an additional 45 percent of companies said some employees would see increases.

Almost 100 percent of companies in the survey have reduced bonus opportunities in the last year.

The report did not take into consideration any layoffs related to the ag slump.

**U.S. officials keep prodding China for a faster and more open system for deciding whether to approve the import of new GMO crop varieties. China approved only one strain last year, compared with three varieties in 2015.

The courts are still cleaning up the mess from Chinese rejection in 2013 of cargoes of U.S. corn because it included an unapproved GMO variety from Syngenta. U.S. regulators approved the strain in 2010.


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