January 2014 Farm News

Friday, January 31st 2014
--U.S. corn growers should probably resign themselves to lower prices from the 2014 harvest and have a strong cash reserve to get through the tougher times ahead.  That's the advice from Nathan Kauffman, assistant vice president and Omaha branch executive at theFederal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and Maria Akers, associate economist at the bank; writing in the latest issue of the Main Street Economist, a publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. They note that the record 2013 crop of almost 14 billion bushels helped push corn prices down from $7.50 a bushel in March to just over $4 in late 2013. In futures trading Thursday on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn for delivery in December 2014 was going for about $4.51 a bushel.  Record profits in the agricultural sector in recent years have helped many farmers improve their cash positions.  Younger farmers appear to be less prepared in terms of liquidity than their older counterparts, according to Kauffman and Akers. Also vulnerable are large operations that borrowed to expand during the recent boom years.

Thursday, January 30th 2014

--The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is concerned about the health and safety of the state’s farming families and their livestock during this cold spell. The current propane shortage not only jeopardizes farm families’ ability to heat their homes, but also to provide adequate care for their livestock. Governor Mark Dayton issued a Peacetime State of Emergency yesterday to stand up the state’s emergency operations center to assist farm families and producers who are facing propane shortages and need help.  Any farm families or producers facing a critical shortage of propane should contact the Minnesota duty officer at 1-800-422-0798 or 651-649-5451.

--The House approved the five-year farm bill yesterday, with a 251-166 vote, sending the nearly $1 trillion agricultural policy package to the Senate.  The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act would eliminate direct payments in favor of enhanced crop insurance, revise commodity supports, create a new dairy program, and make several other changes to agricultural policy, including an approximate $8 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a score for the bill Tuesday estimating that direct spending for authorized programs would total $956 billion over 10 years, of which $756 billion would be for nutrition programs. Relative to spending and revenues projected under CBO's May 2013 baseline, CBO said it estimates that enacting the legislation would lower budget deficits by $16.6 billion and increase revenues by $100 million over 10 years. This came in below the $23 billion in possible savings being touted by bill supporters, but they noted that the farm bill baseline had already been reduced by $6.6 billion.  The Senate is expected to approve the legislation as early as this week, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law shortly afterward.

--According to Edward Usset, a grain marketing specialist with the University of Minnesota Extension, soybean plantings will likely increase by two million acres or more in 2014, indicating reason to be nervous about new crop soybean prices in the months ahead.  It's reasonable to assume a large increase in soybean acres this year. That's because November 2014 new crop soybean prices are at a favorable level related to December 2014 futures of new crop corn. The resulting greater supplies could lead to much lower soybean prices by harvest.  Despite this outlook, November 2014 futures prices are currently close to a profitable level compared to production costs.  When the new crop price of soybean is high relative to new crop corn, farmers naturally increase soybean planting. For example, in 2004 and 2006 farmers increased soybean plantings by 1.8 and 3.5 million acres, respectively.  However, that could mean substantially lower prices come harvest.   

Wednesday, January 29th 2014

--Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 30 university students to attend USDA's 2014 Agricultural Outlook Forum, titled "The Changing Face of Agriculture," to be held February 20th and 21st, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. Twenty university juniors and seniors were chosen on the basis of their essays on "Agriculture as a Career," and 10 graduate students were selected for their response to "The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the Next Five Years."  One of the winners is Dustin Smith who is attending the University of Minnesota, Crookston

--The Morrison County Farm Service Agency has announced the FSA committee election results for Local Area 2. Elected to a three year term beginning in February was Ron Borash of Two Rivers Township. Margaret “Peg” Wimmer of Buckman Township was elected as 1st alternate and Ralph Rinkel of Lakin Township was elected as 2nd alternate. In addition to Ron Borash, incumbent member of the committee serving for 2014 are Don Will of Granite Township, Ed Marsolek of Swan River Township, and Pat Altrichter of Swan River Township. For more information call FSA office at (320) 632-5477.

--Congressional negotiators agreed Monday night on a massive farm bill that would keep agriculture subsidies, crop insurance, and the food stamp program funded for another five years while ushering in reforms that promise to lower the deficit. The measure would cost almost $100 billion a year over five years with a cut of about $2.3 billion a year from current spending.

Tuesday, January 28th 2014

--Some of the nation's biggest livestock groups are vowing to oppose final passage of the farm bill if it reflects certain reported decisions regarding the Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) and Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).  In a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees, the groups said they were disappointed that the latest reported version of the bill excludes language included in House-passed legislation regarding (GIPSA). The organizations include the American Meat Institute, the National Cattleman's Beef Association, the National Chicken Council, the National Pork Producers Council, the National Turkey Federation and the North American Meat Association.

--Top House and Senate agriculture committee leaders announced yesterday a bipartisan agreement on a five-year farm bill that among other things would eliminate direct payments, revise commodity supports, enhance crop insurance, and streamline conservation programs.  The legislation was reported out of the House Rules Committee yesterday, setting up potential action on the House floor today or tomorrow. The language could see a Senate vote as early as Tuesday.

Monday, January 27th 2014

--The long and winding road upon which the 2014 Farm Bill has been traveling may soon come to an end.  It is unlikely that there will be formal conference this week.  Instead the Senate and House conferees might simply the conference report.  The bill could be introduced as early as tonight (Monday) night and a floor vote could be held as soon as this Wednesday night.  A handful of issues remain unresolved, such as country-of-origin labeling, various regulatory riders and details on dairy policy but progress has been made on other sticking points.  For example, payment limits will likely set at a new cap of $125,000 per individual or $250,000 for a farm married couple, but it is unclear how these new limits would apply to the new commodity payment programs.  In addition, it appears as though the conference report will not include the dairy stabilization (supply management) provisions but will include authority for the Secretary of Agriculture to purchase any type of dairy products when margins fall below $4.00.  Reductions in nutrition spending appear to be approximately $8.6 billion over ten years, primarily by increasing the minimum threshold for low-income fuel assistance to households receiving food stamps.

Thursday, January 23rd 2014

--Cropland erosion rates remained stable between 2007 and 2010, the USDA's National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) reported as it released new data gathered under the agency's 2010 National Resources Inventory. NRCS said the stable erosion rates were surprising given “a growth in agricultural land use and more extreme weather events, such as drought and floods.”  Though the report did not attempt to explain why erosion stabilized, Mark Rose, director of the Financial Assistance Programs Division at NRCS, said the agency's programs may have helped.  Through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), for example, NRCS has assisted producers with developing grazing management system that contain nutrient runoff. EQIP has allowed some producers to convert to conservation systems that require less tilling of the soil, reducing sedimentation.  The farm bill being negotiated by Congress should maintain funding levels for conservation programs like EQIP, based both House- and Senate- passed versions of the legislation.

--The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) reiterated its opposition against attempts in the farm bill negotiations to change language in relation to payment limit reform.  There is concern that conferees may kill new limits on the number of managers who can qualify for farm program payments, which are strongly opposed by southern farm groups. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, among others, have expressed worries that conferees also would kick his language tightening the definition of “actively engaged” over to USDA in an effort to kill it.  The language aims to keep off-farm managers from qualifying for federal farm payments. According to a recent Congressional Budget Office score, it would save $387 million over 10 years, or $210 million more than previous estimates. Both the Senate and House farm bill proposals would cap annual farm commodity payments at $125,000 for an individual or $250,000 for married couples.

Wednesday, January 22nd 2014

--The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations recently reported the second straight annual drop in its food price index, but still the third highest level on record, as declines in sugar, cereal and vegetable oil offset sharp increases in meat and dairy prices.  For 2013, the index averaged 209.9 points, down 1.6 percent from 2012 and below 2011's peak of 230.1. Meanwhile, in the United States, the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) is predicting food, food-at-home, and food-away-from-home consumer price indexes to increase 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent this year over 2013 levels.  ERS forecasts that food price inflationary pressures are expected to be moderate, given the outlook for commodity prices, animal inventories and export trends.  .

--A paper published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences asserts that when evaluating and comparing all outcomes of biofuel produced from a variety of feedstocks, alternatives to corn score higher.  Michigan State University researchers say in the study that corn leads the “all-important” category of biomass yield.  The research was funded by the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and MSU AgBioResearch.

Tuesday, January 21st 2014

--Lawmakers and congressional witnesses recently urged passage of legislation that would give the president “fast-track” trade promotion authority (TPA).  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., held a hearing to discuss the bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act (S. 1900, H.R. 3830), which would put trade deals before Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments. Baucus and supporters also say the bill would give lawmakers greater oversight over trade negotiations.  Baucus introduced the bill in the Senate, with ranking member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., offered companion legislation in the House.  The bill comes as the Obama administration seeks to wrap up Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks with 11 Pacific Rim nations, as well as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the 28-member European Union. The treaties would create the world's biggest free-trade zones.  

-- Farmers and agriculture professionals can learn the importance of the efficient use of applied crop nutrients at the fifth annual Crop Nutrient Management Conference on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato.  The conference will examine current nutrient management issues in a rapidly changing production environment. Some topics on the program will focus on nitrogen and phosphorus management from commercial fertilizers and animal manures. Speakers will provide an in-depth approach to various management practices of this important nutrient. Sessions will also address the implementation of environmental assessment tools.  Speakers include area farmers, private consultants, fertilizer industry professionals, faculty of the University of Minnesota, and staff from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The conference is organized by the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Center.  There is no registration fee for the conference, however pre-registration is requested. To register, visit the conference website and follow the links online at www.mda.state.mn.us/nutrientconference.

Monday, January 20th 2014

--For the eleventh consecutive year, the Chinese government's major policy document focuses on how to improve the rural economy and food security for the nation's 1.35 billion citizens, in an attempt to continue rural reforms and develop more modern agricultural practices.  To incentivize production, the central government is signaling a move away from stockpiling some commodities and adoption of a target price system - similar to one likely to be adopted in the U.S. farm bill - to support farmers.  The “No. 1 central document,” unveiled Sunday, comes from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, the Cabinet, according to reports by the Xinhua news agency.

Friday, January 17th 2014

--President Obama signed into law today a $1 trillion omnibus spending package that will fund the federal government through fiscal year 2014, and provide a combined $350 million boost to USDA and FDA.  The law funds 12 departments, and gives USDA and FDA a total of $20.9 billion in discretionary spending.  Several USDA agencies will receive slight increases, or funding levels close to FY 2013.  Obama's signature came a day after the Senate approved the measure on a 72-26 vote and after the House approved it on a 359-67 vote.  While largely a spending bill, the law contains several rider provisions that may affect agricultural policy.  The law recommends, but does not require, that the USDA delays finalizing country-of-origin (COOL) meat labeling rules until after the World Trade Organization issues a final decision on the program. It also effectively stops the Grain Inspection, Stockyards and Packers Administration from finalizing rules dealing with contracts in the livestock and poultry sector.  The law prohibits funding from being used for USDA inspections of U.S. horse slaughter facilities. A similar ban expired in 2011.  Further, the law includes a provision aiming to clarify a prohibition on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration from regulating farms with fewer than 10 employees.

Thursday, January 16th 2014

--Restaurant industry sales will jump 3.6 percent in 2014 to a record $683.4 billion, as the economy improves and consumers release some pent-up demand, according to a National Restaurant Association forecast.  Adjusted for inflation, sales are projected to grow 1.2 percent, marking the fifth straight year of real growth.  Still, the gains remain below what would be expected during a normal post-recession period, the association said in a posting on its website.  The industry will employ about 13.5 million people in 2014 and holds its position as the nation's second-largest private sector employer, according to the group.

--Over 200 food, consumer and environmental groups today joined with four members of the House of Representatives to ask President Obama to fulfill a 2007 campaign promise to label genetically modified foods. Signers included the Organic Consumer Association, Greenpeace, the Center for Food Safety, and Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.; Ann Kuster, D-N.H., and Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.  At a 2007 campaign event, then-Senator Obama said he would use his presidency to “let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified, because Americans should know what they're buying.”  The letter comes as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a trade group representing food and beverage companies, is gearing up to introduce its own national labeling legislation.  Reports, however, indicate GMA's labeling initiative would be voluntary.  State GMO labeling initiatives in California and Washington were rejected by voters in 2012 and 2013. Though Maine and Connecticut both passed labeling initiatives last year, those laws would only take effect should other contiguous states pass similar legislation.  States including Vermont, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona are expected to consider their own labeling bills this year.

Wednesday, January 15th 2014

--Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the most recent estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows that the payment-limit provisions he wants included in the farm bill would save $387 million over 10 years, or $210 million more than previous estimates.  Grassley asked the CBO to rescore the provisions he's included in the Senate farm bill after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended in October that payment limits in the legislation could help fix payment loopholes.  Grassley's plan would cap commodity program payments at $250,000 for a farming couple. It also limits the number of managers from a single farm able to claim payments, narrowing the “actively engaged” definition in current language. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., included similar language in the House-passed farm bill.  Grassley released the latest estimate today as negotiations to find compromise between the House and Senate on a final farm bill may put the payment limits provision at risk.

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

--Lawmakers are mulling a possible compromise to the dairy standoff that is holding up the farm bill, but dairy farmers aren’t buying it. Unless one side backs down, or a compromise is found, the $1 trillion farm subsidy and food stamp bill, which has been delayed for years, could die. Plans to vote on a bill have been delayed until at least late January due to the impasse. The ongoing dairy standoff pits Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) against rural lawmakers led by House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).  The compromise could allow farmers to choose between existing Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) payments and the House version of a margin insurance program, but so far chief advocates for dairy farmers are resisting the idea. Peterson wants the farm bill to include the Dairy Security Act, a combination of margin insurance for dairy farmers and a supply management limitation meant to prevent prices from plummeting. The margin insurance kicks in when the spread between cattle feed and milk prices shrink below a set level.

--F.B Daniel, long-time Farmers Union employee and advocate has recently died.  He was a field representative and manager of member relations for Farmers Union Central Exchange, executive director for Iowa Farmers Union and staff of Minnesota Farmers Union for 14 years. The book, More Than a Farm Organization, Farmers Union in Minnesota, was a labor of love for F.B., and by all accounts, would not have been written if it wasn’t for F.B.’s perseverance and dedication.  In the book, former MFU & National Farmers Union President Cy Carpenter stated, “ In the history of Farmers Union and service to farm families and Cooperatives, no one has served with more commitment and personal contribution than F.B. Daniel… he is a model…”  MFU President Doug Peterson stated, "Thank you F.B. for your tireless work for family farmers and cooperatives everywhere. We thank you for your efforts and passion and are sad to see you go. You will be missed."

--Jesse Roberts has been named coordinator of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Walk-In Access program. Roberts replaces Marybeth Block, who has accepted a new role coordinating implementation of the Minnesota Prairie Conservation Plan. The Prairie Conservation Plan focuses efforts on grassland habitats where federal agencies, state agencies and the state’s most active conservation organizations are cooperatively working to protect, restore and manage this endangered ecosystem. The plan identifies core conservation areas and creates a vision of a connected landscape from Canada to Iowa. Walk-In Access provides public access to private land and pays landowners by the acre to allow hunting access from Sept. 1 to May 31. The program was introduced in 2011 and has completed its three-year pilot phase. The DNR is exploring how to continue the program beyond current funding, which extends into 2016.

--The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has created a new, one-of-a-kind website that employs extensive mapping resources to help users locate hunting lands, state parks and forests and a wide range of other recreational areas on mobile devices such as phones and tablets. The mobile “Recreation Compass” features more than 5.5 million acres of public lands administered as state forest, wildlife management areas, state parks and recreation areas, waterfowl production areas, aquatic management areas, and scientific and natural areas, state trails, including water trails, Walk-In access areas, hunter walking trails and nearly 3,000 public water access sites. Learn more at www.mndnr.gov/mobile/compass.

Monday, January 13th, 2014

--The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) regarding a key part of the Enlist Weed Control System when it advanced the Enlist corn and soybean traits to the next step in the regulatory process.  Over the past few years, USDA has prepared an extensive environmental evaluation of the Enlist crops and considered a wide range of alternatives.  The public comment period regarding the Enlist DEIS was announced January 10,2014 and is 45-days in duration.  Following the comment period, APHIS will make a final decision regarding the regulatory status of the technology.  Pending regulatory approvals, Dow AgroSciences expects to launch Enlist corn and soybeans in 2015, with cotton to follow.  Public comments can be submitted by visiting: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0042.  The docket number is APHIS-2013-0042.

Friday, January 10th 2014

--The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is touring the state to support the biofuel industry and ask the EPA to reconsider its stance on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The EPA’s proposed 2014 reduction in RFS required volumes would result in an estimated $610 million dollars in losses and more than 1,500 jobs cut from the Minnesota economy and its workforce.* Join assistant commissioner Charlie Poster, biofuel plant employees and local community leaders showing support for biofuels and rural economic vitality. Listed below are upcoming stops of the tour; more dates will be released in the coming weeks.  On Monday they will be in Fergus Falls, Morris and Benson; Tuesday, Granite Falls.  

Thursday, January 9th 2014

--The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear oral arguments Thursday in a lawsuit challenging a USDA rule requiring Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule for meat products.  Meat and livestock organizations-including the American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen's Beef Association and North American Meat Association-in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico filed the lawsuit in July 2013 seeking to strike down revisions to the COOL regulations issued by USDA earlier in the year. The groups also asked for a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the regulations until the lawsuit could be adjudicated, arguing that they would suffer irreparable monetary harm if the rule were to go into effect.  The motion was denied and the plaintiffs appealed. A three judge panel of the appeals court now is being asked to decide if that ruling should be upheld. Comprising the panel are Chief Judge Merrick Garland, Circuit Judge Srikanth Srinivasan and Senior Circuit Judge Stephen Williams.

--Lucas and the other top three conferees - Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Thad Cochran, R-Miss., and House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn. - met for about a half-hour Wednesday. Details of the meeting were not offered.  Conferees could face an amendment stripping out the language which seeks to prohibit states from enacting laws that place conditions on the means of production for agricultural goods that are sold within its own borders, but are produced in other states.

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

--The Morrison and Crow Wing County chapters of the American Dairy Association held their annual meeting today at the Falls Ballroom in Little Falls.  Barb Luehmann, Industry Relations Manager, gave updates about several partnerships Midwest Dairy is involved in.  They also heard from Lloyd Metzger, Professor of Dairy Science at South Dakota State University.  Metzger spoke about his work with milk processing and increased demand for protein products.  At the meeting it was announced that the Morrison County Dairy Princess Banquet will be held on Saturday, March 29th.  Contact Laura Fellbaum, Princess Contest Coordinator to get involved.  

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the deadline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for fiscal year 2014. Producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS through Feb. 7, 2014. NRCS Chief Jason Weller said today's announcement is another example of USDA's comprehensive focus on promoting environmental conservation and strengthening the rural economy, and it is a reminder that a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is pivotal to continue these efforts. CSP is now in its fifth year and so far, NRCS has partnered with producers to enroll more than 59 million acres across the nation.  The program emphasizes conservation performance — producers earn higher payments for higher performance. In CSP, producers install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy use.  Eligible landowners and operators in all states and territories can enroll in CSP through Feb. 7 to be eligible during fiscal 2014. While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, NRCS evaluates applications during announced ranking periods. To be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date.  A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements

-- The Army Corps of Engineers released a report outlining potential strategies to prevent Asian carp from entering into and damaging the Great Lakes ecosystem, with a price tag that could reach $18 billion.

Friday, January 3rd 2014

--The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is touring the state to support the ethanol industry and ask the EPA to reconsider its stance on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The EPA’s proposed 2014 reduction in RFS required volumes would result in an estimated $610 million dollars in losses and more than 1,500 jobs cut from the Minnesota economy and its workforce.  

-Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon yesterday announced that USDA is making permanent the current flexibility that allows schools to serve larger portions of lean protein and whole grains at mealtime.- USDA has worked closely with schools and parents during the transition to healthier breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Based on public feedback, USDA has made a number of updates to school meal standards, including additional flexibility in meeting the daily and weekly ranges for grain and meat/meat alternates, which has been available to schools on a temporary basis since 2012.  USDA is focused on improving childhood nutrition and empowering families to make healthier food choices by providing science-based information and advice, while expanding the availability of healthy food.  Collectively, these policies and actions will help combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation's children.

--The lawyer for a New Mexico meat company says the business could begin slaughtering horses as early as next week should it prevail today in a judicial hearing in Santa Fe.  Attorney Blair Dunn is asking state District Judge Matthew Wilson to immediately lift his temporary restraining order preventing Valley Meat Co. from opening its plant near the city of Roswell. Wilson issued the injunction on Dec. 30 until he could hold a hearing in the lawsuit filed by New Mexico Attorney General Gary King alleging that the company's operations would violate state food-safety and water-quality laws.  Dunn said he plans to put state Environment Department officials on the stand to rebut King's arguments, which he said have no merit and have already been shot down in previous court proceedings.  Valley Meat and companies in Missouri and Iowa last year won federal permits to become the first horse slaughterhouses to operate in the U.S. since Congress cut off funding for USDA inspections at such facilities in 2006. Lawmakers reinstated the funding in 2011.  King filed his lawsuit two weeks ago after animal protection groups in August lost a bid to stop the openings in federal court. In a motion filed this week, Dunn argued that the attorney general lacks jurisdiction in the case, and that King sued to bolster his bid to become the state's next governor.  The company plans to start by processing about 20 to 30 horses a day, Dunn said. The meat would not be sold domestically, but would go to overseas markets for human consumption, or used in animal food.