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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - April 6, 2018

Tariffs, Ag Economy Barometer and RFS among issues in the news this week.

It was a busy news week, with tariffs on agricultural products drowning out most everything else. Here’s a look at seven agricultural stories you might have missed or may want to read again. 

1. China imposed tariffs on 128 U.S. products effective April 2. The reciprocal tariffs are valued at about $3 billion and include pork, wine, nuts, ginseng and fruits. On April 4, China announced plans to impose tariffs on additional U.S. imports, including soybeans. The announcement gave the markets jitters, but Bryce Knorr cautioned calm and advised growers to look for buying opportunities. A Bloomberg analyst called adding soybeans to the list of tariffs the “nuclear option” while commodity group leaders called for negotiations to continue.  – Farm Futures 

2. The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer slipped 5 points in March, down to 135, which is the same as January’s result. – Indiana Prairie Farmer

3. The American Bankers Association’s Farm Bank Performance Report finds that U.S. farm banks increased agricultural lending by nearly 6% to $106 billion in 2017. – Farm Futures

4. North Branch, Minn., farmer John Peterson volunteered to spend six crop seasons working with Discovery Farms Minnesota to learn about his soils and the impact of his crop management. Discovery Farms Minnesota installed water quality monitoring data at the edge of a no-till field to gather data year-round. – The Farmer

5. Milk producers in the state of California are voting through May 5, 2018, on whether or not to support a proposal to join the Federal Milk Marketing Order. – Wallace’s Farmer

6. A recent study from USDA’s Economic Research Service, “Three Decades of Consolidation in U.S. Agriculture,” examines consolidation in U.S. agriculture since the 1980s. The findings show that 36% of all cropland is on farms with at least 2,000 acres. Field crop operations increasingly grow just two or three crops. – American Agriculturalist

7. The Environmental Protection Agency granted one of the nation’s largest oil refining companies, Andeavor, an exemption from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard. The National Corn Growers Association called the move “unacceptable.” – Reuters, Farm Futures

And your bonus:

Rep. Roger Marshall told visitors to the annual 3i Show in Kansas that members of the House Ag Committee will be getting their first look at the full text of the proposed 2018 Farm Bill any day now. – Kansas Farmer

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