READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 25th…

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Monsanto to Reject Bayer Bid, Seeks Higher Offer

Monsanto will reject the 62 billion dollar bid from Bayer and seek a higher price. Monsanto company officials say they believe a deal with the German-based Bayer could get antitrust and regulatory approval. That means a deal is not out of the question. However, the Monsanto Board of Directors says the current offer is incomplete and financially inadequate. Bayer will have to decide if it wants to raise its bid in the face of shareholder criticism that the $122 per-share price tag is already too high. Other options for Bayer include walking away from the deal or mounting a hostile takeover bid. Bayer said Monday it would finance the bid with a combination of debt and equity. The Monsanto Board of Directors has not set a timeline for further discussion with Bayer. Global agrochemical companies are trying to consolidate, in part, due to lower commodity prices. Seed and pesticide markets are also increasingly converging.


White House Threatens to Veto Energy and Water Bill

On Monday, the White House threatened to veto the House’s energy and water spending bill, which will hit the House floor this week. The House will consider the 37.4 billion dollar spending bill for 2017, which is slightly larger than what the Senate passed recently. The Hill reports the bill contains a host of environmental riders likely to turn off Democrats. In a statement issued through the Office of Management and Budget, the administration rejected what it called “highly problematic ideological provisions.” In particular, the administration wants more funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, as well as energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.   


TPP Moving Slowly in Japan

The U.S. is not the only country where momentum for getting the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement passed has been slowed by politics. The Japanese government has also slowed its process to approve the deal despite formal debate being started in the legislature. The current session ends on June first, and sources say lawmakers are unlikely to vote on the TPP for a number of reasons. Politico says an April earthquake in the country has diverted legislative efforts to recovery, taking attention off TPP. Election politics are also in play as an election is set for July in the upper house of Japan’s bicameral legislature. Some lawmakers suggest the Prime Minister may want to see parallel movement on TPP in the U.S. and hopes ratification will take place in a similar timeframe to the United States.  


El Nino Has Ended

El Nino has ended as the tropical Pacific Ocean has returned to a neutral state, and outlooks are suggesting no chance of returning to an El Nino state. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said that means mid-May marks the end of the event that reduced Indian rainfall, parched farmland in Asia, and reduced cocoa harvest in parts of Africa. Weather watchers are now waiting for La Nina, a cooling of tropical Pacific waters that some view as the opposite of El Nino. The US Climate Prediction Center says there is a 75 percent chance it will develop by years’ end, but some models say it could develop sooner. La Nina can upset agricultural markets as it can change the weather, including more hurricanes in the Atlantic and produce more heavy rains in India and Indonesia. The El Nino that just ended was one of the hottest on record, generating the hottest global temperatures in more than 130 years. 


2016 P.I.E. Program Tour Dates Are Set

The National Cotton Council has scheduled tour dates and locations of its 2016 Producer Information Exchange, or P.I.E. Program. The P.I.E. program provides US cotton producers with opportunities to maximize production efficiency, improve yields, and improve fiber quality. Producers get new perspectives on basic practices like land preparation, planting, fertilizing, pest control, irrigation, and harvesting. They also get to see different types of farming practices and unique ways that other producers have adopted current and new technologies. Mid-South producers will see operations in North and South Carolina July 17th through July 22nd; Southeast producers will see operations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee on July 24th through July 29th; California producers will visit the San Joaquin Valley in California on July 31st to August 5th; and Western producers will see operations in Texas on August 14th through August 19th.


Goule New CEO of National Wheat Growers

The National Association of Wheat Growers announced that Chandler Goule will be their new Chief Executive Officer. Goule is currently the Senior Vice President of Programs at the National Farmers Union. He comes to the Wheat Growers with 11 years of ag policy experience on the House side of Capitol Hill and takes over his new role on July 5th. Wheat Growers President Gordon Stoner, a grower from Outlook, Montana, said the industry is at a critical juncture, so “with Chandler’s guidance, we know the National Wheat Growers Association will be in a great position to advocate for all U.S. wheat producers. Stoner believes with all of Goule’s experience, he’ll provide beneficial guidance to the Wheat Growers when it comes time to draft the next Farm Bill.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service