READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 19th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Farm Bill Delay Possible as Deadline Looms

The farm bill deadline at the end of the month could pass without a new farm bill or an extension. As the pace of the farm bill committee stalls, leadership says the actual deadline that would have any impact on farm country is in December, if the bill is stalled further. The committee has a deadline of September 30th to get the bill passed and on the President’s desk for signature before current law expires. However, no major breakthroughs were reported earlier this week. Senate Ag Committee leaders Pat Roberts and Debbie Stabenow told Politico that “any pain from a lapse would not really be felt until December,” suggesting the deadline may be moved back. Stabenow said: “We’re not sure we actually need an extension.” Disagreements remain regarding conservation programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is the biggest issue to resolve.

Tariffs Harming Ag Equipment Makers

More tariffs in the tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China means more suffering for agriculture and agricultural equipment makers. Feeling the brunt of the trade war since it started with tariffs on steel and aluminum, manufacturers of agriculture equipment are eager to see a swift resolve. Just last week, a coalition of manufacturing groups and associations sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging the Trump Administration not to move forward with this latest round of tariffs. Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater says the “extreme use of tariffs hurts our nation’s access to global markets” and threatens many of the 1.3 million equipment manufacturing jobs. Slater called for the administration to look for ways to improve trade with China, instead of “doubling down on tactics that only lead to continued retaliatory actions.”

Trump China Trade War Troubling Talks with Japan

The ongoing trade war with China is threatening trade relations with Japan. Reuters reports that the start of a second round of trade talks between Japan and the United States will be delayed until after fresh tariffs imposed on China by the United States come into force on September 24th. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Trump were expected to meet during a U.N. General Assembly debate next week. Japan is trying to avoid steep tariffs on its car exports and stay away from bilateral free trade agreements, a demand by the Trump administration. Japan fears a bilateral agreement could force the nation to open sensitive markets, including agriculture, to U.S. trade. Japanese officials are calling on the Trump administration to quickly end the trade war with Japan, and in attempt to avoid a bilateral agreement, Japan is urging the U.S. to consider rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Canada Returns to DC for NAFTA Talks

North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations between the U.S. and Canada resume this week as both sides attempt to reach a deal by the end of the month. Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland arrived in Washington, DC Tuesday ahead of scheduled talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The two sides must agree to a “handshake” agreement by the end of the month for the deal to stand a chance to be finalized under the current leadership in Mexico, as a new President takes office later this year. The precise cutoff point for a handshake agreement is unclear, but a Canadian official believes it’s Thursday, according to Bloomberg News. Dairy is the biggest policy issue between the U.S. and Canada and trade experts previously said that those talks are “highly technical” and take time, but a deal could still come this week. Canada does appear to offer some concessions on dairy in exchange to preserve the dispute panels under Chapter 19 of the current deal.

Hurricane Florence Flooding Impacting Poultry Operations

Sanderson Farms says flooding from hurricane Florence has resulted in the loss of about 1.7 million broiler chickens. In a statement, the company says about 30 farms housing more than 200,000 chickens each are isolated by floodwaters and cannot be reached by feed trucks. The company says 60 of the 880 broiler houses in the region have been flooded. Tyson Foods, meanwhile, told meat industry publication Meatingplace there was “minimal impact” on its live poultry operations in North Carolina and Virginia. However, at least two Tyson farms where affected by the storm. Tyson says it is leveraging its regional supply chain to make sure there is no disruption to its business in addition to helping affected farmers and community members, which includes serving meals to victims, volunteers and first responders. North Carolina is a top poultry and pork producing state. The North Carolina Pork Council said earlier this week that at least a dozen hog farms experienced waste lagoon flooding from the hurricane.

Garth Brooks to Perform at National FFA Convention

Garth Brooks will entertain attendees of this year’s National FFA Convention and Expo. FFA announced that Brooks will host a private concert to the members of FFA October 24th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, as part of the event. Brooks says of the event that he bets “there is not going to be a kid there who is half as excited as I am to be there.” The organization says in a news release that the motto of FFA, “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve,” echoes that of Garth Brooks’ mission which is just one of many reasons the exclusive concert was so important for all involved to make it happen. The National FFA Convention and Expo remains one of the largest student conventions in the world, annually drawing more than 65,000 attendees. To purchase a ticket for the concert, you must be a registered attendee at this year’s convention. Tickets will only be sold through the National FFA Organization’s private concert on Ticketmaster’s website.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service