READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, October 26th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, October 26th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

NMPF Asks USDA to Boost Dairy Trade Aid

The National Milk Producers Federation this week asked the Department of Agriculture to better support dairy farmers who are experiencing losses stemming from the Trump trade agenda. The Federation says in a letter to USDA that the agency needs to better reflect the dairy-farm incomes lost to tariff retaliation when it calculates its next round of trade mitigation payments. NMPF Chairman and dairy farmer Randy Mooney cited four studies illustrating that milk producers have experienced more than $1 billion in lost income since May, when the retaliatory tariffs were first placed on dairy goods in response to U.S. levies on foreign products. In contrast, the first round of USDA trade mitigation payments, announced in August, allocated only $127 million to dairy farmers. The expected impact of the retaliation may result in roughly $1.5 billion in lost revenue for producers during the second half of 2018.

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Fed Reserve: NAFTA 2.0 Won’t Help Dairy Industry

The North American Free Trade Agreement replacement will not benefit dairy farmers, according to the Federal Reserve Bank. A report by the Federal Reserve says gains made by the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that will replace NAFTA are “too small and too far in the future to help dairy farmers.” The Minneapolis Fed reported that “a substantial number of dairy operations have exited the business since the beginning of the year,” according to CNBC. Dairy was a fixture of the NAFTA renegotiation effort as concessions from Canada were long-sought by President Donald Trump. Before the new agreement, U.S. dairy farmers faced strict import quotas and tariffs. Under the new agreement, which still needs congressional approval, Canada agreed to drop restrictions, allowing U.S. producers to supply up to 3.6 percent of Canada’s dairy market.

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Drought Monitor: Wet Harvest Continues Next Week

The U.S. Drought Monitor weekly update shows more wet weather ahead for the Midwest. Much of the Corn Belt received adequate or above needed moisture this growing season. However, pockets in Missouri, Kansas andOklahoma were extremely dry. Recent rains have turned the tables, and much of the Midwest is experiencing wet harvest conditions. The Drought Monitor notes that a wet weather pattern is in store for much of the southern and eastern United States as the NWS six-to-ten-day outlook for October 30th – November 3rd calls for near-to above-normal precipitation over much of the nation, with drier-than-normal weather limited to the West Coast and lower Southeast. The latest data from the Department of Agriculture show that the nation’s corn and soybean harvest were roughly halfway finished early this week, with the expecting of further progress. However, that progress, given the forecast, looks to be stalled again next week.

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Grain Industry Seeks to Modernize Global Ag Commodity Trade

The world’s largest grain processors are jointly seeking to standardize and digitize global agriculture shipping transactions. Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus announced the collaboration this week in an effort to benefit the entire industry and seek broad-based industry participation to promote global access and adoption. Initially, the companies are focused on technologies to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes, as they represent a highly manual and costly part of the supply chain, with the industry spending significant amounts of money every year moving documents around the globe. Eliminating inefficiencies would lead to shorter document-processing times, reduced wait times and better end-to-end contracting visibility. Longer term, the companies want to drive greater reliability, efficiency and transparency by replacing other manual, paper-based processes tied to contracts, invoices and payments, with a more modern, digitally based approach.

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Grassley Warns Democrats Could Replace Him if Iowa Gov. Reynolds Loses

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa warned voters in his state that if they elect a Democrat as Governor, he could be replaced by a Democrat. Grassley is wanting to ensure his seat will remain in the Republican party, while acknowledging his age and the potential for health woes within the next four years. Grassley turned 85 last month and told a crowd of voters: “Something could happen to me in the next four years. I don’t want a Democrat appointing my successor,” according to the Des Moines Register. A recent poll showed the Democratic Candidate, Fred Hubbell, held a narrow lead over Republican Kim Reynolds. If Grassley were to step down later in his term, he says Hubbell would appoint a Democrat to take his place. Grassley, a long-time agriculture and biofuels supporter, was first elected to the Senate in 1980. He insisted that he is “very, very healthy,” and didn’t rule out running for reelection. Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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Annual Soil Health Summit Event Opens to Public for First Time

The Soil Health Partnership announced this week that for the first time the organization has opened to the public the annual Soil Health Summit, January 15 – 16 in St. Louis, and encourages growers and agronomists to attend. Attendees will benefit from peer-to-peer networking, collaboration, and education on the latest in soil health strategies, including new data and insights from SHP. The partnership’s long-term data collection effort measures the on-farm economic and environmental impact of practices known to improve soil health and sustainability. Those practices include reducing tillage, growing cover crops and practicing advanced nutrient management. Shefali Mehta (She-FALL-ee METt-uh), SHP executive director, noted the field team plans to have a more robust data set for 2018. She says the summit marks “the first time we can truly share insights on how the fields are changing over time.” Registration is open from the Soil Health Summit website

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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