The $2 billion difference in Trump trade aid
The Trump administration has spent notably less than commonly described on its package to mitigate the impact of the trade war on 2018 agricultural production. This year’s version may come closer to the $16 billion maximum trumpeted by the president because of more accommodating payment rules.
U.S. to see larger beef exports to Europe, while China threatens trade action
U.S. exports of hormone-free beef to Europe would triple under an agreement signed by President Trump and hailed by EU officials as a sign of tangible results for the strongest trade relationship in the world. Meanwhile, China said it “will have to take necessary counter-measures” if the United States expands the trade war on Sept. 1, as Trump says he plans to do.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Ag shifts vital to slow climate change, says report (Guardian): A leaked draft of a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that keeping global temperatures at a safe level will require a transformation of how we grow and eat food, including reducing meat consumption.
Farm production expenses down 1 percent (USDA): Farmers cut their production expenses by nearly $4 billion in 2018, with crop farmers making bigger cuts than livestock producers and the Midwest making the largest reductions of any region.
World food prices decline slightly (FAO): The Food Price Index, based on a basket of food commodities, fell by 1 percent in July to its lowest level since April, largely because of reduced prices for cereal grains, dairy products, and sugar.
Drought possible in Upper Midwest (NOAA): With forecasts of subnormal rainfall in August, the monthly U.S. Drought Outlook says drought development is anticipated in the eastern Corn Belt, the Upper Great Lakes region, and the southern Plains.
Cities overtake rural America in drug deaths (AP): Death rates from drug overdoses are rising in rural and urban America, but the urban rate has shot up dramatically, to 22 per 100,000 compared with 20 per 100,000 for the rural rate.
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
– National Conference of State Legislators holds its annual summit, through Thursday, Nashville, Tennessee.
– International Sweetener Symposium, sponsored by the American Sugar Alliance, continues through Wednesday, Asheville, North Carolina.
– USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
– Purdue University releases monthly Ag Economy Barometer, a gauge of the agricultural economy’s health.
– USDA releases annual Land Values report, 3 p.m. ET. A year ago, the USDA said the average value of farm real estate, which includes land and buildings, was $3,140 an acre, up 2 percent from 2017. Cropland values averaged $4,130 an acre, up by 1 percent. Cropland values have been around $4,000 an acre since 2014.
– Deadline for comments on USDA proposal, dubbed SECURE, to exempt new plant varieties created by techniques such as gene editing from regulatory review as long as the modifications are similar to results achieved by traditional breeding and pose no plant-pest risks.
– Minnesota Farmfest, through Thursday, Morgan, Minnesota.
– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson hold a “listening session” at Minnesota Farmfest, 10:30 a.m. CT, Morgan, Minnesota. Sen. Tina Smith is among five other Minnesota lawmakers scheduled to take part in the session.
– Opening day of the Iowa State Fair, known for its refrigerated butter cow and a magnet for presidential candidates, which will run through Aug. 18, Des Moines. Some 1.13 million people attended the fair last year. A butter version of the Waterloo Boy tractor will be sculpted this year to commemorate the centenary of Deere and Co. entering the farm tractor business. The Illinois State Fair also opens today in Springfield and runs through Aug. 18. The Indiana State Fair opened last weekend in Indianapolis and closes on Aug. 18.