Smallest U.S. ag exports in three years amid trade war
The trade war with China and low commodity prices will combine to slash U.S. farm exports by 4.5 percent this fiscal year, said the USDA on Thursday in a quarterly forecast. Exports of $137 billion would be the smallest since 2016, when exports bottomed out following the collapse of the commodity boom.
JBS, under fire for taking Trump’s tariff bailout, is accused of polluting a Colorado river
In a new lawsuit, environmental advocates say a Colorado beef-packing plant owned by JBS has been dumping polluted wastewater into a river for years. The suit comes as the Brazilian company is under fire for taking millions in President Trump’s tariff bailout payments.
White House starts the march to a vote on the new NAFTA
U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer sent a letter to congressional leaders on Thursday to trigger the process of approving the new NAFTA. The draft of a so-called statement of administrative action allows the Trump administration to submit the trade deal to Congress within 30 days.
Anti-deficit lawmaker blocks House action on disaster bill
First-term Rep. John Rose, declaring it was “absolutely, without a doubt, wrong” to pass a $19.1-billion disaster relief bill without a roll call vote, blocked House action on Thursday on the legislation, which includes $3 billion for agricultural aid.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Spray cheese is a staple (Bloomberg): The Trump administration proposal to revise minimum stocking requirements for stores that redeem SNAP benefits would count canned spray cheese, beef jerky, and pimento-stuffed olives as staple foods.
Trade payments for unplanted land? (Agri-Pulse): Although the second round of tariff payments, announced last week, was intended only for crops planted this year, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Thursday that the USDA would consider payments to farmers who file prevented-planting claims on their crop insurance policies.
Trump trip raises E15 hopes (Cedar Rapids Gazette): President Trump is scheduled to attend a Republican fundraiser in Iowa on June 11, generating expectations that he will announce year-round sales of the biofuel E15.
Onetime Ag chairman Cochran dies (Mississippi Clarion Ledger): Former Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, a friend of public nutrition programs and a defender of Southern agriculture as chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Appropriations committees, is dead at age 81.
U.S. drives lower global corn outlook (IGC): In its monthly Grain Market Report, the International Grains Council lowered its estimate of the 2019/20 world corn crop by 7 million tonnes, with the United States accounting for 5 million tonnes of the decrease.
A GE fungus to combat malaria (NPR): Scientists have genetically engineered a fungus to carry a spider gene, and the altered fungus produces a venom fatal to the mosquitoes that spread malaria.