Brazil says Trump changed his mind on steel and aluminum tariffs
Three weeks after he slammed Brazil and Argentina for actions “not good for our farmers,” President Trump reversed his decision to impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the South American nations, said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on social media over the weekend. “The relationship between the United States and Brazil has never been Stronger!” tweeted Trump on the same day.
U.S. aquaculture: Smaller numbers, bigger sales
There are 161 fewer U.S. aquaculture farms than earlier this decade but their sales are up more than 10 percent, to $1.5 billion, according to USDA’s Census of Agriculture.
Unrelenting opposition to SNAP cuts
Before leaving Washington for the holidays, more than a dozen House Democrats stood in front of the USDA headquarters on the Mall to register their opposition to Trump administration regulations that would eliminate food stamps for 3.7 million people. Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern raised the possibility of a congressional lawsuit against the cuts.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Biggest increase in a decade (USDA): The price of food at restaurants, institutions and fast-food outlets will rise 3 percent this year, the largest increase since 3.5 percent in 2009, said the monthly Food Price Outlook, raising its forecast for “food away from home” for the first time this year.
U.S. backs Bayer in glyphosate appeal (Reuters): The U.S. government asked a federal appeals court to overturn a $25-million award to a cancer victim, arguing that the weedkiller glyphosate is not a carcinogen so it was unfair to expect the manufacturer to put a warning on the label.
Legislator helped plan Malheur takeover (Seattle Times): Washington State Rep. Matt Shea, “a leader in the Patriot Movement” of conservative groups, aided “in the planning and preparation” of the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon and also gathered intelligence about how police would respond, according to an investigation commissioned by the House of Representatives.
Export taxes to squeeze Argentine planting (AgriCensus): Argentine growers are likely to reduce plantings 1.5 percent, or 520,000 hectares, in response to the increase in export taxes on corn, wheat, soybeans, sorghum and other crops, said a study by the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange.
The nursing home 50 miles from home (Washington Post): More than 260 rural nursing homes have closed in the past three years, making care harder to find.
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
– USDA releases monthly Cold Storage and quarterly Hogs and Pigs reports, 3 p.m. ET.
– USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices report, 3 p.m. ET.
Jan. 3, 2020
– Senate convenes for 2020 session, noon ET. The House will convene for the new session on Jan. 7.
– USDA issues State Stories, noon ET. The monthly report provides “an assessment of winter weather on crops, livestock, fruit trees; consideration for moisture, snow cover, temperatures, and crop condition; and the effect of weather, insects, diseases, etc., on crops and livestock.” The material is republished in the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin.