China pauses buying U.S. ag exports, then sputters ahead
On the same day that Beijing reportedly told state-run trading houses to pause purchases of U.S. farm exports, the companies bought a small amount of U.S. soybeans on Monday, according to unnamed sources. The saber-rattling pause was a sign that the “phase one” trade agreement was in jeopardy as Sino-U.S. relations sour.
Primary election may be decision day for divisive Steve King
Incendiary Rep. Steve King survived the closest election of his career in 2016 by defeating Democrat J.D. Scholten by 3 percentage points. He faces a potentially tougher race in the Republican primary election on Tuesday, against four challengers who say they are just as conservative as King without his tinge of white extremism.
As agriculture expands, tropical forest losses soar
Satellite data gathered by the University of Maryland and recently released via Global Forest Watch indicate that 2019 was the third highest year for tropical primary forest loss since the turn of the century.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Small rural businesses see little aid (Stateline): Unclear guidance has deterred many rural business owners from applying for federal coronavirus aid and many of them lack the banking relationships to tap the Payroll Protection Program, the largest of the aid programs, say critics.
Urgent need for racial justice (NFU): Responding to the death of George Floyd, the National Farmers Union, the second-largest U.S. farm group, said there was an urgent need for racial justice and equity in America.
Winter wheat ratings weaken (USDA): Some 51 percent of the winter wheat crop is in good or excellent condition, down two points from last week, while 19 percent of the crop is rated poor or very poor, up by points points, said the weekly Crop Progress report. In Kansas, the No. 1 winter wheat state, 25 percent of the crop is poor or very poor.
Not making hay (Wallaces Farmer): Hay prices are going up but farmers in Iowa would rather plant corn and soybeans, creating an opening for forage to be shipped into the state from California and Canada “and anywhere in between.”
JBS can reopen in Brazil (Reuters): A labor court in Brazil ruled that JBS can reopen a chicken processing plant in the state of Santa Catarina that was closed two weeks ago following an outbreak of the coronavirus.