Larger Soybean and Cotton Plantings – February 18, 2020

Larger soybean and cotton plantings due to trade deal?


The “phase one” trade agreement with Beijing will bring larger U.S. plantings of soybeans and cotton this spring than now projected by USDA, as growers aim for revived exports to China, analysts said over the weekend.


Jury orders Monsanto, BASF to pay peach farmer $250 million in punitive damages


A federal jury in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, determined on Saturday that German agribusiness giants Bayer and BASF will have to pay $250 million in punitive damages to Bader Farms, the largest peach farm in the state, for damage caused by their dicamba-related products.


Greatest locust threat in decades in East Africa

Swarms of food-devouring desert locusts threaten food security for nearly 10 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, said the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group on Monday, describing the infestations as the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia and in 70 years in Kenya.


It looks like pot, but it’s not (Harvest Public Media): Thieves are stealing thousands of dollars worth of industrial hemp, believing the crop is marijuana.

Trump sees China deal bolstering support (Politico): With the “phase one” trade agreement with China in effect, President Trump “is clearly hoping for a steady stream of agricultural sales to China between now and November that will solidify his support among farmers.”

Cage-free drive in Maine (Associated Press): State Rep. Maggie O’Neil has proposed a state requirement for cage-free facilities for egg-laying hens by the end of 2024, banning the sale of eggs from farms that don’t meet the standard.

Food is not connected to coronavirus (FDA): Commissioner Stephen Hahn, in describing FDA actions to prevent transmission of coronavirus, said “there is no evidence that food or food packaging have been associated with transmission” nor are imported foods and drugs for humans or pets associated with the virus.

Petition to halt cod fishing (Cape Cod Times):  An environmental group petitioned the Commerce Department to prohibit commercial and recreational cod fishing until the government finds a way to stop overfishing.

GAO to review Trump tariff payments (New York Times): The Government Accountability Office, a congressional agency, said it will examine the administration’s system of trade-war payments. GAO will see if the aid is distributed equitably to all producers harmed by the Sino-U.S. trade war, rather than skewed toward large producers.




– USDA releases monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, noon ET.

– USDA releases monthly Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook, 3 p.m. ET.

– National Crop Insurance Services holds 2020 Crop Insurance Industry Annual Convention, through Wednesday, Bonita Springs, Florida.


– Ag leaders announce formation of Farmers for a Sustainable Future, “comprised of 21 agricultural groups committed to providing a voice for farmers and ranchers in the discussion about climate-smart farming and climate policy,” 1:30 p.m. ET, 1300 Longworth.


– USDA holds annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, through Friday, Arlington, Va.  This year’s theme is “The innovation imperative: Shaping the future or agriculture. The forum, which began in 1923, includes projections of crop and livestock production domestically and worldwide as well forecasts of farm income.


– Chief economist Rob Johansson is to discuss the trade and farm sector outlook at 8 a.m. ET. Immediately afterward, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and John Hartnet, founder of THRIVE, “the leading agri-food innovation ecosystem,” will engage in a “fireside chat.”

– USDA releases annual Farms and Land in Farms report, 3 p.m. ET.


– Final day of USDA’s Ag Outlook Forum, which traditionally includes USDA updates of its crop forecasts to reflect current conditions.

– USDA releases monthly Cattle on Feed report, 3 p.m. ET.


– International Dairy Foods Association and Sweetener Users Association sponsor International Sweetener Colloquium, through Feb. 26, La Quinta, California.

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