Farm Bill, Income, Nutria Invasion – December 3, 2018

The farm-income bump is the bailout by Trump

U.S. farm income will be slightly higher than expected this year due chiefly to $4.7 billion in Trump tariff payments that will buffer the impact of trade war on commodity prices, says the USDA. With the bailout, farmers are forecast to collect $13.6 billion in direct farm payments, the largest amount in 12 years.

Farm bill would loosen subsidy rules

With the farm bill potentially days away from congressional approval, House and Senate negotiators are ready to let distant relatives of farmers qualify for crop subsidies, said an ag lobbyist.

California fights an invasive rodent, the Nutria, that poses threat to farms

Nutria Invasion in California

The nutria, an invasive rodent that weighs up to 20 pounds and was once thought to be eradicated from California, is making a comeback and posing a threat to agriculture in the state, according to the latest story with KQED’s The California Report.


More advanced biofuels in 2019 (EPA): While holding the corn ethanol mandate at 15 billion gallons, the Trump administration set a 2019 target of using 4.92 billion gallons of second-generation “advanced” biofuels, an increase of 63 million gallons, or 15 percent, from this year.

Big decline in monarchs (Quartz): A volunteer count of monarch butterflies in California found one-seventh as many, a total of 20,456 monarchs, compared to a November 2017 tally, says conservation group Xeres.

Big Hemp in the Central Valley (Sacramento Bee): Industrial hemp “is potentially a billion-dollar market” with the Central Valley of California as the world’s largest producer, says a leader of the newly formed California Hemp Association.

Ag is a required subject ( Next year, “Agriculture and Food” will become a compulsory unit for students in New South Wales and the professor who played a part in the decision hopes the rest of Australia follows suit.

Fracking water for farmers (Stateline): State officials in arid New Mexico are pushing oil companies to treat and recycle fracking wastewater for use in agriculture, factories, wildlife reserves, or even as drinking water.

Technology is not enough (InsideClimate News): Climate change is likely in the long run to outpace technological adaptations in agriculture even with the present pace of ag innovation, say the authors of the National Climate Assessment.


– USDA says that on or about today, it “may announce a second payment rate, if applicable, that will apply to the remaining 50 percent of the producer’s production for the selection commodity” in Trump tariff payments. Enrollment runs through Jan. 15. Producers of soybeans, sorghum, wheat, cotton, corn, hogs and milk are eligible for payments with a separate limit of $125,000 per person for crops and for livestock. Growers with less than $900,000 adjusted gross income are eligible.

– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue speaks at Illinois Farm Bureau annual meeting, 11 a.m. CT, Chicago.

– DTN/Progressive Farmer holds 11th annual Ag Summit, Chicago. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is the opening speaker, today at 1 p.m. CT.

– National Grain and Feed Association hosts annual Country Elevator Conference and Trade Show, through Tuesday, St. Louis.

– National Grazing Lands Coalition holds seventh annual Grazing Conference, through Wednesday, Reno, Nevada.

– Purdue University releases monthly Ag Economy Barometer, a gauge of the agricultural economy’s health.

– International Grains Council 48th session, a semi-annual meeting, London.

– Federal government is closed for the funeral of former president George H.W. Bush.

– House leaders say a vote could be held as early as today on the final version of the 2018 farm bill. The schedule was posted before the death of former president George H.W. Bush, whose funeral is scheduled for Wednesday in Washington.

– Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify on the U.S. economic outlook before the congressional Joint Economic Committee, 10:15 a.m. ET, 216 Hart. The hearing may be rescheduled because of the death of former president George H.W. Bush.

– USA Rice Outlook Conference, through Friday, San Diego.

– UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index, Rome.

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