Pandemic aid is too constricted and too slow, ag groups and lawmakers tell USDA
The USDA should immediately release the $1.4 billion of coronavirus payments it’s holding in reserve for farmers and change the rules — particularly on eligibility, payment limits and the deadline for applications — that are keeping aid from producers, said 28 farm and agribusiness groups.
U.S. farm exports lag behind imports, creating a trade deficit
With the end of the fiscal year in sight, the United States is running an agricultural trade deficit of $3 billion, unusual for a sector that ordinarily runs a surplus, often in the tens of billions of dollars.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Will farm for clicks: When reality TV and the internet come to the farm, cuddly animals, drone footage of crops — “land porn for wistful cubicle dwellers” — and the occasional physical or fiscal pratfall are a new source of revenue. (New York Times)
Prospects improve for two House ag panelists: Political analyst Nathan Gonzales says re-election races now “tilt” in favor of two House Agriculture Committee members, Democrats Cindy Axne of Iowa and Rodney Davis of Illinois, previously rated as toss-ups. (Roll Call)
Making room for menhaden: Fishery regulators adopted a new system for setting catch limits on menhaden, the second-most caught fish in the country, that accounts for the forage needs of wildlife, from osprey and eagles to striped bass and humpback whales. (Pew Trusts)
Citrus-greening insect in Southern California: For the first time, a psyllid carrying the bacteria that causes the destructive citrus-greening disease was found in a grove in California. (Citrus Insider)
China buys more U.S. soybeans: China, the world’s largest soybean importer, bought 772,000 tonnes of American-grown soybeans over a three-day span last week, including 456,000 tonnes on Friday, the largest sale to Chinese importers since June 11. (USDA)
Push for beef sector reform: Leaders of the House Agriculture Committee asked the USDA to research the structure of the beef processing industry, including options to increase price discovery and strategies to help small to medium packing plants be successful. (House Agriculture Committee)
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
Agricultural and Applied Economics Association holds annual meeting online, through Aug. 11.
USDA issues weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
Republican primary election in western Minnesota to choose GOP challenger to House Agriculture chairman Collin Peterson, a Democrat seeking his 16th term. Candidates include former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, who has the party endorsement; David Hughes, the GOP nominee in 2016 and 2018; and three others. President Trump, who backs Fischbach, carried the district by a large margin in 2016 and Peterson is being targeted by Republicans.
USDA and HHS host online meeting to gather comments on the report by its Dietary Guidelines advisory committee, 8:30 a.m. ET.
USDA releases monthly Crop Production and WASDE reports, noon ET. This year’s corn crop could edge the 15.148 billion bushels of 2016 as the largest U.S. harvest ever, according to a poll of traders. The large crop would propel carry-over corn stocks at the end of the 2020/21 marketing year to the highest level — 2.8 billion bushels — since 1988. Traders expect USDA to forecast the No. 4 soybean crop, 4.26 billion bushels, on record. The soybean inventory at the end of 2020/21 would be 525 million bushels, the third-largest ever, they say.
Labor Department releases monthly Consumer Price Index report, 8:30 a.m. ET.
Purdue University holds panel discussion of USDA’s August crop report, 1:30 p.m. ET.
Farmdoc Daily hosts webinar, “Updated supply and demand for corn and soybeans,” 3 p.m. ET.
Vice President Mike Pence launches “Farmers and Ranchers for Trump” at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. The vice president also is scheduled to attend the Iowa Republican state dinner.
First of two online hearings by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, USDA and the Commerce Department “to discuss foreign trade policies that may be harming American growers of seasonal and perishable produce,” 9 a.m. ET.
United Soybean Board and American Soybean Association hold a webinar, “Rural broadband challenges,” 1 p.m. ET.
USDA releases monthly Oil Crops Outlook and Cotton and Wool Outlook, noon ET.
USDA releases monthly Feed Outlook, Wheat Outlook and Rice Outlook, 3 p.m. ET.
China and U.S. hold six-month review, via video conference, of the “phase one” trade agreement.