‘Phase One’ All About Farmers – January 10, 2019

‘Phase one’ with China is ‘pretty much all for the farmers,’ says Trump


With China confirming that it will sign a “phase one” trade agreement next week, President Trump said on Thursday that the pact, which will include China buying up to $50 billion a year in U.S. farm exports, “is pretty much all for the farmers.” At the same time, the outlook darkened for final congressional approval of the USMCA next week.


Legislation to reform checkoffs introduced in the House


Legislation introduced in the House on Thursday would reform so-called “checkoff” programs, which impose mandatory taxes on producers of some commodities in order to fund promotional campaigns.


Farmland values: Steady, with a risk of decline

Despite the dour mood in the agricultural sector, prices for good-quality farmland held steady in 2019, partly because less land than usual was on the market, said Farmers National Co., a farm management and real estate company.

Talks & Eats – Manhattan – Surf ‘n’ Turf: Can our seafood survive Big Ag and climate change?


As oceans warm, our major fisheries are shifting. At the same time, farm runoff is contributing to dead zones from the Gulf of Mexico to Long Island. Both of these issues – climate change and farming practices – affect the health of ocean ecosystems and, ultimately, the seafood that winds up on our plates.


Join moderator and best-selling author Paul Greenberg and the Talks & Eats panel for a stimulating discussion Feb. 10, 2020, 7:30 p.m., at Subculture in Greenwich Village. VIP reception with drinks and bites beforehand.



Faux meat shortage (Vox): Companies that produce plant-based meat alternatives are facing more demand than they can meet, and until production is scaled up, sourcing to massive outlets like McDonald’s may be out of reach.


Failed milk companies vie for Starbucks business (Wall Street Journal):  Two bankrupt milk processors, Dean Foods and Borden Dairy, are sparring over which company is best suited for a milk and creamer deal with Starbucks.


ADM may sell ethanol plants (Bloomberg): Agribusiness giant ADM, one of the largest U.S. ethanol producers, is in advanced talks to either sell or find a joint venture partner for three of its plants that make ethanol through the dry milling process, said CEO Juan Luciano.


‘Real money’ for dairy farmers (Farm and Dairy): More than 80 percent of U.S. dairy farmers have enrolled in the new Margin Protection Program, but while the USDA has issued more than $300 million in payments — “real money,” as one observer noted — analysts are unsure if the program has reduced stress on producers.


U.S. seeks dismissal of hog inspection suit (Food Safety News): A U.S. district judge will hear arguments on Jan. 27 on the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit, filed by labor unions, to block adoption of the USDA’s New Swine Slaughter Inspection System.


Five-year high in world food prices (FAO): The Food Price Index, a gauge of international prices of a basket of food commodities, soared to a five-year high, propelled by strong rallies in vegetable oils, sugar, and dairy products. The cost of cereals rose modestly, but meat prices held steady.


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