In a break, disaster relief bills could pay farmers’ crop insurance premiums
In a departure from past practices, companion disaster bills filed by Democrats in the House and Senate would give farmers the money to pay for their crop insurance policies.
Central figure in Iowa nutrient runoff case, Bill Stowe, dies of cancer
Bill Stowe, a central figure in the 2015 lawsuit by the Des Moines Water Works that tried to hold drainage districts in three northwest Iowa counties responsible for nutrient runoff from farms, died of cancer on Sunday at age 60. He retired as general manager of the utility on April 2 because of the illness, said the Des Moines Register.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Tom and Bernhardt confirmed by Senate (Congressional Record): The Senate confirmed by voice vote Indiana mega-farmer Kip Tom as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. agencies on food and agriculture and on a 56-41 roll call David Bernhardt as Interior Secretary.
China to lose 30 percent of pork output (National Hog Farmer): Rabobank Research says Chinese pork production could fall by 30 percent due to the epidemic of African swine fever – more pork than either the United States or the EU produces in a year – with no easy way to fill a gap of 10 million tonnes of animal protein this year.
Fruits and vegetables keep California No. 1 (USDA): The annual crop values report lists California as the leading agricultural state with $33.5 billion worth of crops, most of it fruit, nuts and vegetables. It’s well ahead of second-place Iowa with $14.2 billion and No. 3 Illinois with $13.9 billion in production, both of which see almost all of their revenue from field crops.
Quotas get in the way of a corn deal (AgriCensus): Unless China changes its import quota system for corn, it will be difficult to achieve the doubling in U.S. purchases that reportedly is being considered as part of a Sino-U.S. trade agreement, said an official of the feed trading company Donlink; the official was similarly skeptical about a large increase in sales of U.S. soybeans.
Harder to get farm operating loans (Des Moines Register): Some Iowa farmers are selling parcels of land to generate revenue so they can stay in operation this year due to continued low commodity prices; “dozens” of farmers may be unable to get bank financing for spring planting.
Starkist to pay price-fixing penalty (Undercurrent): The U.S. tuna canning company Starkist tentatively agreed to pay $50 million as a penalty in a price-fixing case while arguing that a potential maximum penalty of $100 million would lead it to bankruptcy.
ON THE CALENDAR
– U.S. and Japanese officials begin negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement, through Tuesday, Washington.
– USDA releases monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, noon ET.
– USDA releases monthly Sugar and Sweetener Outlook, 3 p.m. ET.
– USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
– Council for Agricultural Science and Technology announces 2019 winner of its Borlaug Communication Award, 3 p.m. ET, USDA administration building.
– International Dairy Food Association hosts Ice Cream Technology Conference, through Wednesday, St. Petersburg, Florida.
– National Pork Board holds annual Pork Management Conference, through Friday, Nashville.
– USDA releases annual Farms and Land in Farms report, delayed from Feb. 28 by the partial government shutdown, and monthly Cattle on Feed report, 3 p.m. ET.