Trump Could Harm His Standing With Farmers – March 12, 2020

Farm and ethanol leaders to administration: Don’t file that appeal


President Trump will endanger his standing with farmers, who voted for him in landslide numbers in 2016, if his administration appeals a U.S. appellate court ruling against RFS exemptions, said ag and biofuel leaders on Wednesday.


Labor shortages, SNAP cuts, trade deals: How could coronavirus affect our food supply chain?


Although U.S. shoppers concerned about the coronavirus pandemic have largely emptied stores of paper products and household cleaning supplies, so far most other grocery aisles remain stocked. Still, as the virus spreads across the U.S., it could expose other weaknesses in our food supply chain, experts say.


Legislation calls for measuring conservation results

For the first time, the USDA would assess the results of its land stewardship programs, such as tons of carbon sequestered in the soil or reductions in nutrient runoff, under companion bills filed in the House and Senate on Wednesday.


First increase in Nebraska farmland values in six years

Farmland in Nebraska is worth 3 percent more than it was a year ago, an average of $2,730 an acre, said an annual report by the University of Nebraska on Wednesday. It was the first increase in agricultural land values in the state since they peaked in 2014.



More food conferences and events postponed (Ag Insider): Several more food- and farm-related conferences and events were postponed or canceled as the coronavirus continues to spread, including an annual symposium hosted by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, a legislative conference presented by the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and an agriculture conference hosted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.


Delay SNAP rule for COVID-19 (Twitter): The USDA rule that will cut SNAP enrollment should be suspended until COVID-19 is contained, said Rep. Sanford Bishop, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee in charge of USDA funding.


Holding steady in the Corn Belt (farmdoc Daily): Corn may be modestly more profitable than soybeans in the Corn Belt this year, but not enough to alter nearly equal plantings of the two crops, said economist Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois.


Antibiotics reduce effectiveness of manure (Scientific American): For centuries, farmers have used manure to fertilize their fields, but researchers say that when the manure comes from cattle treated with antibiotics, the composition of soil bacteria and fungi is altered and less carbon is “fixed” into organic matter.


More trade aid, please (Reuters): With sales to China slow to materialize under the “phase one” trade agreement, dozens of farmers said in interviews that additional federal payments are vital to mitigate the impact of the trade war on their income.


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