Trump, dropping Mexico threat, says ‘very close’ to China deal
U.S. and Chinese negotiators may be within four weeks of resolving the Sino-U.S. trade war, said President Trump on Thursday. Trump said the nations are working on a comprehensive agreement. “And whether it’s our farmers or our technology people, all of them will be really happy.”
Pence hears grumbles about tariffs as he promotes the new NAFTA
Vice President Mike Pence told Indiana farmers on Thursday that the Trump administration is “absolutely determined to see the USMCA completed and ratified by the U.S. Congress this spring.” During his visit, the vice president heard complaints about tariffs on agricultural products from “numerous” crop and hog farmers.
In Oregon, a failed mega-dairy spurs call for CAFO moratorium
The troubled tenure of Lost Valley Farm in Boardman, Oregon, a mega-dairy that housed 15,000 cows, has sparked calls for reform of the permitting process for such operations. Some farm and environmental advocates want the state to pass a bill that would issue a moratorium on new mega-dairies.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
SNAP retailers granted more leeway (USDA): The USDA said it will change its definition of “variety” to give retailers more flexibility in meeting a requirement to stock a range of staple foods for sale to SNAP participants.
Food fight over school lunch (The Lunch Tray): Public health groups are suing the Department of Agriculture over a new rule that reduced the whole-grain standard for school meals.
Wine sector deal (The Sacramento Bee): The country’s largest winery, E. & J. Gallo, has agreed to buy $1.7 billion worth of wine brands from its No. 3 competitor, Constellation Brands.
Creator of Swiss Miss dies (Washington Post): Charles Sanna, a Wisconsin dairy engineer who used a warehouse of surplus milk powder to launch the instant-hot-chocolate industry by concocting a mix still sold as Swiss Miss, died last month at 101.
Eating habits change with age, education (USDA): College graduates devote more time — by roughly a quarter-hour per day — to eating than do high school graduates, and Americans tend to spend more time on meals as they get older, according to a survey.
UN food index rises for third month (FAO): The Food Price Index, an average of international prices for five commodity groups, rose fractionally in March due to a continued rise in dairy prices this year. The index is the highest it’s been since last August.