U.S. Economy Slows – November 4, 2019

U.S. economy slows as corn and soy output soar, according to USDA projection


With a return to normal weather, farmers will expand vastly their corn and soybean plantings next year — enough to produce their largest corn crop ever and the fourth-largest soybean crop, according to USDA’s agricultural projections. Bumper crops will drive down market prices in the near term and create huge stockpiles that will take years to whittle down.


Trump chooses cancer doctor to lead FDA


Dr. Stephen Hahn, a hospital executive and cancer specialist, is President Trump’s choice for FDA commissioner, said the White House. Hahn had been rumored for the post for weeks.


Food crisis in southern Africa (RCI): A record 45 million people throughout southern Africa face severe food shortages in coming months, with 11 million of them already enduring drought-induced “crisis” or “emergency” levels of food insecurity, according to three UN agencies.


Less burping with seaweed (Bangor Daily News): Researchers in Maine and Vermont will team up over the next few years to figure out which varieties of seaweed result in less belching — and less production of the greenhouse gas methane — by cattle as they eat and digest their feed.


European oligarchs of farm subsidies (New York Times): In central and eastern Europe, “a connected and powerful few” collect mountains of EU agricultural subsidies, in part because their governments have wide latitude in distributing the subsidies.


Fungi for faux meat (New Food Economy): While many producers of plant-based proteins try to match the taste and texture of ground meat, a Colorado startup, Meati Foods, is using fungi in a quest to replicate muscle cuts, “geared more toward the steakhouse than the drive-thru.”




– Joint annual meeting of National Dairy Board, National Milk Producers Federation and United Dairy Industry Association, through Wednesday, New Orleans.


– Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research holds Smart Urban Food Systems Summit, through Tuesday, Brooklyn.


– USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.


– Off-year elections, with voters in Mississippi and Kentucky deciding governor’s races. State legislative races are on the ballot in Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia. Louisiana will hold elections on Nov. 16 for statewide and legislative offices.


– Purdue University releases monthly Ag Economy Barometer, based on a national survey of producers to provide a sense of the agricultural economy’s health.


– American Agricultural Law Association holds annual agricultural law symposium, through Saturday, Washington.


– USDA hosts a jobs fair for the relocated Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Kansas State University-Olathe, Olathe, Kansas.


– Waterways Council annual meeting and symposium, through Friday, Pittsburgh.


– Purdue University holds National Conference for Food and Agribusiness, through Thursday, West Lafayette, Indiana.


– Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, “Implementation of the 2018 farm bill: Rural development and energy programs, 9:30 a.m. ET, 328A Russell. For details, click here.


– UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index, Rome.



– USDA releases monthly Crop Production and WASDE reports, noon ET.


– American Seed Trade Association holds CSS 2019 and Seed Expo, through Nov. 12, Chicago.


– American Bankers Association holds Agricultural Bankers Conference, through Nov. 13, Dallas.

Nov. 11

– Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, marking the end of armed conflict in World War I with a truce on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The observance was renamed by law as Veterans Day in 1954 to commemorate the service of all military veterans, says the History Channel. Armistice Day was observed informally beginning in 1919. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and in 1938, Nov. 11 became a federal holiday.

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