White House Targets Ag Provisions – June 20, 2019

White House targets ag provisions in veto threat of mammoth funding bill

The U.S. House opened debate on a mammoth federal spending bill, including money for the USDA, on Tuesday under the threat of a presidential veto of the $322 billion bill. The White House said it opposed half a dozen USDA provisions in the bill, including language that would preclude relocating two research agencies to Kansas City and implementing a new inspection system for hog-slaughter plants.

Mexico ratifies USMCA; Trudeau and Trump to discuss pact today

Mexico’s Senate ratified the “new NAFTA” on a 114-4 vote on Wednesday, making Mexico the first country to approve the free trade agreement. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada is to meet President Trump at the White House Thursday to discuss the path forward on the pact.

‘Major underestimate’ of cost of relocating USDA agencies, says group

The USDA failed to follow federal guidelines when it determined it would save money by moving two research agencies to Kansas City, said a review by the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association on Wednesday.

Looming crisis for almond industry, as bee census records highest winter losses yet

There would be no almond industry without honeybees, and honeybees are struggling mightily to keep pace with the booming almond business, as HuffPost, explains. The latest bit of bad news for bees came Wednesday, with the release of an annual survey of beekeepers that recorded winter losses of nearly 38 percent, the highest winter loss rate since the survey began 13 years ago.


Another round of Trump tariff payments? (Reuters): The head of the largest U.S. farm group said that if there’s no progress in coming months on trade deals or resolving the trade war with China, American farmers will need a multibillion-dollar federal bailout for the third year in a row.

Missing a big opportunity (South China Morning Post): The Sino-U.S. trade war’s tit-for-tat tariffs have priced U.S. pork out of the Chinese market despite the country’s need to offset losses from an epidemic of African swine fever in its domestic herd.

Running short on rural vets (Successful Farming): Some 550 mostly rural U.S. counties in 44 states lack sufficient veterinary coverage, and veterinary practices are becoming both more corporate-owned and increasingly dominated by females.

Outside-the-box cover crops (Illinois Extension): Farmers unable to plant their corn and soybeans this year should consider a couple of unusual cover-crop options for their prevented-planting land: corn and soybeans.

Outlook Board chair returns to Mizzou (USDA): After five years as chairman of the USDA’s “world board,” which assesses the global crop and livestock outlook, Seth Meyer will return to a University of Missouri think tank as its associate director.

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