Sino-U.S. trade war could last until late 2020, says Trump
President Trump was ambivalent about this week’s trade talks with China, saying “I don’t know if they’re going to make a deal,” even as China hinted at goodwill purchases of U.S. farm exports. Meanwhile, the White House said China, the second-largest economy in the world, ought to shed its status at the WTO as a developing nation and to play by the same rules as the United States and other industrial nations.
Japan buys U.S. wheat, puts new GMO testing system in place
Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture purchased $18 million worth of U.S. wheat last week, days after announcing it would not interrupt imports because of the discovery of GMO wheat in a fallow field in Washington State.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Deforestation picks up speed in Amazon (New York Times): More than 1,330 square miles of Amazonian forest have been cleared since pro-development Jair Bolsonaro became president of Brazil in January, a 39-percent increase from the first seven months of 2018, says a government agency.
House passes farm bankruptcy bill (Delgado): The House passed and sent to the Senate HR 2336, which would raise to $10 million the amount of debt that can be handled in a Chapter 12 bankruptcy reorganization — “increased flexibility” that will help farmers stay afloat, said sponsor Rep. Antonio Delgado, a New York Democrat.
Huge Roundup award slashed to $87 million (Washington Post): A California state judge reduced to $86.7 million the $2 billion that jurors awarded in a lawsuit that blamed the weedkiller Roundup for causing cancer in Alva and Alberta Pilliod, saying the $2 billion exceeded legal precedent.
Crop insurance not a slam-dunk (Minneapolis Star Tribune): The indemnity for a prevented-planting claim under crop insurance may do little more than offset the costs a farmer incurred in rent, fertilizer and pesticides, says an insurance agent in Minnesota.
The public and gene editing (Harvest Public Media): As researchers look into advanced gene-editing technology, they have to decide how to inform the public about the pluses and minuses of the science or risk a revolt like the opposition to GMO foods.
Seven win science honors for USDA (USDA): Seven researchers and scientists working at USDA or funded by USDA grants, including a microbiologist studying antibiotic resistance in hogs, are winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
ON THE USDA CALENDAR
– Signup begins for 2019 version of Trump tariff payments and runs through Dec. 6. The administration says up to $16 billion is available, including $14.5 billion for producers of row crops, specialty crops, and hogs and dairy. The first round of payments, expected in mid-to-late August will disburse up to $7.25 billion, says USDA. Additional payments are possible in November and January, depending on trade negotiations and market conditions.
– USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
– National Cattlemen’s Beef Association holds summer business meeting, through Thursday, Denver.
– U.S. Grains Council holds 59th annual Board of Delegates meeting, through Wednesday, Cincinnati.
– Senate Finance Committee hearing to examine the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, 10:15 a.m. ET, 215 Dirksen. Witnesses include the chief executive of Corteva Agriscience. For details, click here.
– The U.S. and China hold ministerial-level talks on resolution of the trade war, Shanghai. The U.S. delegation will be led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer. Vice Premier Liu He will head the Chinese delegation. “I wouldn’t expect any grand deal,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
– Iowa State University and BASF host Ag and Food HR Roundtable, through Thursday, Ames, Iowa.
– Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, “Perspectives on reauthorization of the U.S. Grain Standards Act,” 9:30 a.m. ET, 328A Russell. For details, click here.
– EPA public hearing on 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard, 9 a.m. ET, Ypsilanti, Michigan. The EPA proposed a no-growth RFS. Details on the hearing and the proposed RFS are available here.
– USDA holds the first of two hearings to gather information on implementing the Heirs’ Property Re-lending Program that was created in the 2018 farm bill, Farm Service Agency state headquarters, Jackson, Mississippi. Written comments will be accepted until Aug. 31.
– USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices report, 3 p.m. ET.
– USDA releases annual Honey Bee Colonies report, 3 p.m. ET.
– UN Food and Agriculture Organization releases monthly Food Price Index, Rome.
– Iowa Women in Agriculture holds annual conference with theme, “Road map to resilience,” Ankeny, Iowa.
– USDA releases annual Farm Production Expenses report, 3 p.m. ET.
– American Sugar Alliance holds International Sweetener Symposium, through Aug. 7, Asheville, North Carolina.