U.S. files USMCA challenge to Mexico’s corn import rules
Putting its warnings into action, the Biden administration officially accused Mexico on Thursday of violating North American trade rules by prohibiting imports of genetically modified white corn used in making tortillas, a staple of the Mexican diet. Mexico, the birthplace of corn and a top U.S. trade partner, said it was ready to defend its ban before a USMCA dispute panel.
Precision ag usage is highest in top row-crop states
Farmers in the top corn, wheat, soybean, and hog states are twice as likely as farmers in smaller-volume states to use precision agriculture practices, such as GPS guidance, said the USDA’s farm computer report on Thursday. Usage often topped 50 percent in the top row-crop states, while the U.S. average was just 27 percent.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Growers say no to marketing order: In a referendum required every four years, cranberry producers voted to end the federal cranberry marketing order and the committee that oversees it. Fewer than 27 percent of growers voted to keep the order in force. (USDA)
Store carbon in national forests: To the dismay of conservationists, the U.S. Forest Service may change its rules to allow “permanent carbon dioxide sequestration” beneath the surface of some of its 193 million acres of forests and grasslands. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Wheat exports at 52-year low: U.S. wheat exports were forecast to shrink to 700 million bushels in the current marketing year, the smallest volume since 1971/72, due to lower prices for wheat from rivals Russia and the EU. (USDA)
Gala keeps the top spot: The sweet-tasting, easy-eating Gala will retain its spot as America’s favorite apple, accounting for nearly one-fifth of U.S. production this year, with Red Delicious in second place and Honeycrisp in third. (U.S. Apple Association)
Iraqi rice dries up: Two years after the government restricted using water for irrigation, Iraq’s prized amber rice is grown on just 2 percent of its former territory in Najaf Province, where farmers are losing not just a source of income but a way of life. (Washington Post)