USDA releases additional $3.6 billion in Trump tariff payments
With the Sino-U.S. trade war unresolved, the Trump administration released $3.625 billion in trade-war payments to farmers and ranchers on Friday to offset losses on 2019 production. Payments will begin this week and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said they “will give farmers, who have had a tough year due to unfair trade retaliation and natural disasters, much needed funds in time for Thanksgiving.”
Q&A: Bettina Elias Siegel, author of ‘Kid Food,’ on advertising, school lunch and food culture
Bettina Elias Siegel’s new book, “Kid Food: The Challenge of Feeding Children in a Highly Processed World,” is an entertaining primer for anxious parents on the myriad ways that America’s food system is designed to frustrate their best efforts to feed their kids a healthy diet—and what can be done to push back and, hopefully, change that system.
As U.S. sugar production plunges, USDA may allow larger imports
Freezing wet weather in the northern Plains has pummeled the sugarbeet crop and cut deeply into domestic sugar production. The USDA said it “fully intends to take appropriate actions to ensure an adequate supply of sugar,” meaning it will likely allow larger than usual imports of foreign-grown sugar.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Harvest harassment on the West Bank (Washington Post): On the rocky hillsides of the West Bank, harvest time for Palestinian olive farmers “is when some of the most extreme [Israeli] settlers launch harassment campaigns.”
Lots of sugar for youngsters (New York Times): Government researchers say 98 percent of toddlers and two-thirds of infants consume added sugar — sweeteners added during processing or food preparation —- despite recommendations to avoid it.
Let 15 billion gallons be 15 billion (Thune): Six Republican senators asked President Trump in a letter “to take the corrective action necessary” so the EPA fully accounts for the impact on ethanol producers when it exempts small oil refineries from the RFS target of blending 15 billion gallons of ethanol into gasoline annually.
Storms hit Canadian canola (Reuters): Farmers may retreat from planting canola in 2020, given the storms that have buried several million acres of the crop in the prairie provinces and a dispute that has reduced sales to China.
It’s hard to idle farmland (farmdoc Daily): Since the Great Depression, the government has tried to shut down tillage of unsuitable land, but it’s a difficult chore that takes years and significant expenditures for what may be temporary success.
ON THE CALENDAR
– The FAO, World Bank, USDA and international development agencies hold International Conference on Agricultural Statistics, through Thursday, New Delhi.
– USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
– Farm Foundation forum, “Global agricultural productivity and hunger: Are we doing enough?” 9 a.m. ET, National Press Club.
– House Agriculture subcommittee hearing, “Review of credit conditions: Report from the Farm Credit Administration, 10 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth.
– House Agriculture subcommittee hearing, “Review of the office of assistant secretary for civil rights,” 2 p.m. ET, 1300 Longworth.
– Senate Health Committee hearing on the nomination of Stephen Hahn to be FDA commissioner, 10 a.m. ET, 430 Dirksen.
– House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing, “U.S.-Japan trade agreements,” 10 a.m. ET, 2020 Rayburn.
– Chicago Federal Reserve Bank holds annual Midwest agricultural conference with the theme, “Improving Midwest agriculture and the environment,” Chicago.
– International Grains Council releases monthly Grain Market Report, London.
– USDA releases semi-annual Farm Labor report, 3 p.m. ET.
– USDA releases monthly Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage reports, 3 p.m. ET.
– USDA releases monthly Food Price Outlook, 9 a.m. ET. At present, the USDA forecasts food inflation at a lower-than-usual 2 percent this year and in 2020.