Agriculture Issue in Trade Talks – February 19, 2019

Agriculture remains an issue as Sino-U.S. trade talks resume

The White House is looking for additional progress in negotiations this week to resolve the Sino-U.S. trade war even as it cautions that “much work remains.” Agriculture is among the structural issues under discussion, according to the administration.

Q&A with Monica White: Black farmers’ role in the struggle for civil rights

In Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement, Monica M. White, assistant professor of environmental justice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, traces the history of black land-based social movements from the time of slavery to today’s urban gardens in Rust Belt cities

Data consolidation threatens sustainable agriculture, says international panel

If you care about reducing pesticide use, promoting agricultural biodiversity, and supporting small farmers, then you should also care about who’s amassing agricultural data. That’s the message of a new report from a group of sustainable food policy experts.


Early release of SNAP benefits (Politico): Nearly three dozen states will release March SNAP benefits on an expedited basis to minimize the financial strain on households that, because of the partial government shutdown, received their February benefits early. At least four states are already planning for the early release of April benefits.

Trade war inhibits equipment purchases (Deere): “Customer concerns over tariffs and trade policies … caused farmers to become more cautious about making major purchases,” said Deere and Co. chief executive Samuel Allen in reporting higher overall first-quarter earnings for the world’s largest farm equipment manufacturer.

An ‘agri-hood’ in Iowa (Des Moines Register): A land developer wants to build the state’s first “agri-hood” — a housing development that will contain a farm, an orchard, a vineyard, and retailers — on 400 acres near a small town on the outskirts of Des Moines.

Toledo to vote on Lake Erie pollution plan (OSU): Voters in the Ohio city will decide on Feb. 26 whether to amend the city charter with a Lake Erie Bill of Rights, which would empower residents and the city to file lawsuits against business and government entities to prevent industrial waste or noxious runoff from entering the lake.

Fifty percent is a passing grade (Washington Post): In trials this year, engineers of the latest iteration of a mechanical strawberry picker aim to harvest half of the fruit without crushing or dropping it. Field workers, whose livelihood is threatened by the mechanical picker, successfully harvest an average of 80 percent of strawberries.

Grains Council chief to retire (USGC): After a quarter-century at the U.S. Grains Council, the last seven as CEO, Tom Sleight will retire this summer from the export trade group.


– USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices report for January, delayed by partial government shutdown.

– Arkansas Plant Board holds public hearing on its proposal to limit use of dicamba weedkiller on soybean and cotton crops during the 2019 growing season.

– USDA annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, with 2019 theme “Growing locally, selling globally,” through Friday, Arlington, Virginia. On the opening day, the agriculture ministers of Canada, Mexico, and the United States will jointly deliver a keynote address, their first speaking appearance together since the signing of the “new NAFTA” last November. They are scheduled to speak after USDA chief economist Robert Johansson discusses the economic outlook for agriculture, a speech that often updates USDA estimates of farm income, ag exports, and food inflation as well as projections of crop output.

– USDA releases monthly Food Price Outlook.

– USDA releases quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural.

– International Grains Council releases monthly Grain Market Report, London.

– Final day of USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, Arlington, Virginia. USDA traditionally revises its agricultural baseline of U.S. crop production, released in previous weeks and built from conditions last fall, to reflect current market and production data as part of in-depth panel discussions.

– National Governors Association holds annual winter meeting, with the theme “Good jobs for all Americans,” through Feb. 25, Washington.

– USDA releases export sales report for the weeks ending Jan. 10-Feb. 14, delayed by partial federal shutdown.

– USDA releases monthly Cattle on Feed report for January, delayed from Jan. 25 by partial government shutdown.

– Northeast Organic Farming Association holds Connecticut winter conference, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

– Food Research & Action Center holds annual National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, through Feb. 26, Washington.

– School Nutrition Association holds annual Legislative Action Conference, through Feb. 26, Washington.

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