Iowa Farmland Values, and the Corn Belt Economy- “At a Crossroads”

The 2017 Iowa State University Land Value Survey was released on Tuesday, and showed that farmland values climbed 2% this year.  The survey was conducted in November by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  Highlights of the survey are discussed in today's update, along with recent news articles that explored the state of the Corn Belt agricultural economy in greater detail.
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RFS: Rift Between “Corn State” Senators & “Oil-and-Gas State” Senators Persists

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Tex.), along with several of his GOP colleagues, met with President Trump and other executive branch officials regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  Today's update looks briefly at some of the recent political maneuvering among Senators that led to the RFS meeting with Sen. Cruz, and examines some of the news articles that highlighted the results of that session.
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USDA Updates U.S. Ag Export Forecast Amid NAFTA Worries

In fiscal year 2017, U.S. agricultural exports totaled $140.5 billion, representing the third-highest level on record.  In its quarterly export forecast in August, USDA indicated that fiscal year 2018 agricultural exports were projected at $139.0 billion.  However, in its latest quarterly forecast, released late last month, USDA increased the fiscal year 2018 export projection by $1.0 billion.  Today's update examines the latest export forecast in more detail, and looks briefly at recent NAFTA news items pertaining to agriculture, including a report from the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
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EPA: Recent Perspectives on RFS and Agriculture

Recall that in December of 2016, agricultural policy observers expressed some measure of unease with President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.  As The Wall Street Journal stated at the time, "After campaigning as a strong supporter of the use of ethanol and other biofuels in the nation’s gasoline supply, President-elect Donald Trump has chosen a forceful adversary of those federal requirements to implement them."  Nearly one year later, today's update looks briefly at recent EPA action on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and Administrator Pruitt's visit to Iowa on Friday.
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2017 U.S. Farm Income Forecast- November Update

On Wednesday, the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released its November 2017 Farm Income Forecast.   This follows the August revision of the initial net farm income forecast released by ERS in February.  The USDA will release one more revision of the 2017 net farm income forecast in February 2018, and the 2017 official estimates will be released in August 2018.  Today’s update provides a recap of highlights from the farm income forecast.
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A Focus on Corn Belt Ag Exports; NAFTA Update

A FarmPolicyNews update last week pointed to recent USDA information pertaining to the aggregate value of U.S. agricultural exports, and how these trade flows have changed over the past two decades.  A recent article from Iowa State University looked more narrowly at recent trade trends pertaining to four specific agricultural sectors: beef, pork, corn, and soybeans.  Today’s summary looks at these issues in more detail, along with a brief update on the NAFTA renegotiations.
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Farm Bill Update: Perspective from Chairman Conaway and Chairman Roberts

Last week, Don Wick, a farm broadcaster from the Red River Farm Network (Grand Forks, N.D.), sat down with several lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss current Farm Bill issues.  Notably, he spoke with both the Chairman of the House Ag Committee, Mike Conaway, as well as the Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts.  Today's update includes key elements from these lawmaker conversations with the Red River Farm Network.
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