NAFTA- Recent Developments as President Trump Addresses AFBF Members on Monday

President Donald Trump will be in Nashville, Tennessee on Monday to speak at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 99th Annual Convention.  The AFBF noted recently that, "After three consecutive years of decline in farm sector profits, President Trump will speak to Farm Bureau members during a period of prolonged economic challenge across farm country."  In fiscal year 2017, the U.S. exported $140.5 billion worth of agricultural products; and, the U.S. Department of Agriculture explained recently that, “Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, also driving rural economic activity and supporting more than one million American jobs both on and off the farm.” AFBF members will be keenly interested in any remarks the President makes regarding trade policy, and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Monday.  With this in mind, today's update focuses on recent NAFTA developments and agriculture.
Read This News Summary

Farm Bill: Congressional Inaction on Disaster Bill; 2018 Agenda Items

At the end of 2017, Congress passed a temporary spending bill to prevent a government shutdown, but failed to complete work on an $81-billion disaster aid package. In addition to assistance for hurricanes and wildfires, the disaster package also included provisions dealing with the cotton and dairy programs.  Today's update provides a brief recap of some of the pre-holiday legislative activity, and highlights news articles discussing the legislative agenda in the new year.
Read This News Summary

Recent USDA-ERS Reports: Farm Structure (2017), and Evolving Distribution of Government Farm Payments (1991-2015)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) has recently released two separate reports that provide interesting perspective on the structure of U.S. agriculture.  The first provides a detailed overview of current statistics relating to U.S. farms, while the second highlights the evolving distribution of Federal farm payments (1991-2015).  This update underscores key findings from the two recent ERS reports.
Read This News Summary

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.
Read This News Summary

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.
Read This News Summary