Wall Street Journal writers Jesse Newman, Heather Haddon and Siobhan Hughes reported on Thursday that, "The House on Thursday narrowly passed a Republican-written bill that reauthorizes farm programs while also imposing controversial new work requirements on food-stamp recipients, acting on legislation that is important to a critical GOP constituency before the midterm elections. The bill passed on a 213-211 vote."
In conjunction with positive early season crop condition ratings, an ongoing and escalating trade dispute between the U.S. and China put negative pressure on corn and soybean prices Tuesday. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal indicated that the administration is 'working on measures that will have the backs of farmers,' as the trade dispute unfolds. Separately, farm state lawmakers stressed the importance of global markets for agricultural producers, who have already been struggling with lean farm income.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) released a timely report regarding farm policy titled, "Federal Risk Management Tools for Agricultural Producers: An Overview." Today's post recaps highlights from the ERS report.
Bloomberg News reported on Friday that, "Trade tensions between the U.S. and China ratcheted higher after the Asian nation said it will follow through on plans to levy tariffs on a range of American farm goods including soybeans and corn."
Associated Press writer Andrew Taylor reported on Wednesday that, "A Senate panel approved a modest, bipartisan rewrite of federal farm and nutrition programs on Wednesday, sidestepping a fight for now but setting up a clash with House Republicans intent on beefing up work requirements for food stamps."
Over the past several days, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a handful of updates relating to U.S. agricultural trade. The recent information includes updated projections for fiscal year 2018 agricultural exports, as well as the latest monthly trade data. As trade policy uncertainty persists, today's post provides a brief overview of the recent trade information.
DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported on Friday that, "The farm bill that will be taken up by the Senate Agriculture Committee next week will look a lot like the current farm bill with some tweaks to commodity and conservation programs, but no radical changes from current law."
Joseph Morton reported on the front page of Thursday's Omaha World-Herald that, "President Donald Trump scanned the Rose Garden on Wednesday as he looked to recognize lawmakers there for his signing of a veterans health care bill. "When he got to Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, he couldn’t help alluding to his rejection of a proposed overhaul of federal ethanol requirements known as the Renewable Fuel Standard. Those changes were fiercely opposed by Midwest biofuel producers. "'I did you a good favor for the farmers yesterday, right?' Trump told Ernst. 'We love the farmers. Right, Joni?'"
Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Tuesday's Des Moines Register that, "Iowa farmers, battling too much rain, cold — and even snow — this planting season, have a new crop of concerns that could devastate commodity prices: An escalating U.S.-China trade war that's sparked tariffs on pork and, potentially, soybeans; trade negotiations with Canada and Mexico that exploded last week following U.S. tariffs on steel imports; EPA ethanol waivers for oil refiners that undermine demand for ethanol and corn; and, divisions over a new farm bill intended to provide protection to farmers."
Towards the end of May, positive news regarding U.S. trade policy began to emerge for U.S. farmers: China canceled its anti-dumping measure on U.S. sorghum imports; the U.S. issued a joint statement indicating that China would purchase more U.S. exports, including “meaningful increases” in agricultural products; and, the U.S. suspended its threat to impose tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese imports while negotiations with China continued. However, more recent trade developments appear to be less sanguine for U.S. farmers and ranchers, which is the subject of today's update.