Nutrient-impacted water runoff from farm fields can have environmental consequences. A case filed by Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) involving financial damages from treatment of this water recently made its way to the Iowa Supreme Court. On Friday, January 27, the Iowa Supreme Court resolved one issue associated with the DMWW case; however, non-point source permitting issues under the Clean Water Act will still be considered by a trial court in June.
Donnelle Eller reported on the front page of Tuesday's Des Moines Register that, "President Donald Trump's decision to jettison the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and renegotiate U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico could lead to a trade war that could put Iowa in the cross-hairs, worried state leaders told the Register on Monday."
Financial Times writers Demetri Sevastopulo, Shawn Donnan and Courtney Weaver reported yesterday that, "President Donald Trump signalled he will put trade protectionism at the heart of his economic policy, withdrawing the US from a historic Pacific trade pact and threatening to punish American companies for moving production overseas on his first working day in office."
Bloomberg writer Shannon Pettypiece reported late last week that, "President-elect Donald Trump won’t wait for Congress to confirm trade officials to act on his promises to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and give notice he will renegotiate NAFTA, press secretary Sean Spicer said."
An update posted yesterday at the farmdoc daily blog by USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson, Anne Effland of USDA's Economic Research Service, and Mississippi State University agricultural economist Keith Coble, explored issues associated with response rates from USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) surveys, and examined the impact of response rates on county yield estimates for an important new farm program--the ARC-CO program.
Yesterday, the Federal Reserve Board released its January '17 Beige Book update, a summary of commentary on current economic conditions by Federal Reserve District. The report included several observations pertaining to the U.S. agricultural economy.
After taking a quick look at some basic parameters and issues associated with the 2018 Farm Bill (Dec. 8), and exploring federal agricultural appropriations (Jan. 4) in more detail, today's update looks at the recently named members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees for the 115th Congress, and concludes wth some general observations.
An update yesterday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta indicated that, “When Joe Boddiford is in Atlanta, 200 miles from his Southeast Georgia farm, he can operate his irrigation systems with his smartphone. Boddiford can turn on the water to a particular set of nozzles or shut it off. He can activate an underground well or monitor the entire system. ‘That gives me a lot of peace of mind,’ says Boddiford, who grows cotton, peanuts, and corn on 2,200 acres about 60 miles from Savannah."
Last month, in its third-quarter 2016 Agricultural Credit Conditions Survey, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis indicated that, "Following a trend from recent quarterly surveys, land prices and cash rents retreated from historic highs. The average value for nonirrigated cropland in the district fell by more than 3 percent from a year earlier, according to survey respondents. Irrigated land values fell 1 percent, while ranch- and pastureland values fell 5 percent, perhaps reflecting the more recent downturn in livestock prices."
Frank E. Lockwood reported on the front page of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on January 2nd that, "A congressman from northeast Arkansas will reintroduce legislation to ease trade restrictions with Cuba, and says he's hopeful that barriers to agricultural sales will be addressed early in 2017."