Water Quality– Iowa Case Resolves One Issue, Clean Water Act Permitting Issue Remains Open

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.
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U.S. Out of TPP- Ag Export Opportunities Potentially Lost

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."
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USDA Crop Surveys- Falling Response Rates from Producers

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.
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Ag Technology: Increasing Availability and Use

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."
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Upper Midwest Land Values

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."
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Cuba Agricultural Trade Issues

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."
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