Trade Worries Taint Farm Economy Outlook

A recent report from CoBank pointed out that trade worries are clouding the economic outlook for U.S. farmers and ranchers.  And, a recent report from Purdue University demonstrates that potential trade retaliation measures on U.S. soybeans by China could be costly.  Today's update looks briefly at these two reports, as well as other news articles that highlight ongoing trade issues in the farm sector.
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Farm Bill- SNAP: Perspective From Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson

On Saturday, House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R., Tex.) delivered a speech to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers at their 2018 Convention in Ft Worth.  And on Monday, House Ag Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D., Minn.) was a guest on the Adams on Agriculture radio program.  In their respective remarks, both lawmakers discussed Farm Bill issues and the SNAP program.  Today's update includes a summary of the key points made by the top lawmakers on the House Ag Committee.
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Pork, Ethanol Among Agricultural Products Targeted By China in Trade Conflict

Charles Clover, Lucy Hornby and James Kynge reported on Friday at The Financial Times Online that, "Beijing signalled its readiness to go toe-to-toe with US President Donald Trump’s campaign of tariffs against China on Friday, proposing new levies on 128 American imports that heightened market fears of a looming trade war between the world’s largest economies.  China’s response to Mr Trump bore the hallmarks of a carefully calibrated warning. Beijing said it was planning tariffs on about $3bn in imports, including a 15 per cent tariff on US steel pipes, fresh fruit and wine, and a 25 per cent tariff on pork and recycled aluminum."
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As Farm Bill Stalls Over SNAP, USDA-ERS Report Captures Details of the Program

An article at Politico on Thursday indicated that bipartisan negotiations over the Farm Bill had stalled due to issues surrounding the nutrition title of the new measure.  More specifically, the Politico article stated that, "Democrats are revolting to potential changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, still commonly known as food stamps."  Also on Thursday, USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) released a detailed annual report that explored fiscal year 2017 federal data related to USDA nutrition programs, including SNAP.  Today's update looks at this ERS report in more detail, and also touches briefly on a SNAP related report released last week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
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Farm Bill: SNAP Issues Hamper Timeline

Farm Bill issues related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP- food stamps) appear to be hampering progress on the measure this week.  Today's update highlights recent news items that discuss the current impasse over SNAP provisions that are currently being discussed.
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FAPRI Baseline: Farmers Still Caught in Economic Squeeze

A news release last week from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri indicated that, “The latest analysis of national and global agricultural trends from the University of Missouri indicates little change in net farm income this year and a slight increase in 2019. However, even with modest projected increases in commodity prices in 2019, net farm income is expected to remain far below the record level set in 2013. Good news in the report includes strong demand for meat, which offset downward pressure on prices from increased production last year."
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New U.S. Tariffs Ramp-Up Fear of Ag Trade Retaliation; Soybean Growers Especially Worried

On Thursday, President Trump implemented tariffs on steel and aluminum, an action that had been anticipated since last week.  Today's update explores recent news items that highlight the potential negative impact the executive branch action could have on the U.S. farm sector.  Although Canada and Mexico were exempt from the new tariffs, if other countries, particularly China, take retaliatory trade measures based on U.S. trade policy, negative short-term and long-term impacts could be expected for U.S. farmers.
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