Today’s Story Chaser: Land values. Hit up a local auctioneer or real estate company. Land values are a big indicator of health in the ag economy, and one the few that are still positive.
Song of the day: Wasted and Rolling Amanda Shires
Billboard: Trade remains front and center this week, focusing on three fronts for ag: the EU, China and Japan. Meanwhile, more fascinating data is coming out of the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Cover crops use took a big jump in the last five years. And, keep an eye on land values. They appear ripe for eroding in the coming months/years.
Let’s get to it:
EU: Agriculture will certainly not be part of these negotiations
European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom sent a stern warning the Trump administration Monday, making it clear the EU has no intention to discuss agriculture in upcoming trade talks. Senator Chuck Grassley warns a trade deal with the EU sans agriculture won’t pass the Senate. And, the American Soybean Association, and others, are pressing the Trump administration to “insist” that the talks include agriculture.
Bloomberg: Farmers ‘Worse Off’ With Potential China Agreement
Farm groups, some anonymously, have told Bloomberg News farmers will be “worse off” than before the trade war when the Trump administration reaches an agreement with China. That’s because Trump says U.S. tariffs on China will last for a “a substantial period of time,” meaning retaliatory tariffs on U.S. ag products likely will, too. But, Jim Sutter of the U.S. Soybean Export Council told Bloomberg, China won’t likely stand for the tariffs to remain in place.
Hyde-Smith Bill Would Make Cell Culture Meat Regs Law
Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi has introduced a bill that would give the Department of Agriculture responsibility to regulate and label cell-cultured meat and poultry. USDA and the FDA have already agreed to a joint regulatory effort regarding cell cultured meats. Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Livestock, Marketing, and Agriculture Security, stated, “The fact that FDA and USDA have agreed to identify necessary changes to statutory authority confirms the need for a legislative fix as I’ve proposed.”
Flooding and Economics Pressuring Land Values
Floodwaters could change long term yield results, and Farmers National Company says that could drop farmland values impacted by March rains, snow and runoff, that flooded the Midwest. The KC Fed Reserve Bank just last week said support for all farmland values may be eroding, as interest rates and elevated sales of farmland change the market. So far, during the economic downturn, farm values have enjoyed support, saving many farmers.
Census of Ag Shows Big Increase in Cover Crop Usage
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program announced the Census of Agriculture found a 50 percent increase in cover crops use since 2012. Funded by USDA, the program found Iowa led the way with a 156 percent increase during that period, and a number of other states also more than doubled their cover crop acreage, including Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont and Arizona.
Treated Seed Stewardship Campaign Launched
The Growing Matters coalition wants farmers using treated seed to follow guidelines that protect pollinators. Through it’s BeSure! Campaign, the coalition has many tips online to follow at growingmatters.org/besure.