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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for thursday, March 28th

Report: 55% of Corn Acres Face Potential Flooding

A report from Plantalytics says current conditions in the Corn Belt leave 55 percent of the nation’s corn acreage at risk of flooding. Plantalytics is a business weather intelligence firm. The firm reports that major flooding throughout the United States leaves 55 percent of corn acres at risk, along with 60 percent of the nation’s soybean acres to be planted this spring. Thousands of acres have already been inundated with flood waters along the Missouri River, and some will not be used to produce a crop this season. The report follows a forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, depicting at-risk areas this spring. The Missouri and Mississippi River, throughout nearly all of their length, are at risk for major or moderate flooding. NOAA has much of the eastern U.S. at risk for minor flooding, along with the south and Midwest. The report from Plantalytics based its data on 2018 production of corn and soybeans.

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Mississippi Seeks Federal Disaster Declaration

A delegation of elected officials from Mississippi is seeking a federal disaster declaration for the state. Mississippi, much like other states near major U.S. rivers, is experiencing record flooding. In a letter to the Trump administration, the state’s lawmakers reported 43 of the state’s 82 counties have been affected by flooding this spring. The state reports more than 1,300 homes have been damaged, along with 35 bridges and 938 reports of damage to roadways. Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said flooding in southern states, including Mississippi, could be “potentially historic.” Historic flooding is already occurring across the Midwest and flood waters in several areas have eclipsed previous records held since 1993. Minor to moderate flooding has been a threatening issue to the entire Mississippi and Missouri river basins since last summer and fall. Flood advisories, watches and warning are in effect along nearly the entire length of both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

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Trump Wants Quick Action on USMA

President Donald Trump wants lawmakers to move quickly to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The USMCA, Trump’s replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement, is currently being navigated through procedural hurdles before the administration can present the final proposed agreement to Congress. Lawmakers must consider the agreement on a simple yes or no vote, with no amendments, with Trade Promotion Authority in effect. Politico reports Trump told House Republicans in a meeting this week the administration is preparing for a vote on the agreement before the summer, but a vote by the end of the year is a more likely timeline. Although, a vote is allowed to happen sometime after the U.S. International Trade Commission submits its analysis of the economic impact of the deal on April 19th. The USMCA agreement is considered Trump’s top legislative policy in 2019, before election-year politics muddy the path forward in 2020.

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ASA: Growers Not Pleased with Keeping Tariffs in Potential China Agreement

In a statement by the American Soybean Association, leadership of the organization say the group “is not pleased” with recent comments by the President regarding tariffs and the China trade talks. President Trump has suggested that he could leave tariffs in place under an agreement with China. However, ASA considers the removal of tariffs on China part of an exchange for China to lift its retaliatory 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybean imports. ASA president Davie Stephens questioned, “How can the U.S. and China reach any deal without doing so?” ASA in prior statements said  “it’s not enough for China to make one-off good will purchases,” of U.S. soybeans over the last three months. Any longer-term plan to manage soybean trade under which China would guarantee to buy specified amounts of soybeans over an extended period—but still keep its 25 percent tariff in place—”is not an acceptable alternative to full market access,” according to ASA.

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U.S. to Inspect Brazil Beef Plants

U.S. officials will inspect Brazilian beef plants in June following trade talks between the U.S. and Brazil. In a news release, Brazil’s agriculture minister said U.S. officials will audit the inspection system for Brazil beef and pork from June 10 to June 28, calling the audit “an important step” to allow Brazil to re-export to the United States in the future. Brazil says the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection intends to verify that Brazilian products meet U.S. sanitary requirements. Brazil and the U.S. last week issued a joint statement agreeing to “science-based conditions” to allow for the importation of U.S. pork, according to the statement. Still, concerns remain within the U.S. regarding allowing products from Brazil into the U.S. market, according to meat industry publication Meatingplace. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in 2017 suspended imports of fresh Brazilian Beef in the wake of public health concerns, sanitary conditions and animal health issues.

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Western U.S. Farmers Urge Lawmakers to Address Water Challenges

More than 100 organization representing Western U.S. agriculture are urging Congress to use infrastructure legislation to address Western water challenges. The groups say, “existing water infrastructure in the West is aging and in need of rehabilitation and improvement.” President Trump has said infrastructure might be one area that both political parties in the 116th Congress can agree upon. The Democratic Party’s to-do list also includes an ambitious infrastructure program. California Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson says, “many California water users will still face water shortages in 2019,” despite an above average snowpack, highlighting the need for reforms. Representative Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, was one of the recipients of the letter. DeFazio now chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he intends to lead efforts to produce a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure bill to fund transportation and water projects. The letter underscores that water conservation, water recycling, watershed management, conveyance, desalination, water transfers, groundwater storage and surface storage are all needed in a diversified management portfolio.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.