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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 1st

Perdue Calls Openness to Further Trade Aid Inaccurate

The Trump administration this week signaled a willingness to provide more trade aid to farmers if needed. However, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the claims are untrue. While in Iowa, Perdue stated, “I’m afraid that’s not accurate,” adding it could be miscommunication, as reported by the Des Moines Register. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Monday that the Trump Administration has allocated $12 billion for farmers, and that they “stand ready to do more if necessary.” Perdue has repeatedly ruled out any new trade aid for 2019. The Department of Agriculture this week extended the deadline to certify acres under the Market Facilitation Program to May 17. The program has already paid producers more than $8 billion for losses that occurred in 2018 as a result of retaliatory tariffs from China. Perdue says the President has not discussed any further trade aid for farmers with him. Talks with China could conclude within the next two weeks, and a possible agreement may be signed in June.

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Canada and Japan Strengthening Trade Relationship

Following a visit to the United States, Japan’s Prime Minister met with Justin Trudeau (true-doh) of Canada to strengthen trade ties. In a news release from Canada, officials say the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the strategic partnership between Canada and Japan. The two leaders also discussed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Canada says is already creating good, middle-class jobs and new opportunities for businesses in Canada and Japan. Canada and Japan are partners in the CPTPP, a free trade agreement between Canada and ten other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which was created after the U.S. left the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Canada agriculture has preferential tariffs now for products to Japan, compared with the United States. Japan was the number one importer of Canadian pork in 2018 worth C$1.3 billion. Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe (sheen-zoh ah-bay, and Trudeau finalized two memorandums on trade focusing on tech innovation and trade, as part of their meetings last week.

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Mexican Labor Bill a Step Towards USMCA

Lawmakers in Mexico this week took a step towards implementing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mexico’s Senate approved a bill that overhauls the country’s labor code. The move was a pre-condition for U.S. Democrats in the House of Representatives for considering the agreement. Bloomberg News reports Mexican lawmakers raced to pass the bill before the end of their session Tuesday to allow their counterparts in the U.S. to take up discussion of the trade deal. Mexico’s Senate voted 120-0 in favor of the bill that was previously passed by the nation’s lower chamber. The bill gives workers the right to vote on unions and labor contracts through secret ballots. However, to complete USMCA, other conditions remain, including the desired removal of section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico. Canada has hinted that the nation may not approve USMCA until the tariffs are removed. U.S. lawmakers are expected to consider the trade agreement later this year.

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USDA Announces Web-Based Tool to Help Determine Dairy Coverage

A new web-based tool helps dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage program. Announced by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Tuesday, the tool was developed by the Department of Agriculture and the University of Wisconsin. The tool was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest financial safety net. It allows farmers to simplify their coverage level selection by combining operation data and other key variables to calculate coverage needs based on price projections. The Dairy Margin Coverage program, authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost, known as the margin, falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. The program replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for the new program opens on June 17. The web-based tool is available at fsa.usda.gov.

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Weed Scientists Launch No Pigweed Left Behind Campaign

A new campaign seeks to help growers fight back against weeds and resistance. The Ohio State University has worked with the United Soybean Board and the Ohio Soybean Council to launch a “No Pigweed Left Behind” campaign in their state, where pigweeds have been spotted in multiple counties. The “No Pigweed Left Behind” campaign is designed to raise grower awareness and to provide specific tips and techniques for controlling the weed before it goes to seed. Now, the Weed Science Society of America is promoting the campaign nationwide. Tips from the campaign encourage growers to know what pigweed looks like. The pigweed family includes Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, spiny amaranth, smooth pigweed and redroot pigweed. Also, the campaign encourages growers to be careful of cross-contamination, scout for pigweed, and to be smart about herbicide selection. Finally, the campaign says it’s important to avoid seed dispersal during harvest, and to use safe removal techniques that do not spread weed seeds. For more information, visit http://www.wssa.net.

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USDA Report Highlights Rural Broadband Need

A new report from the Department of Agriculture highlights the need for agricultural to have access to rural broadband. Specifically, the report found rural broadband and the next generation of precision agriculture tools are critical components for creating access to resources, tools and opportunity for America’s farmers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the findings Tuesday. The report shows technology on farms and ranches throughout the U.S. could result in at least $47 billion in national economic benefits every year. Perdue states USDA is committed to “doing our part to clear the way for nationwide broadband connectivity.” The report also finds that if broadband infrastructure and digital technologies at scale were available at a level that meets estimated producer demand, the U.S. economy could realize benefits equivalent to nearly 18 percent of total agriculture production. Of that 18 percent, more than one-third is dependent on broadband e-connectivity, equivalent to at least $18 billion in annual economic benefits that only high-speed, reliable internet can provide.

 

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.