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Agriculture

Fed survey finds concerns about rising trade tensions

The Federal Reserve reported  that its latest survey of business conditions nationwide found rising concerns over the impact Trump administration trade policies could have on the economy. The Fed’s 12 regional banks said the economy is growing at a moderate pace although three districts — Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City — depicted activity as somewhat below average.While businesses remained optimistic about near-term prospects, the Fed found worries about trade had prompted some businesses to scale back or postpone their capital investment plans.

USDA proposes clearance for catfish from Vietnam, China and Thailand

The Food Safety and Inspection Service plans to publish a Federal Register notice formally designating China, Vietnam and Thailand as eligible countries to export catfish and catfish products to the U.S. FSIS said it determined that the inspection system in each country was “equivalent to the system that the United States has established under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and its implementing regulations.” Congress included provisions in both the 2004 and 2008 farm bills transferring catfish inspection to the USDA, from the FDA. FSIS published a final rule in Dec.

Beware of Disaster Animal Exploiters

For pet owners in the hurricane’s path, it is wise to prepare ahead of time and take steps to ensure your pet’s safety. For those looking to help out or offer financial assistance to rescue efforts, be advised that giving money to the Humane Society of the United States may not do much—if anything—for animals in need. HSUS likes to tout its “rescue team” and pet shelter “partners” during natural disasters.We previously detailed how, in the wake of 2016’s Hurricane Matthew, HSUS gave a measly $8,000 to “help” its shelter partners take in animals.

Farm victim of ‘patent troll’ lawsuit

An Oregon farm that sells organic foods and other products online is accused of patent infringement in a “patent troll” lawsuit.The vaguely threatening letter over alleged patent infringement that Azure Farms received last year didn’t make much of an impression on David Stelzer.Stelzer, the company’s founder and CEO, consulted with his information technology employees, who assumed the letter was a scam.“I didn’t give it a second thought,” he said.Now, the Oregon company is the defendant in a lawsuit that alleges its online website for selling organic food and other products has violated a p

Dairy export numbers hint at tariff effects

Aside from the data, USDEC says numerous exporters have talked of lost contracts, expectations of losing contracts and adjusting prices lower to hold onto market share. U.S. dairy exports in July were seasonably lower and the lowest since January, but they were still ahead of year-ago levels.Suppliers shipped 170,100 tons of milk powders, cheese, butterfat, whey and lactose, up 11 percent over July 2017. Those exports were worth $434 million, a 3 percent increase over a year earlier, U.S.

Federal Reserve September Beige Book

Reports from the Federal Reserve Districts suggested that the economy expanded at a moderate pace through the end of August. Dallas reported relatively brisk growth, while Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Kansas City indicated somewhat below average growth. Consumer spending continued to grow at a modest pace since the last report, and tourism activity expanded, to varying degrees, across the nation. Manufacturing activity grew at a moderate rate in most Districts, though St. Louis described business as little changed and Richmond reported a decline in activity.

USDA raises US, global year-ending corn stocks estimates for 2018-19 to above market expectations

The US Department of Agriculture projected Tuesday domestic corn stocks at the end of the 2018-2019 marketing year, which closes August 31, 2019, to be at 1.774 billion bushels (45.062 million mt), down 228 million bushels from its 2017-2018 estimates of 2.002 billion bushels but up 90 million bushels from its prior forecast for the period.USDA's domestic corn stocks estimates for the next marketing year was within the top end of the range of analysts' expectations of 1.477 to 1.785 billion bushels, but above the average analysts' expectations of 1.693 billion bushel, sources said.The incre

Federal Reserve: Observations on the Ag Economy- August 2018

Since the last report, weekly comparisons indicated lower commodity cash prices for some recently tariffed agriculture exports such as soybeans, and the USDA has announced a financial relief program for affected agriculture producers. Sixth District- Atlanta– “Agriculture conditions across the District continued to be mixed. Drought conditions were little changed from the previous report; most of the District remained drought free although there were reports of abnormally dry conditions in much of Louisiana and in parts of Mississippi and Alabama.

Tariffs Hit Fruit Growers Hard at Harvest

Ray Norwood, Director of Sales and Marketing for Auvil Fruit Co., told the news outlet the operation had to lower prices and find alternative destinations for the cherries. Auvil Fruit Co. exports about 80% of the operations’ cherries. Apple growers are equally nervous about the harvest season this year, with China imposing stiff tariffs on U.S. goods including fruits and nuts in retaliation to a U.S-imposed tariffs on imported goods from China.Tariffs on 10 fruit and tree nut exports are expected to cost U.S.

Tariffs will cost U.S. dairy farmers $1.5B this year

A study by Informa Economics found retaliatory tariffs by China and Mexico will reduce U.S. dairy farmer revenue by $1.5 billion in 2018 and $3 billion in 2019 if they remain in place.While U.S. dairy producers appreciate USDA’s plan to purchase dairy products and increase funding to develop foreign markets in its tariff-mitigation strategy, they say the agency’s plan to distribute $127 million in direct payments to dairy producers falls far short of what’s needed.

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