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Agriculture

US dairy struggles to keep Chinese market under tariffs

U.S. dairy exporters are losing money as they try to maintain their hard-won footholds in the Chinese market amid the rising tariffs resulting from President Donald Trump’s trade war. Some U.S. exporters – sellers of relatively low-cost nonfat dry milk powder – have already had to give up, but many who depend on China to buy whey, cheese and other pricier products are hanging on for now, says U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) President and CEO Tom Vilsack.It’s a tough situation that’s only degrading as U.S. companies lose ground to competitors in Australia, Europe and New Zealand.

U.S. farm group would support supply management in NAFTA

Agriculture amounts to a small part of NAFTA trade volume but it is a major sticking point for U.S. and Canadian negotiators who are scheduled to resume negotiations on the new NAFTA on Wednesday. The second-largest U.S. farm group said the White House ought to adopt the dairy supply management system that it reportedly is trying to eliminate in Canada and reinstate country-of-origin labeling on beef. Canada is unlikely to yield on supply management, which has broad domestic political support, wrote associate professor Michael von Massow of the University of Guelph.

With industry in decline, wild blueberries sing the blues

The Maine wild blueberry industry harvests one of the most beloved fruit crops in New England, but it’s locked in a downward skid in a time when other nutrition-packed foods, from acai to quinoa, dominate the conversation about how to eat. And questions linger about when, and if, the berry will be able to make a comeback. The little blueberries are touted by health food bloggers and natural food stores because of their hefty dose of antioxidants.

Corn to wheat, agriculture prices enduring near-perfect storm

Despite another bin-busting U.S. corn-belt production year, trade tensions and the plunging Brazilian real, grain prices are relatively stalwart. For prices to sustain lower, it appears the near-perfect bear-market storm conditions need to endure — that’s unlikely. Led by wheat, the Bloomberg Grains Spot Index is up almost 2% in 2018 to Aug. 28. Broad agriculture is down almost 5% on the back of a 20% slump in the softs and real. Total returns are lower due to steep contangos but indicating improvement. The wheat one-year future curve leads major commodities moving toward backwardation.

NMPF Statement on USDA Trade Aid Package

“Today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on its tariff mitigation plan falls far short of addressing the losses dairy producers are experiencing due to trade retaliation resulting from the Trump Administration’s imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs.

Russian wheat export restrictions expected

The last couple of weeks have seen some news out of Russia that have resulted in dramatic price swings. To catch up, a few Fridays ago rumors begin to circulate that the Russian Agriculture Ministry intended to curb wheat export demand by placing limits on shipments once exporters hit 30 million metric tons of exports. This hit the news not by an official announcement from the Russian government, but from a word-of-mouth exchange with one of the exporters allegedly present during a discussion about this potential policy.

Russian agriculture's quiet rise

The challenges of rural America and Russian political interference seem on opposite spectrums of connectedness, until one stops to examine how Russia is poised to benefit from the current turbulence in global trade policy. Is the Trump administration truly crafting new trade frameworks, or is the Russian agriculture sector building its future on the bankruptcies of America's breadbasket? The current deck is undeniably stacked against U.S.

Animal agriculture stats were wrong

A recent letter describing the detrimental effects of animal agriculture on the environment contains, as usual, incorrect statistics and facts. The writer states that animal agriculture can be blamed for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The global figure is 10 percent, with most leading scientists and the Environmental Protection Agency putting U.S. animal agriculture emissions at about 3 percent to 4 percent.This is in comparison to GHG emissions of electricity, transportation and industry at 33.28 percent and 20 percent respectively.

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