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Farmers helped propel Trump to the White House. Their loyalty is being tested by his trade war.

In good years, cargo trains moving west along the flat, sweeping grasslands of North Dakota’s plains are a sign of money rolling in. Today, as tariffs from America’s largest foreign soybean market -- China -- threaten to upend the industry, many trains sit idle.“There are no shuttle trains leaving. There is no nothing,” said Joe Ericson, the 38-year-old president of the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association.

The number of migrant children in Texas shelters spiked again, reaching a new high under Trump

The number of unaccompanied minor children held in Texas shelters reached a new high in October, months after the administration of President Donald Trump ended its policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border.There were 5,385 children living at privately run shelters for unaccompanied youth as of Oct. 18, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which regulates the federally funded shelters.

A change to farm bill conservation efforts could spell disaster for the corn belt

The Conservation Stewardship Program began as the Conservation Security Program in the 2002 Farm Bill, and its current iteration was first authorized in the 2008 bill. The nation’s leading conservation program by acreage, CSP pays farmers to improve their practices in ways that benefit the air, water, and soil without taking land out of rotation like the Conservation Reserve Program requires them to do.

China wants to stop buying American soybeans entirely

First, Beijing slapped tariffs on American soybeans. Now, it wants to wean its farmers off them altogether. China has been facing a potential soybean shortage after it put a new 25% tariff on importing them from the United States in July, part of the escalating trade war between the two countries.China is the world's biggest buyer of soybeans, using them as a protein-rich feed for livestock such as pigs and chickens. More than a third of its supply comes from the United States.Beijing's solution to get by without US beans?

USDA suspends pork imports from Poland over African swine fever concerns

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has suspended pork imports from Poland over concerns about export protocols in the country as it deals with an outbreak of African swine fever. According to APHIS, a routine review of ongoing operations revealed one Polish facility exporting pork to the U.S.

Wilbur Ross opens new front in trade war with $11M in fish farm grants

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross doled out $11 million Wednesday aimed at jumpstarting the U.S. aquaculture industry, or fish farming, and limiting dependence on foreign seafood imports. “With such vast coastlines, there is no reason the United States should be importing billions of pounds of seafood each year,” Ross said. Growing a domestic aquaculture industry would create jobs while making the nation more food secure, he said.The U.S. imported more than 6 billion pounds of seafood, more than $21.5 billion worth, in 2017, according to the agency.

Behind the partisan fight to eliminate the contry's largest conservation program

The 2018 farm bill has stalled weeks after its predecessor lapsed—and so, it seems, have negotiations. Congress, now in recess, has yet to mend the gulf between two competing versions: a Senate version with bipartisan support, and the House bill, which proposes serious cuts to federal conservation programs as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.Republican representatives have framed these cuts as a financial necessity.

Edible cottonseed review shifts to FDA

Cottonseed could become a high-protein food option, providing a boon to cotton growers, if FDA signs off on a new genetically engineered variety. Traditional cottonseed is toxic for humans and most animals because it contains a poisonous substance called gossypol. But a team of ag scientists at Texas A&M developed a type of cottonseed that contains very low levels of gossypol, making it edible for humans — and creating the possibility that the tree nut could help address global malnutrition. USDA green-lighted the biotechnology on Tuesday.

Trump team makes controversial change to allow chicken plants to operate at faster speeds

The Trump administration is now allowing more chicken-processing plants to operate at faster speeds, a controversial move that some fear will hurt workers and chicken consumers by lowering safety standards. Plants that receive a waiver from the Trump administration will be able to process up to 175 birds per minute, up from the old limit of 140 birds per minute.

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