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Now 11 countries are going ahead with TPP without the US

A major 11-country agreement goes into effect Sunday, reshaping trade rules among economic powerhouses like Japan, Canada, Mexico and Australia — but the United States won't be a part of it.That means that Welch's grape juice, Tyson's pork and California almonds will remain subject to tariffs in Japan, for example, while competitors' products from countries participating in the new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership will eventually be duty-free.Japan will offer similar tariff relief to the European Union, in a separate trade deal set to go into effect on F

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

he 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. The administration recently published new criteria spelling out what it would take to get a waiver.

 

Federal order prices reflect a bleak milk price landscape

The Class I mover ranged from a low of 13.36/cwt in March to a high of just $16.33 in October. At no time did the Class I mover in 2018 close higher than the December 2017 price of $16.88.The Class I mover is the base price for fluid milk prices, with differentials then added on top of the mover to determine the fluid milk minimum price for each Federal Order. In the Midwest, for example, a $1.80 differential is commonly added to the Class I mover; in Florida, the differential can be $5.40.The Class III price ranged from a low of $13.40/cwt in February to a high of $16.09 in September.

2018 Farm Bill: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

As we began reading details from the recently passed 2018 Farm Bill, it reminded us of the old 1960s Spaghetti Western starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” except in this case no one is likely to end up with the gold. Let’s start with the good.The farm bill eliminates the long-standing prohibition against the growing of industrial hemp on US farms. In addition, the recently passed legislation increases the maximum number of acres that can be enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program from 24 million to 27 million acres.

More on the Farm Bill

But the new Farm Bill also has a lot of other good attributes. They include: — Reform of the failed insurance program for dairy farmers. The old system is known as the Margin Protection Program and it was a failure. A lot of dairy farmers facing difficult markets and prices couldn’t get relief from the program despite contributions to it.

The farm bill, hemp legalization and the status of CBD

Typically, cannabis is not part of the conversation around farm subsidies, nutritional assistance, and crop insurance. The new Farm Bill does not create a completely free system in which individuals or businesses can grow hemp whenever and wherever they want. There are numerous restrictions. Hemp cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC, per section 10113 of the Farm Bill.Second, there will be significant, shared state-federal regulatory power over hemp cultivation and production.

U.S. Farmers Fear Lucrative Japanese Exports Will Wither

After seeing exports to China tumble, U.S. farmers and ranchers are now bracing for more losses in their next-biggest Asian market: Japan. On Dec. 30, Tokyo will begin cutting tariffs and easing quotas on products sold by some of American agriculture’s biggest competitors—including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Chile—as part of the new 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
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China bans raising pigs in wild boar areas to block swine fever

China’s agriculture ministry will ban pig farming in areas inhabited by wild boars to prevent the spread of highly contagious African swine fever. China, the world’s top pork producer, has reported more than 80 outbreaks of African swine fever across the country since early August, leading to the culling of hundreds of thousands of pigs.The ministry said last month a strain of the virus found in a wild boar was different from the one circulating among pigs, and it warned of the risks of an additional strain infecting its domestic herd.

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