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VIlsack declares Nationa Farmers Market Week

USDA | Posted on July 14, 2016

VIlsack declares the week of August 7-13 as National Farmers Market Week.

USDA makes it easier to export U.S. meat to Cuba | Posted on July 14, 2016

FSIS last week set updated export requirements for exports to Cuba, including fresh and frozen pork, poultry, beef – and their related products – along with sheep and goat meat. The eligible listings include specific exceptions and several ineligible products under the poultry category based in some cases on the origins of the birds from 13 U.S. states processed before Oct. 20, 2015. Those birds may have been affected by last year’s avian influenza outbreak.   

House to vote on gmo labeling bill

Consumer Reports | Posted on July 14, 2016

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday or Friday on a bill passed last week by the Senate that would nullify Vermont's geneticall modified organisms labeling law, which went into effect July 1, and prevent any state from enacting its own labeling law.

Brexit Could Bring Market, Policy Impacts for U.S. Grains

Hoosier Ag Today | Posted on July 11, 2016

Britain’s decision last month to leave the European Union could have both market and trade policy effects on the U.S. grain industry, though the U.S. Grains Council says exactly how the change could impact farmers’ bottom lines is among the many unanswered questions. The EU does not import large volumes of U.S. corn due to trade barriers related to biotechnology. Overall, the total value of all types of U.S. feed grain and related products that were exported in the 2014/2015 marketing year was about $745 million. Though the initial grain market impact eased quickly, USGC says follow-on effects on exports could be seen from a stronger U.S. dollar. Markets might also face negative impacts from Brexit on the euro area and, to a lesser extent, the global economy, affecting demand for grain and the meat it produces. However, the largest and longest-term impacts of the Brexit on grains could come from the trade policy arena, not the marketplace.

Russia extends ban on Western food | Posted on July 11, 2016

Russia has extended its ban on imports of Western food to the end of 2017.

U.K. Farmland's Bull Run Is Over After Brexit Puts Subsidies in Doubt

AgWeb | Posted on July 7, 2016

U.K. farmland, which for years has rivaled gold as a place for investors to park money in, is starting to lose its allure because of Brexit.  Farmland prices, which began falling in late 2015, should drop or at best stagnate in the next six to 12 months on concern about the industry’s future as the U.K. prepares to exit the European Union, said Simon Gooderham, who focuses on rural property at estate agent Cheffins. Many won’t risk buying land due to uncertainty over trade and EU subsidies farmers depend on, he said.

House vote sends food aid bill to Obama

Agri-Pulse | Posted on July 7, 2016

Legislation that will write into law President Obama's Feed the Future initiative and a new food aid program is headed to the White House for his signature. The House voted 369-53 Wednesday to give final congressional approval to the Global Food Security Act, which would ensure that both Feed the Future and the Emergency Food Security Program extend beyond the Obama administration.

Group drops $2,000 on Senate floor to protest GMO bill

The Hill | Posted on July 7, 2016

Members of the Organic Consumers Association threw money from the Senate gallery onto the floor to protest a vote on a bill to block states from issuing mandatory labeling laws for foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  The protesters yelled "Monsanto Money" and "Sen. Stabenow, listen to the people, not Monsanto" while $2,000 fell to the floor. 

No TPP trade deal? Some Japanese farmers say all the better for them

Los Angeles Times | Posted on July 7, 2016

Rice farmerTerada isn’t following the U.S. presidential election too closely. But there’s one issue that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton seem to agree on — that the U.S. should not ratify the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact — and that’s music to his ears.  “We Japanese farmers can’t compete with the Americans. It costs us almost three times as much to produce rice,” he said on Thursday, watching one of his eight workers sowing seedlings in a wet paddy here in Shizuoka prefecture, a two-hour train ride southwest of Tokyo. “TPP will drive down prices and allow in more imports, and that will be a big problem.”

The Obama administration has said the trade pact — which would bind together the American and Japanese economies with Australia, Mexico and eight other countries — would eliminate more than 18,000 tariffs on made-in-America products and “make sure our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses can compete — and win — in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.”  

Maryland dairy farmer fought the Justice Department — and (finally) won

The Washington Post | Posted on July 7, 2016

Four years after federal agents showed up at his Frederick, Md., farmhouse and told him that they had seized the money in his bank account, dairy farmer Randy Sowers has gotten it all back.  The victory followed political pressure from Congress and legal pressure from the libertarian Institute for Justice on the government to roll back prosecution of the crime of structuring bank deposits to avoid Internal Revenue Service reporting requirements.