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U.S. bankers say lower ag income pressures farm finances

Farm incomes and agrarian credit conditions continued to erode in the third quarter of 2018, as economic pressure from the U.S.-China trade war has bankers seeing loan repayment rates fall, according to separate reports released on Thursday by the Federal Reserve Banks of Kansas City and St. Louis.

USDA says nearly $840 million in aid paid to farmers to date

U.S. Department of Agriculture has paid out nearly $840 million to farmers to date as part of a promised $12 billion aid program rolled out by President Donald Trump last July to offset losses from the imposition of tariffs on American exports. A total of $837.8 million to date has been paid out with the top five commodities being soybeans, wheat, corn, dairy and hogs, USDA told Reuters.

Farm bill negotiators struggle with forestry, other issues in closing deal

Farm bill negotiators are struggling to work out deals on forestry regulations, commodity program eligibility rules and other issues with a goal of finalizing an agreement that Congress can vote on before adjourning in December. Conaway said he was gearing up to pitch the final bill to his fellow Republicans, who will lose control of the House in January.

Bayer faces billion-dollar losses related to legal claims of deadly Roundup herbicide

Jurors found that Monsanto, now owned by Bayer in a $66 billion merger, had acted with malice and negligence in failing to warn Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, about the cancer risks associated with Roundup and its key ingredient, glyphosate. Johnson is now suffering from late-stage non-Hodgkins lymphoma.The German-based company Bayer merged with Monsanto in June 2018, just two months before the California jury ruled unanimously in favor of Mr. Johnson.

China rules: The land that failed to fail

In the uncertain years after Mao’s death, long before China became an industrial juggernaut, before the Communist Party went on a winning streak that would reshape the world, a group of economics students gathered at a mountain retreat outside Shanghai. There, in the bamboo forests of Moganshan, the young scholars grappled with a pressing question: How could China catch up with the West? It was the autumn of 1984, and on the other side of the world, Ronald Reagan was promising “morning again in America.” China, meanwhile, was just recovering from decades of political and economic turmoil.

A $12 billion program to help farmers stung by Trump's trade war has aided few

America’s farmers have been shut out of foreign markets, hit with retaliatory tariffs and lost lucrative contracts in the face of President Trump’s trade war. But a $12 billion bailout program Mr. Trump created to “make it up” to farmers has done little to cushion the blow, with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far.According to the Department of Agriculture, just $838 million has been paid out to farmers since the first $6 billion pot of money was made available in September. Another pool of up to $6 billion is expected to become available next month.

New CDC report corrects inaccurate data on farmer suicides

Farmers face many stresses and farm income is continuing to fall, but a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that farmers are not the workers with the highest suicide rate in America.That distinction belongs to workers in construction and "extraction" jobs, like mining and drilling, according to the new CDC analysis.

USDA terminates Chinese-owned Smithfield farm aid contract

The U.S. Department of Agriculture terminated a $240,000 purchase contract with Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods that had been awarded under the Trump administration’s agricultural trade bailout program, a move taken at the company’s request, a department spokesman told Reuters. The move comes weeks after Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, one of the country’s biggest farm states and the biggest hog-producing state, slammed Smithfield for receiving what he said was aid from the USDA that was meant to help American farmers hurt by China’s trade tariffs.

House offers deal, dropping some demands on SNAP

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., needs to read a joint farm bill offer from House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, D-Texas, and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., before commenting on it, a spokeswoman for Roberts said Friday."We'll have to read it first, but it's a good sign," Meghan Cline, Roberts' press secretary, said in an email.Earlier, Politico reported that Conaway and Peterson had come up with a joint offer.


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