Today’s quick hits, March 11, 2019

U.S. corn exports weaken (USDA): Competition from Brazil and Argentina will combine with rising U.S. prices to limit corn exports to 2.375 billion bushels during the 2018/19 marketing year, the second-lowest export total since 2007/08.

Xi and Trump unlikely to meet in March (Financial Times): U.S. ambassador Terry Branstad said no date has been set for Presidents Trump and Xi, of China, to meet, despite hopes for a summit soon to resolve the trade war.

Trump nominates Bernhardt for Interior (White House): The acting Interior secretary, David Bernhardt, was tabbed by President Trump to take the post permanently.

Pesticide registration law is updated (Senate Agriculture): President Trump signed into law a reauthorization of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, which extends EPA authority to collect fees for registration of pesticides and also sets review periods for the chemicals.

Drug tests for food stamps (The Hill): A bill proposed in the Alabama legislature would require people to take a drug test in order to receive food stamps, and they would lose eligibility for benefits if they fail the test more than once.

DDG exports worth $2.47 billion (RFA): Nearly 1 in 3 tonnes of distillers dried grains, a co-product of ethanol production that is used in livestock rations, was exported last year, a total of 11.88 million tonnes worth $2.47 billion.

Australia cotton crop down 48 percent (USDA): With harvest season at hand, Australia’s cotton crop, an estimated 2.5 million bales, is nearly half the size of the previous crop due to persistently hot and dry weather in January and February that reduced yield potential.