The dicamba "issue" — widespread reports of crop damage from using the weedkiller — "isn't going away, in fact it's only getting worse," said Ron Moore, the American Soybean Association president and an Illinois farmer. "We are committed to establishing both a cause and a path forward ... including what actions need to be taken to assure that soybean farmers can use the product safely without damaging their own or their neighbors’ crops."
President Trump selected Steve Censky of the American Soybean Association to be deputy agriculture secretary, announced the White House in a decision applauded by farm groups. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has put agricultural trade at the top of his agenda, and Censky would reflect that priority.
Congressional leaders have said repeatedly that they won't call the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement for a vote in the post-election session, but farm groups are undeterred in pushing for action, said Feedstuffs. "The TPP has huge potential benefits for soybean farmers," said Richard Wilkins, president of the American Soybean Association, both in exports and in higher domestic demand for livestock feed to satisfy the growing foreign demand for meat.
Six U.S. farm groups challenged Dannon USA's pledge to switch to non-GMO ingredients in its yogurt as "the exact opposite of the sustainable agriculture you claim to the seeking." The chairman of the National Milk Producers Federation, Randy Mooney, said, "This is just marketing puffery, not any true innovation that improves the actual product offered to consumers."
Two researchers at Cornell say the factors behind the decline in monarch butterfly populations are wider spread than the loss of milkweed, their summertime food source. They say the list includes sparse nectar sources in the fall, adverse weather and fragmentation of habitat.
The farm group representing U.S. soybean growers gave its support to making cotton eligible for crop subsidies as an oilseed as well as having its own subsidy program as a textile fiber. Soybeans and cotton are grown throughout the South and Southwest.
The Agriculture Department distributed $200 million in cost-sharing funds to 84 organizations to promote U.S. farm exports and to build markets for the products overseas.