Due to bad weather, Russia's wheat crop will be one-fifth smaller than last year. But Russia will remain the No. 1 wheat exporter in the world while the EU pushes the United States into third place, according to a USDA forecast released Tuesday. In its monthly WASDE report, the USDA said farm-gate prices for this year's U.S. corn, wheat and soybean crops would be the highest since the commodity slump began early this decade.
Roughly 16 months ago, at their first hearing for the 2018 farm bill, Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts and Sen. Debbie Stabenow agreed to write a bipartisan bill that would be enacted on time, a seemingly simple goal that has eluded Congress repeatedly. With a committee vote set for Wednesday on their 1,006-page bill, the two committee leaders say they are on the verge of a major bipartisan victory.
Four days after defeating the farm bill, the House quietly delayed Speaker Paul Ryan's attempt to revive the bill until June 22, with GOP leaders hoping that hardline Republicans will vote for it the second time. Members of the House Freedom Caucus provided the decisive votes against the farm bill to underline their demand for a roll call on immigration controls. (No paywall)
With a trade war looming, commodity prices swooning, and the dairy industry in full-blown crisis, a growing number of American farmers are embracing a controversial set of farm policies that would manage the country’s commodity production and stabilize crop prices. No paywall
The farm bill was the missing topic during a 45-minute session recently with farmers in southwestern Missouri, recalls Sen. Roy Blunt. "The farm bill never came up." Instead, growers talked about threats to farm exports, over-regulation and the need for rural broadband. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says low commodity prices, the slump in farm income, attacks on corn ethanol and, most of all, anxiety about a possible trade war are the top concerns in farm country. No paywall
At the same time he threatened an additional $100 billion in tariffs on China, President Trump said on Thursday that the government will use its broad powers to protect U.S. farmers and agricultural interests from “China’s unfair retaliation.”
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue drew a familiar picture of a fragile farm economy recently for lawmakers pondering the 2018 farm bill: income at half its 2013 level, high production costs, debt on the rise, and low commodity prices in the year ahead.
U.S. farmers are headed for massive corn and soybean harvests this year that will mean another year of large stockpiles and will throttle farm-gate prices into the summer of 2019, according to updated USDA projections. The bumper crops would be the latest in a string of record-setting harvests that began early this decade.
When U.S. farmers bring their crops to market this year, they will see “the beginning of gradual price increases that are expected to continue through the decade,” ending the slump that began in 2013, said USDA projections. Prices for most crops, however, will remain below their 10-year average.