Author of ‘Freedom to Farm’ law, Pat Roberts, to retire after 40 years in Congress

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, the only lawmaker to chair the Senate and House Agriculture committees, will retire in 2020 after four decades in Congress. Roberts was the author of the landmark Freedom to Farm law of 1996 that removed most federal controls over what crops farmers grow.

China signals shift from self-sufficiency in food crops

In its closely watched "number one document" on rural policy, the Chinese government omitted any mention of "basic self-sufficiency" in food crops, moving away from expensive subsidies that created the world's largest stockpiles of wheat, corn and rice, said Reuters. The deputy head of the Communist Party's rural policy group told reporters the focus is shifting to balancing supply and demand, "improving quality and competitiveness, and enhancing agricultural sustainable development ability."

The crop report outlook: crops get bigger, so do surpluses

High corn and soybean yields will bring bumper crops, traders said in anticipation of the USDA Crop Production and WASDE reports to be issued today. In surveys by Bloomberg and Reuters, analysts said the fall harvest will be bigger than thought a month ago, which will fatten U.S. inventories and hold down commodity prices for months to come.