Difficult choices when crop insurance, disaster aid and Trump’s bailout intersect

The farm safety net offers many strands of support to farmers swamped by a historically slow planting season, but the strands pull in different directions, says associate professor Bradley Lubben, of the University of Nebraska. "The complexity for producer decision-making is compounded," he said, when potential Trump tariff payments and disaster aid are woven into traditional crop subsidies and crop insurance.

White House targets ag provisions in veto threat of mammoth funding bill

The U.S. House opened debate on a mammoth federal spending bill, including money for the USDA, on Tuesday under the threat of a presidential veto of the $322 billion bill. The White House said it opposed half a dozen USDA provisions in the bill, including language that would preclude relocating two research agencies to Kansas City and implementing a new inspection system for hog-slaughter plants.

Time for a deal with China, say farm-state senators

Half a dozen farm-state senators urged Trump trade officials on Thursday to speedily resolve the Sino-U.S. trade war that is compounding hard times on the farm. Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts brushed aside assurances of a rosy future when trade deals are completed. “Some farmers aren’t going to make it,” he said.

As soggy fields prevent planting, U.S. corn production set to drop 5 percent

U.S. farmers’ plans for a bin-busting corn harvest this year are being washed away by relentlessly rainy spring weather, said the USDA on Tuesday. It projected a corn crop that is 5 percent smaller than last year, foiling May predictions of the second-largest crop ever. In one month, the …

First the Trump tariff payments and then the trade deals, says president

The government will send billions of dollars in trade war payments to farmers over the next two months or so, said President Trump in Iowa on Tuesday, with the promise of booming business with China, Japan and Mexico in the near future. “Within a year and a half, I would say, you’ll …

Trade war and planting delays erode farmer confidence

U.S. farmers don’t expect the Sino-US trade war to end soon and fewer of them expect to be winners when it does, said a Purdue poll released on Tuesday. The monthly Ag Economy Barometer said farmer confidence was the the lowest since October 2016, wiping out the “Trump bump” that followed the …

Chaotic spring may lead Trump administration to loosen limits on trade aid

USDA lawyers may have an answer this week on whether Trump tariff payments, intended to mitigate the impact of the trade war, can be given to farmers unable to plant a crop this year, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday.

Trump tariffs target top U.S. ag trade partner

Just months after retaliatory tariffs deposed China as the leading customer for U.S. farm exports, President Trump threatened import duties of up to 25 percent on Mexico, the No. 1 food and ag trade partner of the United States. Farm groups fear the trade war will cut deeper into the shrinking global market for U.S. crops and livestock.

Smallest U.S. ag exports in three years amid trade war

The trade war with China and low commodity prices will combine to slash U.S. farm exports by 4.5 percent this fiscal year, said the USDA on Thursday in a quarterly forecast. Exports of $137 billion would be the smallest since 2016, when exports bottomed out following the collapse of the commodity boom.