Trump offers aid to lobster industry and a tariff threat to China

President Trump told the USDA on Wednesday to provide trade war relief to U.S. lobster fishermen and producers and threatened retaliatory tariffs on seafood from China if Beijing fails to buy massive amounts of U.S. food, agricultural, and seafood products this year.

Farm income, stressed this year, may drop sharply in 2021

U.S. farm income, under pressure this year from the trade war and coronavirus pandemic, could fall off a cliff next year when record-setting federal payments are due to end, according to early assessments. A plunge in income could be avoided by cost-cutting on the farm, a recovery in commodity demand, or a new multibillion-dollar round of federal aid, but they are not assured, say analysts.

Covid-19, ‘this global tragedy,’ flattens U.S. ag exports

Throttled by pandemic, U.S. farm exports this year will barely exceed last year's totals, wiping out hopes of a speedy recovery from trade-war losses, said the USDA. Sales to China are rising but slower than projected when the "phase one" trade agreement with Beijing took effect in February, and far from the tripling necessary to satisfy the purchase levels specified in the pact.(No paywall)

Trump tariff payments went to big farm operators

When the Trump administration poured billions of dollars into rural America to mitigate the impact of trade war, "most of it bypassed the country's traditional small and medium-sized farms that were battered by the loss of their export market," said the CBS News program 60 Minutes on Sunday. It's just as likely big farmers will benefit in a big way when the USDA disburses $16 billion in coronavirus-relief cash to farmers and ranchers, said the program.

China may miss ‘phase one’ target for U.S. farm purchases

The “phase one” agreement that de-escalated the China-U.S. trade war calls for China to greatly expand its purchases of U.S. food, agricultural and seafood products this year and in 2021. Former USDA chief economist Joe Glauber said on Tuesday that China will have to accelerate sharply its …

Chance of trade war payments ‘less than 10 percent’

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the odds of a multibillion-dollar round of trade war payments to farmers this year are “less than 10 percent,” although a senior lawmaker said the payments may be "absolutely vital" for survival in the Farm Belt. China will turn to the U.S. market for soybeans “late this spring, this summer,” Perdue predicted during a House Agriculture hearing on Wednesday.

With agreements in hand, fewer farmers expect trade war payments

Farmers are optimistic about the resumption of trade with China and, as a result, fewer of them believe the Trump administration will send trade war payments to producers this year, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. Fewer than half of the producers contacted by the Ag Economy Barometer said they anticipated payments this year, compared to nearly six out of 10 last fall.

Pork to replace soybeans on China’s shopping list

China can satisfy two objectives — filling a huge gap in its meat supply and complying with the "phase one" trade agreement with the United States — by buying American-grown pork, say two Iowa State University economists.

If exports rise, farmers won’t need trade aid, says Perdue

U.S. ag exports have gained limited traction from President Trump's ballyhooed trade victories, but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is optimistic that demand will improve. "I hope we can show that a third round [of trade war payments] is not needed for 2020," Perdue said in a statement. "We still believe farmers want trade rather than aid."