The United States lost its place as the world's largest wheat exporter a decade ago, and now its leadership in exports of corn, cotton and tree nuts is being challenged, said a new USDA report. "Changes in global patterns of production and agricultural markets affected U.S. export competitiveness during the last two decades," said the Economic Research Service.
One of the top importers of U.S. corn, Mexico is forecast to harvest a record 26 million tonnes of the crop during the 2016/17 crop year, thanks to larger plantings and favorable rainfall, says USDA's World Agricultural Production report. The crop would exceed the mark set last season of 25.9 million tonnes.
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."
President-elect Donald Trump says he will stop recent steps toward reconciliation between the U.S. and Cuba unless the island makes "a better deal," says the Los Angeles Times. U.S. farm and food exports to Cuba flow under a 2000 law, separate from the executive orders used by President Obama to normalize relations with Cuba.