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  • Ernst stikes back at Trump advisor comment that trade losses are "rounding error" | Ernst Senate Website

    Even as the Trump administration’s trade war with China starts to bite farm country, producers aren’t getting a lot of sympathy from White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.  Navarro, speaking from the White House lawn , said the trade losses due to China’s new tariffs amount to a “rounding error.” Some soybean growers already are expected to go out of business later this year due to the depressed prices that resulted from China’s 25 percent retaliatory tariff. Senator Ernst released the following statement, with regard to White House trade advisor Peter Navarro telling CNBC that theeconomic impact of a trade war is a mere “rounding error,” and that the administration is playing a broader “chess board”: “Mr. Navarro, America’s farmers are caught in the crosshairs of this game of ‘chess.’ Offhand comments like the ones that Mr. Navarro made in his interview with CNBC today disregard the people whose livelihoods depend on global trade. In Iowa alone, more than 456,000 jobs are supported by trade, and these new tariffs are threatening $977 million in state exports.  That is no ‘rounding error.’ Those are real people – Iowans – who are waiting for terms to be negotiated, for new deals to be finalized.  We need to lessen the pressure on these hard-working farmers, and let them sell their goods.

     

    Post date: Fri, 07/20/2018 - 05:58
  • Gov. Reynold signs executive order aiming to help rural Iowa communities | Siouxland Proud

    Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is hoping to help rural areas of the state through an executive order.  Reynolds signed the order Wednesday that creates the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, according to a release. They say the initiative will identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes through a partnership with the Iowa Rural Development Council. with co-chairs Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Sandy Ehrig of the Iowa Rural Development Council.

    Post date: Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:04
  • Maine legislator badly burned by fire on farm | Central Maine

    Representative Craig Hickman reportedly was burned on his legs and chest during the Tuesday morning incident. A state representative from Winthrop was burned badly Tuesday morning while attempting to light a brush pile on fire but was expected to make a full recovery.

    Post date: Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:09
  • Ohio Governor Kasich signs order to toughen control of fertilizer pollution | Toledo Blade

     Frustrated by lawmakers’ refusal to consider a bill to get tougher on sources of agricultural pollution feeding Lake Erie’s chronic toxic algae problem, Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday took matters into his own hands with an executive order. “This is just requiring farmers to figure out a way to manage their land in a more effective and environmentally friendly way,” the Republican governor said. “I believe that farmers want to do that.”Under the order, his administration will ask the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission at its July 19 meeting to designate eight watersheds or portions of watersheds with high phosphorous levels within the Maumee River Basin as “distressed.” That would trigger the writing of rules affecting all agricultural nutrient sources, including such things as storage, handling, and application of manure; erosion and sediment control from the land; and other agricultural practices. Civil penalties could apply for violations.

    Post date: Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:07
  • Is the "organic" seal worth it, given disputes on standards? | ABC News

    Is paying more for organic milk, meat or a can of beans worth it? The "USDA Organic" label generally signifies a product is made with relatively minimal synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and that animals are raised according to certain guidelines. But disputes over the rules, and questions about adherence, may raise doubts about whether the price is justified.A federal audit in September found the U.S. Department of Agriculture was "unable to provide reasonable assurance" that required documents for imported organic grains were reviewed at domestic ports of entry, among other weaknesses. The Washington Post last year had reported that massive shipments of the imported grains intended mostly for animal feed were wrongly labeled as organic, and also questioned practices by major organic dairy and egg producers.Some farmers also say practices have strayed from the spirit of the rules about organic food, and are planning new labels.

    Post date: Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:06

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STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL LEADERS is where state leaders find the answers they need on agriculture and rural policy issues.

Gleanings

Talk to your governor about the Opportunity Zones in your state

30 January, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017

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Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  

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