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  • Louisiana bill would require country of origin labeling on restaurant menus | The New Food Economy

    Seafood that is sold at grocery stores is subject to federal country-of-origin labeling laws. That same transparency has yet to be extended to restaurants. A bill requiring Louisiana restaurants to label menus with the origins of shrimp and crawfish is winding its way through the state legislature. If passed, the law would be a huge win for Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry, which has been advocating for such a requirement for over a decade. The idea is that diners in Louisiana, when given the choice, would rather eat locally harvested seafood than the imported variety. And without a rule that mandates origin labeling, there’s a lot of room for murky menu language. For example, seafood billed as “Cajun” suggests that it was harvested off the state’s coast. But the term isn’t regulated by any governing agency and could easily refer to a style of cooking—with no guarantee about sourcing.“If tourists that come into Louisiana are biting into a shrimp po’ boy—in their mind, do they think they’re eating imported shrimp or do they think they’re eating shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico?” asked state representative and sponsor of the bill Jerry Gisclair, rhetorically. “Obviously they’re thinking they’re eating fresh Louisiana Gulf shrimp.”

    Post date: Mon, 05/20/2019 - 08:08
  • Wisconsin farmers tells Fox News suicides, bankruptcy rising in rural U.S. amid China trade war | Newsweek

    A National Farmers Union executive and active Wisconsin dairy farmer joined Midwest agricultural leaders this week in condemning President Donald Trump's ongoing trade war with China, warning of increased financial stress and suicide among farmers. Patty Edelburg, vice president of the Washington-based NFU group, which says it represents some 200,000 U.S. farms, appeared on Fox News Thursday and detailed what she viewed as the dire state of American farming amid falling income and commodity prices, resulting in a surging number of bankruptcies, increased financial stress and suicide in the agricultural community. “It has been insane,” Edelburg told America's Newsroom anchors Sandra Smith and Jon Scott Thursday. “We’ve had a lot of farmers—a lot more bankruptcies going on, a lot more farmer suicides. These things are highlighting many of the news stories in our local news."Recent national data and surveys show rural mental health problems are rampant and rising among U.S. farmworkers. 

     

    Post date: Mon, 05/20/2019 - 08:07
  • Trade aid could reach $20B: USDA calculating 'legally defensible' trade damage done to producers | DTN

    Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that a second trade aid package for farmers may total $15 billion to $20 billion, the latter figure $5 billion higher than President Donald Trump has suggested. Perdue said that USDA would calculate "the legally defensible trade damage done to our producers," give that estimate to Trump and would be "prepared to defend those amounts" to the World Trade Organization, where the United States could face charges that it has violated rules on subsidies. Perdue said he could not comment on whether the formula for providing payments to farmers would be different from the last package, in which soybean growers got $1.65 per bushel, corn growers got one cent per bushel and wheat growers got 14 cents.Perdue also said that, although Trump has talked about using a portion of tariff receipts to pay for the aid, he believes that the money will come from the Commodity Credit Corporation, as it did last time.The CCC can spend $30 billion per year, and it is not known whether the CCC is bumping up against its spending cap this late in the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

     

    Post date: Mon, 05/20/2019 - 08:06
  • Oregon Legislature approves environmental 'rollback' bill | Capital Press

    Critics and proponents agree that recently passed legislation intended to shield Oregon from federal “rollbacks” of environmental regulations is meant to send a message. While supporters claim House Bill 2250 signifies the state government’s stand against weakening protections for air, soil and water at the federal level, opponents argue it amounts to an expensive but empty political stunt.The bill was approved by the Senate 16-12 on May 14 after passing the House two months earlier. It’s all but assured of being signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown, who requested the legislation's introduction.Under House Bill 2250, the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Environmental Quality can take or recommend actions to ensure “significantly less protective” federal environmental standards don’t undermine protections at the state level.

    Post date: Thu, 05/16/2019 - 15:43
  • Trade War with China=Economic Disaster | Storm Lake News

    President Trump is worsening an economic disaster by ratcheting up a trade war with China. On Friday the US announced new tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, to which China retaliated on Monday by hiking tariffs on soy, pork and poultry. Soybean futures markets plunged again, after having set a 10-year low late last week. Soy prices on May 10 were about $2.50 per bushel below where they were when Trump won in November 2016. China is our biggest soy customer. Trump slapped on new tariffs when negotiations on a new trade deal fell apart. It takes patience to trade. As you trade, perhaps China gets a little better on human rights.Trump threw a tantrum that will take years to recover from.And it won’t help free Chinese political prisoners or protect Silicon Valley trade secrets one bit.Future markets suggest that investors do not expect a trade deal soon. Put that on top of flooding, and chronically low prices before the trade war, and we find a new farm crisis in the offing. The USDA gave farmers a Trump Bump check of $1.65 per bushel of soy for the first trade war fiasco, and plans to pony up another $15 billion to help ease the pain. But the disaster payment doesn’t add up to the $2.50 per bushel the farmer loses every year because of this trade war.

    Post date: Thu, 05/16/2019 - 15:43

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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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