A deadly disease sweeping China’s hog barns is reinvigorating the fortunes of U.S. meat companies. Outbreaks of African swine fever have led to the culling of millions of hogs in the world’s top pork market. That is shrinking global meat supplies—and boosting prices. The shift is a welcome one for U.S. meatpackers and farmers, whose hogs remain free of the disease, after a tough patch of low prices driven by record U.S. meat production and China’s tariffs on U.S. meat.
After the devastating floods that hit in March, the US Department of Agriculture will not collect information on harvested grain that was lost.
Purchases of farm equipment plunged by an annualized $900 million in the first quarter, the sharpest drop in three years, as U.S. producers struggle with falling commodity prices and collateral damage from President Donald Trump’s trade wars. The Commerce Department cited the drop in agricultural machinery purchases as a contributor to the paltry 0.2 percent quarterly rise in overall business spending on equipment, also the weakest performance since 2016. The softness in the category came despite promises by Trump and Republican leaders that tax breaks for equipment purchases in the party’s signature tax law would boost investment by farmers and manufacturers.
Airplanes don’t fart. But cows? Exasperated by merciless mocking from Republicans on this matter, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan lectured the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, on the floor of the chamber last month.“The Republican majority leader said that we want to end air travel and cow farts,” Stabenow said. “By the way, just for the record, cows don’t fart. They belch.”The Associated Press surveyed global experts on global warming on this question, as well as an author who wrote the definitive science book on gassy animals, which comes with funny pictures.
An expanding list of Canadian farm exports is hitting obstacles at Chinese ports, leaving sellers of soybeans, peas and pork scrambling amid a bitter diplomatic dispute. China has already blocked Canadian canola from Richardson International and Viterra, two of Canada's biggest farm exporters, saying that shipments had pests. Other China-bound canola cargoes have been cancelled, forcing exporters to re-sell elsewhere at discount.Canadian politicians have said the concerns are baseless, and noted that China detained two Canadians after Canada arrested an executive of Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd in December at the United States' request. China has used non tariff barriers before during diplomatic tensions, most recently against Australian coal.Now traders say Canadian soybeans and peas face unusual obstacles. Ottawa also warned last week that China was holding up pork shipments over paperwork issues.
Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland,” but the milk makers who gave the state its moniker are vanishing, falling prey to a variety of impediments, including President Trump and his global trade war.Over the past two years, nearly 1,200 of the state’s dairy farms have stopped milking cows and so far this year, another 212 have disappeared, with many shifting production to beef or vegetables. The total number of herds in Wisconsin is now below 8,000 — about half as many as 15 years ago. In 2018, 49 Wisconsin farms filed for bankruptcy — the highest of any state in the country, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Corn plantings are off to another slow start but that did not seem to provide much support to corn futures on Monday as all contracts lost ground. The nearby May corn futures closed at 3.695 $/bu, 6.6 cents lower than the close on Friday. December '09 and 10 March futures contracts fell 8.9 and 9 cents, respectively.
As the Midwest continues to recover from the historic flooding, more information is being revealed on the aftermath. The Midwest flooding crisis has already damaged grain and potentially many grain bin structures and is expected to present problems into July, impacting the current planting season. A geospatial intersection of Farm Market iD’s land data with a flood map from March 16 to 24, 2019, showed that Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas are experiencing significant impacts from the flooding.
It takes a few ounces per acre of a herbicide containing glyphosate to kill the weed downy brome. At least, it’s supposed to.But when a farmer sent a sample of the weed to Washington State University professor Ian Burke’s lab, researchers determined it would take seven times the maximum label rate of the herbicide to kill it.That’s an extreme example of a problem that’s become more serious in recent years: herbicide resistance in weeds. For decades, farmers have relied on an array of herbicides to get rid of weeds that compete with their crops and drastically reduce yields. Now, through repeated use of those chemicals, the weeds are developing resistance to them.
Over the past 15 years, the number of U.S. farmworkers has declined by approximately 12%, representing a loss of over 104,000 workers. The greatest decline, in terms of worker numbers, occurred in California and Florida. In 2017, there were 731,300 farmworkers in the United States, down from 836,000 in 2003. California, comprising the largest share of U.S. farmworkers, accounted for the greatest portion of this decline. In 2003, California employed 227,500 farmworkers representing 27.2% of total U.S. farmworkers. In 2017, there were 153,800 farmworkers in California, down 73,700, representing 21.0% of total U.S. farmworkers. In Florida, farmworker numbers declined over the same period by 17,400, from 54,200 in 2003 to 36,800 in 2017.