Skip to content Skip to navigation

Federal News

Trump visit to Nebraska highlights tariff beef with Japan

DTN | Posted on May 11, 2016

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump told supporters at a campaign stop in Nebraska that he plans to go tit-for-tat when it comes to tariffs on ag products such as beef.  “There won’t be any more tariffs with Japan, or if there will, we’re going to do it the opposite way to them. "You want to charge a tariff of 38 percent to Nebraska for its beef? Then we’re going to charge you a tariff of 38 percent when you sell your cars to the United States. It’s a very simple thing,’” Trump said. 

Trump added that he would make sure China buys U.S. beef as well. Most of China has not allowed direct imports of U.S. beef. 

Yet Trump opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would lower the tariff on beef going to Japan. Japan's tariffs on beef are 38.5%. Under the TPP, the tariffs will fall over all to 9% over 15 years.

U.S. beef producers have supported TPP partially because it would level the playing field with Australia. Under the existing Australia-Japan FTA Australian beef producers will see their tariff in to Japan drop to 23.5% for chilled beef within 15 years.  The U.S. tariff on imported autos is 2.5% while it is 25% for trucks.

USDA makes $8,7 Million Available for Risk Management Education

USDA | Posted on May 11, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced $8.7 million in cooperative agreements for risk management education and training programs. The funding would give organizations needed resources to develop training and education tools to help farmers and ranchers, especially those traditionally underserved or with limited resources, learn how to effectively managing long-term risks and challenges. Through these partnerships, producers will receive assistance in understanding and using crop insurance programs and other tools so they can make the best risk management decisions for their agricultural operations. Past award recipients have included universities, county cooperative extension offices and nonprofit organizations.

Available funding includes $4.4 million for the Crop Insurance in Targeted States Program. The program backs development of crop insurance education programs where there is a low level of federal crop insurance participation and availability. The targeted states are Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming

Veterinary Feed Directive Coming - Get a Vet Now...

DTN | Posted on May 10, 2016

By January 2017,  if a producer wants to use antibiotics in feed, they will have to have a vet on call to issue a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) or a prescription. The two will also need to have something the FDA has so nimbly named a Veterinarian Client Patient Relationship (VCPR).

Peanuts, John Block Commentary on Trade

OFW Law | Posted on May 10, 2016

As a farmer, I would not like it if Europe shipped subsidized beef into our market. That would undercut our prices. What if Brazil shipped subsidized soybeans to us? We would be furious.

Did you know that the U.S. government does this all of the time? Think about it this way. There are millions of people underfed, some starving, in many countries. The humanitarian thing to do is, send them food. And we should, but it’s not as simple as that.

State vet expresses concerns over organic hen standards

Feedstuffs | Posted on May 9, 2016

State veterinarians across the nation are reviewing a recently proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that eliminates the approval of outdoor porches for hens from the National Organic Program, instead requiring direct exposure of hens to the outdoors. Recently, California state veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones expressed concern with the rule in a comment to USDA.

Jones urged USDA and its Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to reconsider this proposed rule, especially the outdoor access requirements that may pose serious animal health and food safety concerns.

“This proposed change may demonstrate a lack of coordination between federal agencies and will likely stimulate further criticism and frustration from those trying to comply with the cobweb of sometimes conflicting rules and regulations,” Jones wrote on behalf of the California Department of Agriculture. “Not only would eliminating porches seriously curtail the ability of organic egg producers to comply with USDA Veterinary Services’ request to enhance biosecurity barriers to disease introduction from wild birds, but it will also make it difficult for them to comply with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s requirements to prevent the introduction of Salmonella enteritidis from wild birds and other sources.”

USDA Unveils Three-Year Conservation Strategy for Lesser Prairie-Chicken

USDA | Posted on May 2, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the release of a three-year conservation strategy that will guide the voluntary restoration of 500,000 acres of habitat for the lesser prairie-chicken, an iconic grassland bird of the southern Great Plains. The bird has historically suffered from population declines and this strategy is part of an ongoing science-based strategic effort by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to restore grassland and prairie ecosystems while enhancing grazing lands in five states.

NRCS to Help Farmers Measure Conservation Impacts on Water Quality

USDA | Posted on May 2, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the availability of $2 million to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as it leaves their fields, providing data to evaluate the success of various conservation efforts. The funding is available to farmers located across key watersheds in nine states and is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to measure the effectiveness of a wide range of conservation initiatives.  

“Testing the quality of water as it leaves a field helps farmers and USDA understand which conservation practices work best at preventing sediment and nutrient runoff. Verifiable data gives farmers, USDA and other partners information needed to make targeted conservation investments to improve water quality for everyone,” said USDA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Ann Mills.

EPA paying $1 million in response costs after mine spill

Denver Post | Posted on April 30, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it is reimbursing states, tribes and local governments about $1 million for their costs after the agency accidentally triggered a massive wastewater spill from a Colorado mine.

The EPA said the money is being paid to Colorado, New Mexico and Utah state governments, the Navajo Nation and Southern Ute Indian Tribe, and Colorado counties and towns.

Most of the money is for the cost of responding to the spill from the inactive Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado last August. The agency said it is considering requests for another $570,000 in expenses from the immediate aftermath.

USDA Establishes New Partnerships to Link Underserved Farmers to FSA Programs

USDA | Posted on April 29, 2016

The U.S. Department Agriculture announced cooperative agreements with 55 partners to educate farmers and other producers that have historically been underserved by USDA programs offered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Nearly $2.5 million will go to nonprofits, associations, universities, and foundations that will provide training and information on FSA programs that provide financial, disaster or technical support. 

Cooperative agreements between $20,000 and $75,000 are being awarded to organizations headquartered in 28 states, several of whom submitted multi-state or nationwide proposals. A listing of cooperative agreements that have been authorized in Round I can be found on the FSA Outreach Website.

Proposals are being accepted for a second round of funding. Applications are due no later than July 11, 2016.

TTIP and Agriculture: Another Transatlantic Chicken War?

Choices magazine | Posted on April 28, 2016

In 1963 the United States and Europe (EU) were engaged in the infamous Chicken War over new tariffs introduced in Europe. Five decades later, tensions over chicken, now relating to food safety issues, still plague U.S.-EU trade relations in agriculture, and are playing an unfortunate role in influencing European public opinion in the debate about a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

At first glance it would appear that there is nothing new under the sun in U.S.-EU trade relations in the field of food and agriculture. Much has changed, of course, over the past 50 years of U.S.-EU trade relations. The current trade tensions over chicken trade are very different in nature from those of the early 1960s. But the two U.S.-EU encounters over chicken can serve as bookends to the story of how transatlantic trade relations in agriculture have changed in the last half century or so. From serious conflicts over market access in the 1960s to mistrust over food safety regulations in the past two decades the trade relationship has never been harmonious. This article explores briefly the changing nature of U.S.-EU trade relations and concludes with some tentative suggestions for a possible landing ground for the negotiations - See more at: