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Federal News

EPA may limit state restrictions on pesticide use, such as Dicamba

DTN | Posted on March 25, 2019

After months of denials and vague language, EPA has confirmed it is considering limiting the ability of states to restrict pesticide use beyond the federal label. State regulators are expressing alarm at this development, particularly those dealing with widespread dicamba injury, which appears to be the catalyst for EPA's announcement.At issue is Section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which allows states to grant "special local needs" (SLN) labels that supplement federal pesticide labels. Several states in the Midwest and South have used 24(c) labels to limit use of new dicamba formulations for the past few years, in an effort to control overwhelming off-target injury complaints to crops and plants. For example, most recently, Illinois granted a 24(c) label with a June 30 cut-off date for XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan in the state.

China corn purchase spurs optimism for future trade

Agri-Pulse | Posted on March 25, 2019

The USDA announced Friday that China is making a significant purchase of U.S. corn after years of deteriorating trade, spurring hope that the trade talks between the two countries are producing real progress that could have lasting effects. The USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service announced Friday morning an export sale of 300,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to China and U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight says he hopes it’s a sign that the two countries are working out their biotech regulatory concerns.

US beef facing possible tariff hike in Japan, TPP members not affected

Beef Central | Posted on March 25, 2019

The United States is facing the prospect of potentially significant tariff increases on its beef exports to Japan in coming months, hikes its main competitors would be safeguarded from due to economic partnership agreements with the country.

FDA Chief Warns CBD Rulemaking Could Take Years Without Congressional Action

Marijuana Moment | Posted on March 21, 2019

The outgoing head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggested on Tuesday that it would take several years for the agency to come up with rules around allowing hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) in food products—unless Congress steps in. At a Brookings Institution event, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recognized that there’s strong interest among the cannabis industry and lawmakers in developing a regulatory framework through which CBD from hemp could be extracted, sold and introduced into the food supply. The problem is that “CBD didn’t previously exist in the food supply, and it exists as a drug under the statute.”“It can’t just be put into the food supply,” he said, arguing that current law only allows the FDA to “contemplate putting a drug that wasn’t previously in the food supply into the food supply if it goes through a rulemaking process.”

US eases land restrictions meant to protect Sage Grouse in West

AP News | Posted on March 20, 2019

 The Trump administration on Friday finalized changes to sweeping federal land use plans for the West, easing restrictions on energy companies and other industries in a way officials said would still protect a struggling bird species. The Trump administration on Friday finalized changes to sweeping federal land use plans for the West, easing restrictions on energy companies and other industries in a way officials said would still protect a struggling bird species.

Brazil move opens door to U.S. wheat imports

Capital Press | Posted on March 20, 2019

A new agreement between the U.S. and Brazil means U.S. wheat farmers will compete on a level playing field to sell their crop to that South American nation. U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers welcomed the news that Brazil has agreed to a duty-free tariff rate quota for wheat, a longstanding obligation under that nation’s World Trade Organization commitments.The agreement opens an annual opportunity for U.S. wheat farmers to sell up to 750,000 metric tons — about 28 million bushels — of wheat tariff-free to Brazil under the TRQ, the two organizations said in a press release.

Supreme Court will take up immigration-related case next term

CNN | Posted on March 20, 2019

The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a case next term concerning Kansas' prosecution of three undocumented immigrants for using stolen Social Security numbers in an effort to gain employment.Those convictions were overturned when the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the federal immigration law at issue preempts a state from prosecuting undocumented immigrants, when the basis of the claim comes from information that has been culled from federal immigration forms.The case raises the question about the extent to which federal immigration law preempts states from also trying to enforce immigration law.

Trump sends US officials to investigate land expropriation in South Africa

Business Tech | Posted on March 20, 2019

A number of US officials visited South Africa at the request of President Donald Trump as part of an investigation into the country’s land expropriation process. Trump raised eyebrows in 2018 after he tweeted that the South African government was ‘seizing land from white farmers’.Trump asked his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to study the seizure and expropriation of land in South Africa, along with the killing of farmers.

USDA adds new website on pests and diseases

USDA | Posted on March 20, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is launching a new “Pests and Diseases” webpage. The new page lists all pest and disease programs managed by APHIS as part of its mission to protect American agriculture and natural resources. On the new page, users can search by type (plant, animal), keyword (avian, fruit fly, cotton), or by the specific pest or disease (coconut rhinoceros beetle, brucellosis). You can also scroll through the page, which lists the pests and diseases alphabetically and includes a corresponding image.APHIS created the webpage to make it easier for its customers to find critical information on pests and diseases of concern. With this tool, members of the public will have the information they need to report pests and diseases and together we can protect America’s agriculture and natural resources.

US GDP will lose $290 billion due to tariffs

AEM | Posted on March 19, 2019

With tariffs continuing to take a toll on U.S. businesses, farmers, communities, and families across the country, a new report by IHS Markit outlines the impact of tariffs on the equipment manufacturing industry and the broader U.S. economy. “This report shows that tariffs continue to take a toll on U.S. equipment manufacturers, who will pay significantly more to manufacture equipment in the United States in the coming years,” said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). “Tariffs on steel, aluminum, and Chinese imports, as well as the potential for additional tariffs, are driving up the cost of production, delaying capital investments, and impeding job creation for our more than 1,000 member companies.”