The Republican Party is out with a draft platform that is thin on details – while sticking to Donald Trump’s campaign themes. 

The 16-page document released Monday includes calls to revoke China’s permanent normal trade relations and to impose across-the-board tariffs on imported products. It also calls for rolling back regulations, including the tailpipe emission standards that would push motorists toward electric vehicles. 

Other than a reference to farmers in the trade chapter, the platform steers clear of directly addressing agriculture. By contrast, the 2016 GOP platform was 66 pages. It emphasized the importance of agricultural exports to the U.S. economy and called for removing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program from USDA. Republicans didn't adopt a new platform in 2020.

Take note: The 2024 platform makes reference to Trump’s suggestion that raising tariffs could offset lost revenue from income tax cuts. “As Tariffs on Foreign Producers go up, Taxes on American Workers, Families and Businesses can come down,” the platform says in a chapter titled. “Protect American Workers and Farmers from Unfair Trade.”

The platform also promises to begin the “largest deportation program in American history,” targeting “criminal gangs and Illegal Aliens.”

Heinrich: Biden needs ‘clear path’ to beating Trump

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, the Democrat who chairs the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, is one of the latest in his party to raise concerns about President Biden’s re-election race.

“I love Joe Biden. He’s the most accomplished President of my lifetime and he’s a genuinely wonderful human being. However, what I care most about is the preservation of our democracy,” Heinrich said in a statement posted Monday on X.  Heinrich went on to say that Biden “needs to continue to demonstrate that his debate performance was just a bad night, and that he has a clear path to defeating Donald Trump.”

Heinrich’s subcommittee writes annual spending bills for USDA and FDA.

Farmers National sees signs of settling in land values

Farmers National Co. says in its mid-year report that the agricultural land market is showing signs of settling down, after a five-year period that has been “nothing short of exceptional.”

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Paul Schadegg, senior vice president of real estate operations at FNC, notes that in the second half of 2023 and the first half of 2024, “we’ve experienced significant increases in interest rates, declining grain markets, and inflation. Despite these negative pressures, the land market has remained relatively resilient.”

FNC, which is employee-owned, manages more than 5,000 farms and ranches in 30 states covering more than 2 million acres. 

Florida grower organization pushes back on FDA, CDC salmonella finding

A Florida fruit and vegetable group is pushing back on a recent determination by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control linking a Florida cucumber grower to an ongoing salmonella outbreak investigation. 

FDA and CDC identified cucumbers grown in Boynton Beach, Florida, by Bedner Growers Inc. as the likely source of a salmonella outbreak that has infected nearly 450 people in 31 states and Washington, D.C. The agencies reported finding strains of salmonella in water used by the growers that matched the illness in the outbreak 

The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association says the update provided by the agencies doesn’t provide the most accurate information and mischaracterized water used by the grower. 

“FFVA and the entire produce industry will always support any research or guidance based on sound science, but we must ensure we rely on the science,” FFVA said in a statement. “That is why we urge the FDA and CDC to conduct a complete and thorough investigation as quickly as possible to ensure responsible information is given to consumers.”

Nutrition groups open applications for WIC community outreach subgrants

The Food Research & Action Center, Center for Nutrition and Health Impact, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and UnidosUS have announced a request for applications for subgrants for the WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project (WIC CIAO). 

About $14.8 million will be awarded in this second round of funding. It is open to WIC state and local agencies to help develop innovative outreach strategies to increase WIC awareness and participation. Applications for the subgrants are due Sept. 6. 

The American Rescue Plan passed in 2021 provided USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service with funding for WIC outreach. FNS is supporting WIC CIAO through a cooperative agreement with the different nutrition groups. This second round of funding comes after $16.2 million was awarded in 2023 to about 36 projects across the country. 

Iowa Utilities Commission schedules informational meetings on Summit pipeline

The Iowa Utilities Commission will schedule meetings in 23 Iowa counties in August and September on Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed liquid carbon dioxide pipeline.

The IUC recently gave the green light to the primary part of the project, nearly 700 miles of pipeline, but said Summit had to gain approval in the Dakotas before it could get a permit. The latest informational meetings will address another 340 miles of pipeline needed to hook up to 14 ethanol plants that were added after the initial proposal was already being considered.

The first meeting is scheduled for Aug. 26 in Corning, Iowa, in Adams County.

Rebekah Alvey and Philip Brasher contributed to today’s Daybreak.