As trade tensions continue to rise, the thought of having to deal with another tough year of tight or absent financial margins can be daunting. According to the USDA's latest forecast, net farm income for 2018 is expected to fall to $59.5 billion, a 12-year low.
Trade was a major topic at this year’s World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, where USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach and Gregg Doud, chief agriculture negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, were among the speakers. But other topics, including a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank, were up for discussion.
A large crowd gathered at this year’s Iowa Agriculture Leaders banquet in Des Moines Tuesday night to see Bill Northey, Iowa’s long-time Secretary of Agriculture, finally sworn in for his new USDA post.
Many different political voices advocated for agriculture at this year's Iowa Land Investment Expo, held in Des Moines on Jan. 26, but it was hard to tell the Democrats from the Republicans on many issues.
When you think of the challenges farmers face finding good workers, the first areas that come to mind probably are along one of the U.S. coasts. But the problem is also affecting the nation’s Heartland, where states like Iowa are facing an ever-worsening labor shortage.