The Agriculture Department is recruiting owners of cattle and hog operations to take part in surveys about their marketing strategies and the size and health of their herds, and officials say the results could be beneficial in future trade negotiations.
An Agri-Pulse analysis shows that the Trump administration's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments were distributed more widely than traditional forms of government assistance although larger farms continue to receive the big share of the money.
Chinese buyers made another large purchase commitment for U.S. corn this week, snapping up 1.7 million metric tons for delivery in the 2020-21 marketing year, according to a daily export sale report released Thursday by the USDA.
Farmers are getting new options to cover differences in farming practices and crops, and many growers will be able for the first time this year to buy an endorsement to cover a portion of their deductibles.
The outgoing Trump administration is tapping unspent USDA funding to provide coronavirus relief to contract producers for the first time while providing supplemental payments to hog farms. USDA also is adjusting payments calculations for many producers who have already received Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments.
China promised to consider lifting it’s zero-tolerance policy on ractopamine residues in pork and beef as part of the “phase one” trade pact, and the country is making good on that, although more work needs to be done, says USDA Trade Undersecretary Ted McKinney.
As much as growers long for an end to the trade war with China, there are long-term threats to demand for corn, soybeans and other crops that could depress commodity prices for years to come and lead to calls for higher government spending, economists say.
The Department of Agriculture will accept comment on a proposed rule that would change the way it inspects swine slaughter facilities, saying the benefits of the move “are expected to outweigh the costs.”