The next few weeks in Washington could be the most consequential of the year, certainly until the election. Neither the House nor the Senate have any regular sessions scheduled over the next two weeks, but senators are privately discussing the shape of the next coronavirus relief package.
An upcoming run-off election in one of the nation’s largest agricultural districts has produced a confrontation, with Texas’ colorful and controversial ag commissioner, Sid Miller, and President Donald Trump on one side, and major state and national farm groups on the other.
China will fully comply with its promises to buy U.S. ag commodities and the U.K. will be held to demands that it lift barriers on American farm products, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers Wednesday.
EPA defended its decision to allow use of existing stocks of three dicamba herbicides, saying in a court filing that it has taken "responsible steps to avoid unregulated and inappropriate use of existing stocks."
Farm earnings are likely to fall sharply this year despite the $16 billion in COVID-19 assistance payments now being distributed, and farmers’ income is likely to drop again in 2021 without additional government aid, according to a widely followed forecast of the agricultural economy.
Farmers will get some welcome relief starting next month from the market impact of the coronavirus, but it will take a second round of payments to keep many in the black this year, and producers may face similar problems into next year.
Anti-biotech activists and sentiment are entrenched throughout Africa, but U.S. farm groups and businesses are hoping a free trade agreement with Kenya will help the country break through its GMO barriers and provide an example to other nations of what the science can do for farmers and food security.
USDA’s $19 billion COVID-19 aid package for farmers may fall well short of compensating producers for the estimated damage of the pandemic, and the department has an ambitious and novel plan to distribute USDA-purchased commodities to needy people.