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.
Cotton growers who have been struggling with trade tensions and competition from synthetic fibers are increasingly under pressure from manufacturers and retailers to prove that their crop is environmentally sustainable.
The latest version of the Trump administration’s trade assistance for farmers may provide some growers with more money than their actual losses from the ongoing trade war with China, but supporters of the aid package say it’s vital to helping many produces to survive until better times.
Rep. Mike Conaway, who steered the House Agriculture Committee through passage of the 2018 farm bill, won't seek reelection in 2020 after eight terms serving a sprawling west Texas district dominated by oil, ranching and cotton.
The Agriculture Department overhauled its Market Facilitation Program to broaden the number of farmers that would receive the trade aid, but officials may encounter new grumbling over the wide disparities in county payment rates.
The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the insecticide sulfoxaflor for use on corn, cotton, sorghum and citrus, as well as other crops, the agency announced Friday, saying it had concluded the chemical posed no significant risk to bees and that alternatives to the chemical are worse for the environment.
Grain traders are still unsure of actual planted cropland after USDA dropped planted corn acres estimates by just over 1 million in its June Acreage report Friday. Many traders find that difficult to believe after farmers in the eastern Corn Belt struggled to plant a crop this spring.