Amid depressed farm income, American farmers will produce record amounts of meat, poultry and milk this year while slightly increasing plantings of major field crops, according to the Agriculture Department.
The Commerce Department today took the final step to authorizing retaliatory action against imports of biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, setting the final rates importers must pay to bring the biofuel into the U.S.
U.S. sugar farmers want to keep restricting the inflow of foreign supplies just as much as sweetener users – think candy and food companies – want to increase imports and push down prices. As a result, friction between the two sides is heating up as Congress prepares to write the next five-year farm bill.
The U.S. ethanol industry is fighting to maintain its record-setting growth despite the oil industry’s continuing attacks and the surge in global protectionism that threatens American exports of the corn-based biofuel.
When China announced last week that it was taking aim at U.S. sorghum exports, it was widely seen as retribution for U.S. trade aggression. But the new Chinese anti-dumping investigation also fits into a wider pattern of efforts to dig the Asian country out of its massive stockpiles of corn.