Historic Chinese Agreement to Help U.S. Rice

History was made this week when an agreement permitting US rice exports to China was signed during bi-lateral trade meetings held in Washington DC. An inspection of US rice mills and packaging facilities by the Chinese phytosanitary authorities is the next step to take place. The first exports to China will take several months but will provide a boost to …

USDA Reports Record High Soybean Acreage, Corn Acres Down

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is estimating a record high 89.5 million acres of soybeans planted in the U.S. for 2017. That’s up seven percent from last year. Corn acres are looking to be down about three percent. All cotton acreage for 2017 is estimated at 12.1 million acres, 20 percent above last year, while all wheat planted …

Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report

The Pork Checkoff hosted the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report on Thursday, June 29, 2017. This quarterly teleconference featured three agricultural economists and their reactions to the report. Panelists included: Dr. Lee Schulz, Extension Livestock Economist, Iowa State University Dr. Scott Brown, Assistant Extension Professor, University of Missouri-Columbia Joe Kerns, President, Kerns & Associates, Ames, IA Reports seemed to …

USDA Cuts in Trump Budget

Farmers and ranchers are concerned about President Trump’s “Taxpayer First” budget released this week but Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended significant cuts to USDA in the name of balancing the budget on a press call with reporters Tuesday. The budget cuts USDA staff, crop insurance, conservation programs, and food assistance and eliminates funding for some programs including the Market Access …

Secretary Perdue Testifies at First Hearing

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue testified at his first hearing as the new head of USDA. The House Agriculture Committee welcomed Perdue to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify on the “State of the Rural Economy.” The new secretary submitted seven pages of written testimony which focused on his proposed “realignment” of USDA. “My goal is to make it the most …

Secretary Perdue Announces USDA Changes

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced a reorganization of USDA yesterday that includes the creation of a new undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, which was approved in the most recent farm bill. As part of the reorganization, Perdue also announced that the department’s Rural Development agencies would be elevated to report directly to the secretary of agriculture “in …

Perdue Shows Ethanol Support During Iowa Visit

Sonny Perdue made his support for renewable energy and ethanol clear during a visit to Iowa last week, telling a local FFA chapter that “renewable energy, ethanol is here to stay…you have nothing to worry about.” Listen here: Secretary Perdue visited Couser Cattle Company in Nevada, Iowa, where he was presented with a custom made corn products display and a …

Perdue Visits Kansas City USDA Office

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the USDA office in Kansas City, Missouri this week and addressed members of the press on a variety of ag issues, including the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), farm bill priorities, SNAP programs, staffing possibilities, the recent wildfires, and his priority for the USDA. Listen to the complete press conference: …

USDA Welcomes @SecretarySonny

Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tuesday and officially introduced his new Twitter handle – @SecretarySonny. Welcome to Twitter Secretary Perdue. After he took the oath of office, Perdue’s first order of business was to address employees at the USDA. During his address, Perdue explained the four main principles that will guide him while …

Trump Holds White House Farmers Roundtable

President Trump welcomed new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on his first day in office for a White House “Farmers Roundtable” and the signing of an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Among the 14 farmers and ranchers invited to the White House session was American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Not only …