AG Rural News

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Acting Deputy Secretary Mike Young held a media briefing Tuesday on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) proposed FY 2018 Budget. Here are some excerpts from that conference call. AUDIO: Sonny Perdue and Mike Young Continue reading Perdue comments on USDA budget at Brownfield Ag News.
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Lawmakers and ag groups are questioning the USDA’s recent announcement that the Undersecretary for Rural Development would be replaced with a special assistant to the Secretary. During a House Ag Committee hearing on Wednesday, ranking member Collin Peterson said the change has caused some anxiety in the ag industry and among members of Congress who represent rural communities.  “But I take you at your word that you’re going to continue to make that a priority,” he says.  Continue reading Ag Secretary says rural development will be ‘elevated’ at Brownfield Ag News.
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A group of rural organizations including the National Farmers Union are calling on Congress to stop reorganizations within the USDA’s Rural Development agency. Last week Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced USDA’s Under Secretary for Rural Development would be replaced with a special assistant who reports directly to Perdue.  “There’s no employee difference, there’s no changes involved other than I wanted that person adjacent to me where we can go forward and invest in rural development, rural America, to make it prosperous.” NFU’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rob Larew tells Brownfield rural development needs would lose a seat at the...
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National Cattlemen’s Beef Association president Craig Uden and NCBA director of international trade Kent Bacus held a conference call this morning with ag reporters to discuss the announcement from the White House that an agreement has been reached that will restore U.S. beef access to China. Here is an excerpt from that discussion. AUDIO: NCBA conference call on China/U.S. beef Continue reading NCBA officials discuss the China/U.S. beef announcement at Brownfield Ag News.
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Ag News

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue defended the cuts in President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget. Perdue said Trump promised to realign government spending and that’s what he’s done. “I believe the people knew what they were doing when they elected President Trump president,” Perdue said. “I think many believe, as I do—I just don’t think it’s moral to continue to kick a 20 trillion dollar debt down to our grandchildren, without any relief.” The budget includes significant cuts to USDA programs and would eliminate more than 52-hundred positions throughout the agency—a 5.5 percent reduction in workforce. Continue reading Perdue...
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The USDA says this year’s U.S. corn and soybean planting stayed close to average last week. That’s a national average and some key growing areas did see further disruption from weather, including heavy rainfall, hail, and cooler than normal conditions. As of Sunday, 84% of corn is planted, compared to the five year average of 85%, 54% has emerged, compared to 55% on average. 53% of soybeans are planted, compared to 52% typically this time of year, with 19% emerged, compared to 21% normally. Continue reading 84% of U.S. corn, 53% of soybeans planted at Brownfield Ag News.
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Weather challenges have forced a lot of farmers in the Eastern Corn Belt to replant. Daniel Call with Ohio-based Seed Consultant says, “Across the entire area of Ohio and Indiana would be at an all-time record.” He says growers planted at a record planting pace the last week of April – and then a wet weather pattern moved in and much of the corn crop sat under water. He tells Brownfield while investments in genetics have helped, farmers are still faced with a lot of acres that will need to be replanted. Continue reading Replant acres increasing in the Eastern Corn Belt at Brownfield...
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The Trump administration has officially notified Congress that it plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A letter from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to congressional leaders says the administration wants NAFTA to be “modernized.” Commenting earlier this week at a news conference in Nebraska, the president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, Tom Sleight, said it is time to get moving on NAFTA. “Let’s get the negotiations started,” Sleight said. Continue reading Some movement on NAFTA at Brownfield Ag News.
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