The Senate Ag Committee is taking up the Farm Bill today. If you’d like to watch the proceedings live, go here: https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/hearings/business-meeting-6-13-18
With about one-fifth of the world’s population, China is a very important export destination for a lot of U.S. ag and food products. One product that still has a ways to go in growing its share of the Chinese market is U.S. beef, which made its return to China last August following a 14-year absence. Texas rancher Kelley Sullivan, who participated in a recent beef promotion tour in China, told me that elevating sales of beef in that market may require doing some teaching:
Sullivan went to China as part of a U.S. Meat Export Federation delegation that also visited Japan.
There’s a lot of good news when we’re talking about exports of U.S. beef, which, during this time of multiple trade disputes, has not been hit with any retaliatory tariffs by our trade partners. One commodity that has recently been dealt such a blow is U.S. cheese, which was targeted by Mexico last week. Local dairy producer Mike Schouten – who provides a great dairy news report for us every Wednesday – had the following exchange with me during our ag hour this morning:
On another dairy note: Guess what? USDA is giving dairy farmers still more time to sign up for the Margin Protection Program. The new re-enrollment deadline is June 22. For more information, contact your local FSA office.
Our agonizingly long dry spell has cut way down on the availability of hay. If you’re struggling to find what you need, read this about the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Hay Hotline: http://www.kgncnewsnow.com/hay-hotline-offers-help-in-midst-of-shortage/
The ample rains that descended on the region last night and this morning have certainly been encouraging. But we need a lot more moisture before we can even begin to think about our drought being over. Unfortunately, no amount of rain is going to rescue the Texas wheat crop. The forecast included in yesterday’s USDA Crop Production report estimates production in our state this year will come to 43.2 million bushels, down 37 percent from 68.2 million last year.
With all the unhappy news we’ve had on winter wheat this season, it was nice to hear this from Texas A&M AgriLife agronomist Calvin Trostle:
That’s a pretty good note to close on. Have a good Wednesday, y’all.
KGNC-AM devotes a full hour to ag news every morning from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. with our Golden Spread Agribusiness Update. If you’d like to hear this morning’s show, go here: http://www.kgncnewsnow.com/ag-hour-replay-06-13-18/