Big farm tractor sales down last year

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) says total farm tractor sales were up 3 percent last year at 201,770 units. But the increase was in two-wheel-drive tractors with less than 100 horsepower. There were more than 100,600 two-wheel-drives under 40 horsepower sold up nearly 9 percent from the previous year. Sales of two-wheel-drives with 40… Read more »

US Agriculture Coalition for Cuba amps up

A coalition of agriculture and business groups and a bipartisan group of lawmakers is putting normalization with Cuba as its top priority. At the National Press Club today, the U.S. Agriculture Coalition for Cuba (USACC), following President Obama’s steps in December to normalize ties to Cuba, says it’s committed to ending the embargo and allowing… Read more »

West Coast labor dispute impact being felt

Longshoremen and port employers have agreed to federal mediation to help resolve a contract dispute that is being blamed for severe congestion at West Coast ports. As the dispute has intensified in recent weeks, supply chain bottlenecks have worsened. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says agriculture and other businesses in the Midwest are starting to feel… Read more »

Ireland to export beef to U.S.

Ireland is the first European Union country where beef shipments to the U.S. have been cleared following the lifting of the U.S. ban on E.U. beef imports.  The U.S. reversed the ban in late 2013, but imports could not resume until lengthy inspections had taken place. Now, the European Commission is urging the U.S. to… Read more »

Corn sale limits market loss

There’s a significant sale of corn to begin the year.  The USDA says Japan bought 210,000 metric tons of it, but that positive news is only limiting losses in Friday’s corn futures.  They’re lower because of the dollar trading at its highest level in eight years, making U.S. exports less competitive.

Cuba policy changes could boost corn, DDGS exports

The U.S Grains Council (USGC) says exports of corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) could increase dramatically if diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba are fully normalized. USGC says Cuba has the potential to become the 12th largest market for U.S. corn if trade is truly open. The U.S. has sold corn… Read more »

U.S.-China agreement on Geographic Indicators

Looks like the U.S. has won one in the on-going battle over Geographic Indicators for cheese and wine and such. The European Union has been using bilateral trade agreements to get countries to agree to not allow products using certain names to enter their country.  Europe claims a number of common cheese names like parmesan… Read more »

Missouri looks at Cuba opportunities

What will it mean to agriculture if Cuba becomes a more open market? Some lawmakers, including Missouri Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, say President Obama’s decision to move toward open trade with Cuba was a bad one. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has asked his state Department of Agriculture to look into what opportunities the normalization… Read more »

Cuban market potential is big for agriculture

Approximately 50 percent of the Illinois corn crop is exported.  Kenneth Hartman, Illinois Corn Growers president says this week’s announcement to normalize trade relations with Cuba is a good move for agriculture.  “I think it’s a big positive for any farmer,” he says. And,  it’s a market that is easily accessible.  “When you look at… Read more »

Reports: China signals lifting of MIR 162 ban

Chinese government officials have reportedly informed some grain traders that the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture has approved the lifting of its ban on Syngenta’s MIR 162 corn variety, also known as Agrisure Viptera. However, there has been no official confirmation from the Chinese or U.S. governments, or from Syngenta. On Monday, a Syngenta spokesman told… Read more »