class="home blog group-blog masthead-fixed list-view full-width grid wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.7 vc_responsive"
Rural Radio Network | Affiliates Rural Radio Network site

Rural Radio Network

Syngenta Settlement Details Announced

Syngenta and plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the company have announced a $1.51 billion settlement to resolve class actions and individual cases regarding Agrisure products. The cases allege that Syngenta sold its "Agrisure Viptera" and "Agrisure Duracade" corn seeds before it should have because...

Read More
story slider pointer

Syngenta Settlement Details Announced

Syngenta and plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the company have announced a $1.51 billion settlement to resolve class actions and individual cases regarding Agrisure products. The cases allege that Syngenta sold its "Agrisure Viptera" and "Agrisure Duracade" corn seeds before it should have because...

Read More

Missouri Cattlemen's Fake Meat Bill Passes

A Missouri omnibus agriculture bill contacting provisions against so-called fake meat has passed the state legislature. The language prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that was not derived from harvested livestock. The Missouri House passed the bill 125-22 following previous passage in t...

Read More

Economic talks between US and China lead to trade war truce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China are pulling back from the brink of a trade war after the world's two biggest economies reported progress in talks aimed at bringing down America's massive trade deficit with Beijing. "We are putting the trade war on hold," Treasury Secretary Steven ...

Read More

China Drops Investigations, Top Market for Sorghum Reopens

China has dropped its anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into U.S. sorghum. National Sorghum Producers Chairman Don Bloss says NSP is "gratified" by the announcement and quick result. China has determined that the investigations do not serve public interest. Bloss says that NSP d...

Read More

RESEARCH EXPLORES TIES BETWEEN COVER CROPS, GRAZING, SOIL HEALTH AND ECONOMICS

A multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will research the impact of cover crops and grazing on soil health and system economics. The project is funded by a $74,381 grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. Cover crops have the potential to improve soil ...

Read More

Crops

Syngenta Settlement Details Announced

Syngenta and plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the company have announced a $1.51 billion settlement to resolve class actions and individual cases regarding Agrisure products. The cases allege that Syngenta sold its "Agrisure Viptera" and "Agrisure Duracade" corn seeds before it should have because new insect-resistant genetic traits in those seeds had not yet received import approval in China. The lawsuits argued that China rejected shipments of U.S. corn because the genetic traits were not yet approved there, causing the U.S. corn industry to lose access to the Chinese market and resulting in lower corn prices. Syngenta denies that it did anything wrong. If the United States District Court of the District of Kansas approves the settlement, then Syngenta will pay $1.51 billion into a Settlement Fund to pay corn farmers, grain handling facilities, and ethanol production facilities who submitted eligible claims. The court will hold a hearing in November to consider whether to approve the settlement.

China Drops Investigations, Top Market for Sorghum Reopens

China has dropped its anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into U.S. sorghum. National Sorghum Producers Chairman Don Bloss says NSP is "gratified" by the announcement and quick result. China has determined that the investigations do not serve public interest. Bloss says that NSP demonstrated that "we were helping, not injuring," Chinese consumers and farmers. The U.S. Grains Council also applauded the decision by China. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight in a statement said the announcement is a “step in the right direction for U.S.-China trade relations.” While U.S. sorghum exports to China won’t resume immediately, the announcement brings some certainly to the sorghum marketplace.

A Strong Foundation: Rooting for More Attention, Better Yields

Out of sight, out of mind. Roots perform a lot of heavy lifting for crop development, but do they get the attention they deserve? Researchers say no and are taking a fresh look at the mechanisms that influence root development and, in turn, yield. "Roots are important but often ignored," said Philip Benfey, Duke University biology professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. "Roots obviously anchor the plant and are the primary source of water and nutrient absorption. But, the root system is complex, and we traditionally have not bred plants for better roots." Guru Rao, Iowa State University professor of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, believes root research is critical for future growth of crop yields, especially as farming becomes more precise and predictive. "When a root system is extensive, there is a better ability to perform," he said. "Identifying genes and establishing a fundamental understanding of how root cells specialize affords opportunities to increase agricultural yields by breeding crop plants adaptable to growth in a variety of climatic conditions, especially a water-deficit environment." THE ROOT OF PRODUCTIVITY Rao and his research team have collaborated with scientists worldwide on the discovery of a protein that regulates formative cell division in the Arabidopsis root, a plant frequently used for research. He said previous studies found the protein ACR4 is the central player in the processes of both maintaining stem cell identity and lateral root initiation during development. The protein phosphatase, or PP2A-3, is a major player and regulator of that ACR4-mediated stem cell differentiation and primary root development. "Most crops—including corn and soybeans—have similar genes for ACR4 and PP2A-3," he said. "We want to understand the role of these proteins or genes in root formation. Several groups of proteins exist. We are working with just one of them to manipulate the system." Rao said root formation is affected by environmental signals. "When someone pinches you, you scream. That's a signaled response," he explained. "Plants have the same mechanism, although it is more complex. Plants can't move to avoid stress like we can. They have to adapt." As such, Rao is evaluating when the signaling mechanism in roots is disturbed, whether researchers can influence the response in a more productive way. "At some point, perhaps we can take three or four protein genes and affect root development so plants can grow in traditional drought areas because we create a massive root system," he said. REAL-TIME ANALYSIS Benfey is working with rice and corn to analyze root development. His goal is to discover information that leads to breeding opportunities for better roots. The challenge, he said, has been the technology available to analyze real-time root development. His research involves growing plants in a transparent gel in containers situated on a turntable, so he can take 3-D images of root development. In addition, he has tested improved X-ray technology from the medical field to try to capture root images in the soil. "Soil is a tough environment to assess roots, but we need to be able to do it in the field under real conditions. Options have been limited because the resolution is not perfect," he said. Benfey cofounded Hi Fidelity Genetics, which created a prototype root tracker system to sense real-time, noninvasive root development through the growing season. It's currently being tested. "The next step will be to take data and use it to enhance breeding for specific root development," he said. "While initial research may focus on developing crops with root systems that tolerate drought, other characteristics that might contribute to greater yield potential are possible." For example, breeders might select corn inbreds capable of generating the deepest roots and develop hybrids that respond effectively in drought situations. Another opportunity might be to choose inbreds with shallow roots that can be used in environments where phosphorus is limiting. "More roots is not always the answer," Benfey pointed out. "We need to optimize roots for specific situations, just as we do with other plant parts, to improve yield by limiting loss to stresses." Benfey predicts disease management and better nitrogen use efficiency also are possible. Neither he or Rao have a timetable for when such crops might be commercially available. "As we gain more knowledge, we can make designer crops. Roots are so essential to plant development that the ramifications of healthy roots on yield are many," Rao said. "If we take what we know now with what we are learning and put it in a database, we can combine the tools together to come up with better plants. Root development is just one piece of the puzzle."

View All

Livestock

Missouri Cattlemen's Fake Meat Bill Passes

A Missouri omnibus agriculture bill contacting provisions against so-called fake meat has passed the state legislature. The language prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that was not derived from harvested livestock. The Missouri House passed the bill 125-22 following previous passage in the Missouri Senate. Missouri became the first state to address the issue with legislation, sending a signal to other states to follow suit. Missouri Cattlemen's Association Executive Vice President Mike Deering expects other state cattle organizations to lead legislation in their respective state. Deering says the legislation ensures “the integrity of our meat supply and reduces consumer confusion.” The passage of the legislation follows a vote by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee supporting regulatory oversight of lab-grown meat substitutes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Missouri Cattlemen’s, along with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association believe USDA is “best-placed to ensure food safety and accurate labeling of these products.”

Fischer Continues Pushing FMCSA for More Hours of Service Flexibility, Again Raises Concerns of Ag and Livestock Haulers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) joined a group of bipartisan senators, led by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), in a letter to the Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Raymond Martinez. The letter expresses support for greater flexibility within hours of service (HOS) regulations and highlights concerns from agriculture and livestock haulers about these requirements. The senators wrote: “It is our hope that, under your leadership, FMCSA will be able to improve regulations and address issues within HOS regulations for all drivers, including long-haul drivers, short-haul drivers, agricultural and livestock haulers.  We suggest FMCSA examine a wide range of options to address HOS issues and ensure safety, including, but not limited to, providing certain allowances for unique businesses or driver operations, elimination of unnecessary requirements, or improved utilization of non-driving time.”   This letter builds on Senator Fischer’s work to lower regulatory burdens at the FMCSA while maintaining safety that go as far back as 2015 when she included reforms in the FAST Act to increase transparency and strengthen cost-benefit analysis for rulemakings at the agency. Most recently, Senator Fischer raised the concerns Nebraska agriculture and livestock haulers have with these federal requirements with leadership at FMCSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Following two letters Senator Fischer sent to FMCSA and DOT leadership last year, FMCSA announced it would clarify its guidance on HOS exemptions for ag and livestock haulers. In February, Senator Fischer convened a meeting with Nebraska agriculture representatives and the then-Acting FMCSA Administrator. Following the meeting, the agency extended the temporary waiver from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirement for ag and livestock haulers while it continued reviewing its guidance. Additionally, Senator Fischer worked to ensure an extension of the ELD waiver for livestock haulers the through September 30, 2018, was signed into law in March. Fischer is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee. The full text of the senators’ letter to Administrator Martinez is below. May 17, 2018   The Honorable Raymond Martinez Administrator Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 1200 New Jersey Avenue Southeast Washington, DC 20590   Dear Administrator Martinez:   We write to express our support for greater flexibility within hours of service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers, which maintain or increase the safety on our nation’s roadways.  Specifically, we urge the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to explore improvements to the HOS regulations that ensure drivers across differing businesses and operations can safely and efficiently comply with such requirements.   In recent months, it has become more apparent that HOS rules do not provide the appropriate level of flexibility for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles.  The trucking industry provides for over three million jobs in the U.S. and is the backbone of our economy, ensuring our nation’s goods get to market.  It is important that HOS regulations provide for a commonsense framework for drivers, rather than a one-size-fits-all model.   It is our hope that, under your leadership, FMCSA will be able to improve regulations and address issues within HOS regulations for all drivers, including long-haul drivers, short-haul drivers, agricultural and livestock haulers.  We suggest FMCSA examine a wide range of options to address HOS issues and ensure safety, including, but not limited to, providing certain allowances for unique businesses or driver operations, elimination of unnecessary requirements, or improved utilization of non-driving time.      We appreciate your consideration on this important issue and look forward to working with you on how best to uphold safety and provide needed flexibility for drivers.             Click here to read a PDF of the letter.

Missouri Cattlemen's Fake Meat Bill Passes

JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI  - An omnibus bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-18), passed  with a bipartisan 125-22 vote. The legislation, SB 627, carried in the House by Rep. Jay Houghton (R-43), contains several provisions including SB 977, sponsored by Sen. Sandy Crawford (R-28), which is identical to HB 2607 led in the House by Rep. Jeff Knight (R-129). The language prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that was not derived from harvested livestock. The legislation comes at a time when laboratory grown meat is being debated throughout the country and in Washington. D.C. Missouri became the first state to address the issue with legislation, sending a signal to other states to follow suit. Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) Executive Vice President Mike Deering expects other state cattle organizations to lead legislation in their respective state. "This isn't a Missouri issue. This is about protecting the integrity of the products that farm and ranch families throughout the country work hard to raise each and every day," said Deering. "I never imagined we would be fighting over what is and isn't meat. It seems silly. However, this is very real and I cannot stress enough the importance of this issue. We are beyond pleased to see this priority legislation cross the finish-line." The current definition of meat in Missouri Statutes is:  "any edible portion of livestock or poultry carcass or part thereof." This definition certainly excludes plant-based or even laboratory grown food products from being considered meat. Deering said the problem is there is nothing definitive in state statute to prevent the misrepresentation of these products as meat. The legislation that will now be sent to the Governor for consideration prohibits "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry." Deering said the association does not oppose plant-based or laboratory grown food products. "This legislation does not stifle technology, but it does ensure the integrity of our meat supply and reduces consumer confusion. We must ensure that those products do not mislead consumers into thinking those products are actually meat produced by farm and ranch families," said Deering. "The use of traditional nomenclature on alternative products is confusing to consumers and weakens the value of products derived from actual livestock production." The passage of the legislation follows a vote by the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday, May 16, 2018, supporting regulatory oversight of lab-grown meat substitutes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). MCA and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association believe USDA is best-placed to ensure food safety and accurate labeling of these products.

View All

Technology

Auction Website Plays Matchmaker to Help Rent Farmland

Farmland owners with land to rent, meet potential tenants in your area and seal a deal. That is the matchmaking concept behind FarmRenter.com, a new electronic land rental auction system. "Renting land can be a painful process," said Heather Slifka, FarmRenter's U.S. director. "Landowners need to search for quality tenants. Then, there is often an in-person process to negotiate a rental price. FarmRenter.com helps take that away by making the process more transparent and fair for both parties. The renter gets a truer idea of the quality of the land they are bidding on, and the landlord gains access to a large network of potential tenants while gaining a clear picture of a bidder's capacity as a farmer." FarmRenter.com is a joint venture between farmers, landowners and agriculture specialists, and is a sister site to Renterra.ca, a similar platform in Canada. Lyndon Lisitza, founder and managing director, created the site in 2012. Today, Renterra.ca has 5,000 active users: 500 are landowners using online auctions to rent 40 to 100,000 acres to the highest bidder. "It was clear this type of service would be beneficial in the U.S., where landowners and farmers also face lack of price transparency and spend a lot of time and effort in negotiations. Quite often, you find farmers don't know what land is available for rent," Lisitza said. "U.S. farmers rent about 350 million acres. Of those, 80% are owned by nonfarming landlords. We can help connect them to potential tenants." AUCTION OPTIONS Lisitza said farmers create a free online profile where they set preferences for location and crop type. They can be notified about any auctions in their area with the option to bid. Bidders are assigned random numbers for auctions to protect the privacy of the users and prevent any bias that could affect outcomes. Farm owners with land to rent register for free with their legal land description and a dollar-per-acre price. The information goes into a mapping database. Owners only pay an auction fee equal to 4% of the total transaction if an agreement is reached with a renter. Owners have two auction options. One is similar to eBay, with an ascending auction that may offer a "rent now" price predetermined by the owner. The other choice is a sealed bid auction that has criteria beyond just price. Bidders can provide additional details about their operation, such as farm structure and land stewardship, that the landowner may want to take into consideration. Auctions are conducted in real time. As soon as a listing is posted, notifications are sent out via email or SMS (short message service) to farmers within the specified area. In minutes, an owner can immediately begin to receive bids via mobile phone or computer. Once an auction is complete, a winning bidder is subject to completion, review and acceptance of a renter profile. This provides landowners an opportunity to ensure the person is a good fit for their land. FarmRenter.com steps aside once an agreement is under way. Each owner sets his or her own terms and conditions, and is encouraged to use legal counsel to complete agreements. RAPID EXPANSION While only in existence since December 2017, FarmRenter.com's intent is to roll out the site in every agricultural state by this summer. Organizers first focused on marketing in states with the highest population of farmland and renters: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. They have since expanded to the Dakotas, Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio. "Membership sign-up is steady, with 100 to 150 new users per day, predominantly potential renters. Our focus is to increase the size of our network to 10,000 or more renters by September," Slifka said. "We want to hit the fall rental season running with adequate auctions and bidders." In addition to farm owners, the site is available for land-management companies, realtors, funds or others interested in simplifying and reducing time spent on the land rental process. "Our goal is to provide price discovery and adequate competition," Lisitza explained. "Based on sign-ups so far, we believe that is proof the U.S. is ready for this type of system. As more farmers want to expand their operations, FarmRenter.com provides a new way to do that."

Controlled Environment Ag Growing

Controlled environment agriculture is growing rapidly, according to a new report from CoBank. Controlled environment agriculture, a technology-based approach toward food production to use optimal growing conditions, often indoors, occurs in all 50 states, but the vast majority of the large facilities growing tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are in the Northeast, West and Southwest. CoBank says technological advancements and consumer demand for fresh, local and year-round supplies of high-quality produce are growing the controlled environment agriculture industry. A researcher for CoBank says that although there is a steep learning curve, and the practice is costly, demand means the segment “is likely to continue growing for the next five years." Those barriers are not stopping growers from entering the market at high rates according to the report, partially due to the price premiums and significantly higher yields that technology, such as hydroponics, provides.

Feed a Bee Program Commits Additional $250,000 in Forage Grant Initiatives Across the Country

Bayer Commits Funding to Reach 2018 Goal of Planting in All 50 States Research Triangle Park, N.C. (May 15, 2018) – The Bayer Bee Care Program today announced $250,000 in additional funding to support its Feed a Bee 50-state pollinator health initiative through the end of the year. With only three grant cycles remaining in 2018, and the initial $500,000 funding already pledged to projects in 45 of the 50-state goal, the funding boost aims to encourage additional entries nationally and to reach organizations in the five states that have yet to be funded: Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Wyoming. The latest round of funding awarded grants to 14 new projects committed to providing diverse forage and habitat for honey bees and other important pollinators. Established in early 2017, the Feed a Bee 50-state forage initiative was created to fund projects nationally that either establish or restore diverse forage options for pollinators, which in turn help produce many of the fruits, nuts and vegetables essential to a healthy human diet. Nearly 300 organizations have applied for an award, which are selected by the Feed a Bee steering committee and range from $1,000 to $5,000 each. “Our goal from the very beginning of the 50-state forage initiative has been to provide additional sources of abundant nutrition and habitat for pollinators,” said Dr. Becky Langer, project manager, Bayer North American Bee Care Program. “We’re now working with more than 100 organizations across the country. It’s exciting to see our goal come to fruition, and even more rewarding to see the passion and dedication our Feed a Bee grantees have for the future of honey bee and pollinator health.” Recently funded projects range from restoring habitats to developing pollinator plots for local residents, students and government employees to maintain. Each project also incorporates education, such as field days and on-site classes for the local community. The City of Greeley, Colorado, for example, will work to restore habitat across three sites encompassing 96 acres of local natural areas. The National Wild Turkey Federation, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, will use their funds to enhance eight acres of habitat in Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest and will incorporate a demonstration plot into an existing woodcock management area for landowners and land conservation managers to use for education. In Kansas, McConnell Air Force Base personnel will remove existing non-native plants and replace them with native species. “Support from the Feed a Bee initiative will allow us to expand our ongoing pollinator monitoring surveys, increase the geographic area for educational events, collect native seeds and add sites to our annual Monarch tagging efforts in the fall,” said Laura Mendenhall, a fish and wildlife biologist at McConnell Air Force Base. “Most importantly, we’ll have the ability to demonstrate the use of native plants in non-conventional areas, rather than in designated pollinator plots, which will help us respect the Air Force aesthetic and, at the same time, help us cement this pollinator-friendly planting strategy not only in Air Force culture, but in the Wichita Metro Area landscaping culture.” Grantees awarded funding in round five of the Feed A Bee initiative include: West Side Elementary School, California City of Greeley, Colorado Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Connecticut Sheila Weldon, Iowa McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas Feds Creek & Kimper Elementary Pollinator Trail & Community Garden, Kentucky Greenup County FFA, Kentucky Detroit Hives, Michigan U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Nebraska Timberdoodle Farm, New Hampshire Greensboro Beautiful, Inc., North Carolina Mountrail Pioneers 4-H Club, North Dakota U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, North Dakota National Wild Turkey Federation, Vermont “We continue to see amazing work from our grantees and applaud their unique ability to serve as ambassadors for honey bees, butterflies, birds and other pollinators,” Langer said. “These organizations raise awareness for the need for forage on a grassroots level that is otherwise difficult to undertake. We are proud to work side-by-side with them and can’t wait to welcome our newest grantees.”

View All

Ag Policy

Missouri Cattlemen's Fake Meat Bill Passes

A Missouri omnibus agriculture bill contacting provisions against so-called fake meat has passed the state legislature. The language prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that was not derived from harvested livestock. The Missouri House passed the bill 125-22 following previous passage in the Missouri Senate. Missouri became the first state to address the issue with legislation, sending a signal to other states to follow suit. Missouri Cattlemen's Association Executive Vice President Mike Deering expects other state cattle organizations to lead legislation in their respective state. Deering says the legislation ensures “the integrity of our meat supply and reduces consumer confusion.” The passage of the legislation follows a vote by the U.S. House Appropriations Committee supporting regulatory oversight of lab-grown meat substitutes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Missouri Cattlemen’s, along with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association believe USDA is “best-placed to ensure food safety and accurate labeling of these products.”

Economic talks between US and China lead to trade war truce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China are pulling back from the brink of a trade war after the world's two biggest economies reported progress in talks aimed at bringing down America's massive trade deficit with Beijing. "We are putting the trade war on hold," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday. After high-level talks Thursday and Friday in Washington, Beijing agreed in a joint statement with the U.S. to "substantially reduce" America's trade deficit with China, but did not commit to cut the gap by any specific amount. The Trump administration had sought to slash the deficit by $200 billion. Still, Mnuchin said the two countries had made "meaningful progress" and that the administration has agreed to put on hold proposed tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese products. China had promised to retaliate in a move that threatened a tit for tat trade war. He said they expect to see a big increase — 35 to 45 percent this year alone — in U.S. farm sales to China. Mnuchin also forecast a doubling in sales of U.S. energy products to the Chinese market, increasing energy exports by $50 billion to $60 billion in the next three years to five years. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who has been part of the U.S. negotiating team, will go to China soon to follow up on last week's discussions, Mnuchin said. But China's government said Monday that it cannot guarantee trade tensions with Washington can be permanently avoided. A foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, said Mnuchin's comments showed both sides hope to avoid a "trade war." However, he added, "Given the increasing interaction between the two countries, we cannot assure you they will not encounter more frictions or disputes in the future." In a statement Saturday, Beijing committed to "significantly increase" its purchases of American goods and services, saying the increase would "meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development." Last year, the U.S. had a record $376 billion deficit with China in the trade of goods; that was the largest by far with any nation. Trade analysts were not surprised that China refused to agree to a numerical target for cutting the trade gap, but they said the talks probably were more successful in easing trade tensions. "The Trump administration seems eager to engineer at minimum a temporary peace with China to ensure a smooth run-up to the Kim-Trump summit in June," Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad said, referring to the June 12 meeting scheduled between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. If there is success in the U.S.-China discussions, analysts suggest it likely would involve the countries' presidents this fall before the November elections. "Part of the good news for markets: As long as both sides continue to be 'constructively' engaged, imposition of additional tariffs by either side is very unlikely," analysts at investment management firm Evercore ISI said in a research note. "There is no reason for either side — particularly the U.S. — to destroy the process that both sides are building, which is what imposing tariffs would do." Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., praised the administration's efforts with China. "It's smart to engage China on trade abuses, and it would also be smart to get them more involved in trying to help us with North Korea," Graham said. Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to get tough on China and other U.S. trading partners. He views the U.S. trade deficit with China as evidence that Beijing is engaged in abusive trading practices and has outmaneuvered previous U.S. administrations. Last August, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer began investigating Beijing's strong-arm tactics to challenge U.S. technological dominance. These include outright cybertheft of U.S. companies' trade secrets and China's demands that American corporations hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese markets. Last month, the administration proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports to protest the forced technology transfers. Trump later ordered Lighthizer to seek up to an additional $100 billion in Chinese products to tax. China responded by targeting $50 billion in U.S. products, including soybeans — a shot at Trump supporters in America's heartland. The prospect of an escalating trade war has shaken financial markets and alarmed business leaders. In a separate controversy, the Commerce Department last month blocked China's ZTE Corp. from importing American components for seven years, accusing the telecommunications company of misleading U.S. regulators after it settled charges last year of violating sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The ban amounted to a death sentence for ZTE, which relies heavily on U.S. parts, and the company announced that it was halting operations. A week ago, Trump tweeted that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to put ZTE "back in business, fast." Media reports suggested that the U.S. was offering to swap a ZTE rescue for an end to proposed Chinese tariffs on U.S. farm products. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Trump's intervention in the case "outrageous" and said that using ZTE "as a bargaining chip ... is not in the best interests of our national security." White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said there could be "some small changes around the edges" in the sanctions against ZTE. But Kudlow added: "Do not expect ZTE to get off scot-free. It ain't gonna happen." Mnuchin and Graham appeared on "Fox News Sunday," Warner spoke on CNN's "State of the Union," and Kudlow was interviewed on ABC's "This Week."

Statement by Steve Nelson, President, Regarding Failure of House to Pass Farm Bill

LINCOLN, NEB. – “We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of today’s failed vote in the House to secure passage of a new farm bill. This is not only a blow to Nebraska farm and ranch families who have dealt with farm income falling for five straight years, but to all Americans as the farm bill is vital to providing food security for the citizens of our state and country.” “While not perfect, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 would have implemented many of the provisions sought by Nebraska Farm Bureau and its members in a farm bill. The legislation would have protected federal crop insurance, provided meaningful adjustments to commodity title programs, improved conservation programs, and provided funding for research, trade promotion, and rural development programs that would benefit farmers, ranchers, and virtually all citizens across our state and our nation. It also contained provisions to allow agriculture interests to work to address critical problems related to health care and health insurance.” “It is time for Congress to put aside partisan and ideological differences and deliver a farm bill that meets the needs of Nebraska’s farm and ranch families and aids them in producing food, fuel, and fiber for our country and the world.” “We do want to thank all three of Nebraska’s House members, Congressmen Fortenberry, Bacon, and Smith, who supported this bill, as each had made their own individual contributions to the legislation.”

View All

Markets

View More
KRVN
KNEB KTIC KAWL KXSP - Omaha KSID - Sidney KCSR - Chadron KNCY - Nebraska City KWBE - Beatrice/Fairbury