michigan-ag-blog-profilepic Michigan Agriculture Now

  • U-S Korea Trade Deficit Grows

    Posted by Rick Shields

     The U.S. continues to run a trade deficit with Korea - despite implementation of the Korea-U.S. free trade deal last March. Some of the reason is agriculture. U.S. high hopes for the KORUS agreement have not been dashed - but nearly a year after the hard-fought deal was implemented - KORUS has not yielded the results many were hoping for.

    The U.S. trade deficit with Korea has widened by nearly 3-billion dollars from 2011 to 2012 - while globally - the U.S. last year had its first trade surplus in three-years. The U.S. exported less corn to Korea - and National Cattlemen’s Trade Adviser Kent Bacus says beef trade was also off…

    U-S Korea Trade Deficit Grows

  • Corn-Soybean Price Estimates

    Posted by Rick Shields

     USDA has raised its soybean price estimate - but lowered that for corn in its latest supply and demand report. Lower corn exports boosted domestic supplies - which weighed on the projected 2012-2013 season average corn price - according to World Ag Outlook Board Chair Gerald Bange...

    Corn-Soybean Price Estimates

  • WTO Disappointment With Russia

    Posted by Rick Shields

     At the end of 2012 - Congress passed Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia. But Russia recently announced they would begin banning imports of U.S. beef and pork because of the possibility the meats may contain the feed additive ractopamine. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says his group is very disappointed with Russia - and says the ban is simply not acceptable…

    WTO Disappointment with Russia

  • CBO Numbers Don't Look Good

    Posted by Rick Shields

     The Congressional Budget Office has cut its estimate of available farm bill funding in its preliminary annual funding baseline. The binding CBO baseline won’t be out until March - but Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says the initial CBO numbers aren’t good

    CBO Numbers Don't Look Good

  • Taiwan Says No to U-S Pork

    Posted by Rick Shields

    The U.S. pork industry has lost its battle for now with Taiwan over efforts to get U.S. pork treated with leanness-additive ractopamine into the country. The National Pork Producers Council insisted last year that U.S. trade officials pressure Taiwan to relax its ban on ractopamine-treated pork - and not just beef treated with the additive. NPPC Trade Chief Nick Giordano said last August

    Taiwan Says No to U-S Pork

  • Horticulture Days This Week

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Mark Longsroth, MSU Extension Educator takes a look at what's on this year's agenda.

    Horticulture Days This Week

  • Pesticide Battle Heats Up

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Senators Pat Roberts and Mike Johanns have renewed their fight against the EPA’s expanded pesticide permit requirement for spraying pesticide in or near water. The House passed a ban with almost 300-votes some two-years ago - but a two-year delay was blocked by Senate environmental leaders on the floor. American Farm Bureau’s Paul Schlagle

    Pesticide Battle Heats Up

  • Ag Watches Coming Budget Cuts

    Posted by Rick Shields

    The cuts are coming for real - according to lawmakers in both parties - and American Farm Bureau Deputy Director Dale Moore says producers will see and feel them. Forget about avoiding a March 1st fiscal cliff. Republicans want to pocket 1.2-trillion dollars in 10-year automatic spending cuts that were averted with a two-month deal on New Year’s Eve - and move on to bigger fights over Medicare and Social Security spending. The earlier deal may take some of the sting out of the looming cuts - but Moore has this

    Ag Watches Coming Budget Cuts

  • Japan Moves to 30 Months

    Posted by Rick Shields

     Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Japan will be accepting beef up to 30 months of age on February 1st. Japan previously only accepted imports from cattle less than 20 months. Iowa Cattlemen’s Association President Ed Greiman says the move will greatly increase the amount of beef U.S. cattlemen sell to Japan

    Japan Moves to 30 Months

  • Beef Prices and the Drought

    Posted by Rick Shields

    The great drought of 2012 continues to echo through the farm economy with USDA forecasting higher beef prices for the next couple of years. Drought-stressed feed supplies have depleted the cattle herd - leading to higher retail beef prices. USDA Livestock Analyst Shale Shaggam says beef production is off four-percent from a year ago…

    Beef Prices and the Drought

  • Genetics Making a Difference

    Posted by Rick Shields

    A seed rep talks about how his company's research helped keep growers going during the drought...

    Genetics Making a Difference

  • Ag Sees Cuts Coming

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Some form of across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration now appears likely after House Republicans relented on a temporary increase in the federal borrowing limit or debt ceiling. American Farm Bureau Director Mark Maslyn agrees. There’s now recognition on both sides of the Capitol that sequestration is coming. Republicans have given for now on raising the debt ceiling and top Democrats - like Illinois Senator Dick Durbin - acknowledge as part of that there will be some form of across-the-board cuts. Maslyn says of agencies like USDA

    Ag Sees Cuts Coming