Soybean farmers return to D.C. to drive home their message: We need long-term solutions to the trade war

2018-08-09T15:05:04+00:00August 9th, 2018|Mid Atlantic|

As China’s tariff on U.S. soybeans continues to take its toll, growers look for help from Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Returning to Washington just weeks after their July Board of Directors meeting, grower leaders from the American Soybean Association (ASA) met again with officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Members of Congress to consider options for offsetting the long-term damage from China’s retaliatory tariff on American soybeans.

John Heisdorffer, a soy grower from Keota, Iowa, and President of ASA said, “We know that President Trump is aware of how hard this is hitting agriculture and specifically soybeans. The recent announcement that the European Union has agreed to buy more U.S. soybeans is a welcome step. Given the scale of potential damage from the tariff, we need more market-opening measures if we are going to survive the long-term repercussions on soybean exports.”

“We are asking, first, that Congress pass a new long-term farm bill that increases funding for export promotion under MAP and FMD. The Trade Promotion Program announced by USDA last month will supplement these much-needed efforts, and we hope to see this funding extended over a multi-year period so that activities can be coordinated with the Congressionally-mandated programs.”

In addition to asking Congress to pass the Farm Bill, ASA grower leaders urged the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to support negotiation of new free trade agreements. ASA is asking that NAFTA be in place by the end of 2018, and that bilateral FTAs be initiated with Japan and other countries that offer increased markets for soy and livestock products. ASA also asked lawmakers to support funding to upgrade inland waterways infrastructure in order to maintain the U.S. competitive advantage.

“We need these tools,” said Heisdorffer. “The certainty and stability of our industry depends on, number one, getting these tariffs removed as quickly as possible and, number two, taking steps now to offset the damage done by this trade war by negotiating trade agreements and funding programs essential to opening new markets for our farm products.”

China imported 31 percent of U.S. production in 2017, equal to 60 percent of total U.S exports and nearly one in every three rows of harvested beans, which makes expanding existing and finding new markets crucial for the U.S. soybean industry.

Asado anyone?

2018-07-31T14:07:43+00:00July 31st, 2018|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, Western Edition|

by Troy Bishopp

So you’re a farmer and you’ve got this pile of brush you made out of tenacious, multi-flora rose bushes, overgrown honeysuckle, wily spiked hawthorn trees and dead limb wood. Before you touch a match to this hedgerow fuel and burn up your nemesis, might you consider this action functional as well as delicious? An asado is just a smoldering flame away. (more…)

GMO vs. non-GMO planting decisions

2018-07-24T10:47:44+00:00July 24th, 2018|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

“Let’s see a show of hands! Who among you was doing work before 1995?” asked Eric Rosenbaum, executive director of the Pennsylvania Corn Growers Association. He is also executive director of the Pennsylvania 4-R Nutrient Stewardship Alliance. “Okay, then you can help me out when it comes to talking about insecticides and herbicides, because you remember what it was like to put Accent on corn when it was off-label, when it was two feet tall, and the injury we saw from that.” Rosenbaum was leading the GMO tour of Penn State’s Farming for Success all-day seminar at its research station in Landisville, PA. (more…)

Not worth the risk

2018-07-06T11:17:30+00:00July 6th, 2018|Mid Atlantic, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

I want to ride on the tractor!

It’s hard for adults to refuse a child’s request to ride on a large, powerful machine. Many farm kids grew up doing just that, spending summers on the tractor with a parent or grandparent until they were old enough — or tall enough — to drive on their own. (more…)

Don’t be the burger stand

2018-06-29T12:33:53+00:00June 29th, 2018|Mid Atlantic, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

If your farm is attracting more than its share of flies, it’s because environmental conditions are just right. Dr. Gregory Martin, Penn State extension educator in poultry, helps livestock producers deal with fly issues, and says the first aspect of fly management is learning to identify them. (more…)

ASA now seeking nominations for annual soy recognition awards

2018-06-27T10:34:04+00:00June 27th, 2018|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

The American Soybean Association (ASA) wants to recognize exceptional soy volunteers and leaders — and we need your help. During ASA’s annual awards banquet, individuals will be recognized and honored for state association volunteerism, distinguished leadership achievements and long-term, significant contributions to the soybean industry. (more…)