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7 ag stories you might have missed this week, Dec. 7, 2018

News this week includes a push to get the USMCA passed, the struggle for young farmers, dropping dairy prices and Sonny Perdue’s take on China.

December 7, 2018

2 Min Read

Need a quick catch-up on the news? Here are seven agricultural stories you might have missed this week.


1. Donald Trump’s push to get Congress to quickly pass his NAFTA replacement trade deal will require the president to take an uncharacteristic approach in negotiations: seek compromise while resisting strong-arm tactics. –Ohio Farmer

2. Can young farmers afford to farm today? Since around 2012, farm real estate values and net cash farm incomes have been traveling inversely. If this trend continues, the agriculture industry could be haunted by young people who want to farm but don’t have the financial means to do so. Will the inability to purchase farm ground cultivate an inability to farm? –Indiana Prairie Farmer 

3. Bob Cropp, University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension dairy economist, projects that the December Class III price will be about $14.70, the lowest average in four years. Dairy exports explain some of the weakness in dairy product prices except for butter, Cropp says. The 2019 milk price is expected to be moderately higher. Where are prices headed? –Wisconsin Agriculturist

4. Low prices, market uncertainty, family problems. The stresses associated with farming can become overwhelming. Sometimes you need to let go of your pride and get the help you need. Mental health professionals are only a phone call away. –The Farmer

5. With harvest fresh in mind, now is the time to evaluate crop performance before selecting next year's soybean varieties. You need to be part researcher when making purchases for the 2019 soybean growing season. –Missouri Ruralist

6. When USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue addressed the delegate session of the Illinois Farm Bureau on Dec. 3, he didn’t mince words on what President Donald Trump’s negotiations with Chinese leader Xi Jinping means to the heartland.

“We want them to start buying our stuff and stop stealing our stuff,” he said. –Prairie Farmer

 7. The November reading leaves the Ag Economy Barometer 6% below its most recent peak in June. Although November’s ag sentiment index was below the level attained last spring, it was still 6 points higher than a year earlier when the index of agricultural producer sentiment was 128. There's an undercurrent of concern about the farm economy among producers. –Farm Futures

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