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Trump visits Cedar Rapids, Perdue halts import of beef from Brazil, NAFTA pre-talks begin.

Janet Kubat Willette, E-Content Editor

June 23, 2017

2 Min Read

Here are 7 agricultural stories you might have missed this week.

1. President Trump has nominated Gregory Doud of Kansas to be the chief agricultural negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Doud is president of the Commodity Markets Council. Prior to that, he was on staff of the Senate Agriculture Committee. – Farm Futures 

2. President Trump told a cheering crowd of 250 at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that while "America's farmers are great" he has a plan to make agriculture even greater. – Wallaces Farmer

3. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has suspended all fresh beef imports from Brazil because of recurring concerns about the safety of the products. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has been inspecting 100% of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil since March and has refused entry to 11% of Brazilian fresh beef products. – Farm Futures

4. JBS, the world's largest meat packer, is putting JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding LLC, the world's largest cattle feeding operation, up for sale. JBS purchased Five Rivers in 2008 from Smithfield Foods and Continental Grain Co. The sale is a result of the company's plan to spin off assets in the wake of corruption allegations. – Denver Business Journal

5. Talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement are set to begin in August, but the agriculture ministers from the three nations met in Georgia for some advance talks. All three agreed NAFTA has been good for agriculture. Meanwhile, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said there is no deadline for finishing the talks. – Farm Futures

6. A Syngenta agronomist is encouraging Missouri farmers to apply a fungicide early in the growing season because the wet spring created an ideal environment for foliar diseases. – Missouri Ruralist

7. There were two renewable fuel related stories this week. The Mexican Energy Regulatory Commission is increasing the amount of gasoline that can be blended in Mexican gas supplies from 5.8% to 10% in all but three cities: Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City. Exxon hopes to someday make that ethanol from algae as it reported a breakthrough that could enable commercialization of algae-based biofuels. – Farm Futures 

And your bonus: It's summer, time for berries. Low-tunnel technology is extending the strawberry season at Panek's Pickin' Patch in Albion, N.Y. from three weeks to five months. The $5,000 investment has been recovered with reduced loss of fruit to water damage and disease pressure. – American Agriculturist

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