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Farmers and industry professionals were left scratching their heads after U.S. Department of Agriculture reports were released Monday. The subsequent market aftershocks of the reports served as a reminder that farmers are facing challenges from all sides and need support from Congress and the Administration — before it is too late for some. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy)

Ankeny, IA — The release this week of key U.S. crop production and acreage data sent shockwaves through the grain and livestock markets. It also served as a stark reminder of the need for immediate action on a host of issues impacting the economic livelihoods of Iowa and U.S. farmers.

Lower soybean and corn prices after the reports were realeased are a reminder of crumbling demand for products, said Grant Kimberley, director of market development for the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA).

“Farmers are getting hurt on the demand side by losing our No. 1 customer, China, due to trade issues. They’re getting hurt domestically because of the EPA’s continued granting of small refinery waivers. The administration’s not following through on what they said in supporting farmers and protecting the RFS [Renewable Fuel Standard]. Instead, the EPA is choosing oil refinery profits over farmer profitability,” he said.

“We’re getting hammered from all sides,” said Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) President Lindsay Greiner who farms near Keota. “It’s long past time for the Administration and Congress to act. If they don’t, a good share of the damage done to America’s family farms will be permanent.”

Read more reactions from Iowa soybean farmers and how the Administration and Congress can and should support farmers through action on a host of issues.

Washington, DC — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering emergency support to some counties in Iowa. Producers who suffered losses due to excessive moisture, flooding and flash flooding that has occurred since Sept. 1, 2018, may be eligible for Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans. This includes Appanoose, Clinton, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Dubuque, Jackson, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, Ringgold,Scott, Van Buren, and Wayne counties in Iowa

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs.  Additional information is available online.

Washington, DC — The Trump administration on Tuesday announced that it would exempt certain Chinese goods from new tariffs set to take effect in September and that other tariffs would be delayed until the end of the year.

"Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security, and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10%," the US Office of the Trade Representative said in a statement.

Cellphones, laptops, video game consoles, toys, computer monitors, and some footwear and clothes are among the items now facing tariffs on December 15.

The announcement came after top U.S. and Chinese trade officials met over the phone Tuesday to negotiate. President Donald Trump stressed the talks were “productive” and offered optimism that a conclusion could come soon.

However, billions of dollars in exports are slated to be lost as China announced this week it will stop buying U.S. agricultural products.

"China’s announcement that it will not buy any agricultural products from the United States is a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by," American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a statement.

The exports mainly involve soybeans, pork, dairy and sorghum, Reuters reported.

Washington, DC — The small refiner waivers granted by the Environmental Protection Agency are not only negatively impacting ethanol but also biodiesel. National Biodiesel Board Director Greg Anderson says the 31 RFS waivers granted Friday have a huge detrimental effect on the biodiesel industry.

He says the waivers along with no reallocation of lost biodiesel volumes are devastating. Anderson says the small refinery waivers also impact other areas of U.S agriculture including feedstocks. In addition, University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin notes that the damage to U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry could reach $7.7 billion or 2.54 billion gallons.

Washington, DC — The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will not approve product labels linking the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, with cancer.

This announcement follows a move by California regulators in 2017 to add glyphosate to a state-maintained list of cancer-causing chemicals. Under the state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65, businesses have to provide warnings when their products contain chemicals that appear on this list. The glyphosate cancer warnings were scheduled to start appearing in summer of 2018, but a judge delayed the rule while Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) challenged the decision in court. Now, the federal government has stepped in to ensure the warnings will not appear.

“The State of California’s much criticized Proposition 65 has led to misleading labeling requirements for products, like glyphosate, because it misinforms the public about the risks they are facing,” EPA announced in a statement.

Washington, DC — The Agriculture’s Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Monday announced initial plans to carry out new animal health activities using resources provided by the 2018 farm bill.

Section 12101 of the bill established a three-part program to comprehensively support animal disease prevention and management, APHIS noted.

The bill included funding to create two new programs: the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (vaccine bank) and the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP). It also expands funding opportunities for the existing National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

For media inquiries, please contact Katie Johnson, ISA Public Relations Manager at kjohnson@iasoybeans.com or Aaron Putze, ISA Communications Director at aputze@iasoybeans.com

For permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos contact Aaron Putze at aputze@iasoybeans.com. Iowa Soybean Association | 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy | Ankeny | IA | 50023 | US

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