Posted on April 10, 2023
Nearly drowned out in all the farm group cheering that U.S. ag exports hit a record high $196 billion last year was the inarguable fact that U.S. ag imports also hit a record-high, $199 billion, or $3 billion more than ag exports.
That’s right, sports fans: during its biggest ag export year ever–when the value of […]
Posted on February 22, 2023
If your best international customer–someone who accounts for 27 percent of your overseas sales–gave you three years to change the recipe of what it buys from you, it’s a safe bet you’d work together to meet their needs and deadline.
Not Big Agbiz, however, which is pushing, pressing, and prodding the Biden Administration to squeeze Mexico, […]
Posted on June 15, 2022
On the very week the United States marked its one millionth Covid death and anxious American parents awaited a military airlift for baby formula, Davos Man, he of the pinstriped master-of-the-universe class, emerged from his bulletproof, bombproof office to report all was well in the world of intergalactic finance and handmade shoes.
Well, kinda’ sorta’ well.
Posted on June 15, 2022
You don’t need to be a vegan to know that livestock and poultry aren’t “harvested,” the squeaky clean verb that’s become fashionable among farm and ranch groups to minimize the end–as in The End–of most animals their members grow.
Soybeans are harvested; pigs are slaughtered. Wheat is harvested; cattle are slaughtered.
It’s not a minor point, insists […]
Posted on March 31, 2022
For the second time in two years, a history-making calamity has shown just how fragile the world’s efficiency-driven, deeply interdependent food system is.
Two years ago, a rampaging pandemic threatened America’s pantries. Today, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens supplies of key ag inputs like fuel and fertilizer while causing deep disruptions to global wheat, corn, and […]
Posted on December 10, 2021
Not many people or events lead both the New York Times and CBS’s 60 Minutes television broadcast on the same day. The still-building mess at many American ports, however, pulled off that rare feat Sunday, Nov. 14, by simply being the biggest rat’s nest anyone in port management, railroading, trucking, or the West Coast ag exporting business has ever […]
Posted on June 11, 2021
China is even hungrier, richer, and—to the delight of almost every American farmer—more impatient in today’s global food market than anyone thought possible even a decade ago.
In fact, according to the data crunchers at Agricultural Economic Insights (aei), China now imports “about 100 million acres worth of crop production, or roughly 25% of total […]
Posted on April 2, 2020
February is a paradox. Leap Year or not, it’s the shortest month of the year yet it always feels like the longest month of winter. Endless gray skies bleed into endless gray days into an almost endless gray month.
Then March appears with its light, color, and hope and February’s dreariness is soon forgotten.
Posted on March 26, 2020
If you’re a farmer or rancher, you might be in for a bad day when you open your Monday morning email and five of the six headlines sent by an ag news service read:
–“USDA declares Brazilian beef safe, lifts [U.S. import] ban;”
–“GAO launches investigation into Trump aid to farmers;”
–“China could purchase much […]
Posted on February 27, 2020
After the White House announced its twin trade triumphs, passage of NAFTA 2.0 and phase one of a multi-phase deal with China, readers emailed to suggest I should write a column on—to quote two—the “absolutely amazing trade deals” “only President Trump” could have done.
Before I pass judgment on so humble a request, it […]