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Value of U.S. foreign ag sales fell 3% in May

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 9:42 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Our agricultural balance of trade isn't getting any better. In May, the value of U.S. foreign ag sales fell 3% to just over $10.3 billion. But our ag imports dropped just 3 tenths of a percent and came in at $11.38 billion-leading to a record monthly trade deficit of over a billion dollars. The previous record was in April, 2019 when we had a deficit of $842 million.

The Small Business Administration says it still has about $132 billion to loan to businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program. So far the SBA has handed out $521 billion through almost 5 million loans through the program. The breakdown shows agriculture, forestry and fishing have gotten just under $8 billion or about one and a half percent of the money already loaned out. Records show that 30 ethanol companies and 80 other renewable energy businesses have gotten some of the loan money. Several dairy processors around the country have also gotten loans ranging from 5 to 10 million dollars while dozens of farmer owned cooperatives have also gotten program loans. California businesses have gotten the most PPP loan money at just under $69 billion. Wisconsin has gotten $9.9 billion so far with Minnesota businesses getting $11.2 billion.

More twists and turns in the Bayer AG battle to resolve all the court cases filed against the company because of Round Up herbicide. Earlier this week we reported that Bayer was offering about $11 billion to settle nearly 95% of the lawsuits brought against the company because of claims Round Up caused cancer in people who used the product over a long period of time. But a California judge put a hold on that offer saying he was skeptical of the fairness of such a move since the science is still evolving and what is ruled on now might not be appropriate for future cases. Then yesterday Bayer’s attorneys said the company now agrees with the judge. We’ll know more after a July 24th hearing.

Marshfield usually kicks off June Dairy month with their Dairyfest weekend. But because of the Coronavirus, all events were cancelled. But now they’ve rescheduled a Dairy Strong week of events starting with breakfast this Sunday, July 12th, from 8 until noon at the Marshfield Eagles Club. That event will be both an on site eating opportunity or a takeout option. There will also be events all next week around Marshfield ending on Saturday the 18th with a Reverse parade.

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