Ag Chat with Bob Bosold - April 19

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- U.S. and Japanese trade officials wrapped up 2 days of talks in Washington by coming to an agreement—an agreement to continue the talks in the near future—probably just before the Japanese Prime Minister and President Trump hold a summit in about a week. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer led the U.S. delegation that talked mainly about lowering Japanese tariffs on imported U.S. agricultural products. U.S. officials told the Japanese that any new deal will have to lower the annual $67 and a half billion trade deficit we have with Japan.

Photo: Pixabay / MGN

The ongoing battle between the U.S. and European Union over aviation issues could cause casualties in American agriculture. The Europeans published a list this week of U.S. farm products that could be hit with additional tariffs if the issue isn’t resolved soon. That list includes dried fruits and vegetables, vegetable oil, nuts, fruit juices, wine and ketchup. That list came out after the U.S. published a list of European products that would be hit with over $11 billion in tariffs if the EU doesn’t stop subsidizing Airbus. The issue is expected to go before the World Trade Organization so an early resolution to the problem isn’t expected.

Not all livestock industries across the country are consolidating. According to the recently released 2017 Census of Agriculture, the hog industry is expanding in both number of animals and number of farms. That’s the first time that’s happened since 1935. The number of hogs in the country is up to almost 72 and a half million head—up over 6 million from the 2012 census. And the number of hog farms is up 5% from 5 years ago to 66,439. Iowa is far and away the leading hog state with over 22.7 million head. North Carolina ranks second, followed by Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana. Wisconsin currently ranks 19th in U.S. hog production.

An initiative introduced by Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin in the 2018 Farm Bill means more money is coming to the Wisconsin dairy industry. About 1 and a half million dollars is headed this way so the industry can develop new products and expand markets for dairy products around the world. The money will be doled out as grants to those in the industry who have ideas and plans to expand the dairy industry.