Ag Chat with Bob Bosold - January 10

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- U.S. and Chinese officials wrapped up 3 days of trade talks yesterday in Bejing. Both sides agreed that the talks were successful in identifying and narrowing the differences on many trade issues between our 2 countries. But they didn't say they were close to reaching a final agreement on trade. But on a more positive note, some observers said this week's positive momentum could lead to higher level talks later this month at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. They are also optimistic the 2 sides could reach enough of an agreement that President Trump wouldn't raise tariffs on 40% of American imports from China by the March 2nd deadline imposed earlier.

The administration is trying to get a more even trade balance which China which currently favors the Chinese in a big way. In 2017 our trade deficit with them was over $377 billion. And that deficit looks even larger for 2018. Through the first 10 months of last year, that deficit was over $344 billion and it's estimated that when the final 2 months of the year are added in, that total will be over $410 billion.

So with our foreign markets still in flux because of tariffs and uncertain trade deals, what do farmers think they will plant in 2019. The latest survey of growers done by Informa Economics shows corn acres will go up between 2and 3 million acres to about 92 million while soybean acres will fall about 4 million to 82 and a half million. Wheat acres are expected to be up almost 7% to 51 million acres.

The annual Wisconsin Fairs Association annual convention in Wisconsin Dells wrapped up last night with the naming of our new Fairest of the Fairs. Winning the honor was Meghan Buechel of the Brown County Fair. The first runner-up was Sharla Boehlke from Ozaukee County with Molly Mcilquhan from the Northern Wisconsin State Fair in Chippewa Falls finishing as second runner-up. There were a record 42 young ladies in this year's competition. The group also presented former Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel the newly created Bob Williams award for his strong support of the fairs during his time in office.

Today is the last day of the LaCrosse Farm Show at the Lacrosse Center. Doors will again open about 9 this morning and the show will wrap up at 3 this afternoon. Admission is free.