Ag Chat with Bob Bosold - June 5

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- It looks like Mexico will be the first of the countries involved in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement to take some kind of legislative action on that new deal. Mexico's new president Lopez Obrador said recently that trade officials will deliver the text of the deal and all related documents to the Mexican Senate this Thursday. Mexican officials say two events prompted the move toward passing the new deal-one being that Mexico passed new labor laws to bring them in line with the new deal and secondly, the U.S. lifted the tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum imports to the U.S. The deal is expected to get a lot of support from Mexico's main political parties.

No matter where you drive this summer in this country, you should be able to find cheaper gas. That's because Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler approved a new administrative rule last Friday that allows for year-round sales of 15% ethanol blends in the U.S. gasoline supply. The renewable fuels industry is hailing the move as a way to build up the rural economy and give drivers more access to cleaner, more efficient fuels. But the industry says the new rule may be all for nothing if the EPA doesn't stop mismanaging the Renewable Fuels Standards by continuing to give out small refinery blending exemptions. Those exemptions over the past couple of years has meant that over 2.6 billion gallons of ethanol have not been used in the domestic gasoline supply.

Farmers who are still dealing with flooded fields in parts of the Midwest and Great Plains got some good news this week. The House has joined the Senate in passing a $19.1 billion disaster aid package that will help farmers recover their flooded acres. Just over $3 billion of that package will go to pay for farmer losses from 2018 and 2019 disasters. The rest of the money will go to help those in the Southeast hit by hurricanes last year and to victims of the 2018 California wildfires. President Trump is expected to sign the bill.

The world's first floating dairy farm is now reality. At the end of last month, 32 cows came aboard the facility that's located in the Rotterdam harbor. The new farm is built on 3 levels and it will eventually produce about 200 gallons a day of milk and yogurt. Plans are to add a floating chicken farm and greenhouse soon.