Ag Chat with Bob Bosold- June 3

Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 8:41 AM CDT
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The current tension between the U.S. and Chinese governments is having an adverse effect on U.S. agriculture. Earlier this week the Chinese government ordered its state owned companies not to import any American pork, soybeans, cotton or corn because of U.S. criticism of China's handling of both the Coronavirus pandemic and the Hong Kong situation. But private importers are still being allowed to make purchases from the U.S.. President Trump says he is looking at ways to punish China for their actions and the Chinese say they will respond equally to any U.S. action.

But a look at that Phase 1 Trade Agreement between the U.S. and China shows the Chinese are way behind in meeting their promised purchases of U.S. farm products. In looking at the numbers, S & P Global Market Intelligence has found China is already $20 billion short of what they promised to buy in the first quarter of 2020. Under terms of the deal China promised to buy an extra $200 billion in 2020 and 2021 than they did in 2017. To do that China would need to buy almost $12 billion of American products every month. But they have a long way to go as their March buys totaled just $5 billion.

New numbers are now showing that Wisconsin agricultural exports are up slightly through the first quarter of this year. That follows 2019 foreign sales that were down 5% last year-about a percent and a half worse than the national export numbers. Our top 5 buyers are China, Canada, Mexico, Japan and South Korea and so far this year only sales to Japan are higher than last year-by about 9%. Products that are doing the best so far in export markets for Wisconsin are dairy, wood and other beverage products.

Wisconsin FFA officials have made a final decision on how to handle this year's annual convention that was scheduled for June 15th through the 18th in Madison. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic that has been cancelled and instead the FFA will have an online experience from July 6th through the 10th. That will include announcement of award winners such as proficiency areas as well as the Stars over Wisconsin. Also the current officer team is planning to have on line convention updates every Friday leading up to that virtual convention. Officials say their biggest challenge is to figure a way to select a new officer team.

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