ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The lack of a consistent trade policy, tariffs and increasing production capabilities in other parts of the world are putting more pressure on our foreign agricultural sales every year. New numbers from USDA Economists now show our agricultural balance of trade this year is going to show the smallest surplus since 2006. With exports at 134 and a half billion dollars and imports at 129.3 billion dollars, that surplus has shrunk to just $5.2 billion for the 2019 marketing year.
That trade situation is still in flux for U.S. farmers. U.S.-China trade talks are ongoing but still no agreement. And President Trump continues to talk tough regarding China. Earlier this week he told reporters that if we don’t get a deal with China, “I’ll just raise tariffs even higher.” The latest on that deal is that the Chinese have invited our top trade negotiators to China for more talks. But U.S. officials say they’re not gonna fly across the Pacific unless the Chinese make some commitments, ahead of more meetings, on intellectual property protection, forced technology transfers and agricultural purchases.
Eau Claire has a new County Agricultural Extension Agent. Lyssa Seefedt will start her new job on December 8th. She has spent the last 6 and a half years as an Extension agent in Marquette County with an emphasis on livestock. She has her Bachelor’s degree from UW-River falls and a Masters from South Dakota State.
The cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, with all the trimmings, is going to cost a little more than it did last year. According to Farm Bureau Federation surveys around the state and across the country the overall meal costs will be only slightly higher. The cost nationally for the turkey and trimmings will be $62.32 to feed 10 people. In Wisconsin that cost will be around $61.57, up $1.43 from last year. One of the biggest price increases this year will for the turkey. Last year a 16 pound bird cost just over $19 but this year that same turkey is about $21.75. The farmers share of the cost of Thanksgiving dinner has now shrunk to about 14 and a half percent or just $8.98 of the total of $62.32.