Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - August 23

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) -- Trump Administration officials said yesterday a tentative trade agreement has been reached with Mexico concerning the import of tomatoes into the United States. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue praised the agreement, in which the administration said it would lift the 17.5 percent tariff President Trump had placed on Mexican tomato imports. However, critics in the American produce industry said it could create an unnecessary amount of inspections of the imports and destabilize the U.S. tomato market. Florida tomato growers have said in the past that Mexico unfairly subsidizes its tomato growers, giving that country's growers an unfair competitive advantage over the U.S. growers. Tomato imports from Mexico have more than doubled since 2002.

The 2015 Waters of the United States rule is unlawful under the Clean Water Act, according to a federal court. The court of the Southern District of Georgia has sent the rule back to the Environmental Protection, saying the EPA overstepped the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. A preliminary injunction was kept in place, preventing the rule from becoming effective in the 11 states involved with the lawsuit while the EPA finalizes the rule's repeal and replacement.

Wisconsin is leading the nation in dairy-goat farming, and that production appears to be on the rise. Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics show that Wisconsin farmers are milking 72,000 head of dairy goats during 2019, which leads the nation in goat numbers. That's a 7 percent increase in dairy goat production compared with 2018.

Brooke Hammann of Barron won Championship Honors at the recent Wisconsin Junior State Fair Dairy Show held in West Allis earlier this month. Brooke's entry, Triple-HH Diamond Fawn-Red, was second in the Red and White Spring Yearling Heifer Class. She also was First Bred and Owned Heifer in that class. She went on to be named Grand Champion Bred and Owned Heifer and then received Honorable Mention Supreme Champion Bred and Owned Heifer Honors. Brooke was part of the Barron County State Fair Dairy contingent which also won much recognition including the top blue ribbon placing in the Large Herd Dairy Division in Herdsmanship.