Ag Today April 19, 2019

U.S. wins WTO ruling against China grain import quotas [Reuters]

The United States won a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Thursday against China’s use of tariff-rate quotas for rice, wheat and corn, which it successfully argued limited market access for U.S. grain exports….In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcomed the decision, saying China’s system “ultimately inhibits TRQs from filling, denying U.S. farmers access to China’s market for grain”. If China’s TRQs had been fully used, $3.5 billion worth of corn, wheat and rice would have been imported in 2015 alone, it said, citing U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.


Trump’s NAFTA revisions offer modest economic benefits, report finds [New York Times]

A government report has concluded that the Trump administration’s revised North American trade agreement would offer modest benefits to the economy, challenging the president’s claims that the accord would make far-reaching changes….On Thursday, the United States International Trade Commission, a government body, released an independent analysis of the accord’s potential effects on the country’s economy, a report required by law before Congress votes on the deal….It would increase United States trade with Canada and Mexico by about 5 percent, as well as provide a modest lift to agriculture, services and manufacturing activity.


Beloved Bloomingcamp Ranch near Oakdale could be closed due to water problems [Modesto Bee]

The cider, the apple pies and the scenery are just some of the things that draw people to Bloomingcamp Ranch near Oakdale. Today, the business that’s served customers for more than 40 years faces an uncertain future because of state regulations that target small public water systems, the owners said….In late 2017, nitrate levels in an onsite well crept over the 10 milligrams per liter safe drinking water standard, leading to county and state orders for the ranch to reduce the nitrates in the water. The state considers it a small public water system because the ranch serves at least 25 customers per day and has a certain number of water connections.


How many cherries in frozen pie? FDA may soon drop rules [Associated Press]

President Donald Trump may soon be able to claim a sweet victory for his deregulation push, with officials preparing to get rid of the decades-old rules for frozen cherry pies….It’s not always clear why some food terms have standards and others don’t. The rules are seen as arcane by many and are a sore spot in the food industry, with companies saying they prevent innovation or prompt lawsuits. The FDA under Trump has said it plans to update the standards.


Wine executives debate the promise and peril of millennial wine consumers [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

Top wine executives on Thursday offered differing views on the promise and peril of marketing wine to millennials, who are poised to overtake baby boomers this year as the largest generation in the United States. Some are downright bullish about the prospects of increasing wine sales to the group of 73 million consumers roughly from the ages 23 to 38, noting their openness for new discovery and desire for authenticity….Others were more measured on their take. Bob Torkelson, president and CEO of Trinchero Family Estates in St. Helena, noted that many millennials are saddled with debt that limit their ability to purchase premium wine.


California Farm Bureau Federation celebrates 100 years [KVML Radio, Sonora]

The California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) was founded in 1919, when delegates from thirty-two county Farm Bureaus met in Berkeley to create the statewide organization. Shaun Crook, 2nd Vice President of the California Farm Bureau and resident of Tuolumne County, was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”….According to Crook, the CFBF is deeply committed to their mission, which is to improve the well-being and quality of life for California farmers and ranchers. They do this through advocacy, ongoing outreach, and economic services and products for those involved in agricultural production.