Ag Today March 6, 2019

US plans to lift protections for gray wolves [Associated Press]

U.S. wildlife officials plan to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move certain to re-ignite the legal battle over a predator that’s rebounding in some regions and running into conflicts with farmers and ranchers, an official told The Associated Press. Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was expected to announce the proposal during a Wednesday speech before a wildlife conference in Denver, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Gavin Shire said in an interview with the AP. The decision to lift protections is based on gray wolves successfully recovering from widespread extermination last century, Shire said. He said further details would be made public during a formal announcement planned in coming days.


‘We need it now’: U.S. farm country pins hopes on China trade deal [Reuters]

…So far, the American rural heartland that helped carry President Donald Trump to victory in 2016 remains largely supportive of his hard line on trade, saying unfair Chinese practices had to be addressed for longer-term economic gain. But it has also taken the brunt of the dispute, losing a massive export market. With credit conditions eroding in the agrarian economy and total debt hitting levels unseen for decades, the pain has deepened and patience is wearing thin.


U.S. and E.U. are headed for a food fight over trade [New York Times]

American and European negotiators are at odds over what to include in a prospective trade deal, ratcheting up trans-Atlantic tensions and jeopardizing talks before they even begin. Trump administration officials insist that any deal must address the agricultural trade barriers that the president says put American farmers at a disadvantage, in part because such an agreement would be more likely to win congressional approval. European officials counter that agriculture was never on the table — not last July, and not now.


Mexican farmers urge ‘mirror’ tariffs on Trump’s rural base [Reuters]

Leaders of Mexico’s agricultural sector are urging “mirror measures” on U.S. farm imports in politically sensitive products such as yellow corn and poultry, in an effort they argue would counter decades of subsidized imports from the United States. The three-month-old government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is currently working on an updated list of products imported from its northern neighbor on which to possibly apply a second round of tariffs in response to U.S. measures imposed on Mexican steel and aluminum by the Trump Administration last year.


‘It’s embarrassing’: California wildfire relief struggles to get through Senate [San Francisco Chronicle]

After a months-long delay, key negotiators say Congress is closing in on a deal to pass a disaster relief package, including billions in funding for California wildfire recovery that has been hanging in limbo. Still, it remains unclear when any bill will advance, and lawmakers say political fights have been holding up the process….Democrats say the sticking point has been money for Puerto Rico….That fight prevented disaster funding from being tacked onto a spending deal that ended the partial government shutdown in late January.


Opinion: Michelin’s new guide celebrates California’s world-class culinary status [Sacramento Bee]

California cuisine has long embodied the state’s spirit of discovery and unrivaled agricultural foundation….And now California — from its proud and industrious culinary community to millions of adventurous diners — can celebrate recognition as the first state to receive its own Michelin Guide….The Michelin Guide’s emergence in California underscores the importance of the state’s world-renowned agriculture industry and its impact on our Michelin star-worthy restaurants….Receiving a Michelin star is the highest honor bestowed on a restaurant. Receiving an entire guidebook is an honor that speaks volumes for the Golden State’s agricultural and culinary prowess.