#AgAlerts: Sugar shortage; small farmers; wheat’s falling numbers

The closing days of 2019 find small farms pummeled from every side: a trade war, severe weather associated with climate change, tanking commodity prices related to globalization and political polarization. It is the worst crisis in decades.

#AgAlerts: New feed mill and meat packaging facilities; weather; plant-based meat taste

A roundup of news, reports, and research on agribusiness and related issues. Cargill opens expanded $34m feed mill at Texas site | Feednavigator.com   

A renovated Cargill feed production facility in Temple, Texas has gone live; it has been expanded to 70,000 square feet to address feed demand in the region. Inside the little-known world of flavorists, who are trying to make plant-based meat taste like the real thing | Washingtonpost.com

These new foods are the opposite of whole foods. Some nutritionists and food industry leaders are wondering if the food system is being led astray by foods that need their flavor and appeal inserted industrially. China trade deal in sight | Agweb.com

The Trump Administration said the U.S. aims to sign “Phase One” deal this month (possibly in Iowa).  China’s Xinhua News Agency said U.S. and China had reached a “consensus on principles” during Friday’s phone call. 

Rain, early snows delay U.S. harvest in latest blow to farmers | Reuters.com

The farmers just can't catch a break with the weather.

#AgAlerts: Losing farms; giant pigs; recovery from wildfires

Ford outlined how sustained low commodity prices now meant that the average farm income in 2017 was $43,000, and that the median farm income for 2018 was minus $1,500. This had pushed bankruptcies in the farm states across the Midwest, which sell half of U.S farm products, to the highest level in a decade.

Opinion: Ag blazing 5 for 2019 (and beyond)

Breaking out major prognostic tools (including an 8-ball, Ouija board, paper fortune teller and dart board...yeah we're high tech around here) here are some of the big agricultural issues on the horizon for 2019.

Opinion: Smithfield may profit from U.S. China trade war

Generally speaking, pork barrel politics amounts to politicians trading favors to constituents or special interest groups for political support, often as campaign contributions. Pork barrel spending, better known as earmarks in federal spending bills, have surged in 2018. Who may be profiting this year? Smithfield Foods.