Chinese Tariffs on Agriculture

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 A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows they're rapidly losing confidence in the region's farm economy.

The Rural Mainstreet survey for May, released Thursday, shows the survey's overall index dropping from 50 in April to 48.5 this month. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.

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China is hardly buying any U.S. soybeans thanks to the ongoing trade dispute. But as China grapples with a major disease outbreak, there’s a possible silver lining for farmers here.  

African swine fever has led to the deaths of at least a million hogs in China, a country that eats a lot of pork.

To meet that demand, China may need to import more U-S pork.

The U-S has the capacity to raise more pigs, and those animals would eat some of the soybeans that China isn’t currently buying. 

State of Iowa

Current and past attorneys general from both major political parties from several states are asking Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to veto a measure that would force Iowa's attorney general to seek permission to file out-of-state lawsuits.

They think the move designed by Republicans to keep Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller from joining lawsuits against the Donald Trump administration violates basic checks and balances.

Iowa would be the only state with such limits on an attorney general.

Noon News 5.10.19

May 10, 2019
Nebraska Farm Bureau

A new report says a nearly $200 million decline in Nebraska's agricultural exports in 2017 was driven by President Donald Trump's threats to impose tariffs on U.S. trading partners.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau report attributes the drop to decreases in soybean and corn exports, while beef and pork exports both increased in 2017.

The findings come as Trump imposed his latest tariff hike on Chinese goods Friday. 

A bill to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in Nebraska has advanced out of a legislative committee.  It will now go to the full Unicameral for debate.

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Republican Governor Kim Reynolds may soon face a lawsuit over a provision she signed into law.  It would restrict publicly-funded health insurance from covering surgeries for transgender Iowans. If she approves a bill that restricts the attorney general’s authority, a lawsuit will likely follow that, too. 

Several new laws in recent years have faced court challenges, and some have been struck down.

Asked why this seems to be happening a lot, Reynolds says it’s part of the process.

Cultural Continuum 4.12.19

Apr 12, 2019

Morningside College looks at the world from the vantage point of a Gen Z'er, there's Didgeridoo and Morlix at Vangarde Arts, the final weekend of Small Jokes about Monsters at LAMB.