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President Donald Trump signed the first phase of a new trade deal with China this morning.

Part of the agreement includes China buying more soybeans and other U.S. farm products.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem were by Trump’s side in Washington, D.C.

Noem mentioned the potential positive impact for farmers during her “State of the State” speech yesterday in Pierre.

“I have a deep appreciation for the President for his commitment and leadership to mend this U.S. China Trade Agreement.”

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Minnesota and the Dakotas have seen snow and rain in recent weeks that have hampered an already difficult harvest. But much of the Corn Belt has somewhat recovered from heavy rains in the spring and summer, with experts predicting good yields from what did get planted.  

Steve Nicholson, a grains and oilseeds analyst with Rabobank in St. Louis, says that even though many farmers are still struggling, he believes the markets would be a lot more unsettled if a total disaster was looming.

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Though plenty of hard work remains on a possible trade deal between the United States and China, the agriculture sector is finding hope in the tentative agreement the countries have announced. 

President Donald Trump says China has agreed to buy between 40 and 50 billion dollars in US agriculture products if the deal goes through. Iowa State University economics professor Wendong Zhang says that’s significantly more than any single-year of US exports to the Asian giant. But it’s not clear whether the new number reflects an annual promise.

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The United States and China are set to resume trade talks this week and Iowa’s senior senator wants to see some progress. Republican Chuck Grassley praised President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure China to comply with World Trade Organization expectations. And Grassley says if the talks succeed at securing ways to enforce those rules, the whole world will benefit.

I think this uncertainty of the trade settlement is affecting world trade, slowing down the world economy.

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The ongoing trade dispute with China is likely to cost Nebraska’s farmers $943 million in lost revenue this year, according to the Nebraska Farm Bureau. However, the bureau says those losses will be partly offset by aid payments from the government.

But, the bureau says the lost revenue will add to the financial pressure on farmers in the state and hurt Nebraska's economy.

And the global economic slowdown and restrictive tariffs are part of the reason for stalled growth in nine Midwest states.  

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Many Iowa farmers are finding out how much money they’ll get from the federal government’s second round of payments, to help them weather ongoing trade disputes. 

Unlike last year, row-crop farmers will get payments based on their county, not the specific crop they planted. 

County rates are calculated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture depending on how large of an area was lost due to reduced exports.  The payments range from 15 to 150 dollars per acre. 

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This afternoon, former Vice President and Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden was in Le Mars talking about his approach to improving health care and insurance coverage for all Americans. 

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Republican Governor Kim Reynolds says she’ll tell President Trump she’s concerned about his threat to put new tariffs on all products from Mexico when he visits Iowa next week. 

President Trump says all goods coming into the United States from Mexico will be hit with new tariffs next week unless Mexico stops the flow of migrants crossing the southern border. 

Reynolds says she’ll tell Trump it’s critical to focus instead on ratifying a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, Iowa’s top export markets.

Missouri River Edit | Remove

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After many delays, Congress has passed a large disaster aid package with help for communities nationwide, including many in Iowa that are recovering from major flooding. Iowa Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley says some on-farm losses not automatically covered by disaster aid now will be eligible.

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The Iowa Attorney General’s office is asking each of the four Catholic dioceses (DY-uh-siss-es) in the state to submit their records on clergy sex abuse.