January 19, 2020

Trade; Climate Issues; Ag Competition Issues; and Animal Agriculture

Editor’s Note: The third section of the March 10, 2010, Report entitled “Disaster Payments, SURE, and Crop Insurance Issues” includes a quotation from an outside report that contains an inaccurate statement. The relevant quotation reads, in part, as follows:

“A major reason, according to USDA and academic studies, is that the private crop insurance companies set southern premiums relatively high…”

It is commonly known by individuals who are familiar with Federal crop insurance that crop insurance companies do not set premiums for any of the program’s policies. USDA determines all Federal crop insurance program premiums. This important program characteristic is a plain, simple and historical fact. However, for program clarification purposes, it would be helpful to report this fact.

Trade: Agriculture and Cuba- House Ag Committee Hearing

Derek Wallbank reported yesterday at the that, “The latest effort to bridge the 90-mile gap from Key West to Cuba is being led here by a pair of Minnesota lawmakers who contend that easing restrictions on the island nation could mean millions for Minnesota’s agriculture industry.

“‘America’s current policies have failed to achieve their stated goal and instead they have hand-delivered an export market in our own backyard to the Brazilians, the Europeans and our other competitors around the world,’ said Rep. Collin Peterson. ‘It’s time we ask ourselves why we have in place policies that simply do not work and that only harm U.S. interests.’

“Peterson’s remarks came at the start of a House Agriculture Committee hearing he called to discuss his own legislation to lift the travel ban to Cuba and ease rules on agricultural exports to the island nation. Earlier today, Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced a companion measure in the Senate. Both the House and Senate bills have Republican co-sponsors.

“‘The bill we have introduced would eliminate the requirement that our farmers have to go through a third country bank to do business in Cuba and would place agricultural exports to Cuba on the same terms for cash payment as other countries, requiring payment when the shipment changes hands,’ Peterson said. ‘It would also make it easier for U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba, allowing American agricultural producers to more easily conduct business with Cuba and boosting demand for U.S. products in Cuba.’”

At yesterday’s hearing, Rep. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), a co-sponsor of the bill, provided an interesting historic and analytical background with respect to the issue of U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba. To listen to a portion of his comments from yesterday’s hearing, just click here (MP3-7:42).