agriculture

The order came in April. China's government instructed farmers in the country's northeastern breadbasket region to grow more soybeans, calling it "a political priority."

But soybean fields lay empty in the village of Sandaogou, which means "Three Ditches," in Liaoning province. It has been a dry spring.

"We've had a drought this year, so we planted soybeans late. The seedlings should be out by now. We need more rain," says farmer Liu, who only gives her surname for fear of trouble with local authorities. Soy, after all, has become "political."

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

The Senate Agriculture Committee passed its version of a Farm Bill and sent it to the full chamber, which is expected to vote before the July 4 recess. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a committee member, says there’s a lot in the bill for Ohio. 

John Minchillo / Associated Press

Already facing a severe labor shortage, landscaping businesses that can't keep up with booming demand for backyard patios and fire pits worry that an immigration raid that rounded up over 100 people last week will make it even tougher to persuade Congress to allow more foreign workers into America for seasonal jobs.

Updated at 9:14 a.m. ET

Mexico is putting tariffs on imports of U.S. steel and farm products — including pork, cheese, apples and potatoes — as it hits back at the U.S. for the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum products from Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

Signed by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the decree also suspends the country's preferential tariff treatment of the U.S. It was published in Mexico's official gazette on Tuesday.

Steve Brown

At the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station near Delaware State Park, Jennifer Koch guides an off-road vehicle down a winding path that opens to a large, fenced-in area of young trees.

But not just any trees: Koch and other researchers with the Forest Service hope this plot could hold one of the keys to the survival of the ash tree in North America.

Suicide rates among farmers are higher than any other profession in the United States and now some experts and Senators worry Washington politics could be making farmland stresses even worse.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is meeting with Chinese officials this week to discuss trade tariffs. President Trump announced a tariff on Chinese steel and aluminum and the Chinese responded with tariffs on American products. It’s escalated to at least $50 billion dollars in tariffs for each country. The extra charges on Chinese steel may please Ohio steelworkers but it worries Ohio farmers. 

Tom Trout of Hickory Tree Farm in Medina County walks through his garage by several 8-wheel-drive John Deere tractors and other equipment.

Shutterstock

Ohio hog farmers are reacting to the news that China is planning to attach a tariff on pork exports – a move in response to the U.S. proposed tariff on Chinese steel. Ohio farmers say they’ve seen an immediate effect from the announcement.

In response to the Trump administration's threats to place tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, China has threatened to sanction $50 billion in U.S. exports, including airplanes, cars and chemicals. These tariffs would also target some of America's most successful exporters — farmers.

As the sun was coming up Wednesday, farmers at Betty's Truck Stop near Sweet Springs, Mo., took their coffee with a serving of bad news.

United Soybean Board / Flickr

After placing a 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork and a 15 percent tariff on other goods like fruit and wine earlier this week, China is now threatening to go further. China is looking to expand its scope to exports essential to Central Ohio’s economy, including soybeans, beef and cars.

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