agriculture

Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) says he would like to see an end to trade disputes with China, but says Trump’s decision to provide $12 billion in subsidies to American farmers might be a good short-term solution to trade shortfalls.

The Trump administration is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by its own hard-line trade policies, announcing Tuesday that it will make an estimated $12 billion in government assistance available, including direct payments to growers.

The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports.

Ohio Commission Delays Vote To Tighten Fertilizer Rules

Jul 20, 2018
Wikipedia Commons

A panel largely appointed by Republican Gov. John Kasich has delayed immediate action on his executive order intensifying Ohio's efforts to fight toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie.

When Europeans came to Ohio, one of the first crops they cultivated was hops; A small green flower that’s a main ingredients for brewing beer, which was a staple of their diet.

The Ohio Valley provided the perfect soil for the fast growing plant. But, in the early 21st century came Prohibition, plus plant diseases and harmful insects.  So Ohio farmers eventually quit growing hops. 

Debbie Holmes / WOSU

Farmer Mark Van Fleet started growing vegetables at Harriet Gardens on Columbus’ South Side two years ago. He came to this once-vacant lot with about a decade of experience in gardening.

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. 

Flickr.com

An Ohio State study finds that some Ohio farmers could lose more than half of their annual income if a threatened 25 percent tariff goes into effect on soybeans and corn sent to China.

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.

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