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Author Archives: MCFB

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE UP

U.S. consumer confidence climbed to the highest level in more than 15 years, rising to 114.8 in February from 111.6 in January. The index, which measures both consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their expectations of the future, could signal good news for the U.S. economy. (Herald & Review)

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TRUMP TO SIGN WOTUS ORDER TODAY

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order today which will roll back the WOTUS. Because the rule was finalized in 2015, the order will instruct the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to go through a formal rulemaking process again, with a proposal, notice and comment period, and final rule. The order also will… read more

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FARM BILL HEARINGS UNDERWAY

A tornado last year destroyed Ken Wood’s farm, home, vehicles, machinery and about 300 acres of his crop in central Kansas. He remains thankful for crop insurance. “For most of us, crop insurance will not guarantee a good year, but it offers the promise of another year.” Wood testified last week during a U.S. Senate… read more

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2016 ARC-CO PAYMENTS

Last week, NASS released county yields for the 2016 crop year, helping the U of I’s Gardner Agriculture Policy Program create accurate estimates of the 2016 ARC-CO payments. Check out FarmDocDaily.com for maps showing estimated payments per base acre for soybeans, corn, and wheat, as well as maps giving 2016 county yields relative to benchmark… read more

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MEXICO THREATENS TO WALK

Mexico’s top trade negotiator said the country will break off NAFTA talks if the U.S. insists on adding duties or quotas on any products from Mexico. While that doesn’t mean Mexico would scrap the trade deal, it does add pressure to U.S. negotiators, effectively daring them to pull out of the 23-year-old pact. President Donald… read more

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ASIAN-PACIFIC WORKING NEW TRADE DEAL

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes 10 southeast Asian nations, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, are working on a new trade deal after the collapse of TPP. The new deal, which will include countries that house half the world’s population and a third of global trade, will include China,… read more

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ROSS CONFIRMATION EXPECTED

Wilbur Ross, Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Commerce Secretary, is expected to get an easy U.S. Senate confirmation today. His OK will clear the way for work to begin on Trump’s trade plans: reworking trade relationships with Canada and Mexico. Trump has asked Ross to lead the review of NAFTA, a job that in past… read more

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BONUS: TRUMP, CLINTON OR GIANT METEOR?

A recent tongue-in-cheek poll found that nearly 25 percent of Americans aged 18-35 are so dissatisfied with the presidential candidates that they would rather see a giant meteor destroy the Earth than see Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the White House. “Obviously, we don’t think that they’re serious,” said Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass… read more

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CURBING NEONIC USE FAR FROM EASY

Last year, government officials in Ontario, Canada, passed a law aimed at protecting bees by reducing the use of neonicotinoid-coated seeds by 80 percent. Under the law, farmers cannot use neonicotinoid-coated seeds unless they are truly needed to protect the crop. The problem? Need is difficult to define – Ontario is requiring farmers dig holes… read more

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FACEBOOK ADDS FOOD DELIVERY TO ITS RESUME

In an effort to become a one-stop shop for its 1.7 billion users, Facebook is rolling out several new features, including ones which allow users to buy movie tickets, order food delivery and book salon appointments straight from the app. The additions mark a change in Facebook’s traditional social media platform, moving from just sharing… read more

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