News items related to ag biotech, trade – and perhaps some other interesting items out there related to agriculture – will be posted on this page throughout the week (new items in green).  Check in daily!

Also, be sure to see below a recent story in Nairobi, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper on Global Farmer Network member Willy Kirwa, “All I need to cool my milk is the sun”.

TRADE:

Column: What Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders don’t get about the causes of our trade deficit – Chicago Tribune – By Steve Chapman (Apr 1)

One fact that Trump and Bernie Sanders never mention is that our trade imbalance is all in goods. When it comes to services — such as travel, banking services, royalties, legal advice and education of foreign students — we export far more than we import. In each of the past five years, our surplus in services has exceeded $200 billion.

Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chapman/ct-trump-sanders-wrong-on-trade-perspec-0403-md-20160401-column.html

Republicans, especially Trump supporters, see free trade deals as bad for U.S. – PewResearchCenter, Factank – By Bruce Stokes (Mar 31)

“Americans’ positive view of free trade deals has ebbed in recent years: 51% say such trade agreements between the U.S. and other countries have been a good thing for the country, while 39% believe they have been a bad thing.”

Link: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/03/31/republicans-especially-trump-supporters-see-free-trade-deals-as-bad-for-u-s/

Korea, Mexico to expand economic, cultural ties – The Korea Times – By Rachael Lee (Apr 3)

Link: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/04/120_201770.html

U.S. trade negotiator pushes TPP trade deal, explains benefits – Delta Farm Press – By David Bennett (Apr 4)

Link: http://deltafarmpress.com/markets/us-trade-negotiator-pushes-tpp-trade-deal-explains-benefits

China, S Korea, Japan to hold talks on trilateral FTA in Seoul – China Daily (Apr 5)

Link: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2016-04/05/content_24277363.htm

Trade growth to remain subdued in 2016 as uncertainties weigh on global demand – WTO Press Release (Apr 7)

“Growth in the volume of world trade is expected to remain sluggish in 2016 at 2.8%, unchanged from the 2.8% increase registered in 2015. Imports of developed countries should moderate this year while demand for imported goods in developing Asian economies should pick up. Global trade growth should rise to 3.6% in 2017, WTO economists reported on 7 April.”

Link: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres16_e/pr768_e.htm

Dutch Referendum Leads to Defeat of E.U.-Ukraine Trade Deal – The New York Times – By Stephen Castle (Apr 6)

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/07/world/europe/dutch-voters-reject-european-union-deal-with-ukraine.html

Arguments against Free Trade are Deeply Flawed – National Review – By Jonah Goldberg (Apr 8)

Link: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/433817/free-trade-economic-importance

RCEP talks: India offers commitments on goods, services – The Economic Times (India) – Apr 7

Link: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/foreign-trade/rcep-talks-india-offers-commitments-on-goods-services/articleshow/51728450.cms

US politics is closing the door on free trade – Financial Times (UK) – By Philip Stephens (Apr 7)

Without America, momentum will be lost. The danger will be of a slide into outright protectionism

Link: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/41fd9efa-fbee-11e5-b3f6-11d5706b613b.html

Wisconsin farm family: “We need a candidate strong on trade” – NBC15.com (Apr 5)

Link: http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/Wisconsin-farm-family-We-need-a-candidate-strong-on-trade-374655591.html

FARMING, BIOTECH, OTHER:

All I need to cool my milk is the sun – Daily Nation (Kenya) – By Rachel Kibui (Apr 1)

As you enter the farm, the first things one comes across is a building labelled Willens Practical Training Centre, and a board with the slogan, “Happy Cow, Happy Farmer”.

Link: http://www.nation.co.ke/business/seedsofgold/All-I-need-to-cool-my-milk-is-the-sun/-/2301238/3142806/-/jxncahz/-/index.html

As China reforms its corn market, farmers switch to growing soybeans – Reuters – By Naveen Thukral and Niu Shuping (Apr 3)

“China announced last week it will stop its corn stockpiling program and allow markets to set prices – a move that should transform the agricultural landscape as farmers shift to more lucrative crops like soybeans, rice and peanuts.”

Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-corn-farmers-idUSKCN0X00Z5

Project promises hardy maize for Africa – SciDevNet – By Charles Ole Ngereza (Apr 1)

A Mexican-African project to develop better and more climate-tolerant maize varieties using traditional breeding techniques has been launched.

Link: http://www.scidev.net/global/agriculture/news/project-promises-hardy-maize-africa.html

Women Farmers Band Together To Vent, Seek Support And Exchange Ideas – NPR, The Salt – By Suzanne Hogan (Mar 31)

“Over the past 15 years, the fraction of U.S. farms run by women has nearly tripled to about 15 percent. And nearly one-third of farms in this country are run by couples working together.”

Link: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/31/472403779/women-farmers-band-together-to-vent-seek-support-and-exchange-ideas?sf23471262=1

Why “Clean Eating” Is Total BS – GH, goodhousekeeping.com – By Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN (Mar 29)

“I’m worried that the phrase has taken on a new, misguided meaning. The implication is that if you’re not “eating clean,” what you eat otherwise is dirty or unhygienic, and that’s simply not true.”

Link: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a37595/what-is-clean-eating/

Science meets farming to reveal Africa’s best bean – SciDevNet – By Bruno Awio, Inga Vesper (Mar 24)

A team of scientists joined 358 farmers in two districts to test the best bean they were growing in terms of robustness, yield and marketability. And most importantly, a bean that can prosper in the dramatically changing climate affecting the whole of East Africa. –

Link: http://www.scidev.net/global/farming/data-visualisation/africas-best-bean.html

Still Life with Mass Hysteria: Are GMOs Really That Bad? – Modern Farmer – By Brian Barth (Mar 22)

“Anyone who objects to GMOs based solely on distrust of Monsanto, however, might consider the very real benefits they can impart.”

Link: http://modernfarmer.com/2016/03/gmo/

Agriculture is UK’s fastest growing subject – and a smart career choice – The Guardian (UK) – By Joe Parry (Mar 31)

Students are flocking to study agriculture – and the student farmer of the year says he’s not surprised

Link: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/mar/31/agriculture-uk-fastest-growing-subject-career-student-farmers

Nigeria: State to Launch N59.7 Billion Youth-in-Agriculture Scheme – allAfrica / Premium Times (Nigeria) – Apr 3

“The programme tagged “Enable Youth Empowerment Agribusiness programme, will engage youths in agribusiness for 18 months to enable them learn how to make agric business plan.”

Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201604040005.html

Consumer trust in food companies is rising, but industry still has work to do, survey reveals – Food Navigator USA – By Elizabeth Crawford (Apr 1)

“Consumers slowly but increasingly are trusting food companies and perceiving them as transparent as more manufacturers explain how they source and make products, but a significant portion of shoppers remain wary – indicating industry still has work to do, according to new marketing research.”

Golden Rice Separates Reason, Radicalism – AgWeb – By Chris Bennett (Apr 6)

“Saddled by opposition at every research and regulatory turn, Golden Rice reveals a chasm between reasoned caution and radicalism.”

Link: http://www.agweb.com/article/golden-rice-separates-reason-radicalism-naa-chris-bennett/

Food companies agree to GMO labeling as opponents warn of consequences – Delta Farm Press – By David Bennett (Apr 5)

Link: http://deltafarmpress.com/soybeans/food-companies-agree-gmo-labeling-opponents-warn-consequences

All our food is ‘genetically modified’ in some way – where do you draw the line? – The Conversation – By James Borrell (Apr 4)

Link: http://theconversation.com/all-our-food-is-genetically-modified-in-some-way-where-do-you-draw-the-line-56256

Viewpoint: Western farming yields carbon reductions – The Star Phoenix (Canada) – By Margaret Hansen and Stephen Vandervalk (Apr 6)

Modern prairie growers of grains, oilseeds and pulses have a great story to tell — a story that began more than 25 years ago.

Link: http://thestarphoenix.com/opinion/letters/0406-edit-hansen-view

REGULATORY, POLITICS:

Science sacked in Boulder GMO plan – The Denver Post, Editorial Board (Apr 2)

“Boulder County bows to anti-GMO activists… It’s one thing to incentivize organic farming to promote agricultural diversity. It’s quite another to banish high-quality, high-yield crops because of anti-scientific fears.”

Link: http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_29713886/science-sacked-boulder-gmo-plan

Why is Bayer Fighting EPA to Protect a Pesticide? – Bayer Crop Science, Crop Science News – By Dana Sargent, Vice President for Regulatory Affairs

“Over the course of five years, we conducted real world monitoring to study Belt’s impact in the one area in which EPA raised a question.  The results were clear – residues of Belt were below levels EPA said may pose harm.  Unfortunately, instead of accepting that real world data, EPA based its decision on theoretical computer modeling…”

Link: https://www.cropscience.bayer.us/news/blog/2016/march/03312016-Why-is-Bayer-Fighting-EPA-to-Protect-a-Pesticide

Decision on new plant breeding techniques further delayed – EurActiv – By Sarantis Michalopoulos (Mar 31)

“The European Commission has again delayed a much-awaited legal analysis of whether new plant breeding techniques should be considered GMOs…”

Link: http://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/decision-on-new-plant-breeding-techniques-further-delayed/

EPA starts 30-day comment period for dicamba in-crop use – Southeast Farm Press – By Brad Haire (Apr 2)

Link: http://southeastfarmpress.com/soybeans/epa-starts-30-day-comment-period-dicamba-crop-use

DuPont, China, Agree on GMO Seed Partnership – Hoosier Ag Today / NAFB News Service (Apr 7)

Link: http://www.hoosieragtoday.com/dupont-china-agree-on-gmo-seed-partnership/

IARC-Gate? Are Europe’s anti-chemical enviros conspiring to suppress conflict-of-interest scandal? – Genetic Literacy Project – By  

Link: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/04/07/iarc-gate-europes-anti-chemical-enviros-conspiring-suppress-conflict-interest-scandal/

EU farm lobby urges Commission and MEPs to reauthorize glyphosate – Feed Navigator – By Jane Byrne (Apr-6)

“Brussels based agri trade group, Copa and Cogeca, has a sent a letter to the Commission, urging them to keep the herbicide active substance glyphosate on the EU market.”

Excessive, Wrong-Headed Regulation Of ‘GMOs’ Stifles Innovation And Slows Economic Growth – Forbes.com – By Henry I. Miller (Apr 6)

Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/04/06/gmos-as-a-case-study-how-excessive-incompetent-regulation-stifles-innovation-and-economic-growth/#61238da26885