February 6, 2016

Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Signed

After years of negotiations, twelve member nations have signed the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement which encompasses roughly 40% of the world’s economy.  However, members caution there are still years of talks ahead before the deal will become a reality.

The pact must now undergo what many expect to be at least a two year ratification process by member nations.  During the process at least six of the twelve countries, of whom the combined GDP must total at least 85% of the total GDP of member nations, must approve the deal.  Because of their size, both the U.S. and Japan must approve before any agreement can be reached. A vote in the U.S. during a presidential election year seems unlikely according to political commentators.

Still, even with the delays many agricultural groups remain in favor of the agreement which is expected to open several doors for U.S. agricultural goods.  The National Corn Growers Association released this statement yesterday:

“After five years of negotiations, we are pleased to see the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement take another step forward today. The National Corn Growers Association supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership because it would give America’s farmers and ranchers greater access to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. This agreement is good for both corn farmers and our friends and partners in the livestock industry. We all want to see more American grains, meat and dairy on dinner tables around the world.”

“This agreement will strengthen America’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region and set the tone for future international trade agreements, such as with the European Union. By supporting TPP, Congress can send a powerful message: the United States will lead on trade. That’s why NCGA members will be going to Capitol Hill in the coming months, asking Congress to vote in favor of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in 2016.”

The pact is also endorsed by the American Soybean Association, the National Wheat Growers Association, the National Cattlemans’ Beef Association, and the National Pork Producers, among others.



China Approves Round Up Ready 2 Xtend Trait – AUDIO Reaction

Chinese authorities have announced their approval for the Round Up Ready 2 Xtend trait for import.  The trait, developed by Monsanto, allows soybeans tolerate applications of both glyphosate and dicamba.  The dicamba trait had already been approved in both the United States and Canada, but not China, a major buyer of U.S. soybeans.

Monsanto now awaits Environmental Protection Agency clearance of a herbicide component to the system.

On the sidelines of the trade show for the North Dakota Cornvention in Fargo on Wednesday, we discussed the breaking news with Hank Steinberger, Regional Sales Manager for Wensman Seed.  He’s based in Jamestown, and covers North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.

You can listen to the audio report —  Wensman Seed Henry Steinberger and Rusty Halvorson

One caution, according to BASF employee who trains producers on an similar product available through that company, is that the new low volatility herbicides involved in this system will take an adjustment in spray technique.  Proper selection and calibration of nozzles, wind speed, ground speed, boom height and weed size will all become more important for proper use.

Wensman Seed ND Cornvention


United Soybean Board to Set Long-Range Plans for Checkoff Investment

At the Northern Soybean Expo in Fargo, we caught up with Jared Hagert, Chair of the United Soybean Board, on the sidelines of the trade show.

He’s a farmer leader from Emerado, North Dakota — and he’ll be traveling soon to Tampa, Florida, to meet with the board and set fiscal priorities for the years ahead.

The mission of the USB is to maximize profit opportunities for U.S. soybean farmers by investing and leveraging soybean checkoff resources.

Jared Hagert and Rusty Halvorson

Halvorson and Hagert