Better Late Than Never

To say 2019 was a challenging year for agriculture is a huge understatement. It was hard to get crops planted and some are still not harvested. Prices did not respond to those problems the way we expected in large part due to trade wars. Thankfully there seems to be some light at the end of the dark tunnel of 2019. The year that many can’t wait to put behind them is finishing better than it started. Many of the issues that hung over agriculture throughout the year like a dark cloud are finally coming to resolution. The year long trade war with China, probably the biggest cloud of 2019, seems to be close to at least a partial resolution. USMCA, which offers some improvement but mostly maintains what agriculture already has, is about to be passed. The US/Japan trade deal will take effect in 2020 and helps us recapture part of what we missed out on in TPP. The struggling biodiesel industry is finally getting its tax credit back and there’s still hope for an RFS resolution. After a year of foot dragging and finger pointing there is finally positive action being taken. Amazing how much can get done with a holiday break and election coming up. Elected officials will now point to these accomplishments as examples of their leadership while failing to mention that their lack of leadership helped delay the outcomes. As positive as some of these developments are time will tell how much damage was done this year. Trading partners have been forced to look elsewhere for their purchases and competitors have been strengthened. The events of this year did not happen in a vacuum and their impact will probably be felt for years to come. Still it’s good to finally see some positive outcomes to these issues and while it’s fair to ask why it took so long at least we can say “better late than never”.