Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 11.05

Monday, November 5th, 2018

WEEKLY FOOD & AGRICULTURE UPDATE

November 5, 2018

A quick look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C. that’s impacting food and agriculture. If you would like to subscribe to the receive the updates right to your inbox, please contact Marissa Dake


Big Picture Outlook

  • Schedule- The midterm elections are Tuesday, November 6th. All 435 members of the House are up for re-election, along with 33 of the 100 of the Senate states. There are 36 gubernatorial elections, as well as other various state and local elections.  The House and Senate are out of session and will not meet until November 13th, after the midterm elections.

 

  • FDA Releases Labeling Guidance- Last week, the FDA released two guidance documents to help the food and supplement industry understand the updated Nutrition Facts labels. The comprehensive final guidance answers questions related to the compliance date (January 1, 2020), added sugars, format issues, and labeling of vitamins and minerals. A draft guidance document addresses questions about dual column labeling. This new requirement directs processors to list nutritional information for the entire package of food alongside the single serving information for “foods that can reasonably be consumed at one eating occasion.”
  • On the Ballot: CA’s Prop 12–  On the ballot in California this week: Proposition 12, an initiative that would establish minimum space requirements for egg laying hens, veal, and pigs and ban the sale of the related animal products if cage sizes are below the standard. If passed, producers in other states would have to change their production methods accordingly in order to sell their products in California. Support for the initiative stems from Proposition 2, which passed in 2008.  Food and agricultural economist Jayson Lusk estimates that Proposition 12 could cause a “15-25% price increase in retail shell egg prices by mid-2022”, begat by conversion costs subjected to producers who will have to replace their animal housing systems.
  • Tariff War Nudges Soybean Farmers Toward Corn– Soybean’s brief reign as top crop in the United States may come to a quick stop due to the tit-for-tat tariff war between the U.S. and China. 2018 was the first time in over thirty years that U.S. farmers planted more soybean than corn. However, China’s retaliatory tariffs against the crop mean that exporters have taken over seven weeks to sell what they were able to in one week last fall. Bunge’s chief executive of grain-trading Soren Schroeder said “Prices will tell you that you would see a significant shift out of soybeans toward corn in the U.S.,” Some analysts are predicting that farmers will convert up to four million acres to corn from soybeans in the 2019 crop year.

Nominations & Confirmations
Congress is out of session and will resume on November 13th.


The Week Ahead
Congress is out of session and will resume on November 13th.


A Quick Look Back


Pertinent Timing Ticker

  • 36 days since farm bill expiration (Sep. 30, 2018).
  • 1 days until midterm elections (Nov. 6, 2018).
  • 8 days until the Lame Duck session (Nov. 13, 2018).