CAFTA/DR Trade Agreement Nearing Full Implementation in 2020

For many years, the Dominican Republic has been one of the top export destinations for United States dry bean exports in the Americas. It is the top export market in the region (minus Mexico) for the period September – July 2019 at 26,000 metric tons. This is down slightly from the same period in 2018, which was recorded at 32,000 metric tons.
 
One of the reasons for this market success is the CAFTA/DR free trade agreement that went into effect in 2005. The agreement includes a tariff rate quota system that gives the U.S. the advantage of duty free market access for a specific quantity of exports every year until full implementation. Once the duty free quota is filled, preferential duties are offered on a sliding scale for up to 36,000 metric tons of U.S. origin dry beans. Read more.

North Dakota Receives Secretarial Disaster Designation

Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue approved North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum’s request for a secretarial disaster designation. Forty-seven of 53 counties in the state are included, making assistance available to farmers and ranchers.
 
“We deeply appreciate Secretary Perdue’s quick response to our request, because help can’t come soon enough for our farmers and ranchers facing one of the most difficult and stressful seasons on record,” Burgum said. “We continue to explore every available avenue to make sure our ag producers have the resources and tools they need to cope with these unprecedented wet conditions that are delaying the harvest and hurting our livestock producers. We’re extremely grateful to the state, federal and local officials and all the agencies that helped prepare the disaster request.” Read more.

Disaster Designation Requested for 12 Minnesota Counties

A Secretarial disaster designation has been submitted for 12 northwest Minnesota counties. The request was sent to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue by Governor Tim Walz on Thursday. The letter asks for the federal assistance to help recover from recent weather events and agricultural losses. Last week, Governor Walz declared an emergency executive order that lifted restrictions for drivers hauling propane and liquid fuels.

ND Officials Submit Secretarial Disaster Request

North Dakota has requested a Secretarial disaster designation for 47 out of 53 counties in the state. Governor Doug Burgum, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, the state Farm Service Agency and others sent the request to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday. The nine-page letter asks for federal assistance to be made available, estimating farmers have lost nearly $423 million for just the one crop in each county at least 30 percent loss. In addition, billions of dollars in additional crop and livestock value still at risk.” Testimony gathered from the recent townhall meetings across North Dakota was included in the request.

Walz Issues Emergency Executive Order

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has issued an emergency executive order to support farmers in the western part of the state. With this effort, the restrictions are lifted on drivers and carriers hauling propane and liquid fuels. The assistance is designed to alleviate the fuel shortage in the area. Walz said his team will continue to look into actions that can support the agricultural industry through these difficult conditions.

Senate Approves Ag Appropriations Bill

The U.S. Senate approved the Agriculture Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2020. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, says the legislation makes sure farmers have access to risk management tools and capital. Funds for implementing the 2018 Farm Bill are a part of the bill. Also included is support for crop insurance and direct, guaranteed and emergency loans.

Walz to Meet with NW MN Farmers to Discuss Harvest Delays

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen will be in East Grand Forks Tuesday to get a first-hand look at the extreme harvest conditions faced by area farmers. In an interview with the Red River Farm Network, Walz said his administration is looking for ways to assist farmers. “It may be regulatory relief on hours-of-service to propane haulers to truck weights to a possible disaster declaration.” An assessment is being made regarding a federal disaster declaration.

Burgum Declares Statewide Flood Emergency

“While North Dakota farmers and ranchers are resilient, the situation is billions of dollars of crops remain unharvested.” That was the main message from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum during a stop in Grand Forks on Monday. “This is an unprecedented amount of economic risk and stress for farmers and ranchers.” That morning, Governor Burgum signed an executive order declaring a statewide flood emergency. The order paves the way for requests for federal assistance to help with the impacts caused by excessive moisture and the historic October blizzard. Additional meetings were held in Fargo, Jamestown and Fessenden.

North Dakota Exploring Options to Assist Farmers

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers to report crop losses or any other damage associated with the wet fall and recent blizzard to county-based NDSU Extension agents. That information will be shared to help the state prepare a Secretarial disaster declaration. A Presidential disaster declaration will also likely be sought. Once submitted, it will take several weeks for disaster declaration these approvals.
 
Additionally, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring will be in Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown and Fessenden on Monday, October 21. The team will visit these flood-affected areas to look at damage and losses for federal disaster requests, as well as visit with farmers, ranchers and officials. Get the full schedule.

Dry Bean Scene

Snow and rain have halted dry bean harvest in much of the Northern Plains. Some North Dakota counties are being considered for a Secretarial disaster declaration. Get the details in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network. It’s made possible, in part, by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.