We talked this morning with Brent Christensen, a Chippewa Valley Technical College agronomy instructor, for our weekly CVTC update that will run this weekend. It was easy to discuss the weather, considering that the morning’s temperature was holding below zero and that another good dose of snow was expected to move in on Friday and Saturday.
The dichotomy of the effects weather conditions have on the land came to mind during that discussion, us agreeing that there’s always a bright side of things even on a sub-zero morning in the countryside.
Certainly, we agreed, the snow that’s piling onto our fields is making it increasingly difficult for the region’s farmers to get combines onto the fields to harvest the corn that still stands. At the same time, that snow is doing an increasingly important job of insulating the spring’s alfalfa crop from the day’s sub-zero temperatures.
People of the soil always seem to find some way to find ways to look for the positives in whatever comes their way. Hope always is of the land.
Hope also remains strong that the federal government’s work on trade deals brings strengthened prices to American farmers.
Phase I of the U.S. trade deal with China was signed yesterday by President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. The deal, which Trump Administration officials eventually will create about $40 billion in Chinese purchases of U.S. ag products over two years, is part of ongoing trade negotiations between the nations. Hopes are for it to ease the continuing tariff war between the countries.
U.S. agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue called the agreement “a bonanza” for American agriculture. Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Joe Bragger of Independence was among national farm leaders who attended the signing ceremony.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal also moved ahead yesterday, with ratification votes in the Senate’s Commerce, Appropriations, and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees. Those votes round out the committees that had to approve the agreement before it goes to a full Senate vote, and that vote could come today.
Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin voted in those committees to move the agreement forward, and said she will vote for its ratification in the full Senate vote.