Ag News: Pesticide Spending Up Again
**Farmers spend more, according to the USDA, than $12 billion annually on pesticides. That’s compared to just $2.3-billion in the 1960s.
According to agweb.com, USDA tracks pesticide expenditures, which currently account for 3.1% of total agricultural costs, lower than their all-time high in 1998 at 4%.
Pesticide costs, including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, have been on the rise since 2000. According to University of Illinois Farmdoc Daily, they were about $33 per acre in 2000 and jumped to $73 per acre in 2017.
**The 2018-19 marketing year has gotten off to an extremely slow start for U.S. soybean exports as China sits on large domestic stockpiles and the Brazilian harvest is only a few months away.
According to USDA data compiled by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. has shipped only 7.4 million bushels of soybeans to China in the first seven weeks of the new marketing year, which began September 1st.
That's a 97-percent drop from the same time period last year when the U.S. shipped 239 million bushels.
**The EPA has sent its Renewable Fuel Standard blending volumes for 2019 to the White House for final review.
Agriculture.com reports, an earlier proposal for a blending mandate was 19.88 billion gallons for 2019, 3-percent higher than 2018.
It was unclear if the updated proposal contained any significant changes.
Deadline for the finalized rule is November 30th.