Ag News: USDA’s $12-Billion Assistance
**The USDA rolled out an outline last week of a $12 billion assistance plan for farmers amid growing anger over the impacts of foreign tariffs on ag commodities.
According to Agri-Pulse, the plan includes direct payments to farmers, a massive commodity-purchasing spree and aid in finding new foreign markets.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the plan should show the ag community and rural America that the Trump administration has not forgotten them.
He says it sends "a firm statement that other nations cannot bully our ag producers.”
**Chinese soybean crusher Shandong Sunrise Group has filed for bankruptcy after failing to repay its debts, highlighting the problems facing the sector from shrinking demand for animal feed and tight credit.
Agrimarketing.com reports the bankruptcy follows falling demand for animal feed after pig farmers in China, the world's biggest pork consumer, began culling their herds because of falling meat prices.
China's vast farm sector is also facing uncertainty as Washington's trade dispute with Beijing threatens to curb supplies of critical farm goods, including soybeans, and inflate costs.
**FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says his agency will soon begin enforcing regulations that define milk as an animal product, not a plant-based food. It’s seen as an indication the National Milk Producers Federation's requests for action are being heard.
After acknowledging that "an almond doesn't lactate," Dr. Gottlieb said the agency soon will seek public input before enforcing existing regulations on dairy labeling standards.