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USDA responds to China’s new soybean import tariff

In 2016, Chinese officials put in place a new grain import law to keep invasive weeds and other plant pests from entering their country. Last fall, they informed USDA that U.S. grain shipments, particularly soybeans, did not comply with the new law. They specifically cited increased detections of weed seeds.

These weed seeds threaten U.S. access to China’s grain market. If we do nothing, the United States may lose this valuable market. Consider: Approximately 1 of every 3 bushels of U.S. soybean are shipped to China, making it the United States’ largest market for this commodity. In 2017, this export was valued at $12.4 billion, which is approximately 91% by value of all grains shipped to China. Continue reading

Are Organic Soils More Effective at Keeping Weeds from Coming Back?

Every year, I know that the plants that will grow best in my yard are the weeds. And I’m always right. In fact, the weeds eventually choke out the flowers that I’ve purchased and planted. No matter what I do, how much I pull, mow or spray the weeds, they seem to come right back and even multiply faster than I can keep up with them. I know I’m not alone in my plight; nearly everyone I know has his or her own monthly battles with the weeds.

Continue reading