Fair culture, USMCA, and the story of the summer — LIVE! with Clinton Griffiths


Canada and the U.S. share a border, have integrated trade systems, and similar crop mixes. The similarities don’t end there, either. Both Canada and the U.S. are dealing with trade disruption across several commodities, and are suffering from COVID-19 related shutdowns.

There are differences, too, of course, and in this RealAg LIVE! Shaun Haney is joined by FarmJournal editor and Ag Day TV host Clinton Griffiths to talk about those differences, on dealing with China, and the very real rural impact of COVID-19.

Tune in on social media Tuesday to Thursday at 3 pm Eastern for RealAg LIVE!

  • It’s a new North American summit! Just get some ag media folks in the room and get things worked out
  • With so much lead up to the new NAFTA the implementation seems almost anti-climactic
  • Will we really see a difference? It may take five years before we really know the impact of the deal
  • It IS an important agreement for agriculture, though
  • China! China, China. It’s a big market, it is an important market for U.S. growers, if you lose it, that’s significant, but let’s get a deal done and stop just talking about it.
  • How do we bring value in information to the farm level. Do the best job you can do. At the end of the day, we still have to feed people, and people still need to eat.
  • How do you figure out what news and stories make it in to a 30 minute daily show?
  • Crop report on Mondays usually are the focus, but there’s been so much else going on with COVID-19 and China and USMCA, and so that got trimmed down to like 20 seconds
  • What about story weariness? Like with COVID-19, you have to get used to something being just a part of every discussion or an angle to almost every story
  • Story of the summer so far? Building into a 15-20 day weather story, sure, but sometimes we over-react to the weather. Until we see 2011-2012 scenario in big parts of the Midwest, it will likely turn out OK
  • A more active tropical storm season could turn all the dryness around
  • Cancelled shows and events, or moving to online only. What happens to in-person shows? (Have your say in our latest poll here).
  • But people miss the in-person connection, too. People want to get together, but people are also in a tough way. Social media has been a little nasty these days, too.
  • Maybe keep the circles smaller.
  • Alright, then if we go virtual, how do you keep up with the new stuff? New habits, and getting used to different things, and seeking out some of the information rather than strolling through a show and seeing things of interest.
  • Farmer sentiment right now in the U.S.? There’s quite a bit of head down, work hard, and get through it mentality. The farm support programs are a bit of a backstop, stopped some from running for the doors. Biggest struggle right now is the hog sector and hasn’t really had any real recovery or bounce.
  • Need some export sales and move some of these hogs out the door
  • Farm programs have kept many farmers afloat. In Canada, there are mixed emotions around these payments. In the U.S., it’s somewhat similar, in that many farmers don’t really want them, but it’s the trade-off to being used in a trade war.
  • Are payments expected to continue into the New Year? Not expected. Even if Donald Trump is re-elected.
  • What happens in the summer/fall for school, including college? Maybe there will lots of help on the farm this fall?
  • Fairs, FFA/4H, do people lose interest? With shows cancelled, do we lose that tradition?

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