China Buys U.S. Soybeans and USDA Spending Cuts
**Democrats voiced strong objections to funding levels and legislative riders in the Interior/Environment spending bill, but saved amendments for this week when the full House Appropriations Committee will mark up the fiscal 2018 bill.
At last week's hearing, the bill was cleared for consideration by the full committee despite expressions of disappointment from some Democrats.
Ranking member Betty McCollum noted the bill's $528 million cut in EPA's budget from the current fiscal year represents 64% of the $824 million reduction in the entire spending bill.
**A Chinese delegation in Iowa last week, signed an agreement to buy 12.53 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans.
The 460 million bushels purchase would account for about 11% of this year's projected national harvest and is the second-largest purchase agreement ever.
China is the biggest customer for U.S. soybeans.
**Members of the Senate Ag Committee are being urged to maintain funding for two key USDA export assistance programs that the Trump administration has targeted for elimination as well as other programs that help U.S. farmers sell everything from apples to popcorn overseas.
Congress created the Market Access Program, Foreign Market Development, and other similar programs to help American farmers create and widen markets in foreign countries.
Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas says whether you're an apple grower in Washington, a dairy farmer in Wisconsin, or a cattle rancher in Texas, you need a strong and a reliable market to sell what you produce.