Russia Wheat Expansion and USDA's Broadband Grants
**Russia is eating into U.S. Market shares around the globe with its massive expansion in grain production and exports fueled by years of investing in new technologies, planting new acreage and good growing weather.
USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson tells Agri-Pulse, Russia, which often undercuts the prices of U.S. exporters, is already stealing U.S. market share, especially in the Mediterranean.
Russia's Ag Ministry recently predicted it will be producing 150 million metric tons of grain annually by 2030, a 12 percent increase from current production.
**Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Ag Trade, and Food Assistance Ray Starling took the stage at the Ag and Food Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. last week.
Starling told the crowd "We are a minority when it comes to numbers, but our issues are big."
Agriculture.com reports, Starling acknowledged the certainty passage of a farm bill brings to rural America, but noted the administration wants to leave the committees room to maneuver.
**The USDA is accepting applications for grants to fund broadband infrastructure projects in unserved rural communities.
Grants from $100,000 to $3 million are available to state and local governments, federally-recognized tribes, nonprofits and for-profit corporations.
Applicants must provide a 15 percent match on the desired grant amount.
Last year, President Trump established a task force to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that promote agriculture and rural prosperity.
USDA is accepting application through May 14th.