Almond Tariffs and Cover Crop Challenges
**Trade tariffs are taking a toll on almond exports.
According to agnetwest.com, a recent report from the Almond Board of California shows over 154-million pounds of almonds shipped so far this year compared to over 168-million last year.
Almond Alliance of California CEO Elaine Trevino believes tariffs are a big reason for the decline like in China where they're hit with a 50% retaliatory tariff and a 25% retaliatory tariff in Turkey.
**The EPA published new data detailing how it drastically expanded a biofuels waiver program for oil refiners since President Trump took office, responding to pressure from the corn lobby to boost transparency of the program.
Agriculture.com reports, the details published on the EPA's website on Thursday showed the agency issued exemptions for 29 small refineries for 2017, up from 19 granted for 2016 and 7 in 2015.
The waivers save the oil industry money, but biofuels groups have criticized Trump's EPA for overusing the exemptions.
**A new study shows growing demand for cover crops, but ag retailers continue to face challenges when it comes to expanding that market.
Agwired.com reports, the Datu Research study found 89 percent of ag retailers have offered cover crops and services to farmers who use them to anchor the soil between growing seasons.
Many described mutually reinforcing challenges like a lack of customer demand, insufficient evidence of cover crop benefits in their region, and "uncertain or negative profitability."