Potatoes to Mexico and Trump Shmoozes Midwest
**The National Potato Council and a dozen other potato associations thanked Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue for his support of expanded fresh potato exports to Mexico.
Thepacker.com reports, he was thanked in a letter for his testimony before a House Ag Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.
When asked about USDA progress with Mexico's request to allow growers in the state of Jalisco to export avocados to the U.S., he said "I know this is important to Mexico. We would also like to resolve the potato issue."
**President Trump presided over a lengthy meeting in which he urged officials to soften the impact of recent policy moves that angered Midwestern farm states critical to his re-election.
According to agweb.com, the Trump administration was stung by criticism over EPA's August 9th decision to give 31 refineries exemptions from annual biofuel-blending requirements, including Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's assertion the administration had "screwed" farmers.
**The USDA said last week it pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened over the phone by an angry farmer.
Frustrated farmers have complained that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic spring flooding, adding to stress over unsold crops due to the trade war with China, falling farm income, and tighter credit conditions.
NASS crops chief Lance Honig and others canceled Wednesday appearances, and arranged a police presence for other stops of the Pro Farmer tour.