A letter sent to the Senate and House Budget Committee’s last week urges lawmakers to protect crop insurance from further cuts. The letter, signed by 58 farm organizations, tells lawmakers an overreliance on savings from the agriculture community in the future will significantly undermine rural economies that have faced an estimated 54 percent decline in net farm income from 2013 to 2015. The groups say “the 2014 Farm Bill is a careful balance of priorities and should not be reopened before its expiration in 2018 to achieve additional budget savings.”

A U.S. Grains Council official told the USDA Agriculture Outlook Forum last week China’s demand for animal products will continue to rise in the coming years. Bryan Lohmar said that will drive demand for feed grains including from imports. Using estimates based on food consumption from other, higher-income Asian populations, he suggested actual pork consumption could rise to about 40 kilograms per person per year, dairy consumption could triple and poultry meat consumption could double, with eggs and beef also increasing.