Current Issues

USDA fact sheet illustrates benefits of TPP

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a series of fact sheets illustrating how the newly reached Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement can boost the U.S. agriculture industry, supporting more American jobs and driving the nation’s rural economy. Created by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the fact sheets graphically depict how each state and individual commodities stand to benefit from ... Read More »

Registration open, rules announced for national wheat yield contest

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Entries are now being accepted for the first National Wheat Yield Contest in more than 20 years. The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) announced the official contest rules and opened registration on their website today for the inaugural year of the contest. The highly anticipated yield competition, first unveiled at the 2015 Commodity Classic, is made possible by the generous support of ... Read More »

Years later, dam removal still an issue in PNW

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Their marketing might suggest Patagonia can create a Better Sweater®, but that doesn’t make them experts when it comes to the Snake Columbia River System. Efforts by the California-based clothing company to reinvigorate the dam breaching debate with its Oct. 3 flotilla protest not only goes against the last dozen years of scientific studies by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ... Read More »

President signs ag bill into law

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On Wednesday, Sept. 30, President Obama signed into law HR 2051, the Agriculture Reauthorizations Act of 2015, which reauthorizes the Grain Standards Act (GSA). The bill also extended the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 and authorized appropriations for the National Forest Foundation. The GSA component of the bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Federal Grain Inspection Service to immediately take ... Read More »

Shutdown Showdown: What farmers need to know

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From AgWeb.com If you’re wondering if there’s anything you need to know about the current budget battles in Congress, the answer is yes. If the House and Senate can’t reach an agreement on the federal budget—or more likely, a continuing resolution to fund the government while they hammer out a budget—by Sept. 30, the federal government will shut down on ... Read More »

Washington state to set carbon pollution limits

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Today, the Washington Department of Ecology formally began writing a rule that would require the state’s largest polluters to reduce their greenhouse gases. Ecology is considering businesses and organizations that are responsible for producing 100,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gases be covered under the rule. The types of businesses include: · Natural gas distributors · Petroleum fuel producers ... Read More »

Lawmakers cut deal on grain inspections

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From Agri-Pulse The Senate Agriculture Committee reached a bipartisan agreement with the House for extending grain inspection standards and livestock price reporting today. The legislation, which has the support of the House Agriculture Committee, would ensure that grain inspections could continue during a labor dispute. The bill (HR 2051), which the Senate panel approved on a voice vote, includes a ... Read More »

EPA proposes new water quality rule for Washington state

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From The Spokesman-Review The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is following through on its promise to propose a new clean-water rule for Washington, in case the state doesn’t come up with its own plan in time. The EPA plans to officially publish its proposed rule in mid-September for public review. It posted details on its website last week. “Our preference is to ... Read More »

Judge refuses to block Clean Water Act rule nationwide

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From Agri-Pulse A federal judge in North Dakota declined to block implementation of the Obama administration’s Clean Water Act rule nationwide, leaving it in force in all but 13 states. U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson last week granted a request by the 13 states to stop the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers from enforcing the rule. ... Read More »