Federal

Comment sought on plan to bolster oversight of GE wheat field trials

From Agri-Pulse USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is inviting public comment on a proposed plan to strengthen oversight of field trials for genetically engineered wheat, following two recent detections of GE wheat where the plants should not have been growing. No varieties of GE wheat have been deregulated by APHIS. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »

‘All bets off’ for policy agenda as embattled Boehner quits

From Agri-Pulse House Speaker John Boehner abruptly relinquished his leadership amid a growing rebellion in his caucus, throwing into doubt the prospects for getting an agreement on highway funding and on policy issues critical to agriculture. Boehner’s announcement that he will step down next month comes as he was struggling to avoid a government shutdown next week and preparing to ... Read More »

What is Positive Train Control?

One of the issues WAWG has been following is Positive Train Control. PTC uses GPS and other communication and sensors to enhance the safety of train operations. Invention and installation of this sophisticated system was mandated by Congress in 2008, after a tragic commuter train crash. Congress has set a deadline implementation for railroads of Dec. 31, 2015. Though the railroads have ... Read More »

Sage Grouse avoids endangered listing

From The Hill Wildlife officials announced Tuesday that the greater sage-grouse does not need protection as an endangered species. The announcement puts to rest a major chapter in the debate over the chicken-sized bird, which has become one of the most controversial species over the last year amid fights between Republicans, oil interests, conservationists, the Obama administration and others. Development ... Read More »

Lawmakers cut deal on grain inspections

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 »

NAWG calls on Congress to act on tax extenders

This week, NAWG joined a broad coalition of more than 2,000 companies, associations, and organizations in writing to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate urging Congress to act immediately to extend, enhance or make permanent expired and expiring tax provisions that are important for agricultural producers across the country. Provisions, including Section 179 expensing and bonus depreciation, ... Read More »

Judge refuses to block Clean Water Act rule nationwide

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 »

NAWG submits comments on butterfly risk management approach

From NAWG The Environmental Protection Agency released a document outlining a risk management approach for identifying options to protect the Monarch butterfly and has been soliciting public comments. The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) submitted comments, stressing the importance of working with wheat growers and the impact restricting access to herbicides, such as glyphosate, would have on agriculture operations including ... Read More »