Federal

‘Devastating’ crop insurance cut sends lawmakers scrambling

From Agri-Pulse Members of the House Agriculture Committee were waging a last-minute, uphill fight to stop a $3 billion cut to crop insurers that’s contained in a two-year budget agreement between congressional leaders and the White House. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, said he was trying to persuade House GOP leaders to roll back the cut before the House ... Read More »

USDA issues first ARC, PLC payments

From Agri-Pulse Farm program checks totaling nearly $4 billion could start arriving as early as today in farmers’ bank accounts across the country, providing a much needed boost while many commodity prices are falling. However, many of those who signed up for the new farm bill programs will find themselves empty-handed in this first round of payments. The U.S. Department of ... Read More »

Stabenow eyes GMO labeling bill by end of year

From Agri-Pulse Federal regulators defended the safety of biotech foods at a congressional hearing Wednesday as senators prepared the groundwork for moving a compromise bill to block states from requiring labels on GMO products. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow, who is playing a leading role in negotiations on a compromise bill, announced that she hoped to ... Read More »

Panel refuses to consolidate WOTUS lawsuits

From Agri-Pulse In a blow to the Obama administration, a judicial panel has refused to consolidate a series of legal challenges against the new rule re-defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Advertisement Lawyers for the administration were seeking to move the nine lawsuits, now pending in seven circuit courts, to the District of Columbia. A North Dakota judge ... Read More »

Federal Appeals Court: Waters of the U.S. rule on hold nationally

From agweb.com A federal appeals court on Friday morning said that the U.S. government could not begin implementing the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” rule that governs what waterways are subject to federal Clean Water Act permits and which waterways are not. “This is great news for cattlemen and women and all land users who have been at a loss ... Read More »

USDA fact sheet illustrates benefits of TPP

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 »

Obama, Vilsack tout TPP benefits

From Feedstuffs The President traveled to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tuesday where he joined secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack for a meeting with agriculture and business leaders on the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for American business and workers. President Obama said with this trade agreement, which spans nearly 40% of the global economy, will enable the sale ... Read More »

Congress working on rail safety issue threatening grain, fertilizer movement

From Agri-Pulse Key lawmakers involved in transportation issues are working to come up with a compromise that would push back the current end-of-year deadline for implementation of a rail safety system – avoiding a threatened disruption of grain and fertilizer deliveries. In the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, Congress directed rail providers to install Positive Train Control (PTC) on ... Read More »

President signs ag bill into law

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 »

In the West, women farmers carry economic clout

From the Capital Press The percentage of Pacific Northwest and California farmers who are women easily tops the national average, according to statistics released by the USDA. Nationally, 31 percent of farmers are women, and they farm more than 301 million acres and have a $12.9 billion annual economic impact, according to USDA. In Oregon, 39 percent of farmers are ... Read More »