Federal

FDA refuses to require GMO labeling

From Agri-Pulse The Food and Drug Administration has refused to consider requiring the labeling of biotech foods, affirming its longstanding policy that there’s no legal basis for mandating such disclosure on products that are essentially the same as their conventional versions. The FDA decision came in denying petitions filed by the Center for Food Safety, an advocacy group that has ... Read More »

FSA fixes ARC payment glitch

From DTN Progressive Farmer Note: The Farm Service Agency has not officially confirmed this news. WAWG will continue to monitor the issue and will update this website as necessary. Nearly $4 billion in Agriculture Risk Coverage-County checks were deposited in farmers accounts by early November, but the Farm Service Agency announced late last week it will recalculate payments for growers ... Read More »

USDA allots $350 million for conservation easements

From Agri-Pulse USDA is making $350 million available to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the nation. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the funding is provided through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), created by the 2014 farm bill to protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat, and encourage private owners to maintain land for farming and ... Read More »

Changes coming to CSP

From Agri-Pulse The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is in the process of fine tuning the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) promising to make it more transparent, simpler to understand and easier to apply for. The interim final changes updating the program in line with the 2014 Farm Bill are in place, but the agency intends to look at ways to ... Read More »

Farm groups scrutinize TPP’s fine print

From the Capital Press The Obama administration released the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement’s full text Thursday, giving farm groups their first chance to study in detail a trade pact they had already largely embraced. Hours after the release of the 30-chapter, 2,000-page agreement, the Northwest Horticultural Council’s trustees officially endorsed TPP. The organization represents apple, pear and cherry growers, packers and ... Read More »

White House posts text of Pacific trade pact

From Agri-Pulse The White House has posted the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, triggering the start of a public review process. The 30 chapters of the TPP agreement include a sanitary and phytosanitary measures section meant to prevent countries from using standards for food safety and animal and plant health as trade barriers. There are other chapters on ... Read More »

Senate backs resolution to get rid of EPA clean water rules

From the Capital Press Despite White House objections, the Senate voted for a resolution Nov. 4 to scrap new federal rules to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands from development and pollution. Senators voted 53-44 in favor of a “resolution of disapproval,” a measure that would void the regulations if also passed by the House and signed by the president. The ... Read More »

Senate sharply divided over WOTUS rule

From Agri-Pulse Senate Democrats blocked a bill aimed at forcing the Obama administration to replace its Clean Water Act rule, but Republicans quickly advanced a disapproval resolution that would simply kill the rule. The measure aimed at replacing the rule needed 60 votes to advance to a full debate, but just four Democrats supported the cloture motion, leaving the bill ... Read More »

NAWG tackles wheat acreage losses in new action plan.

From Agweek Enough is enough, says the National Association of Wheat Growers, which is working on a new plan to combat the long decline in U.S. wheat acreage. “Wheat is in trouble.” says Brett Blankenship, a wheat farmer from Washtucna, Wash., and president of the National Association of Wheat Growers. “There’s been a 20-year decline in productivity and profitability. “Effort ... Read More »

Confused about farm program payment variability?

From Agri-Pulse The days of direct payments are over and so is some of the predictability about whether an individual grower will receive payments. That’s likely to cause some consternation, especially when growers of one crop in one county receive payments while growers in a neighboring county do not. USDA started issuing checks totaling about $3.9 billion last week. How does ... Read More »