Lesson #3: Regional divides make writing a farm bill more of a gamble

From Agri-Pulse When Sen. Debbie Stabenow sat at the helm of the Senate Committee on Agriculture for the first time in 2011, there was a row of seats filled by ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and other Republican senators on her left. Democrats lined up in chairs on the right. Staff filled in all along the back walls of the ... Read More »

Farmers: Protect conservation, crop insurance but tweak commodity programs

From Agri-Pulse The Senate Agriculture Committee launched its hearings on the new farm bill, hearing from farmers in Kansas who appealed for changes to some commodity programs, new support for cotton growers and continued funding for conservation. The farmers also expressed opposition to means testing or other restrictions on crop insurance and said that EPA restrictions on pesticides threatened to ... Read More »

Senate kicks off farm bill hearings in Kansas

From NAWG Today the Senate Agriculture Committee held its first farm bill hearing in Manhattan, Kan. Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) heard from 18 witnesses representing Kansas producer organizations, lenders, electric cooperatives, natural resource interests and other rural community representatives.  This hearing marks the start of the Senate’s official work toward the next farm bill. Kansas ... Read More »

USDA sees rise in crop, livestock output amid sluggish farm economy

From Agri-Pulse Farmers are expected to produce nearly as many acres of soybeans as corn this year as growers respond to a relatively stronger increase in soybean prices, according to the Agriculture Department. Speaking today at USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum, the department’s chief economist, Robert Johansson, said farmers will likely plant 88 million acres of soybeans this spring, up from 83.4 million ... Read More »

House ag committee approves pesticide measures

From NAWG Yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee approved two measures regarding the regulation of pesticides. The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act (H.R. 953) would eliminate the duplicative permit requirement for use of pesticides that have already been approved by the EPA in the Federal Insecticide Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Senator Crapo (R-Idaho) has also introduced similar legislation in the Senate. The National ... Read More »

There are plenty of questions as the farm bill debate kicks off

From Ohio’s Country Journal Though it seems like the last farm bill has just been finally implemented, discussions are already ramping up for the next farm bill in Washington, D.C. With a new administration, a challenging farm economy and the ever-shifting whims of public perceptions about agriculture, there is plenty of uncertainty about the outcome. Read the rest of the ... Read More »

Kansas, Oklahoma top states for LDP payments

From the USDA’s Economic Research Service When wheat prices posted at county elevators fall below the annual county and class-specific marketing assistance loan rate, producers become eligible to receive loan deficiency payments (LDP). An LDP is a direct payment to farmers that covers the difference between the current local price and the pre-determined county loan rate. A 2016/17 marketing year ... Read More »

NASDA establishes priorities for next farm bill

This week, the National Association of State Departments (NASDA) established priorities for the next farm bill. NASDA called for enhanced investment in American agriculture that provides producers the tools they need to succeed.  Further, NASDA emphasized that the farm bill is vital to providing consumers access to the safest, highest quality and most affordable food supply, which is essential for our nation’s economy ... Read More »

WAWG sets out 2017 federal priorities

This week, the leadership and staff of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers is in Washington, D.C., to meet with the state’s federal delegation as well as agency heads. The 2017 federal priorities the association will be discussing include: • WAWG supports maintaining and an increase of funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program. ... Read More »

Wheat growers head to nation’s capital to focus on trade, the future farm bill and to build relationships

Fresh off their successful lobbying trip to Olympia, leadership and staff of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers are headed to Washington, D.C., next week to take their message to a national stage. “Many of our issues, such as maintaining and expanding overseas markets with sound trade policies, improving on farm bill programs that are critical for risk management and ... Read More »