Agriculture slips off political radar

From the Capital Press In a crowded gymnasium at Skyline High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders espoused his many positions for more than an hour on a long list of issues. “We’re doing something pretty radical in American politics. We’re telling the truth!” the Vermont senator shouted over the cheers of raucous supporters during the ... Read More »

USDA announces CRP results

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the enrollment of more than 800,000 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Washington state enrolled a total of 120,530 acres, second only to Iowa, which enrolled 128,212 acres. “The Conservation Reserve Program provides nearly $2 billion annually to land owners—dollars that make their way into local economies, supporting small businesses ... Read More »

House ag subcommittee marks up spending bill

From the National Association of Wheat Growers Yesterday, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee completed its markup of the FY 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill and passed it to the full committee, which is expected to take it up next week. The bill provides $21.3 billion in discretionary spending, which is $451 million below the FY 2016 enacted level and $281 million below ... Read More »

NRCS excludes buckwheat from cover crop mixes

From the Capital Press The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently excluded buckwheat from cover crop mixes in or near wheat fields across the U.S. The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service recently announced the change, requiring state offices in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming to update their seeding recommendations to exclude ... Read More »

NAWG executive director to step down

From NAWG The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) has announced Jim Palmer has decided to step down as its chief executive officer effective May 31, 2016. “Jim has been a tremendous and tireless advocate of the U.S. wheat grower specifically, and the U.S. wheat industry in general, during his tenure as our CEO,” stated NAWG President Gordon Stoner, a Montana ... Read More »

China’s excessive wheat subsidies and other policies increase U.S. farm losses

From U.S. Wheat and the National Association of Wheat Growers Over the past few years, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) have demonstrated how the policies of a few advanced developing countries are distorting world wheat trade and hurting farmers in the United States and other wheat exporting countries. In 2015, an Iowa State ... Read More »

2018 Farm Bill: Integrate CSP with the later sustainability movement

By Bruce Knight From Agri-Pulse In our ongoing discussion of the next farm bill, I want us to consider carefully the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which has become the largest USDA conservation program for private working lands. Of immediate interest, of course, is the 2016 sign up, continuing through March 31. NRCS is making available $150 million through CSP this ... Read More »

Strong dollar only part of trade picture, ag reps say

From the Capital Press The high value of the U.S. dollar in relationship to foreign currencies is affecting U.S. commodities on the global market, but industry representatives say it’s only part of the export puzzle. The impact of a strong dollar is “huge,” said Ken Ballard, relationship manager with Northwest Farm Credit Services in Pasco, Wash. When the dollar is ... Read More »

General Mills second food giant to label biotech products

From Agri-Pulse General Mills Inc. has become the second major food maker to announce that it will start labeling its products for biotech ingredients as required by a Vermont law set to take effect this summer. The General Mills announcement, which follows a decision by Campbell Soup Co. in January, comes as legislation to preempt state GMO labeling laws has stalled in the ... Read More »

USDA makes case for ag research dollars

From Agri-Pulse The leaders of USDA’s research agencies told lawmakers on the House Agriculture Appropriations panel Wednesday why federal investment in agricultural research is critical to protecting the national food system and supporting American producers. In fiscal 2016, Congress approved the highest ever budget – $2.94 billion – for USDA ag research. The Obama administration’s 2017 budget proposal asks for $38 million less in discretionary funds compared to last year, ... Read More »