Linking farm, food programs is crucial to farm bill success

From Agri-Pulse This is #4 in Agri-Pulse’s series on farm bill lessons. The Republican speaker of the House is committed to reforming welfare programs – including food assistance – to fulfill a campaign promise. But farm-state lawmakers are worried about holding together a fragile urban-rural coalition long seen critical to passing a new farm bill. That could be 2017, but ... Read More »

Six weeks later, senators question delay on Ag pick

From the Capital Press President Donald Trump tapped former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be his agriculture secretary six weeks ago, but the administration still hasn’t formally provided the Senate with the paperwork for the nomination. The delay is frustrating farm-state senators, who represent many of the core voters who helped elect Trump. Read the rest of the story here. Read More »

Trump orders a redo on WOTUS

From Agri-Pulse President Donald Trump has issued an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to reconsider their controversial Waters of the U.S. rule and narrowly interpret their jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Trump signed the order Tuesday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in front of about 25 people, including Vice President Mike Pence, First Lady Melania ... Read More »

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 »