Federal

Supreme Court to resolve Clean Water Act confusion

From the Capital Press The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide if landowners can legally challenge whether their properties are subject to the federal Clean Water Act. The nation’s highest court will review a case about whether a landowner can fight in court against a “jurisdictional determination” by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that a property is subject ... Read More »

USDA to require permit for GE wheat field trials

From Agri-Pulse USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that as of Jan. 1, it will require developers of genetically engineered wheat varieties to apply for permits before conducting field trials. The agency told stakeholders its decision to employ a “more stringent permit process” – over the current notification process – “will provide added protection that GE wheat ... Read More »

House votes to reauthorize Surface Transportation Board

From Agri-Pulse Key farm and industry stakeholders applauded the House’s Thursday passage of a bill to reauthorize the Surface Transportation Board (STB) – the federal railroad regulatory agency. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, introduced the bill (S 808) to “help address the uncertainty encountered by businesses and agriculture producers who are ... Read More »

GMO labeling fix to be top priority in January, Stabenow says

From Agri-Pulse With chances for a year-end deal on GMO labeling all but gone, the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee said it would be a top priority early next year.   “I think it will be the first thing we have to work on in January,” Debbie Stabenow of Michigan told Agri-Pulse on recently. Read the rest of the story ... Read More »

NRCS delays overhaul of CSP until 2017 sign up

From Agri-Pulse USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) says its plan to have a new and improved Conservation Stewardship Program up and running by January has been delayed. Now, the CSP’s new features won’t be fully rolled out until the beginning of 2017. Mark Rose, the acting deputy chief of programs with NRCS, told Agri-Pulse Tuesday that implementation of the CSP upgrades ... Read More »

USDA announces enrollment period for 2016 ARC/PLC

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that producers who chose coverage from the safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, can begin visiting FSA county offices starting Dec. 7, 2015, to sign contracts to enroll in ... Read More »

Highway deal reverses crop insurance cut

From Agri-Pulse Congressional leaders are using a compromise highway bill to reverse a $3 billion cut to crop insurers that was included in the two-year budget agreement. The conference agreement on the transportation measure is expected to clear Congress this week to prevent programs from expiring on Friday. “It’s a big win for agriculture. This is a big deal to get ... Read More »

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 »