Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Wednesday 12/17/14

Agribusinesses See Benefits with More Open Cuba
A lot of people seemed fixated by the potential new-found access to Cuban cigars. Most leaders in agriculture, however, see greater potential for commodity and agricultural-equipment exports to the island and its 11.3 million people.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 9:51PM CST 12/17/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday 12/16/14

Members of Congress Want Rule on Active Engagement
Six members of Congress have written Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to draft a new rule defining "actively engaged" for a person to receive farm-program payments.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:46PM CST 12/16/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Friday 12/12/14

House Passes Appropriations with Several Ag Riders
The House passed its appropriations bill for almost all federal agencies late Thursday night that included several policy riders for USDA.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 7:52AM CST 12/12/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday 12/09/14

Appropriations Bill Would Block New Beef Checkoff
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack would be prevented from moving forward with a second beef checkoff and schools could seek relief from whole grains and sodium requirements under the Agriculture section of an omnibus appropriations bill that was released Tuesday night.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:56PM CST 12/09/14 by Jerry Hagstrom | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
Senate Pushback on WOTUS Expected Next Year
Although many Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are making a 12th-hour attempt to attach riders to a $1.1 trillion spending bill to reign in the EPA on a number of fronts, it is likely Washington, D.C., pushback on EPA will begin to intensify when the new Congress comes into power in January.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 12:43PM CST 12/09/14 by Todd Neeley | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Thursday 12/04/14

Groups Champion Revenue for Ag Infrastructure
Ag groups are nudging political leaders to step up spending on infrastructure in a variety of ways, whether it's convincing Congress to boost the diesel tax for inland waterways or looking for ways to fund road repairs at the state level.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 3:50PM CST 12/04/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (9)
How much do the people driving around in electric or natural gas propelled vehicles pay into the road maintenance fund? Time to start charging them an annual tax based on the mileage they drive.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 1:42PM CST 12/05/14
We had our chance in 2009 with the stimulus plan to greatly increase infrastructure spending. Unfortunately, less than 90 billion dollars of the nearly trillion dollars actually spent went to infrastructure. We had our chance and we pooped it away. Any notion of "raising taxes" to support infrastructure spending is a farse. If local governments want to spend their newly found agricultural tax revenue (from lucrative agricultural profits of late) on roads and bridges, more power to them. Just don't look for the taxpayers from around the country to support local infrastructure spending.
Posted by tom vogel at 5:55PM CST 12/07/14
Just like the GOP, once they get a majority they raise taxes! Remember what GH Bush said in his campaign? "Read my lips, NO NEW TAXES" and what did he do???? Oh and if police have to kill to enforce tobacco taxes just think of the mayhem more gasoline taxes will create! Step up Tea folk and walk the talk, no NEW TAXES! Don't be such hypocrites!!!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 8:58AM CST 12/08/14
Jay isn't as smart as he knows he is. If you look back Bush did not allow new taxes to be introduced, but they did raise the percentage of existing ones. Remember that Jay? So what he said was technically true. And how much are you paying with that toy car of yours to drive on the roads that the gas tax is paying Jay? Anyone else notice when Jay doesn't have a good answer for something he just ignores it?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 12:56PM CST 12/08/14
Jay: I am with you - no new infrastructure taxes! We can agree on that. And yes, you are correct, GHW Bush did raise taxes and we have been paying higher taxes since then. It was a bad move then and it would be a bad move now.
Posted by tom vogel at 1:12PM CST 12/08/14
The government has never ever decreased spending, no matter who was #1.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 6:07AM CST 12/09/14
Well Rush and Hanity say that electric cars and solar doesn't work, you call it a toy so why waste time adding a new tax which is totally against Tea Party philosophy? Besides how would you enforce such a tax, send a meter reader to every house that might own an EV? Just remember Craig, "its a toy" and like solar doesn't work so stick with your monster trucks built for "Montana men".
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:15AM CST 12/09/14
Just like a 1099, when you buy the car you report it to the government and report every year beginning and ending mileage and pay for every mile you drive. And it wouldn't be really a new tax, it would adjust the old one to make sure free loaders pay their fair share.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 11:50AM CST 12/09/14
Tom, are you really saying that paying less taxes would be a good thing AND, in the same statement, agreeing with anything Jay says?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 11:53AM CST 12/09/14

Monday 12/01/14

GMO Labeling Push Continues
Biotech labeling battles appear primed to continue in 2015, despite defeat at the polls and little or no movement among dueling pieces of legislation in Congress.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:26PM CST 12/01/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Monday 11/24/14

ARC and the PLC Reference Price
There is still a little confusion on the relationship between ARC averages and the PLC reference price. While the Agricultural Risk Coverage program is based on a rolling five-year market-year average, the ARC average price floor is the same the Price Loss Coverage reference price in the 2014 farm bill.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:39PM CST 11/24/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
Deadline to reallocate base acres and/or update programs yields is February 27, 2015--not February 17.
Posted by Gary Yoch at 8:20AM CST 11/28/14

Friday 11/21/14

RFS Decision Could Alter Biofuels, Corn, Soybean Markets
As a result of EPA's decision to delay the release of the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes until next year, an agriculture economist told DTN Friday that if the overall RFS volumes for 2015 jump to 15 billion gallons as outlined in the current law, there will be a gap between the so-called blend wall and the 2015 volumes.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 12:43PM CST 11/21/14 by Todd Neeley | Post a Comment
Comments (1)
WOW; $2.19 E-85 in West Point NE. is just fine. At 30 mpg only a fool would pass this up .
Posted by melvin meister at 9:05PM CST 11/22/14

Wednesday 11/19/14

Is Keystone XL Back to Square One?
Spinning the message following votes in Congress has always been a part of the American political scene, and that was no different Tuesday night. The U.S. Senate fell one vote short on a bill to force the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, 59-41, and of course both sides in the debate claimed victory.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 8:34AM CST 11/19/14 by Todd Neeley | Post a Comment
Comments (9)
So how does the KXL pipeline help secure the US energy security if the Canadian tar oil is pumped to the Gulf to be loaded on ships for China? Why does Canada not pay for clean up of spills? How does a handful of red states represent the will of the entire nation in an off year election? How does 50 permanent jobs from the pipeline equate into a "jobs bill"?
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 5:14PM CST 11/19/14
Oil is a world wide pool, Jay.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:09AM CST 11/20/14
Well then Bonnie you don't have to worry about US oil independence!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 6:22AM CST 11/20/14
Only an idiot believes that the oil is going to go to the coast REFINERIES just to load it on a ship to China. Jay, here's your sign. It will come out of Canada and replace the oil coming up from Venezuela, read the reports Jay and try to learn a little of what is really going on. Apparently Obama is reading what is going to happen top the oil from the main stream media that opposes it, and he is wrong.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 9:41AM CST 11/20/14
Obama is just living up to his middle name !
Posted by GORDON KEYES at 1:02PM CST 11/20/14
Oil independence is imports equal to exports. One could call it a trade balance in that commodity. It would be rather silly to ship Alaskan oil to New York.(for example)
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:42PM CST 11/20/14
But you know Bonnie, the sun shines everywhere and that is my energy source, no war or pipeline needed.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 6:10AM CST 11/21/14
Still waiting for you to come out here to Montana in January and see how far you get in that little electric car. Bet you couldn't make it from Billings to Bozeman on one charge during the cold. Place for everything, bud, and that place isn't everyplace.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 9:45AM CST 11/21/14
Some people know they are wrong and still argue.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 7:13PM CST 11/21/14

Monday 11/17/14

Chevrolet Buys CO2 Credits from Working Ranch Grasslands
The work by prairie pothole ranchers to maintain grasslands in North Dakota is being used by a General Motors company to improve its carbon footprint, in a new partnership USDA announced Monday that led to the purchase of 40,000 tons of carbon dioxide reduction credits.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:49AM CST 11/17/14 by Todd Neeley | Post a Comment
Comments (22)
The whole package, bull! Give government motors corporation permission to pollute.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 6:13PM CST 11/17/14
Smoke and mirrors - its not a reduction unless the Ranch was intending to plow under the grasslands! Here we are with an organic movement underway that wants to replace herbicides with tillage (CO2 release from tillage only one of many environmental setbacks) and the best we can do is give Chevy a break. Where's the MSM's outrage over B.O.'s deal with China? (like I have to ask!) B.O. will make the U.S. greatly reduce GHG while China, the world's worst GHG offender, gets to double their output and then cap it in 2030.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 7:16AM CST 11/18/14
"I have sighted the enemy...and he is we." The whole notion of carbon credits is as stated above by Curt and Bonnie. How low will our nation's mentality go before we wake up?
Posted by tom vogel at 8:03AM CST 11/18/14
What else would we expect from the party of dirty air and dirty water? As stated in the above 3 posts who cares about the environment as long as corporations make the most they can,,,, OH for the good old days of Bush when there war no regulations, bank failures, stock market of 5000 and falling, even my health insurance was $1100 more per year then and farm income was way down from this! Take us back dear GOP to the dream days of Iraq wars, 911 and anthrax! I can't stand this liberal socialist nation run by a Muslim terrorist who won't show his birth certificate!!!! LET US POLLUTE and live like good Christians!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 8:12AM CST 11/18/14
Barak Obama has been rejected in the last election and will do everything in his power to punish the American people with any agency he can find to sooth his gigantic ego. He will have an ongoing hissy fit for the next 2 years , much like the ramblings of Jay. You can lie only so long and people will eventually find out. The trouble Obama and the Democrats have is they say all of their lies on video and will always have it out there. They then throw a fit when they are found out. It really fun to watch.
Posted by GORDON KEYES at 10:31AM CST 11/18/14
Yea Jay, tell us how your savior god has made a great treaty with the Chinese to where they get another 16 years before they have to START reducing their INCREASE of global killing gases while we double our decreases. Lordy, you are a rip. And how does a company help reduce air pollution by buying credits while still putting out the same amount of pollution.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 12:31PM CST 11/18/14
Posted by W Lee Deutsche at 3:04PM CST 11/18/14
How in the world, Jay, can anyone with a brain think these type of deals are a net benefit? Look at the end result rather than getting stuck on the first impulse based on a predetermined illusion.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 4:53AM CST 11/19/14
Oh really Bonnie? For me things are so much better then when Bush was in office, sounds like you listen to much to hate radio. My bank account is much larger, nice illusion! Things are far better with a stock market at 17,000 over 5,000 but dream on for the good ole days! As for Curts concern about China's GHG emissions NOT building the Canadian XL pipeline will keep them from expanding oil use. As for Gordon Keys, Obama won the last election so is president and has use of the powers of that office, I am sure that the new Senate will be able to show off their insanity in the next 2 years, maybe get through "Cat in the Hat", "Horton Hears a Who" and other favorite readings of Ted Cruz all in time to unload the clown car full of GOP presidential hopefuls. SO I agree with you Bonnie,,,, how can anyone with a brain think the GOP has a benefit, after all there is still science and reality to deal with, carbon is real even though you can't see it, there are subatomic particles that are increasing in our atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. Climate change is real and no matter who wins what election it will continue.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:43AM CST 11/19/14
Cap and Trade is another joint public/private program with its political beginnings in the early 1980's during the time of Reagan and expanded under GHWBush. (Smithsonian mag). Now, as with ACA, when used by the other side of the political aisle, it is an anathema to the always boisterous opposition since they can see no benefit from its application locally or internationally. Bonnie, I believe I understand how someone with a brain could see the benefits. Maybe you would explain how someone without fails to see any benefits.
Posted by Don Thompson at 7:53AM CST 11/19/14
Not building the XL pipeline will not keep China from using more oil that is one of the goofiest reason for not building it I have ever heard . JAY I would stay away from subatomic particles if I were some of that stuff will affect your thinking. Cap and Trade is nothing but a power and money grab by a government that is out of control . Sending your money to the govt. and letting them tell you live, what temperature to keep your home and what kind of vehicle to drive and how many miles per gallon it must get no thanks not interested. There is nothing in cap and trade that will benefit the private citizen all benefits will go to the govt. then El Presidente can spread it around to the people who please him. Crony Capitalism GM GE Solyndra and the list goes on and on.
Posted by GORDON KEYES at 9:33AM CST 11/19/14
There are many more reasons not to build the pipeline in fact Obama is waiting for the environmental impact study and then will probably ok it, its the GOP that wants to defy the LAW and not wait for the mandatory environmental impact study. I am sure it will go through but you know maybe for a farmer who doesn't need irrigation I should be for it, after all once the aquifers are poisoned grain will be worth much more? Of course Rush and Hanity will blame that on Obama for not enforcing environmental laws if that happens! Don is so right, Cap and trade and "Obama care" (aka "Romney care) were devised by the GOP but that was before it was hijacked by the part of tea. So maybe you guys should be careful for what you wish for? Oh and does Crony Capitalism include Haliburten, Exxon and BIG COAL?
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 5:05PM CST 11/19/14
Face it your liberal president has turned out to be nothing but liar who is now a laughingstock. Black people got screwed big time the man they put so much hope in turns out to be a dictatorial narcissist who is now going to do nothing but punish the American people anyway he can. Obama s policies could do nothing but make the rich richer and poor poorer there is just no other way it could turn out.
Posted by GORDON KEYES at 8:49PM CST 11/19/14
Gordon, Your implication that GM and Solyndra represent government failures does require reexamination by anyone truly interested in the successes and failures of such programs. It is true that during the Obama tenure the rich have gotten richer and to a lesser extent the poor have increased worth too. I am just glad we have moved in that direction instead of the other. The policies of the incoming Congress would support a continuation of this direction so if you are in the top financial half - congratulations. Your anger towards the current state of our nation and your political affiliations are baffling since they seem to work in opposite direction.
Posted by Don Thompson at 12:26PM CST 11/20/14
No just middle class, but I am not envious of anyone who is richer than I am nor do I expect the Govt. to take away from someone else and give it to me for some dopey liberal idea of fairness. That is not how it works. One reason they are probably richer is they probably paid a lot more attention in school instead of looking out the window. We have a president billed as one of the smartest people in the world and is failing miserably at it. Socialism and collectivism only make everyone equally miserable this has been proven everywhere.
Posted by GORDON KEYES at 8:41PM CST 11/20/14
Well Gordon whatever state you call it it is working great for me, never have I made as much money, my health care is cheaper and just as good, I kept my Dr and things are so much better then when Bush was in office! I am not worrying about my bank folding, all my electricity and utilities are renewable energy, car is electric from non-poluting sources,,, things are just much better. Maybe you guys need to change your habits or work a little harder if things are so bad? I love my hope and change, it has worked very well for me and I am proud that this president took us from a collapsing economy to where we are now.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 6:08AM CST 11/21/14
Jay, didn't you get $362,000 in commodity subsidies over a 15 year period? What did you do to deserve that? And why do you never mention all the trucks and tractors that DON"T run on sunshine? And it was the deregulation of the derivative market that caused the collapse. You know, the bill Bill Clinton signed in 1999 that came to roost in 2007.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 9:49AM CST 11/21/14
That was 8 years into the Bush administration Craig,,,, so why is it offensive that Bush was blamed for the Iraq war and economical down turn back at 1 year in the Obama administration but Clinton can be blamed for derivative market 8 years after Bush was in office????? Kind of double standard if this is the case. Also I never said to run trucks and tractors on PV solar but lots of cars can be converted and lots of coal replaced with solar right now as it actually is going on.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:05AM CST 11/22/14
The comments on this blog are a microcosm of what's wrong with our country........ Hey, learn to play together. :)
Posted by Bruce Hanson at 6:40AM CST 11/24/14
Are you asking us to hand in our guns now Bruce? Your comment sounds very liberal.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:38AM CST 11/25/14
Jay, how much are you paying into highway fund when you are out driving that electric car? And I am not going to get into your hypothetical rants of "well, what about". Clinton started the ball rolling and that is all I said. Don't put words out there "well what about Bush" junk all the time. Try to stay on point.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 5:46PM CST 11/25/14
How much are you paying to dump carbon in the atmosphere?????
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 9:51PM CST 11/25/14

Tuesday 11/11/14

Sign up for ARC or PLC Next Week? Surely You Jest!
The Farm Service Agency also issued a news release on Monday letting everyone know farmers can rush to their local FSA offices on Nov. 17 to sign up for the new farm programs if they so choose. Perhaps the more important date farmers need to keep in mind is March 31, the deadline for making those program decisions.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:53AM CST 11/11/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Monday 11/10/14

Top Donors to House and Senate Ag Leaders
Who gives money to some of our agricultural leaders in Washington? Well here is a small rundown of some campaign contributors who I'm told have absolutely no influence on the outcome of past, present or future legislation. Nonetheless, these are the top donors to leaders of the Senate and House Ag Committees.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 11:14AM CST 11/10/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday 11/05/14

Farm Groups Want Tax Extender Legislation in Lame Duck
Now that the election bloodbath is over, will Congress be able to cobble together a tax-extenders bill in a lame-duck session?[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 1:43PM CST 11/05/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (7)
Posted by W Lee Deutsche at 1:39PM CST 11/06/14
Well, the GOP has an opportunity here to do some things. I was disappointed to see the House Majority Leader put out a couple of bills dealing largely with EPA and transparency for the first week of the lame duck. Again, the sooner they deal with tax extenders, the sooner everybody understands their tax situation. I think we will all be curious to see if they have a serious agenda in January. Do they deal with trade or immigration? If not, then we have to wait until at least 2017. China isn't waiting to cut trade deals. But I assure you that it will be fun.
Posted by CHRIS CLAYTON at 4:29PM CST 11/06/14
What plans? All I've seen are law suits against the president. Lets see actual bills, but first who is the Senate majority leader, Ted Cruz or Mitch, they will probably take 2 years to decide that one!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:25AM CST 11/07/14
Hey Jay, let's wait until the new guys actually get into office before ragging on them.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 8:23AM CST 11/07/14
Plans Jay? The chair needs to hear them and allow them to be presented before you can see them. Maybe now the Senate will actually legislate.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:20PM CST 11/08/14
Craig Moore, Wait till they are in office before ragging??? What?? That went out with - well - electing the first black POTUS. Mitch McConnell himself opened that can of worms. Any Dem worth his salt should be demanding the new "R" Congress be indicted for crimes unbecoming first thing Monday!! Fair treatment begets fair treatment. Bring it on.
Posted by Don Thompson at 3:52PM CST 11/09/14
The "new" congress doesn't meet until January so we will have to wait until then to see what is going to happen, Democrats still control the Senate. How can the "new" congress be charged with ANYTHING until they are even sworn in. And you have to remember it was your first elected half-black, mom was all white, that thought it was a good idea to slow the constant increase of health care by putting a tax on medical equipment purchases. Yep, we gonna slow cost increases by putting additional costs on doing business. Can't fix stupid.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 12:06PM CST 11/10/14

Tuesday 11/04/14

Republicans Sweep Key Senate Races
Much like the 2010 midterm elections, Democrats got shellacked across the country in several key Senate races, ceding the Senate to a Republican majority after eight years of Democratic control.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 11:21PM CST 11/04/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (6)
Here comes the exel pipe line and cheap energy for a generation :)
Posted by Paul Beiser at 10:26AM CST 11/05/14
It is the X-L pipeline, not exel Paul. It is to transport oil to the Gulf to be put on ships and export to China and other countries. In order for Canadian tar sand to be processed into oil prices need to be high. Just a few overlooked facts that Hanity and Rush ignore but the GOP does like to cut money for education for a reason,,,, obviously.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 12:55PM CST 11/05/14
And it is the Keystone XL (no -, Jay) pipeline. And my guess is that Jay doesn't know we have refineries at the coast and it would be processed product that would be exported. If Canada wanted to ship it straight to China they would, just like they said they would if we didn't buy it, by building a pipeline to their west coast. Apparently the schools in White Hall don't spend a lot of time teaching their students how to properly research facts.
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 8:43AM CST 11/06/14
No merit to your statement,Jay. Oil is a world wide pool. The U S imports from around the world while exporting from Alaska. Build a pipeline from Alaska to the Midwest and many local issues would go away.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 9:29AM CST 11/06/14
Alaska has the highest energy costs in the states. Not sure what a couple more pipelines would do. Are pipelines free to install? On Wednesday the energy stocks were generally up a lot. Good for my IRA!! However, the GASBUDDY app on my phone sent an alert midafternoon that gas prices would be rising, despite the fact that world oil prices have been declining. $4 billion special interest money buying election does appear to be a good investment for the moneyed interests.
Posted by Don Thompson at 9:57AM CST 11/06/14
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Posted by Brandon Butler at 12:17PM CST 11/06/14
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Recent Blog Posts
  • Agribusinesses See Benefits with More Open Cuba
  • Members of Congress Want Rule on Active Engagement
  • House Passes Appropriations with Several Ag Riders
  • Appropriations Bill Would Block New Beef Checkoff
  • Senate Pushback on WOTUS Expected Next Year
  • Groups Champion Revenue for Ag Infrastructure
  • GMO Labeling Push Continues
  • ARC and the PLC Reference Price
  • RFS Decision Could Alter Biofuels, Corn, Soybean Markets
  • Is Keystone XL Back to Square One?
  • Chevrolet Buys CO2 Credits from Working Ranch Grasslands
  • Sign up for ARC or PLC Next Week? Surely You Jest!
  • Top Donors to House and Senate Ag Leaders
  • Farm Groups Want Tax Extender Legislation in Lame Duck
  • Republicans Sweep Key Senate Races
  • Biotech Label Battles Continue at Ballot Box
  • Cattle Industry, Land Group Presses Feds to Pull WOTUS Rule
  • USDA Moving Ahead with Beef Checkoff Plans
  • Politicos Weigh in on USDA APH Yield Exclusion
  • Views in Congress Vary on COOL