Tue Mar 4, 2014 09:23 PM CST The organic industry made sure USDA's comment period for coexistence cropping strategies ended with a rush of critical consumers filing comments and sending social media posts rejecting the idea of biotech-organic coexistence.
Tue Mar 4, 2014 06:59 AM CST When the farm bill negotiators declined to include Rep. Steve King's amendment to the legislation on interstate commerce, the body that disdains judicial activism left it to the courts and the states to battle over California's controversial rules on housing egg-laying hens.
Wed Feb 26, 2014 08:01 AM CST Following up on today's Washington Insider, I wanted to highlight a piece in the New York Times today that the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention reported a 43% decline in obesity rates among children ages 2-to-5 years old over the past decade.
Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:08 PM CST A group of 18 senators has sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, asking him to negotiate a deal with Japan for better market access for U.S. agricultural product as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.
Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:55 PM CST The National Cotton Council issued a release Thursday saying the group considers the World Trade Organization dispute with Brazil over U.S. cotton subsidies to be resolved.
Sat Feb 15, 2014 08:33 AM CST USDA confirmed that local Farm Service Agency offices will begin accepting disaster applications from livestock producers on April 15. Vilsack noted Thursday that Obama had directed USDA to expedite the disaster programs by implementing them in 60 days rather the usual six to eight months it usually takes to write regulations.
Fri Feb 14, 2014 01:26 PM CST Trade programs under the Agricultural Act of 2014 have a 10-year score of $3.57 billion in mandatory spending. Trade programs got a $139 million bump in mandatory spending in the bill as well. Most key trade and humanitarian programs are reauthorized.
Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:35 PM CST The 2014 farm bill had not yet been signed when lawmakers started calling on USDA to get the livestock disaster programs out as quickly as possible. Here is a look at both livestock disaster programs and dairy provisions in the farm bill.
Tue Feb 11, 2014 04:34 PM CST Rural renewable energy programs under the Agricultural Act of 2014 had the potential to dwindle with just $84 million in mandatory spending through 2018. Also, the House version of the farm bill didn't boost mandatory spending for any energy programs. Instead, energy programs got a boost in spending in the final bill.
Mon Feb 10, 2014 03:01 PM CST A key theme in debate about conservation programs was to consolidate them and make it easier for producers to sign up for conservation programs. Another key theme was an emphasis on farm production and working lands. Yet, there could be more pressure for conservation dollars in the coming years as farmers and ranchers face more battles with water-quality demands and soil erosion.
Thu Feb 6, 2014 06:03 PM CST A few people have commented that they didn't know exactly what the farm bill did in crop insurance. There is perception that crop insurance takes a cut. That's actually the opposite of what happened in crop-insurance programs. For the most part, those programs and options for producers are propped up. The final bill also does not include any income means testing for crop insurance premium subsidies despite the initial language in the Senate version of the bill.
Wed Feb 5, 2014 06:49 AM CST At a White House press briefing today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will announce the creation of regional hubs to work on adaptation and risk mitigation for climate change. The "Climate Hubs" will be at seven locations around the country.
Mon Feb 3, 2014 11:58 AM CST Under the Agricultural Act of 2014, farmers have to make a decision early this year on which commodity program they like until at least 2018. Farmers are going to have to choose whether they want to try to protect their revenue with a commodity program or place a bet that commodity prices will fall lower in the coming year and back up that position by buying supplemental insurance coverage each year.
Fri Jan 31, 2014 09:15 AM CST Immigration reform will once again take up a significant amount of debate outside the House chambers this year. House leaders released a set of principles on Thursday to pass legislation, but lawmakers also indicated there likely would not be a floor vote until after the primary season has ended. It's possible no real legislation could come until a lame-duck session after the fall general election as well.
Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:27 PM CST American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman responded to the State of the Union speech on Tuesday by praising the president's push to pass immigration reform. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson cited President Obama's emphasis on renewable energy.
Mon Jan 27, 2014 06:53 PM CST The farm bill conference report got a variety of early reactions after its release Monday evening. The bill makes various changes to commodity programs, some of which drew fire from GOP senators who had called for more reforms.