Politics | 12/17/2014

Obama plan could boost U.S. sales to Cuba, if Congress allows it

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 - President Obama's plan to ease financial restrictions on trade with Cuba could help reverse a decline in agricultural exports to the island nation, but his move is likely to face stiff opposition in Congress.

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Politics | 12/17/2014 8:07:27 PM

Obama announces plan to end 50-year-old Cuban embargo

WASHINGTON, Dec 17, 2014-The White House today announced plans to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease a half-century old embargo on travel and commerce with the Communist nation, including trade in agricultural commodities and equipment.
Politics | 12/17/2014 4:40:16 PM

 Canada files cross appeal on COOL, questions WTO objectivity

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 - Canada has appealed parts of a ruling by a World Trade Organization panel in October concerning U.S. country-of-origin meat labeling, or COOL, a ruling many following the process thought was in favor of America's Neighbor to the North.

HungerU: the Worlds Food Crisis Demands Your Attention
Politics | 12/17/2014 3:18:39 PM

 Oil price plunge highlights risk of depending on oil vs renewables

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014-U.S. crude oil prices closed below $60 a barrel last week, the lowest level in over five years and nearly 50 percent below last summer's peak.
Politics | 12/17/2014 3:07:33 PM

Hi-Path bird flu found in wild birds in Washington state

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 - USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5 avian influenza in wild birds in Whatcom County, Washington.
Politics | 12/17/2014 1:12:01 PM

Senate sends tax extenders bill to Obama

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014 - The Senate tonight overwhelmingly gave final congressional approval to reinstating more than 50 expired tax breaks, including the Section 179 expensing allowance that some farmers had been waiting on before buying new tractors and other equipment.
Politics | 12/17/2014 10:16:37 AM

Shah stepping down as USAID chief

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 - Rajiv Shah, the architect of President Obama's $1-billion-a year effort to increase food production and reduce hunger in the world's poorest countries, is stepping down as administrator of the U.S. Agency of International Development.
Politics | 12/16/2014 8:36:19 PM

 Bipartisan Policy Center lists options for reforming RFS

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014 - The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) today released a menu of 40 policy options for reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
Politics | 12/16/2014 3:32:27 PM

 House panel faults peer review process in Endangered Species Act listing decisions

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2014 - Republicans on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee have released a report that they say raises questions about the peer review process in recent Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing decisions issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
Politics | 12/16/2014 11:49:22 AM

EPA eyes spring for Clean Water rule, unsure on replacing measure on farm exemptions

FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 16, 2014 - Despite stiff opposition from congressional Republicans, EPA is moving ahead with plans to finalize its proposed Clean Water Act rule by this spring, Administrator Gina McCarthy said today.
Politics | 12/16/2014 3:16:26 AM

China approves Syngenta's corn seed trait after months of resistance

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2014 -Chinese officials informed a wide variety of U.S. seed industry officials that they approved Syngenta's seed trait Viptera, according to sources contacted by Agri-Pulse. However, industry officials were reluctant to officially announce the agreement until they received official notification of the approval.
Politics | 12/15/2014 9:13:30 PM

NSAC says FDA food safety proposals need more work

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2014 - The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) says the FDA's revised proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are a significant improvement over the original proposals but still fall short in a number of critical areas.
Politics | 12/15/2014 6:01:36 PM

Senate clears spending measure, tax extenders on tap

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2014 - The $1.1 trillion government-wide spending measure is on its way to President Obama for his signature, but the Senate still has to vote this week on a tax extenders bill that also is critical to agriculture.
Politics | 12/15/2014

Midwest, South split new GOP seats on Senate Ag panel

WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2014 - Four newly elected Republican senators, including Iowa's Joni Ernst and Nebraska's Ben Sasse, will be joining the Senate Agriculture Committee for the new Congress.
Politics | 12/14/2014 5:36:13 PM

House approves spending bill to avert shutdown

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 - The House tonight averted a government shutdown by narrowly passing a sweeping government-wide spending bill over a revolt by Democrats and conservative Republicans
Politics | 12/11/2014 11:03:44 PM

House members debate need for national GMO labeling standards

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2014 - A House subcommittee on Wednesday debated the role of the Food and Drug Administration in the regulation of food containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients.
Politics | 12/11/2014 10:50:00 AM

Senate saves tax extenders bill to last

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2014 -- A House-passed bill reinstating a series of expired tax breaks is likely to be the last thing the Senate does before adjourning for the year.
Politics | 12/11/2014 10:35:14 AM

Chief Economist Joe Glauber to leave USDA

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2014 - USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber is set to retire from federal service, the agency announced today.
Politics | 12/11/2014 9:44:20 AM

 Stabenow: Let's stay together

WASHINGTON, December 11, 2014 - Given all of the turmoil and dysfunction in Congress, passage of the 2014 farm bill this spring was a major accomplishment, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow emphasized during her keynote speech at the Farm Journal Forum today in Washington. But she warned that the broad-based coalition that came together to support the multifaceted measure needs to be not only maintained, but strengthened.
Politics | 12/11/2014 4:55:46 AM

More authority for the CFTC, but not enough funding

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2014 - Members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry agreed that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) gained
Politics | 12/10/2014 11:21:53 PM

Spending bill sets stage for battles over WOTUS, school nutrition

WASHINGTON, Dec 9, 2014 -- The massive $1 trillion fiscal 2015 spending bill that congressional leaders have agreed on sets the stage for fights next year over the Clean Water Act, school nutrition, the beef checkoff and country-of-origin labeling.
Politics | 12/10/2014 9:23:12 PM

 Seed industry to launch targeted consumer campaign

CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2014 -- The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is planning a three-year consumer campaign to educate people about the value of the seed industry.
Politics | 12/10/2014 6:32:54 PM

House OKs Feed the Future authority

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2014 -- The House has approved a bill that would provide the first congressional authorization for the Obama administration's $1-billion-a-year Feed the Future initiative.
Politics | 12/10/2014 4:55:36 PM

Lawmakers put off Clean Water Act fight

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2014 - The Clean Water Act provisions in the massive fiscal 2015 spending agreement are likely to do little to slow an effort by farm groups to kill a proposed rule defining the law's jurisdiction.
Politics | 12/10/2014 3:38:54 PM

FAA grants five exemptions for drone use

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2014 - The Transportation Department's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today granted five regulatory exemptions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations to four companies for aerial surveying, construction site monitoring and oil-rig flare stack inspections.
Politics | 12/10/2014 3:18:00 PM

EPA declines to set release date for 2014 RFS volumes

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 - An EPA official refused Wednesday to tell lawmakers when the agency would finally release this year's biofuel usage targets.
Politics | 12/8/2014 1:42:51 PM

USDA announces speakers for Agricultural Outlook Forum

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2014 - The Department of Agriculture today announced the speaker lineup for the Agricultural Outlook Forum, a two-day conference designed to discuss topics in agriculture's future.
opinion

Author:

Bruce Knight

Exports: A Path to Greater Sustainability?
Every farmer knows that the key to producing the biggest crop is putting the best seed into the most fertile ground and ensuring that it receives the moisture, sunlight and nutrients required for optimum growth.


Author:


Mark Edelman and Barry Flinchbaugh

Progress on 'Too big to fail'?
ME. Recently, Thomas Hoenig, Vice Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) came to Iowa State University to present a lecture in the College of Business.

Author:

Marshall Matz

Feed the Future: A bipartisan opportunity
The Feed the Future initiative is aimed at improving agriculture productivity and economic development around the world.

Author:

Bruce Knight

Closer together or farther apart?
While some questions remain, Tuesday's election made it clear that both the Senate and the House will be firmly in the hands of Republicans


Author:


Mark Edelman and Barry Flinchbaugh

Strategic vision needed for top challenges
ME. Last week retired General Wesley Clark spoke on the Iowa State campus. No, he is not running for President this go-around.

Author:

Marshall Matz

Climate smart, sustainable agriculture
Biotechnology and GM crops are climate-smart, sustainable, ecofriendly and can lead to greater biodiversity

Author:

Bruce Knight

Saving dollars, making sense
Reducing CO2 emissions can both save dollars and make business sense.
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John Block

12/18/2014

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 event calendar
  45th Missouri Governors Conference on Agriculture
  Dec. 18-20, 2014 Osage Beach, Missouri

  Winter Fancy Food Show
  Jan. 11-13, 2015 San Francisco, California

  American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention
  Jan. 12-14, 2015 San Diego, California

  Biodiesel Conference & Expo
  Jan. 19-22, 2015 Fort Worth, Texas

  National Bison Association Winter Conference
  Jan. 21-24, 2015 Denver, Colorado

  International Dairy Foods Association Dairy Forum
  Jan. 25-28, 2015 Boca Raton, Florida

  International Production and Processing Expo
  Jan. 27-29, 2015 Atlanta, Georgia

  U.S. Custom Harvesters Annual Convention and Trade Show
  Jan. 27-29, 2015 Grand Island, Nebraska

  Wheat Industry Winter Conference
  Jan. 27-31, 2015 Washington, D.C.

  American Sheep Industry Annual Convention
  Jan. 28-31, 2015 Reno, Nevada

AG BY THE NUMBERS


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 1. Senate saves tax extenders bill to last

 2. Senate clears spending measure, tax extenders on tap

 3. Senate sends tax extenders bill to Obama

 4. Senate sends tax extenders bill to Obama

 5. China approves Syngenta's corn seed trait after months of resistance

 6. Midwest, South split new GOP seats on Senate Ag panel

 7. House members debate need for national GMO labeling standards

 8. EPA eyes spring for Clean Water rule, unsure on replacing measure on farm exemptions

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 10. Lawmakers put off Clean Water Act fight