Politics | 7/28/2015

 Solid economic year awaits ethanol plants

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2015 - A moderately big U.S. corn crop on the way, combined with soaring gasoline demand, spells an economically steady year ahead for U.S. ethanol plants.

Farm & rural policy news

Politics | 7/28/2015 7:31:46 PM

Internal docs said to undermine WOTUS rule

WASHINGTON, July 27, 2015 - Internal memos that the Army Corps of Engineers turned over to a Senate committee undermines the scientific and legal basis for the new rule that re-defines the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, the panel's chairman says.
Politics | 7/28/2015 6:23:33 PM

Lawmakers seek to change Medicare payment requirements for rural hospitals

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2015 - A House Ways and Means subcommittee met Tuesday to discuss two Medicare payment requirements that the panel's Republicans called "bureaucratic red tape" for rural hospitals.

Rabo AgriFinance: Growing Ambition
Politics | 7/28/2015 3:37:11 PM

 Senate panel starts 'mega-markup' of energy reform bill

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2015-The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee started its markup on a broad energy bill today, only finishing about a third of the 94 amendments that senators submitted for consideration.
Politics | 7/28/2015 11:57:56 AM

USDA announces first investments in Rural Infrastructure Fund

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the first round of investments in rural infrastructure projects through the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, which was created just over a year ago.
Politics | 7/28/2015 8:54:15 AM

Opinion: Stabenow's COOL Legislation Guarantees Retaliation

COOL is a program that has had no benefit to U.S. beef producers or consumers and it violates our trade agreements. Regardless of how you measure impact: demand, price, or consumer trust; COOL fails them all. Four times the WTO has been abundantly clear, COOL discriminates against our trading partners.
Politics | 7/27/2015 5:14:44 PM

Washington Week Ahead: Heat on Canada as U.S. tries to wrap up TPP talks

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2015 - With a series of agricultural issues still hanging, the Pacific Rim trade negotiations heat up in Hawaii this week as U.S. negotiators try up to wrap up a deal that they can send to Congress for approval.
Politics | 7/27/2015 3:51:45 PM

Opinion: The Hoeven-Stabenow COOL compromise, the only path forward for food labeling

Unfortunately, mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) - the popular consumer food labeling law that identifies the national origin of meat, poultry and many fruits, vegetables and nuts in the U.S. - is a dead man walking.
Politics | 7/26/2015 9:14:04 PM

Gov. Christie shares thoughts on USDA, EPA and why he vetoed bill to ban gestation crates

CAMANCHE, IOWA, July 26, 2015 - If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie makes it through the crowded Republican field of GOP presidential candidates and on to the White House, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will likely be on his speed dial for all things agricultural.
Politics | 7/26/2015 12:49:27 PM

FDA wants labeling for added sugars, daily limit

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2015 - In an effort to get Americans to cut sugar consumption, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing to require nutrition labels to disclose the content of added sugars as a percentage of a recommended daily limit
Politics | 7/26/2015 10:43:56 AM

Equipment sharing leaves farms vulnerable to bird flu, USDA finds

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2015 - A USDA analysis has determined that the common practice among poultry farms of sharing equipment such as feed trucks and live haul loaders makes farms more vulnerable to the highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Politics | 7/24/2015 11:13:11 AM

Battle over GMO labeling shifts to Senate

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 - The food industry's campaign to stop states from requiring labels on genetically engineered products faces an uncertain future in the Senate following a landmark, bipartisan victory in the House.
Politics | 7/23/2015 5:48:04 PM

Highway bill could include COOL showdown

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 - Senate Agriculture Committee leaders remain at odds over the path forward for the country-of-origin labeling law for meat, and their debate could get tangled up in a highway bill the Senate is considering.  
Politics | 7/23/2015 5:28:52 PM

Syngenta earnings report fuels more debate over Monsanto buy-out offer

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 - Syngenta's 2015 half-year earnings report released today showed lower earnings and sales from a year ago, but analysts say the results are better than expected in a tough environment of low crop prices.
Politics | 7/23/2015 5:04:38 PM

Survey: Hunters, anglers cast support for EPA's Clean Water Rule

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2015 - Four of every five hunters and anglers surveyed nationwide approve of the Obama administration's new rule that extends Clean Water Act protections to wetlands and streams.
Politics | 7/23/2015 4:23:46 PM

USDA approves Dow's Enlist cotton

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 -- USDA says it is deregulating Dow AgroSciences' genetically engineered (GE) Enlist cotton trait in the United States. The department has now completed its regulatory review process for all of Dow's Enlist traits - corn, soybeans and cotton.
Politics | 7/23/2015 1:53:35 PM

RFS opponents call for reform action at House hearing

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 - Lawmakers and several witnesses argued today at a House hearing that it may be time to consider adjustments to the Renewable Fuel Standard, the cornerstone policy of the renewable fuels industry and the burr under the saddle of oil companies for the past decade.
Politics | 7/23/2015 1:26:14 PM

USDA expands crop insurance for fruit, nut producers

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 - Building on provisions contained in the 2014 farm bill, USDA plans to expand crop insurance options for fruit and nut producers next year. Both the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) and the Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion will be available to cover fresh fruit and nuts in select counties beginning with the 2016 crop year.
Politics | 7/23/2015 1:08:16 PM

House votes to bar GMO labeling

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 - In a landmark victory for agricultural biotechnology, the House approved a bill, 275-150, to block state GMO labeling laws and to set rules for marketing foods as non-biotech.
Politics | 7/22/2015 4:29:27 PM

 Will a flood of Iranian crude oil and low prices hurt or help renewables?

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2015 - While raising many questions, President Obama's controversial nuclear agreement with Iran has already resulted in at least one tangible impact: Even before sanctions are eased in perhaps six to eight months, world oil prices are being driven down by the prospect of Iran selling as much as an extra 1 million barrels per day of its stockpiled crude oil into world markets.
Politics | 7/22/2015 2:53:07 PM

USDA bracing for bigger bird flu outbreak

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2015 - The government is gearing up to deal with as many as 500 incidents of avian flu this fall, far more than the number that devastated Midwest producers this spring, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Politics | 7/22/2015 12:55:51 PM

 Senate Finance Committee approves tax extender package

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2015 -The year is half over but there are some signs of life for those expired tax benefits that are critical to agriculture, including the higher Section 179 expensing allowance and the tax credit that subsidizes biodiesel production.


Bruce Knight

Saving the Sage Grouse through voluntary conservation
Voluntary conservation efforts have helped protect and restore habitat for the sage grouse on more than 4.4 million acres since 2010 through NRCS partnerships with owners of private working lands.


Grace Burton and Louise Iverson

African Growth and Opportunity Act: Advancing the Role of Agriculture in US-Africa Trade
The debate over fast-track authority, more formally known as the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), has dominated the news headlines and is likely to remain at the forefront of policy discussions


Blake Hurst

Want ethical food produced in an ethical manner?
The Wall Street Journal reports that Nestle' USA is enjoying a boom in sales of bottled water to homeowners.


Marshall Matz

Keepseagle v. USDA :The Case Continues
Do you remember the class action litigation Keepseagle v. USDA claiming discrimination against Indian farmers and ranchers?


Bruce Knight

Climate Change: Scientific and Spiritual Matter
As I said last summer, there's no doubt in my mind that climate change is real.
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 event calendar
  Ag Media Summit
  July 25-29, 2015 Scottsdale, Arizona

  U.S. Grains Council Board of Delegates Meeting
  July 27-29, 2015 Denver, Colorado

  July 31st - Aug. 5th, Tamaya, NM
  International Sweetener Symposium Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa, NM

  National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit
  Aug. 3-6, 2015 Seattle, Wash.

  American Society of Horticultural Science Conference
  Aug. 4-7, 2015 New Orleans, Louisiana

  USFRA Food Dialogues:
  August 11, 2015 704 S 2nd St Minneapolis, MN

  FMI/GMA Global Sustainability Summit
  Aug. 19-21, 2015 Denver, Colorado

  Farm Progress Show
  Sept. 1-3, 2015 Decatur, Illinois

  Canada Outdoor Farm Show
  Sept. 15-17, 2015 Woodstock, Ontario

  National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
  Sept. 13-16, 2015 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii


 Most Popular

 1. Battle over GMO labeling shifts to Senate

 2. House votes to bar GMO labeling

 3. USDA bracing for bigger bird flu outbreak

 4. Internal docs said to undermine WOTUS rule

 5. Gov. Christie shares thoughts on USDA, EPA and why he vetoed bill to ban gestation crates

 6. RFS opponents call for reform action at House hearing

 7. Highway bill could include COOL showdown

 8. Washington Week Ahead: Heat on Canada as U.S. tries to wrap up TPP talks

 9. Survey: Hunters, anglers cast support for EPA's Clean Water Rule

 10. Opinion: The Hoeven-Stabenow COOL compromise, the only path forward for food labeling