An upcoming run-off election in one of the nation’s largest agricultural districts has produced a confrontation, with Texas’ colorful and controversial ag commissioner, Sid Miller, and President Donald Trump on one side, and major state and national farm groups on the other.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, lost his re-election bid in one of the nation’s most important agricultural districts when he was defeated Tuesday by Randy Feenstra, who argued that the incumbent had lost critical clout when he was stripped of seats on the Agriculture and Judiciary committees.
The leader of the House Agriculture Committee says he wants to see more money go into USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp., but he’s willing to oppose a funding increase without conditions giving Congress more authority over how the money is spent.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, who has been the House Democrats’ most influential voice on farm policy for nearly two decades, announces that he’s running for re-election to a 16th term in Congress.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there is less than a 10% chance that farmers will get more Market Facilitation Program payments this year and that China is sending “signals” it intends to honor its pledges to ramp up purchases of U.S. farm commodities.
The biofuel industry is eagerly anticipating a decision from the Trump administration on future small refinery exemptions this week, while Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue heads to Capitol Hill for a grilling on the Market Facilitation Program, food stamps and other issues.
Trade remains the top concern for American agriculture heading into 2020, with looming uncertainty about whether the Chinese will make promised increases in commodity purchases, and whether President Donald Trump will provide another round of trade assistance to U.S. producers.