A federal judge ruled that the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers improperly suspended the Obama-era “waters of the U.S. rule,” allowing it to take effect in 26 states where it has not been blocked by court order.
Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts plans to call the first formal meeting of the farm bill conference committee shortly after the Labor Day recess and hopes to make headway by then in settling differences with the House negotiators.
USDA is moving quickly to implement its planned move of the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington, D.C., requesting “expressions of interest” (EOIs) about new locations for the two agencies.
The Senate's nine farm bill negotiators include Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who wants the legislation finalized next month, as well as a Democrat facing a tough re-election race this fall, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.
Some Republicans say the best thing Congress could do to help farmers withstand the turmoil in trade policy is to pass a new farm bill. But economists say the legislation is unlikely to offer much relief to farmers, especially soybean growers, even if commodity prices don’t recover from their current tariff-induced slump.
The Senate looks to finally name its team of farm bill negotiators this week while also finishing work on a $154 billion spending bill for a bevy of departments and agencies important to agriculture, including USDA and FDA.
A USDA savings account for rural electric and telephone cooperatives that allows them to earn substantially more interest than they could from private bankers has become a major source of potential funding for a new farm bill.