Congressional negotiators are nearing agreement on a massive year-end bill that’s expected to include billions in agricultural disaster aid as well as a compromise version of the Growing Climate Solutions Act and special aid to rice growers.
House Democrats, struggling to maintain their tenuous control over the House amid soaring food and fuel prices, win passage of a package of bills aimed at promoting competition in the meat sector, reducing fertilizer usage and expanding the use of biofuels.
The House Agriculture Committee is split along partisan lines over a Democratic bill that would create a special investigator in the Agriculture Department to look into allegations of unfair practices by meat and poultry processors.
As Russian missiles continued to bombard Ukraine, President Joe Biden used his first State of the Union address to express American support for the beleaguered nation and tackle a number of domestic issues, including food price inflation and supply chain disruptions.
Congress heads into an election year with clouds over two major pieces of legislation that are seen as critical to helping farmers benefit from efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Lawmakers also are expected to begin farm bill hearings this year, and they will have to keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year.
Higher prices for meat and other foods are helping fuel the inflation that is pinching consumers. Supermarket prices rose 0.8% in June, driven by a 2.5% increase for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Beef prices rose 4.5% last month.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told senators Tuesday that his department is working on measures that will “significantly” increase U.S. meatpacking capacity, a top priority of producers who believe industry concentration is depressing livestock prices.
The Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday easily approved the nomination of Janie Simms Hipp, a long-time agricultural law specialist and member of the Chickasaw Nation, to become the Agriculture Department's general counsel.
Democrats look to move President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package through the Senate while Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack makes his case for the new administration’s priorities to farm groups this week for the first time in his return to his old job.