Farm and environmental groups that often disagree on ag policy are urging the Agriculture Department to prioritize climate change in conservation programs and to consider changes to crop insurance that would promote the use of cover crops and other carbon-conserving practices.
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has described the upcoming meeting with her Mexican and Canadian counterparts as a friendly-sounding “annual get-together,” but it’s also expected to be a showdown over contentious issues that have put the three countries at odds.
Jewel Bronaugh, the first African-American woman nominated to serve as deputy secretary of agriculture, sailed through her confirmation hearing as she pledged to work closely with senators on issues affecting the nation’s producers.
USDA announced Wednesday plans to spend at least $6 billion on new pandemic aid programs that reach a broader swath of producers than previous efforts, while putting “a greater emphasis on outreach to small and socially disadvantaged producers, specialty crop and organic producers (and) timber harvesters.”
The dairy industry is teaming up with a major agribusiness and an environmental group to “develop a replicable program and toolset to scale the adoption of best management practices in feed/forage production and feed efficiency.”
U.S. farm groups are concerned about the increasing agricultural trade troubles with Mexico and Canada despite the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and Biden administration officials are stressing that resolving those issues is a priority.
The Senate is set to OK President Joe Biden’s nominees for Interior secretary and U.S. Trade Representative this week, while the House looks to jump-start a congressional debate over immigration reform and farm labor.