Fraud, regulatory hurdles and the transition period from conventional to organic farming all present unique challenges for the growing organic industry, but one of its biggest problems is one also faced by conventional agriculture: a lack of enough workers.
Faced with criticism about delays in research reports and distribution of grant funding, a top USDA official defended the department’s decision to relocate the Economic Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture to the Kansas City region at a congressional hearing Thursday.
A senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee called the panel’s top Republican a racist on Twitter as the normally bipartisan committee was rocked by funding over a measure needed to fund farmers’ trade aid payments.
Rep. Mike Conaway, who steered the House Agriculture Committee through passage of the 2018 farm bill, won't seek reelection in 2020 after eight terms serving a sprawling west Texas district dominated by oil, ranching and cotton.
The Agriculture Department overhauled its Market Facilitation Program to broaden the number of farmers that would receive the trade aid, but officials may encounter new grumbling over the wide disparities in county payment rates.
President Donald Trump is blurring the lines between immigration and trade by continuing to threaten Mexico with tariffs for its border security policies. Ag sectors in both countries fear the lingering tensions may weigh heavily on their businesses as well as the fate of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.