Cotton growers are striking back against claims that they're getting better treatment from Washington than other commodities, releasing an analysis that says cotton's federal support this year will be lower than it was under previous farm programs.
The average farmer probably won’t notice anytime soon that the 2014 farm bill has expired, but producers who try to sign up for some conservation programs could be turned away, and some commodity groups will have to go without some trade promotion funding on which they have counted.
With the new farm bill likely stalled until after the November mid-term elections, one of the biggest disputes still to be ironed out is a provision in the House farm bill that would end commodity program payments for acreage on which farmers haven’t been growing program crops.
House and Senate negotiators are likely to provide another infusion of cash into rural broadband development, but an effort to repeal the Obama-era “waters of the U.S. rule” doesn’t appear likely to survive the talks on fiscal 2019 spending bills.
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.
Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts forcefully rejected proposed farm bill reforms that would make the Agriculture Risk Coverage program more attractive and increase payments to farmers in the upper Midwest at the expense of producers in other regions.
The Senate Appropriations subcommittee advanced a fiscal 2019 spending bill for USDA and FDA that would provide $425 million in funding for rural broadband expansion to add to the $600 million that Congress provided for this year.