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.
A House stopgap spending bill aimed at avoiding an Oct. 1 government shutdown would ensure that trade assistance to farmers continues and also would bolster specialty crop research and fund USDA’s coming hemp program.
Producers utilized a listening session featuring two of the most influential men in ag policy to express their displeasure with the state of affairs for rural America, putting them in a mode that varied between explanatory and defensive.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday left open the possibility that farmers who file prevented planting insurance claims may still be eligible for payments under the new trade assistance package.
The Trump administration’s announcement of a new trade assistance package, plus congressional agreement on disaster relief for prevented plantings, will put billions of dollars into the struggling farm economy, but the prospective aid is injecting new uncertainty into the planting decisions facing growers across the soggy Plains and Midwest.
Dairy farmers considering whether to sign up for the new farm bill benefits should consider this: Milk prices are likely to remain relatively stagnant for several years due in part to consolidation that has made many farms less responsive to market signals.