House Democratic leaders are aiming to push through a stopgap spending bill this week after threatening a fight with the White House, and potentially with some of their own rural members, over a plan that could jeopardize farmers’ trade aid payments.
The White House steps up its campaign to get Congress to approve the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement this week, dispatching U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for hearings on both sides of Capitol Hill.
After several years of financial bleeding, dairy producers are expected to sign up in droves for the new Dairy Margin Coverage program, which this year is guaranteed to provide payments well in excess of the premiums farmers will pay.
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.
Advocates for dairy farmers pressed USDA officials at a farm bill listening session to move quickly to get payments to financially strapped producers, while other groups urged the department to put a priority on removing barriers to cover crops and scheduling signups for major conservation programs.