Waivers that refiners obtained from EPA eliminated demand for 1.12 billion gallons of ethanol last year, undermining requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard, says Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Republicans expect to advance a farm bill in the House Agriculture Committee on Wednesday despite Democratic anger over its reforms to food stamps, but the legislation also would make significant changes in policy and funding across many other sections, including conservation, rural development and horticulture.
Milk producers can start signing up next week in the newly overhauled Margin Protection Program, which is more likely to provide payments to dairy farms during periods of low prices than the original version.
A partisan impasse on the House Agriculture Committee is making it more likely by the day that Congress won’t pass a new farm bill this year, forcing lawmakers to eventually pass a short-term extension of the 2014 law, say veterans of past farm bill battles.
Republican leaders are rushing to pass another short-term spending bill to keep the government funded into March, and the prospects for moving a new farm bill by early spring could hinge on whether some cotton and dairy provisions get thrown into the spending measure.