NFU’s opposition to TPP continues

The National Farmers Union (NFU) continues to oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. NFU’s Chandler Goule says free trade agreements, such as TPP, have not worked. “Last September, the United States was at a 505 billion dollars trade deficit since we started signing free trade agreements,” Goule says. The emphasis should be on… Read more »

NPPC confident TPP will pass, despite no deal in Hawaii

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The National Pork Producers Council, NPPC, says it’s confident a final deal will be reached in the Trans Pacific Partnership. The latest round of TPP talks, in Hawaii, ended late Friday night with no final deal.  U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says that while they made significant progress on resolving remaining issues, there’s still more… Read more »

WOTUS lawsuits consolidated

A dozen lawsuits against the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers on its Clean Water rule – formerly named Waters of the U.S. – have been consolidated. A report by Agri-Pulse says the EPA and Corps asked to have the petitions grouped together and a judicial panel agreed. The 6th Circuit Court – which covers… Read more »

AFBF: WOTUS memos reveal EPA misconduct

Army Corps of Engineers internal memos connected to the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. rule reveal what the American Farm Bureau says is dysfunction, secrecy and misconduct at the EPA.  The corps memos were released Thursday by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  Farm Bureau Congressional Relations Director Don Parrish says the memos… Read more »

Groups urge DOJ investigation of pork deal

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Several ag, consumer and competition groups are urging the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the proposed merger of JBS and Cargill. The American Antitrust Institute, Food & Water Watch, Iowa Farmers Union, the National Farmers Union and the Missouri Rural Crisis Center have written a white paper about their concerns. The crisis center’s Rhonda… Read more »

Indiana seeks disaster declaration

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is requesting a secretarial disaster declaration for counties with crop loss from this year’s excessive rainfall. In joint letter to Secretary Vilsack, the Governor, Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Indiana FSA state director Julia Wickard say the losses are ongoing. FSA’s Julia Wickard tells Brownfield 53 of Indiana’s 92 counties have been impacted. … Read more »

A little less-profitable on the farm in June

The Index of Prices Received by Farmers in June decreased 1.9 percent from May. Lower prices for cattle, broilers and hay more than offset higher prices for eggs, onions and lettuce. The Crop Index was 2.2 percent lower; corn averaged $3.58 per bushel down 4 cents from May. Soybeans were 2 cents lower at $9.58,… Read more »

Congress passes three-month transportation extension

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Congress has passed a three-month highway and transportation extension on Thursday.  This is the 34th extension since 2009.  National Corn Growers Association says they are disappointed that it wasn’t a long-term package.  NCGA President Chip Bowling says once again Congress kicked the can down the road. “Farmers rely on our nation’s infrastructure system every day. We need safe, reliable… Read more »

Vilsack pushes for poultry insurance program

Ag secretary Tom Vilsack says poultry producers need an insurance program to help protect them against catastrophic losses caused by diseases such as avian influenza. Vilsack says such a program, similar to what livestock producers have, would provide more “predictability” for producers and their lenders. “Right now, if a producer gets hit, he’s got to… Read more »

Private sector invests in rural infrastructure

USDA announced Tuesday the first round of infrastructure investments with the U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund. The Fund has invested nearly $161 million of private capital so far which includes 22 critical water and community facility projects in 14 states. USDA is leveraging private-public partnerships to maximize rural investments beyond roads and bridges to also… Read more »