Ag groups urge House to move quickly on TPA

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Several national farm groups are urging the House of Representatives to act quickly to approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation after the Senate passed it late Friday. In a statement released following the vote, American Farm Bureau president Bob Stallman said, “Congressional support is critical to breaking down trade barriers and completing ambitious new trade agreements… Read more »

Renewable Fuels Standard due June 1.

The Environmental Protection Agency is supposed to finally deliver a Renewable Fuels Standard by June 1st.  They are to announce the proposed standards for 2014, 2015 and 2016.  Renewable Fuels Association senior vice president Geoff Cooper says EPA and the White House have been very quiet on this so they have no idea what the… Read more »

TPA moves one step closer in Senate

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  Trade Promotion Authority cleared what looks like the final hurdle before a full vote in the Senate.  The legislation was advanced on a 62-38 cloture vote with 13 Democrats joining 49 Republicans in support. The measure was held-up until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to bring legislation to renew the charter for the Import-Export… Read more »

Grain inspection bill advances

A bipartisan bill to reauthorize the federal Grain Standards Act has passed the Senate Agriculture Committee and includes steps the US Ag Secretary would have to take to avoid port shipment slowdowns. Sponsored by Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas and Ranking Chair Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, the bill would require the Secretary to… Read more »

Fate of Minnesota buffer bill unknown

The version of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s buffer proposal that passed both the House and Senate would require a 50 foot buffer around all public waterways and a 16 ½ foot buffer for public drainage ditch systems. Doug Busselman, public policy director for Minnesota Farm Bureau, says the buffer legislation is part of an omnibus… Read more »

As long as they are willing to pay

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The debate over the use of genetically modified crops continues.  Recently Chipotle backed-off on an earlier announcement that it would go GMO-free.  Andy Bensend serves on the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, he says 80 percent of the soybeans he sells and plants in northwestern Wisconsin are non-Roundup Ready for export.  He says it all come… Read more »

Japanese file suit against TPP

More than 1,000 plaintiffs have filed suit in Japan seeking to halt their country’s involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership.   A former Japanese Agriculture Minister, Masahiko Yamada is leading the suit.  He says the trade agreement would violate Japan’s constitutional guarantee of the right to a stable food supply because it would make the country more… Read more »

Rural roads and bridges need improvement

Rural roads and bridges are costing farmers time and money. A new report this week by TRIP, a non-profit transportation research group, found 11 percent of the nation’s rural bridges structurally deficient and 10-percent were functionally obsolete.  In 2013, 15 percent of rural roads were in poor condition, 39 percent were mediocre or fair.  The… Read more »

House Agriculture Committee approves repeal of COOL

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The House Ag Committee approved a measure Wednesday that would effectively repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken.  If passed, the bill leaves intact labeling requirements for all other covered commodities. Committee Chairman, Republican Michael Conaway of Texas, says the move is to bring the U.S. into WTO compliance and to… Read more »

Legislation to repeal COOL is introduced

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The chair of the House Agriculture Committee has introduced legislation to repeal Country of Origin Labeling.  Chairman Mike Conaway says he was joined by 61 colleagues in introducing HR 2393to repeal COOL for beef, pork and chicken. The Texas Republican says with the WTO ruling against the COOL law on Monday, “retaliation by Canada and… Read more »