Cattle industry’s struggles discussed at hearing

The long stretch of financial losses in the cattle feeding business came up for discussion this morning at a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing in Washington. Dr. David Anderson, an ag economist at Texas A&M University, said the depressed cattle market is fairly easy to explain. “I think it’s worth remembering that markets and incentives work,”… Read more »

Peterson skeptical of cellulosic ethanol

The ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee has concerns about the long-term viability of cellulosic ethanol. Collin Peterson of Minnesota says he was originally a proponent of the technology. “But the more I look at this, I just don’t think there is any significant amount of ethanol that’s going to be produced here.” He… Read more »

Senate GMO labeling bill will need House support

The ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee says the GMO labeling bill being worked on in the Senate needs to be similar to the legislation passed in the House last year. Collin Peterson of Minnesota tells Brownfield the House version is pre-emption with a voluntary labeling system. “If (the Senate) gets too far off… Read more »

Peterson meeting with “Big Oil” to find middle ground

As the debate rages on over the Renewable Fuels Standard, the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee has begun meeting with lawmakers from Big Oil states to find middle ground. Congressman Collin Peterson says too much is being made of EPA’s recent announcement of renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2018. “I’ve already had some… Read more »

Verification side of food labeling debate

As the issue of food labeling garners more attention, a food policy advocate says third-party verification should continue to play a role. Lena Brook is with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and tells Brownfield there are established programs food companies are voluntarily using to verify their products are antibiotic or GMO-free. “We put a… Read more »

Farmers want more transparency from ag data providers

A new Farm Bureau survey indicates farmers want more transparency from ag data providers. Senior director of congressional relations Mary Kay Thatcher says of the 400 farmers and ranchers that participated, more than half did not know who controlled their data. Because of that, AFBF created the Ag Data Transparency Evaluator. “Where fairly easily a… Read more »

Stakeholders wait for congressional action on GMO labeling

As the time gets closer for Vermont’s GMO labeling law to take effect, there’s still no word whether the U.S. Senate is any closer to passing a measure to supersede individual state GMO labeling statutes.  Individual food companies are preparing.  In an earlier interview with Brownfield, Campbell’s Soup Government Affairs Vice President Kelly Johnston said… Read more »

House Ag Committee seeks EPA explanation

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House Agriculture Committee leaders have asked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy why the EPA took down its reports on glyphosate and atrazine from its website. The glyphosate report said the chemical does not cause cancer. A letter signed by Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, ranking chair Collin Peterson and subcommittee chair Rodney Davis of Illinois asks for an… Read more »

USDA encourages vets to steer toward ag careers

The USDA wants military veterans to consider careers in agriculture.  USDA veterans liaison Lanon Baccam was at a Transition Summit at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri “to make sure that these service members who are thinking about what they want to do when they get home…consider farming and ranching or careers in agriculture,” Baccam told… Read more »

Bill would cap ethanol blends below 10%

The Renewable Fuels Association has come out strongly against a bill introduced in the U.S. House that would cap ethanol blends to a level below 10%. The bill, cosponsored by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, would place the ethanol blend cap at 9-point-7%. RFA president Bob Dinneen says the bill would gut the Renewable Fuels Standard… Read more »