Vilsack explains proposed crop insurance cut

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Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack defends a reduction in crop insurance in the president’s proposed 2017 budget. In a budget hearing this morning, House subcommittee chairman Robert Aderholt of Alabama criticized the move citing current economic difficulties, sharply decreasing crop prices and a number of natural disasters, “There are number of uncertain economic factors in the… Read more »

Vilsack touts conservation and research aspects of FY2017 budget

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget will enhance conservation and ag research projects. Vilsack told reporters the dollars would be invested in environmental stewardship. “This budget provides resources for 44 million additional acres in our conservation programs, including for our RCPP Program; roughly $38 million dollars above what we had allocated for RCPP.”… Read more »

Administration renews call for crop insurance cuts

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President Obama’s 2017 budget request to Congress includes a proposal to cut the federal crop insurance program by 18 billion dollars over ten years. The proposed budget would reduce the subsidies provided to farmers for harvest price revenue coverage. It also calls for reforming prevented planting crop insurance. The chairmen of the Senate and House… Read more »

Crop insurance could be target for cuts

Another attempt to cut federal crop insurance is expected to be part of President’s Obama’s 2017 budget proposal, which is scheduled to be released today (Tuesday). Last year the Administration called for 16 billion dollars in cuts to the insurance program, but Congress rejected that proposal. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a member of the Senate… Read more »

House Ag Committee says leave ag out of budget cut talks

The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee says Congress should consider the current economic conditions farmers are facing when looking for ways to reduce the federal budget. Michael Conaway of Texas opened a meeting regarding a Budget Views and Estimates letter sent to the House Budget Committee by saying agriculture has done its duty for… Read more »

RFS opponents target Senate energy bill

Attempts to modify or repeal the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) could be part of this week’s debate on a broad, bipartisan energy bill in the U.S. Senate. Some familiar foes of the RFS—Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Diane Feinstein of California and Jeff Flake of Arizona—have filed an amendment that would repeal the corn ethanol… Read more »

Klobuchar leads bill to lift Cuban trade embargo

A U.S. Senator is urging lawmakers to join her in lifting the Cuba trade embargo. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is leading the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act and says agriculture will benefit from further normalized trade with that country. “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture believes we could get up to $40 to $50 million dollars… Read more »

Attempt to override WOTUS disapproval veto fails

An attempt fell short today in the U.S. Senate to override President Obama’s veto of the congressional resolution disapproving the federal government’s Waters of the U.S. rule. A majority voted in favor, but eight votes short of the 60 needed to overturn the veto. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who sponsored the resolution, argued for the… Read more »

Grassley hesitates to reopen bankruptcy code to boost debt limit

Senator Charles Grassley says there’s no decision yet on whether to increase the debt limit on Chapter 12 family farm bankruptcies.  Some lawyers fear the worsening farm economy will result in bankruptcies that will test the $4 million debt limit on Chapter 12 filings.  The Iowa Republican, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee overseeing bankruptcy… Read more »

House votes to block WOTUS

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The House voted to pass a measure that would kill EPA’s Clean Water Rule/Waters of the U.S. Nebraska Republican Adrian Smith calls the rule the largest abuse of executive power in recent history.  “Under the rule, the EPA and the Army Corps will have the power to dictate land use decision and farming practices of… Read more »