House Ag committee told rural economy is improving

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Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the rural economy is improving although there are continued concerns about declining farm prices. He told the House Ag Committee this morning that the current farm economy is NOT what it was in the 1980s, “Debt to equity ratios still remain extraordinarily strong and stable, significantly different than periods of… Read more »

Cotton state lawmakers urge Vilsack to act

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Lawmakers representing major cotton producing states showed their frustration with Ag Secretary Vilsack at a hearing on the state of the rural economy. Representative Austin Scott of Georgia said cotton is a “red state” product, as in Republican-leaning, and accused Vilsack of caring more about administration priorities, “I would just appreciate it if you would… Read more »

Latest Minnesota yield estimates reinforce low ARC-Co payment forecast

A farm management analyst says record corn and soybean yields in Minnesota last year could lower future farm program payments. The USDA’s final 2015 corn and soybean yield estimates were released last week and Kent Thiesse with MinnStar Bank in Lake Crystal tells Brownfield the strong crop year has created a pair of negative factors…. Read more »

Farm Bureau concerned about proposed capital gains rate increase

Farm Bureau has concerns about President Obama’s capital gains rate increase in his fiscal year 2017 budget proposal. AFBF director of public policy Dale Moore says this tax continues to be burdensome for many farm families. “Whether they’re passing on their operations to the next generation or just something going on in the way that… Read more »

Farm Bureau says there’s not much to like in Obama budget

The American Farm Bureau director of public policy says there isn’t much to like about President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal. Dale Moore tells Brownfield that while Farm Bureau appreciates a proposed increase in funding for ag research, potential cuts to crop insurance top the list of what’s wrong with the budget. “After fighting… 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 »

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 »

Crop insurance payments may vary more in 2016

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Kent Thiesse is a farm management specialist with MinnStar Bank in Mankato, Minnesota. He says higher corn and soybean yields in 2015 will affect benchmark averages used to calculate payments for producers enrolled in the county-based Agricultural Risk Coverage, or ARC-County farm program.      

Grassley is unhappy with opening of farm bill

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is not happy with what he says is an opening of the 2014 farm bill. The Senate Ag Committee member is upset with an amendment to the recently-passed omnibus budget bill that removes marketing-loan gains from the 125-thousand dollar per person payment cap for commodity programs. Grassley says lawmakers from Southern… Read more »

NRCS delays updated CSP rollout

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) says enhancements to its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) are going to be delayed. Mark Rose, acting deputy chief of programs with NRCS, tells Brownfield the improvements and updates need further testing. “We want to make sure that we have fully field-tested this thing (and) have our field staff trained,… Read more »