NFU cautiously optimistic on fate of crop insurance *UPDATED*

The National Farmers Union says even though House Ag Committee leaders have been assured that crop insurance is safe from proposed budget cuts, the battle is far from over.  The problem, says NFU’s Chandler Goule, is that the Senate was not consulted to see if it would go along with the plan. “Though we have… Read more »

Farm programs to be cut 6.8%

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Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says farm program payments WILL be cut. Vilsack answered the question at a House Agriculture Committee hearing about dietary guidelines on Wednesday from Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz. Walz asked, “Sequestration on ARC and PLC, I’m going to ask if – my folks are out there – if you could help me.” Vilsack… Read more »

NFU and NCGA issue White Paper stating EPA harm to agriculture

The National Farmers Union and National Corn Growers Association have released a document that they say shows the harm caused by EPA’s handling of the Renewable Fuels Standard.  NFU president Roger Johnson said during a conference call with reporters this morning the White Paper outlines how uncertainty around the RFS has come with great cost. “Several ethanol… Read more »

Michigan will house national food safety center

A Michigan institute will serve as the home of the new National Coordination Center for Food Safety Training. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Ag Committee, says the International Food Protection Training Institute in Battle Creek, in Southwest Michigan, will serve as the national center. The USDA and FDA have established a… Read more »

More funding for specialty crops

USDA is awarding more than $113 million for specialty crop grants in 2015. In a news release, the department said $63 million will fund 755 specialty crop block grant program projects awarded by state departments of agriculture. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture will provide $50 million in grants through the Specialty Crop Research… Read more »

Water quality improvements see results

The Director of Michigan’s Department of Agriculture says conversation practices are making an impact in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Jamie Clover Adams tells Brownfield long-term changes by farmers are seeing results in the River Raisin, which flows to Lake Erie from Michigan’s most southeast county. “Data is showing that total phosphorus loads have reduced… Read more »

Farm program sign-up lags as deadline looms

A Farm Service Agency director in Minnesota says there are still many farmers that need to sign up for the new farm programs before the September 30th deadline. James Kruize of Clay County FSA tells Brownfield nationwide enrollment is around 50 to 60 percent as of Wednesday. “In Minnesota the state average was about 70… Read more »

National Farmers Union calling for CRP enhancements

The National Farmers Union (NFU) is calling on USDA to enhance the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). NFU Vice President Chandler Goule… “We want farmers to be able to enroll that entire field, but as long as 75 percent of the field is actually qualified for CRP.  We also want farmers to be able to transfer… Read more »

Farmers make choices as clock winds down

Farmers have just over three weeks left to sign contracts for safety net programs.  Crop farmers have had to pick which new USDA safety net program they want for the next five years, under the 2014 Farm Bill. Brownfield Ag News asked Southeast Missouri Farmer Chris Porter what he thought about the choices overall, the Agricultural Risk Coverage and… Read more »

The next generation of agriculture, women

A network for women in agriculture is empowering females in a male dominated industry to lead. USDA Deputy Secretary Kyrsta Harden has been meeting with women across the country. “Sometimes women can feel isolated.” She says, “Frankly, in their own communities there might not be someone just like them farming or ranching and they would… Read more »