The rising cost of the Farm Bill

The downturn in commodity prices is adding to the cost of the Farm Bill.  Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senator Agriculture Committee says while he’s concerned with the way it looks, he’s also been around long enough to know that over the course of the Farm Bill it will save taxpayers money. … Read more »

USDA implementing ‘non-farmer’ revisions

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The USDA has begun implementation of a key provision in the farm bill.  It’s a proposed rule to limit farm payments to non-farmers, as instructed by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Service Agency says it’s closing the loophole allowing “actively engaged farmers” by the old definition to meet the new definition. Under the… Read more »

Food programs in DC spotlight

Food assistance programs are under the spotlight on Capitol Hill. Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa has re-introduced his No Hungry Kids Act that would repeal the USDA rule on new school meal standards.  It would remove the maximum calorie limit of those meats and King says it would “protect the rights of parents to send… Read more »

USDA budget in the spotlight

The USDA budget will be the focus of several Congressional hearings this week. On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Ag Subcommittee will hear perspective on USDA’s budget from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture will hear testimony this week from administrators of USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services; Rural Development;… Read more »

SNAP review by House Ag Committee

The food assistance debate continues on Capitol Hill. The House Agriculture Committee has begun reviewing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known as “SNAP” – which is included in the Farm Bill. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune says the committee’s highest ranking Democrat, Congressman Colin Peterson, doesn’t think the food stamp program should be touched “at least for… Read more »

Reaction to the sign-up extension

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a one-time extension of the deadline to update base acres or yield history for the ARC and PLC programs. Vilsack made the announcement today at Commodity Classic in Phoenix. Farmers now have until March 31st to update yields and reallocate base acres. The original deadline was today. Kenneth Hartman,… Read more »

First sign-up deadline extended

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a one-time extension of the deadline to update base acres or yield history for the ARC and PLC programs. Farmers now have until March 31st to update yields and reallocate base acres. The original deadline was today (Friday). The deadline for choosing between ARC and PLC remains March 31st…. Read more »

Nebraska farm group seeks sign-up extension

  Nebraska Farm Bureau is asking for an extension of the farm bill sign-up period. In a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Nebraska group asks that USDA give farmers until April 30th to make decisions related to base acre reallocations, yield updates and all other commodity related farm program decisions. Jordan Dux, director… Read more »

Nebraska Farm Bureau seeks sign-up extension

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Nebraska Farm Bureau is asking for an extension of the farm bill sign-up period. In a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Nebraska group asks that USDA give farmers until April 30th to make decisions related to base acre reallocations, yield updates and all other commodity related farm program decisions. Jordan Dux, director of… Read more »

Farmers oppose potential crop insurance cuts

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A strong crop insurance program is vital to today’s farmer. That was one of the messages coming out of this morning’s Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on implementation of the 2014 farm bill. One of those testifying was Iowa farmer Clay Mitchell. “Crop insurance is not a way to get rich, it’s a matter of survival,”… Read more »