Farm Bill implementation progress

While there is still plenty of work to do, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is pleased with the progress made thus far in getting Farm Bill programs implemented. “We just recently announced the $6 million that’s going to be used to create the models and educational materials for ARC and PLC so producers in the fall… Read more »

Bio-based products “must have value”

Bio-based manufacturing is growing in the U.S. but a leader in the industry says products must focus on performance.  Curtis Miller, president of Cargill Industrial Specialties, tells the Senate Agriculture Committee, that “green is nice but it doesn’t sell.”   He says you have to have value and he used their green transformer fluid as an… Read more »

Who should develop Farm Bill implementation tools?

A letter to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack from seven national farm groups makes a strong case on the importance of developing Farm Bill implementation tools that assist producers in deciding which farm programs to sign up for. While the letter suggests a broad range of academic institutions participate in the work, the groups say that institutions… Read more »

Vilsack says authority may be limited for loophole

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says he believes his authority in defining “actively engaged” farming operations has been diminished in the 2014 Farm Bill. At a Senate Ag Committee hearing on Farm Bill implementation, Vilsack told Iowa Senator Charles Grassley that he has limited authority – outside of the broad definition of “family farms.”   Vilsack… Read more »

Grassley focused on ‘actively engaged’ loophole

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack will appear before the Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday to discuss implementation of the 2014 farm bill. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has a problem with farm program benefits being paid to people who have little to no involvement in operating a farm.  In a conference call today (Tuesday) with ag reporters, Grassley… Read more »

As farm programs rollout

With sign-up for livestock disaster programs already underway at Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices and as details of other farm programs become known, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a member of the Senate Ag Committee wants feedback. “I’m always looking for input,” Brown said. “What are you seeing with these farm programs, what’s your interaction, do you… Read more »

Disaster programs now available to producers

Eligible farmers and ranchers can now sign-up for USDA’s disaster assistance programs.  Indiana State Executive Director Julia Wickard says the Farm Service Agency has been waiting a long time to unveil livestock disaster programs.  “We were able to roll out four new disaster programs as permanent law that Congress enacted earlier this year,” she says.  “We’ve… Read more »

Dairy bill advances in Missouri

The Missouri House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act of 2014. The effort seeks to reverse the rapid decline in Missouri’s dairy industry and preserve the state’s 15 milk processing plants. In 2003, Missouri had 129,000 milk cows producing nearly 1.9 billion pounds of milk. By the end of 2013 the… Read more »

Dairy title to be discussed

Designed to provide dairy farmers training on how the new dairy title in the 2014 Farm Bill will impact their operations will be held Wednesday morning, March 26, from 8 to 9 a.m. John Newton, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois and Cameron Thraen, dairy economist at Ohio State University will discuss the new… Read more »

Farm Bill meeting draws big crowd

Over 450 attended a meeting in Darke Co. on March 20 that provided insight into the new Farm Bill. Darke County Extension educator Sam Custer says some left the meeting with unanswered questions and for others, concerns. “Probably the most interesting one that raised some concerns from farmers that were in attendance is that decisions… Read more »