USDA extends safety net program sign-up

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Earlier today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack provided farm owners with an additional week to make their safety net program selection and update their yield history and base acres. USDA Farm Service Agency administrator Val Dolcini says these programs are important decision for producers.  “These programs help protect farmers from unexpected changes in the marketplace,” he… Read more »

USDA extends deadline for ARC/PLC again

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The USDA has extended the deadline for farmers to choose a Farm Bill safety net program. The first extension was through March 31st, but now sign-up has been extended through Tuesday, April 7th. The deadline for updating yield history and/or reallocation of base acres has also been extended through April 7th along with the choice… Read more »

Wheat exports hit marketing year low

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  USDA reports soybean and soybean product export sales for the week ending March 19 were larger than expected, while corn was inside pre-report projections and wheat was below all estimates. Physical shipments of soybeans and corn were above what’s needed weekly to meet USDA’s targets for the 2014/15 marketing year, but wheat was short… Read more »

GMO labeling bill re-introduced

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A GMO labeling bill that would allow for voluntary labeling of food products has been reintroduced in Congress. The American Feed Industry Association says it supports the measure because it’s a federal food labeling solution “that consumers can rely on.  The AFIA says the bill “recognizes the safety of ingredients produced by modern agricultural biotechnology.”… Read more »

Woes on WOTUS shared at Senate Ag hearing

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More woes have been shared in testimony at a Senate Agriculture hearing about the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) proposed rule today. Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas says EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said the agency is close to implementing the rule – and in the meantime has changed the name, “From ‘Waters of… 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 »

Agriculture needs exports and needs Trade Promotion Authority

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Wisconsin dairy farmer Pete Kappelman is Chairman of the Board of Land O’Lakes Cooperative, treasurer of the Board of Directors for National Milk Producers Federation and serves on the Board of Heifer International. Last week he was invited to talk to members of the House Agriculture Committee about trade. “Eighty percent of the ag committee… Read more »

Hen-housing study finds trade-offs

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One of the lead researchers on a study comparing housing systems for egg-laying hens says there was no difference in the stress levels of hens in any of the three systems that were tested. The stress that animals feel in confinement has been one of the big issues in the debate between defenders of modern… Read more »

Soybean meal sales top expectations

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  USDA reports soybean meal export sales for the week ending March 12 were larger than expected, while corn, soybeans, soybean oil, and wheat all fell within pre-report estimates. Physical shipments of soybeans were more than what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the 2014/15 marketing year, but corn and wheat were short of… Read more »

House panel hears WOTUS concerns

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The EPA’s proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule came under heavy fire this week during a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing in Washington. Among those testifying was Steve Foglesong, who raises livestock and crops on his farm in west-central Illinois. Fogelsong says his main concern is the rule’s lack of clarity. “We hear about exemptions that… Read more »