Congress may try to block WOTUS implementation

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Several farm-state members of Congress are expressing frustration with the EPA after the agency released its final Clean Water Act rule. House Ag Committee ranking member Collin Peterson says he’s disappointed that EPA moved forward with a rule that, in his words, “would increase confusion and red tape”. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst questions whether the EPA gave… Read more »

EPA releases final Clean Water Act rule

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The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the finalized Clean Water Rule this morning.  The EPA stresses the rule does not create any new permitting requirements for agriculture and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions. Ag groups are weighing in with reaction to the final rule which says tributaries to… Read more »

NCBA official likes TPA’s chances in the House

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An official of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says he expects Trade Promotion Authority to be passed by the House of Representatives. “A lot of the public debates that needed to happen have already occurred, so I think that a lot of those questions have been answered and a lot of those concerns have been… Read more »

Ag groups urge House to move quickly on TPA

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Several national farm groups are urging the House of Representatives to act quickly to approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation after the Senate passed it late Friday. In a statement released following the vote, American Farm Bureau president Bob Stallman said, “Congressional support is critical to breaking down trade barriers and completing ambitious new trade agreements… Read more »

Senate passes TPA bill

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  The U.S. Senate has approved Trade Promotion Authority legislation on a bi-partisan vote of 62 to 37.  The bill now goes to the House for consideration. Several commodity organization leaders issued statements immediately following the vote. Here is a sampling of the reaction. National Corn Growers Association president Chip Bowling: “Thank you to the senators who… Read more »

Walmart announces stricter animal welfare policy

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Walmart has announced stricter guidelines around animal welfare and the use of antibiotics in farm animals. The new policy calls for the elimination of gestation stalls in pork production and battery cages in egg production. The guidelines also call for antibiotics to be used only when medically necessary, with oversight of a veterinarian, and eliminating… Read more »

TPA moves one step closer in Senate

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  Trade Promotion Authority cleared what looks like the final hurdle before a full vote in the Senate.  The legislation was advanced on a 62-38 cloture vote with 13 Democrats joining 49 Republicans in support. The measure was held-up until Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to bring legislation to renew the charter for the Import-Export… Read more »

Extending the TPA debate in the U.S. Senate

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A Democratic Senator hopes to put the brakes on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) by extending the debate in the U.S. Senate. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio says he’s not opposed to trade, but with American jobs on the line, the Senator says it’s important to have an open and informed debate on trade policy. “If… Read more »

House Agriculture Committee approves repeal of COOL

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The House Ag Committee approved a measure Wednesday that would effectively repeal country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork and chicken.  If passed, the bill leaves intact labeling requirements for all other covered commodities. Committee Chairman, Republican Michael Conaway of Texas, says the move is to bring the U.S. into WTO compliance and to… Read more »

Legislation to repeal COOL is introduced

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The chair of the House Agriculture Committee has introduced legislation to repeal Country of Origin Labeling.  Chairman Mike Conaway says he was joined by 61 colleagues in introducing HR 2393to repeal COOL for beef, pork and chicken. The Texas Republican says with the WTO ruling against the COOL law on Monday, “retaliation by Canada and… Read more »