Iowa ag summit to feature presidential contenders

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Planners say nine potential 2016 presidential contenders have committed to participate in the first-ever Iowa Agriculture Summit next month. Agribusiness entrepreneur Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Iowa-based Summit Group, is organizing the event. “One of the things that we’ve noticed the last couple of cycles in Iowa, with the caucuses, the presidential candidates really didn’t talk about… Read more »

West Coast port impasse worsens

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West Coast ports were expected to reopen to shipping today after a weekend shutdown that heightened labor tensions. The Pacific Maritime Association suspended operations for the weekend because it didn’t want to pay overtime to workers who it says have been deliberately slowing down operations. The union representing dockworkers says the move to shut the… Read more »

Port slowdown hurting meat industry

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The meat industry is among those hurt by the labor dispute affecting West Coast ports.  Bill Westman, senior vice president of international affairs with the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), says they fear losing the Asian market. Normal shipments of 26-thousand metric tons per month to Asia are now down to zero. Westman tells Brownfield… Read more »

Farm Bill implementation one year in

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It’s been a year since the 2014 Farm Bill began to be implemented and Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says it’s been a great undertaking. Farmers joined him on a call with reporters to talk about how the new Farm Bill provisions have helped them. Ben LaCross is a grower in northern Michigan whose cherry crop,… Read more »

RFS reform bill introduced in the House

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Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.R. 704: The RFS Reform Act of 2015 on Wednesday. The bill would eliminate the corn-based ethanol requirement, caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent, and requires the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels.  Goodlatte says, “With the EPA’s continued failure… Read more »

NCBA pleased EPA pulls part of WOTUS

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Cattlemen in San Antonio say the EPA’s announcement to rescind part of the Waters of the U.S. rule is a great way to kick-off their annual convention. Brownfield’s Dave Russell reports… AUDIO:  Dave Russell reports from the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention (:40 mp3): The EPA’s interpretive rule defined what it said were 56 “normal farming practices”… Read more »

Concern over budget crop insurance cuts

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President Obama’s proposal to cut crop insurance in his 2016 budget does not sit well with ag leaders on Capitol Hill. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas says the president’s budget would cut the very tool farmers and ranchers need. In explaining the ag budget, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters Monday the proposal will… Read more »

2016 budget includes loan provisions for beginning farmers

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says President Obama’s 2016 Budget creates a pathway toward continued growth and prosperity in rural America.  He says the budget supports sustainability and profitability of America’s farmers, particularly those just starting out. “This budget contains budget authority for $6.4 billion of ownership and operating loans for farmers,” said Vilsack during… Read more »

Japan movement in TPP, says NPPC

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A Japanese news agency reports Japanese negotiators are prepared to cut high import tariffs on beef and pork and ease tight restrictions on rice imports for U.S. producers in Trans Pacific Partnership trade talks. Nick Giordano, with the National Pork Producers Council, tells Brownfield there HAS been some movement forward,  “Yeah, there’s been progress in… Read more »

NBB blasts EPA decision on Argentina

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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) is blasting the EPA for its decision to allow streamlined biodiesel imports from Argentina to the U.S.  NBB CEO Joe Jobe has written to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy and has asked for a meeting. Jobe told reporters this morning, “This is a discretionary decision that they made and their statement says… Read more »