U.S. flagged vessels headed for China made an abrupt U-turn last month and headed for new ports. It wasn’t the weather that forced the change of course, but rather the contents in the ships’ hulls. Although the cargo involved is relatively small in the overall scope of agricultural trade, it did send off alarm bells for farmers who are depending on exports to lift them out of a slumping rural economy marked by low commodity prices.
How does the bill “modernize” sugar policy? It mandates that the U.S. Department of Agriculture invite heavily subsidized foreign imports into the U.S., artificially depressing farmer prices and rewarding bad actors abroad. Worse yet, the bill denies sugar producers the basic non-recourse loans available to other commodities, meaning failure to repay would result not just in the loss of crops pledged as collateral but in total bankruptcy.
The Farm Bill debate is officially underway with the House Agricultural Committee marking up H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, this week. Members of Congress have heard from growers and business owners over the last several months in listening sessions, during personal visits and in opinion pieces published in newspapers across the nation.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal revealed a rarely-discussed phenomenon of farmers being forced to take second and even third jobs as they try to keep their family farms afloat.
Congress passed the first Farm Bill to help real Old MacDonalds who were struggling during the Great Depression. And lawmakers revisit the bill about every 5 years because, in contrast to the nursery rhyme, Old MacDonalds must constantly evolve with new tools, technologies and techniques to meet new challenges.
America enjoys the most affordable, widely available food supply in the history of mankind for about one-quarter of 1% of the federal budget. That’s why it’s so odd that organizations dedicated to defending taxpayers spend so much time focused on gutting farm policy.
Displays of bipartisanship are an increasingly rare sight in Washington these days, but when it comes to prioritizing the need for strong farm policies during difficult times, Agriculture Committee leadership appear to be on the same page.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, last week, released projections that farm incomes will continue to fall in 2018 and will hit their lowest point in the past dozen years.
America’s largest farms are far less risky than smaller operations and typically have fewer crop insurance claims, according to a new working paper from top agricultural economists.
Approximately 100 Hill staffers attended a pair of briefings this week that closely examined and debunked a number of farm policy criticisms leveled by the Heritage Foundation and other anti-farmer organizations.
According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2017 was the year of the “fire rooster,” which is also associated with the elements of gold and earth. It was fitting considering all the foreign farm subsidies that were doled out.
American agriculture will take center stage in the national discussion next week when President Trump addresses Farm Bureau members in Nashville, Tennessee.
Thank you the farmers of this nation who put food on our tables, conserve our landscape and make our economy hum.
Farmers and ranchers across America will have their voices heard in the USDA Census of Agriculture, and the data collected in the coming months will certainly help shape agricultural policy for years to come.
When you sit down at the family dinner table this Thanksgiving and count your many blessings, be sure to take a moment to acknowledge the contributions of our nation’s farmers.
Last week was busy for the anti-farm crowd in their quest to leave farmers with fewer tools to deal with depressed crop prices and weather disasters.
As Congress considers President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan, advocates for agriculture and rural communities are making sure lawmakers understand spending is needed not only for roads and bridges but also for broadband internet and a host of other items on the nation’s maintenance backlog.
“Here in Louisiana, it’s been more than 200 years we’ve been harvesting cane…”
“Everything has gotten bigger and faster,” he says. And more expensive, which makes today’s low and stagnant sugar prices all the more challenging.
Hurricane Irma may ultimately be blamed for $100 billion in damage across Florida, making it one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.
A new analysis by Farm Policy Facts reveals that the USDA’s projected Net Farm Income (NFI) increase is not exactly what it seems.
President Ronald Reagan’s message to America’s struggling farmers in 1982 is a message worth remembering on its 35th anniversary.
October 13, 2017 Hurricane Harvey’s toll on the southeastern Texas cotton crop is still being tallied. An expert with Texas A&M says up to 400,000 bales of cotton were still on the stalk. That could force farmers to go through the time-consuming process of trying to harvest what’s salvageable, but knowing their crop’s value will be significantly…
Hurricane Harvey is a devastating reminder of the huge risks farmers take in growing the food and fiber needed to feed and clothe the world.
“No” appears to be the only message the EWG, Heritage, PIRG, Club for Growth, and other perennial farm policy opponents are capable of delivering.
A new study by former USDA official Brandon Willis debunks The Heritage Foundation’s misleading narrative that there is no place for farm policy in America.
Farm Policy Facts is pleased to publish a guest editorial from Rep. Bob Goodlatte highlighting his efforts to improve the agricultural guestworker program in the U.S.
Wheat is complex and studying the plant is slower than the work required for others. But, U.S wheat must remain high quality and that takes research.
Understanding what foreign buyers and end users want is where the government programs are helpful. But the programs have taken deep cuts over the years.
For Musick, crop insurance is one of the most important parts of the Farm Bill and it’s one that he advocates for every time he gets a chance.
A former 2016 presidential contender and one of the most conservative members of Congress wanted to make clear his support for American agriculture.
Conservation is an important part of the business calculation on any farm, and the upcoming Farm Bill is an opportunity to make improvements to help farmers.
“It underscores why wheat farmers see crop insurance as a top priority…”
Leaders of the House Agriculture Committee want Congress to move fast on the new Farm Bill, and they will have the support of America’s largest farm groups.
Making sure America’s farmers and ranchers have the tools to compete on a global scale begins with a strong farm bill.
At the end of the day, the Agriculture Committees are the workhorses that get it done.
In that single moment, I realized that there are no guarantees and certainly not with farming. We operate at the will of Mother Nature. As a result, we have to do our part to minimize the risk as best as we can, so we can get back on our feet when a disaster strikes.
New Study: Heritage Foundation’s Farm Policy Proposal Would ‘Devastate’ U.S. Farmers & Prove ‘Ineffective’ in Advancing Free Trade in Agriculture
The new report entitled, “The Heritage Foundation’s Farm Policy Proposals: Harmful to U.S. Farmers and Ranchers and Ineffective in Advancing Free Trade,” addresses what the author believes are fundamental flaws in Heritage’s “blueprint” for agricultural policy, which calls for unilaterally eliminating U.S. farm policy.
It’s still unclear how things will turn out in the ongoing situation with Mexico’s subsidized sugar industry, or with China’s trade abuses against corn, rice, and wheat. But one thing is for certain: U.S. agriculture wins when it trades, and trade only works if everyone plays by the rules.
Policy experts are hopeful the momentum will continue, especially if Congress makes sound decisions regarding farm policy, which provides a foundation for the rural economy. But, there’s still a long way to go.