Farmers, Lawmakers Seek Solutions to Food Supply Chain Problems

It’s time for the federal government to step up and help farmers and ranchers when they need it most. Secretary Perdue announced on Friday a modest aid package that will bring some relief to the heartland. But we need to provide America’s farmers and ranchers with a comprehensive plan for assistance that ensures farmers and ranchers can continue to provide our nation with essential food and fuel supplies.

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Our View: Support America’s Farmers and Ranchers as They Feed America

The government has rightly declared our farmers and ranchers essential workers and Congress is backing rural America with aid designed to help the economy during the pandemic. It’s a good step and one that will need to be revaluated as the true impact on farming and rural communities evolves. Now is the time to support our farmers and ranchers with strong farm policy.

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America’s Farmers Face A Tough Harvest

Just last week, the Federal Reserve reported in their October “Beige Book” the dismal news that agricultural conditions have “deteriorated further due to the ongoing impacts of adverse weather, weak commodity prices, and trade disruptions.” Brian Thalmann, farmer and chairman of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, recently spoke with Groundwork about these persistent challenges and others facing farmers as they head into the harvest season.

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The Bitter Impact of Foreign Farm Subsidies

To take a deeper dive into agricultural subsidies, Groundwork reached out to one of the foremost experts, Dr. Darren Hudson. Hudson is the Director of the International Center for Agricultural Competitiveness at Texas Tech University, where they maintain a database of international subsidies and examine how they affect the competitiveness of American farmers on the global stage.

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Farmers Counting on Congress to Bring USMCA Across Finish Line

Hoffman joined Farm Policy Facts from his farm in New Ulm, Minnesota to share with Groundwork listeners how momentum is building both across the heartland and within the halls of Congress to move immediately on the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Prospects for passage of the so-called USMCA received a big boost in recent weeks as the United States and its trading partners reached agreements eliminating or avoiding tariffs tied to metal imports and immigration policy.

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Our View: Financial Woes on the Farm Bode Ill for the Nation

Rural America is resilient. Our farmers will continue to work the land in hopes that the next season will bring renewed abundance. But they are also relying on Washington, DC to take decisive action to stand by U.S. farm families as we negotiate a quick end to ongoing trade disputes. Standing idle and allowing rural America to endure another farm crisis like the one we faced in the 1980s would set our economy back in incalculable ways.  We must support our farmers through these challenging times, just as they support us every day.  

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New Podcast Brings Farm Policy to Public, Congress

Farm Policy Facts recently caught up with two sugar farmers who traveled to Washington last month to make the case for smart farm policies. Their stories were captured in a new podcast, Groundwork, that debuts April 22 on farmpolicyfacts.org. Hear more from Snyder and Medine on Groundwork. The monthly show will focus on a range of policy issues that are important to American farmers in upcoming episodes.

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Subsidy Spotlight: India

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump and his trade team announced a modernized trade pact with Mexico and Canada, and most of agriculture cheered.  But it was a comment about another country during the White House press conference that really caught our attention. India is “the tariff king,” the President said.  “India charges tariffs of 100 percent … that’s not free trade.”

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Surveys Show Rural America Continues to Struggle

America’s struggling farm economy is heading for even bigger declines, according to recent surveys, and the nation’s top bankers say manufacturers should expect a major drop in sales of new equipment. Inflation-adjusted net farm income, which is a broad measure of profits, is expected to be down by $11.4 billion, or nearly 15 percent, this year compared to 2017, according to USDA’s August Farm Income Forecast.

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It’s Still ‘Kinda Flakey’ to Destroy Farm Policy with Anti-Farmer Amendments

When Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill in 2007 that would have gutted U.S. farm policy and put American jobs at risk, the outcry from the agricultural community was swift and fierce. A campaign backed by farmers quickly labeled their plan “Kinda Flakey” and highlighted the disastrous effects it would have on commodities and rural communities from coast to coast.

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