Capitol Hill Leaders Dismiss EWG

“EWG has no credibility.” Farm Policy Facts has been saying this for years about the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and it looks like quite a few Capitol Hill leaders agree. The direct quote came from House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who spoke last week to The Hagstrom Report. Peterson was not alone in giving EWG a congressional smack down.

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Farmer Cooperatives: Putting a Spotlight on a True American Success Story

By Charles F. Conner Some of America’s best loved brands—Land O’Lakes butter, Blue Diamond almonds, Welch’s grape juice, Riceland, and Sunkist oranges, to name a few—come from cooperatives that are wholly owned by the men and women who actually grow the crops. The old adage that “necessity is the mother of invention” could reasonably describe…

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U.S. Reforms Farm Policy while Foreign Competitors Ramp Up Trade-Distorting Subsidies

The critics of U.S. farm policy should feast their eyes on a new study that puts into perspective what America’s farmers are up against on the global market. While the U.S. made sweeping reforms and cuts to farm policy in the 2014 Farm Bill, its competitors were busy ramping up trade-distorting subsidies for their own producers. For some countries, support price levels for certain commodities have increased by more than 100 percent over the last decade, according to the report.

The nations in question include Brazil, China, India, Turkey, and Thailand – all member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The report, which was sponsored by U.S. commodity organizations including the USA Rice Federation and is an update of a 2011 study, explains that “these countries are major producers, consumers, and in many cases, exporters of agricultural products, the effects of [their] policies are felt globally.”

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Our View: Common-Sense Lessons for Critics of American Agriculture

The critics of farm policy are so desperate to be relevant in a town bent on reform that they continue to gin up so-called news stories where none exist, using outdated numbers to point to issues long ago corrected. Poor L.A. Times for taking the bait recently and printing propaganda, instead of real news.

But, this presents a valuable opportunity to educate the critics on farm policy and the many changes that have taken place throughout the years.

Let us explain.

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ICYMI: Crop Insurance Takes the Spotlight in Two Diverse Regions of the Country

Last week, newspapers in two different and diverse regions of the country featured editorials on the importance of crop insurance, which highlights how it has become the risk management of choice for farmers nationwide. Steve Baccus, a family farmer from Kansas and the former president of the Kansas Farm Bureau, wrote in the Wichita Eagle that…

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Coalition Opposes President’s Proposed Crop Insurance Cuts, Urges Legislators to Protect Farm Safety Net

On the heels of the president’s budget release that proposed harmful cuts to crop insurance, a diverse group of farming organizations, agricultural businesses, banks, and equipment manufacturers sent a letter to Capitol Hill urging legislators to reject the president’s plan and to protect crop insurance in upcoming congressional budget proposals.

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Our View: American Agriculture Remains a Driving Force Behind America’s Success

“The farm – best home of the family, main source of national wealth, foundation of civilized society, the natural providence.”

One will find these wise words inscribed on the façade of Union Station in Washington, D.C. The historic site was built around the turn of the century when the nation was experiencing progress of every kind. There was industrial capacity, oil production, telecommunications, a major transportation system in the form of railroads, and most importantly, there was agriculture. The U.S. had established itself as a major agricultural producer on the world stage not only because of newly invented tools like mechanical reapers that improved crop harvests, but also because of westward expansion, which increased the diversity of American agricultural production.

Today, more than a hundred years later, that quote still captures the essence of American agriculture and its importance to the progress and success of our country. American agriculture remains diverse; it remains a source of national wealth and the pride of American families.

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Crop Insurance’s Future Depends on Private-Sector Delivery

Matthew King, a farmer from central Ohio, recently took to the editorial pages of the Columbus Dispatch to defend America’s current farm policy. And he gave some real-world perspective on the skin-in-the-game farmers have in today’s system.   “In 2013, our farming operation’s crop-insurance premium totaled more than my wife’s annual salary as a local…

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Recent Guest Columns Stress Importance of Crop Insurance as Risk Management Tool

Farm Policy Facts has long stressed the importance of crop insurance to our farm safety net. We are pleased to see these same views being echoed in mainstream media, especially in light of the number of column inches given to our critics.   The following column, by farmer Matthew King, appeared recently in the Columbus…

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Thailand’s Quest for World Domination… In Rice and Sugar

Thailand is a behemoth in the world rice market by anyone’s definition.   Using an assortment of subsidies and government programs, Thailand had grown to become the world’s biggest rice exporter by 2011. That year, it shipped 10.6 million tons of rice – or nearly one-third of global exports.   Apparently, that wasn’t good enough. In…

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Two New Videos Take Aim at Global Sugar Subsidies

During its recent annual convention, the American Sugar Alliance unveiled two educational videos to illustrate the ever-increasing rates of foreign sugar subsidization that are destroying the free market.   The first video described the stagnant, low-price environment in North America and steps taken by the U.S. sugar industry to increase its efficiency to survive, including…

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2012 Ag Census Up Close: Smart Farm Policies Essential To Young Farmers

The number of young farmers is trending modestly upwards, according to 2012 Ag Census released earlier this year. Young, beginning principal operators who reported their primary occupation as farming increased 11.3 percent from 36,396 to 40,499 between 2007 and 2012.   This increase in new blood is a welcome sight for a sector that has…

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Our View: Let the Science Speak for Itself

Farm Policy Facts has never shied away from calling out farm policy critics for mischaracterizing agriculture, defying common sense, or twisting facts to suit their agendas.   Yet for all the foolishness we’ve encountered – like comparing farmers to cheap drunks at an open bar, or critics’ close ties with Brazil, or erroneous claims of billionaires…

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Farm Incomes Estimated to Drop 14%; High Input, Low Crop Prices Cited For Decline

During the Farm Bill debate, many agricultural leaders pointed out the fact that farm policy should be written for the bad times, not the good.   It appears that such challenging times might be here sooner rather than later, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) forecasting farm income to drop 14…

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Senator Mike Johanns: Farm Bill Tools Help Manage Risk, Guard Economy

The following column by Senator Mike Johanns is the most recent installment in the Senator’s weekly column series.   Nebraska is no stranger to the forces of Mother Nature. From violent thunderstorms and tornadoes to blizzards to drought, we’ve seen many heart wrenching examples of destructive weather. This is especially true for our state’s ag…

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Farm Policy Facts Calls On Lawmakers to Reject Additional Harmful Amendments to Farm Bill

In addition to the list of harmful amendments FPF circulated earlier today, additional attempts to damage the Farm Bill have surfaced. Farm Policy Facts urges members of Congress to oppose any amendment during the appropriations process that would harm the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) or crop insurance, including: Royce Amendment to Shift USDA…

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Members of Congress Voice Opposition to Rep. Kind’s Anti-Privacy Amendment

Moments after Farm Policy Facts sent out a note urging members to vote no on Rep. Ron Kind’s (D-WI) anti-privacy amendment, the Dear Colleague letter below was distributed by Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tom Rice (R-SC), and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). The Kind amendment is bad policy and should be rejected—as should all attempts to reopen…

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Farm Policy Facts Urges Lawmakers to Reject Harmful Amendments to Farm Bill

Farm Policy Facts urges members of Congress to oppose any amendment during the appropriations process that would harm the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) or crop insurance, including: The Kind Amendment to Disclose Private Farmer Information The Kind Amendment would strip out ALL privacy protections for farmers and ranchers participating in crop insurance, resulting…

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America’s Farmers and Ranchers Call On Congress To Do No Harm To Farm Bill

More than 30 agriculture groups are calling on Congress to oppose any amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that would undo the careful compromises of the bipartisan 2014 Farm Bill, including the important risk management tools provided through the federal crop insurance program. The Farm Bill was enacted into law only four months ago and…

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