Total Farm Safety Net Spending Drops By Two-Thirds as More Farmers Purchase Crop Insurance

Total government spending on farm safety net programs – including all commodity programs and crop insurance – dropped by two-thirds from fiscal years 2000 to 2012, according to data provided by USDA and the Congressional Budget Office. The reduction took place as spending on commodity programs – including direct, counter-cyclical, loan deficiency and other payments which once…

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As U.S. Farm Bill Negotiations Begin, Brazil Doubling Down On Ag Subsidies

by Tonya Allen As the United States Congress begins negotiating a new five-year Farm Bill and discussing major spending reductions, Brazil, one of America’s largest competitors in the global marketplace, is doubling down its rate of subsidization. Brazilian farm subsidies increased two-fold in the past three years, according to the Brazilian government’s own recent report to the…

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Brazil’s sugar industry propped up by government largesse

by Rene Pastor To many people, Brazil’s image in the sugar and ethanol market is that of low-cost operators who used their smarts and free-market philosophies to become a top producer and exporter in the world. That, it seems, is largely spin. The reality is that Brazil’s government is subsidizing its producers, while simultaneously criticizing…

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Farmers Embracing Their Role In Protecting The Environment

by Cristina DC Pastor USA Rice Federation (USA Rice) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) recently forged a new partnership that will serve as a model of cooperation and communication between a farm group and a conservation organization. The USA Rice-DU Stewardship Partnership will address rice production, waterfowl and water conservation projects, programs and policies that are…

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Crop Insurance Industry Releases ‘Crop Insurance: Just the Facts’

As crop insurers prepare for the Farm Bill and funding deliberations in the future, National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) has released a detailed question-and-answer resource laying out the facts about crop insurance and dispelling some of the most common arguments against crop insurance put forth by its critics. “Crop insurance is the single most important…

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Organizations Come Together To Call On Congress To Keep Crop Insurance Strong

As lawmakers debate the next Farm Bill, more than 40 commodity groups, lending organizations, input suppliers and other stakeholders are calling on Congress to oppose to any changes to crop insurance that would discourage producer participation in insurance or undermine private sector delivery of insurance products. “In agriculture, one thing is for certain: crop loss…

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Farm Policy Facts Releases List of Top 10 Editorials

Farm Policy Facts has released its Top 10 list of agriculture-themed editorials. The list, which was shared via social media (@FPFNews, Facebook) over the past two weeks, includes guest op-eds in that have appeared in major news outlets across the country.    Authors include Wesley Clark, Miss America Teresa Scanlan, former Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest…

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New Video: Criticisms Against Farmers Who Purchase Crop Insurance Naïve, Untrue

(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — Critics who said that farmers who purchased crop insurance were “praying for drought, not praying for rain” or were “laughing all the way to the bank” during last summer’s historic drought were strongly rebuked by farmers, crop insurance agents and claims adjusters in a new video released today by National Crop…

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Subsidy Programs of Other Nations Under Scrutiny

By Tonya Allen The U.S. Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC) has begun a sweeping investigation into whether other countries are providing farm subsidies that violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, according to U.S. trade officials. Many believe the probe is long overdue, given the obvious escalation of foreign farm subsidies in many countries and their…

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What’s in a word? USDA’s Definition of Farmer Raises Hackles and Concerns

By Rene Pastor It seems simple enough. What is a farm? The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) defines it as “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the year.” “Very large farms” are defined as having gross sales of more than $500,000.…

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On Eve of Mardi Gras, a Look Back At Katrina, Rita’s Battering of Farming in Gulf States

By Cristine Pastor When the Mardi Gras celebration returned to New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana following the historic hurricanes of 2005, Jim Simon’s attendance as the resplendent King of New Iberia’s Krewe of Andalusia felt truly special. Simon is the manager of the American Sugar Cane League (ASCL), which represents Louisiana sugarcane farmers…

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Agriculture Groups Unite to Relaunch Farm Policy Facts Education Campaign

WASHINGTON (February 4) – A diverse coalition of agricultural organizations that came together during the 2008 Farm Bill debate under the name Farm Policy Facts announced today that they are stepping up education activities during the 113th Congress. Those groups, which include the American Sugar Alliance, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers,…

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Ethanol and Food Security – Getting Past The Anti-Ethanol Rants

Last week the National Journal headlined, “BIG OIL TAKES GLOVES OFF IN ETHANOL FIGHT.” The argument is this: The cost of producing ethanol from corn is food insecurity. Playing into their argument this year is the terrible drought that was and is smothering many parts of the U.S.—including the heart of our corn producing lands.…

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Groups Struggle with Truth in Effort to Kill Farm Bill

Libertarian and environmental groups are urging the House of Representatives to oppose a five-year farm bill this fall, oppose inclusion of Direct Payments in an extension of current law, and advocate for a transparent farm bill process next year. These groups are entitled to express their views, but they also owe Congress the truth. Regrettably,…

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Does the U.S. economy need a rain dance?

“The weather forecast could have a big effect on America’s economic forecast next year. The more rain, the better.” That was the lead sentence in a recent article written by Jim Tankersley, the economics correspondent for the National Journal. Notice we didn’t say the “farm bill” correspondent, and Mr. Tankersley wasn’t just talking about agriculture’s…

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The Hand That Feeds U.S. Presents Interactive U.S. Ag Map

The Hand That Feeds U.S. (THTFUS) has launched a new, interactive map, featuring facts about each state’s agricultural production and its contribution to the U.S. economy. The map, located on the group’s website, is yet another step taken by the “educational resource” to inform Americans about the vast reach of our agricultural system (did you…

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House Ag Committee Seeks Floor Time for Farm Bill, Amid Growing Drought

As the members of the Ag Committee await the fate of the Farm Bill that was recently marked up by their committee and sent to the House leadership for possible floor time, a widespread and deepening drought is gripping the nation and sending shock waves through commodity markets.   A drought specialist with the national weather service…

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Nation’s farmers say ‘thank you’ to bipartisan supporters of 2012 Farm Bill

A coalition of more than 75 farm groups sent a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, to thank them for their support in moving the Farm Bill forward, and urge them to continue momentum. “Farmers need certainty about farm policy as they make annual operating decisions,” the letter…

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