Proponents of Tighter Pay Limits and Eligibility Rules Are Too Busy Griping to Notice They Won

Everybody knows at least one person like that.   The person who on a picture perfect summer day, with good health and beautiful scenery to match, with not a want in the world, will still find something to complain about.   You know, a walking, talking, real-life version of Waylon Jennings’ Rainy Day Woman.  …

Details

Agriculture Community Supports Farm Bill Conference Report, Urges Passage

WASHINGTON—The agriculture community applauded the filing of the Farm Bill conference report on Monday, and is urging quick passage of the legislation to provide stability and support for our nation’s farmers and ranchers.   Here are excerpts from statements released by key groups:   The American Farm Bureau Federation:   “We appreciate the hard work…

Details

China’s extensive cotton supports dominate world market; makes U.S. farm supports vital

China is more than just the 800-pound gorilla in the world cotton market. The Asian giant is both the world’s biggest producer and importer. As such, China has tremendous market manipulating power that leaves other producers, including those in America, at its mercy. China provides unstinting support to its cotton farmers with the end result…

Details

It’s No Secret: AP Article About So-Called ‘Dirty Ethanol’ Ignores Facts

If you’re in need of some lining for your puppy crate, reach no further than this week’s Associated Press article about the so-called secret environmental cost of ethanol. The real secret here? How something as one-sided as this got published in the first place. Even USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has stated that the AP project…

Details

Grand Forks Herald Op-Ed: Don’t Take Farm Bill’s Success for Granted

The following editorial appeared recently in the Grand Forks Herald: OUR OPINION: Don’t take Farm Bill’s success for granted “People can debate how much help the poor should get and whether it’s optimal to deliver aid in the form of food stamps,” the Washington Post editorialized in June. “But it’s beyond debate — or should be —…

Details

Our View: Time for Critics to Trade Pencils for Plows

During a meeting with reporters this week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack noted crop insurance “has come under unfair criticism,” adding, “Those who report on it don’t understand it and its importance to the food supply.” Vilsack was undoubtedly referencing a series of articles published by Bloomberg this week, which, according to the news outlet, thoroughly examined crop…

Details

Milestones in Farm Policy History: 1989 GAO Report

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” -Edmund Burke                        On the heels of weather disasters in ’83, ’84, and ’88, rural America was struggling, and lawmakers were losing patience.  Compounding the problem was an unparalleled farm debt crisis.  America’s food and fiber producers needed assistance, but aid was expensive and…

Details

U.S. Not Alone When It Comes to Crop Insurance, But Stands Out As Model of Success

by Cristina Pastor Approximately 86 percent of planted cropland in the U.S. is protected by crop insurance. The end result? Even when farmers were hit with a string of natural disasters, there wasn’t a single call to Congress for expensive disaster aid. While the U.S. is acknowledged as the leader in the crop insurance industry,…

Details

Foreign Sugar Subsidies Take Center Stage

Global sugar industry leaders and U.S. government officials met in California last week at the 30th International Sweetener Symposium to discuss depressed sugar prices and recent foreign subsidy run-ups. “The accumulated world sugar surplus over the past three seasons has taken the global stocks-to-consumption ratio to above 40 percent for the first time since 2007/08,” said Peter…

Details

Chairman Lucas Urges Colleagues to Vote NO on Fortenberry Amendment

Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK) is urging his colleagues to vote NO on an amendment proposed by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) that aims to place additional regulatory requirements on our nations farmers and ranchers: Dear Colleague: I write to urge your strong opposition to the amendment by Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) that aims to…

Details

Lawmakers Urge ‘VOTE NO’ On Kind Amendment to Kill Crop Insurance

Two Dear Colleagues currently circulating highlight the importance of voting NO on the Kind amendment that aims to destroy crop insurance: Oppose Kind Amendment #149 That Aims to Destroy Federal Crop Insurance FROM: The Honorable Frank D. Lucas, Chairman, House Agriculture Committee The Honorable Collin Peterson, Ranking Member, House Agriculture Committee Dear Colleague: I write…

Details

Agri-Pulse Guest Op-Ed: Don’t Complain with Your Mouth Full

In just about every walk of life, we look for ways to manage risk. Insurance protection is available to protect our families, our health, our homes, our vehicles. It only makes sense that insurance protection should be available to help farmers and ranchers produce something that everyone must have to survive: the nation’s food supply. Unfortunately there are…

Details

Farm Groups Urge Farm Bill Passage; Voice Opposition to Harmful Crop Insurance Amendments

Members of the agriculture community applauded the House Committee on Agriculture for moving forward on a five-year farm bill and called for timely action by the full House of Representatives in a letter sent to lawmakers this week. “Failure to pass a five-year farm bill before the end of September would mean continued uncertainty for…

Details

Farm Policy Facts Launches ‘Real Farms, Real Families’ Ad Campaign

Farm Policy Facts, a diverse coalition of agricultural organizations dedicating to raising awareness about the important role agriculture plays in our economic recovery and national security, today launched a new ad campaign, “Real Farms, Real Families.” The ad campaign, which will run during the upcoming Congressional Farm Bill negotiations, will feature real photos taken by farmers…

Details

Analysis of NTE and SPS Reports Reveals Uneven Playing Field for U.S. Ag Exporters

A new comprehensive analysis of the recently released National Trade Estimates (NTE) and Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) reports show an international playing field sharply tilted  against U.S. producers. The analysis, authored by veteran trade advisor and former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Don Phillips, details the many barriers and obstacles currently facing U.S. exporters (both tariff and…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details

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…

Details