2011 Indemnity Payments Already Surpass Historic Record, Still Climbing

With claims still streaming in — only an estimated 81 percent of expected claims have been finalized — crop insurance companies have already paid out a record $9.1 billion in indemnity payments to America’s farmers in 2011. This has already surpassed the former record of $8.67 billion in indemnities paid in 2008, according to USDA’s…

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Brazil, India, Other Developing Nations Violate Ag Subsidy Limits

A new study of official foreign government data unearthed by DTB Associates shows that a rapid run-up in farm subsidies have put many developing nations, including Brazil Thailand, and India, in direct violation of internationally agreed to subsidization limits. The findings are consistent with a detailed handbook of foreign farm subsidies by Texas Tech University,…

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Halloween Candy Sales Soar; Sugar Policy Remains No-Cost to Taxpayers

Shoppers won’t be scared off by a rocky economic outlook this Halloween. And their appetite for delicious candy is certain to be a treat for America’s thriving confectionery industry. “Consumer spending for Halloween is expected to be spirited this year, with sales of $6.9 billion, up from $5.8 billion in 2010, according to a National Retail Federation…

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Big-City Newspapers Contradict Each Other

Short of a farm bill vote, or a piece of agricultural legislation moving across the President’s desk for signature, big-city newspapers rarely focus on farm-related news.  But that’s exactly what happened recently. It began on October 23 when the Houston Chronicle credited crop insurance with saving “Texas farmers from ruin.”  More than 41,000 farmers in…

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Farm Groups Ask Senate To Oppose Anti-Agriculture Appropriations Amendments

October 19, 2011 Dear Senator: We urge you to oppose amendments to the Fiscal Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that propose to alter or negatively affect the mandatory funding for U.S. farm policies. As you know, the agriculture appropriations bill, as reported by the committee, fully complies with discretionary spending guidelines. This is the end…

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President’s Proposed Farm Cuts Get Chilly Capitol Hill Reception

The House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member released the following statement on Sept. 19, 2011. Lucas & Roberts Respond to the President’s Debt Plan WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee,…

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Look At The Whole Picture Before Swinging the Budget Axe

By all accounts, 2011 looked like a banner year for American agriculture.  In May, despite flooding and late planting, USDA forecasted a record crop in corn—by far America’s largest row crop—of 13.5 million bushels, covering 92 million acres of prime farmland.  With corn being an important crop domestically—producing food, fuel, and feed—and being a huge export…

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Miss America, Farm Bill Author, Federal Reserve Offer Pearls of Wisdom

When I first got word that Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, was interested in helping spread agriculture’s good message, I had some reservations. Blinded by stereotypes and generalizations, I figured an 18-year-old pageant winner couldn’t possibly be an effective spokesperson for an industry as serious and established as agriculture. An industry this revered, I thought,…

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Key Legislators Take On 6th Circuit Court Over Costly Regulations

By an overwhelming bi-partisan majority, the Senate Agriculture Committee passed a House bill that will remove costly and redundant regulatory burdens on producers while providing no environmental or consumer benefits. The bill, which passed on a voice vote in the Senate committee, had easily passed the House by a very large, bi-partisan margin. The vote…

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Broad Spectrum Of Agriculture Draws A Line in the Sand Against Unfair Cuts to Farm Policy

More than 130 organizations spanning the breadth of the agricultural spectrum – from small community based groups to the largest commodity trade associations – informed President Obama and Congressional leaders of their strong opposition to efforts to balance the federal budget on the backs of farmers and rural America. “We are extraordinarily concerned about the…

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