Federal farm policies account for less than a quarter of a percent of the total federal annual budget, but they have been key to securing the most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture calculates that the average American spent only 4.9 percent of their income purchasing food to eat at home in 2019.
Biofuel producers are doing all they can to keep the doors open and workers on the payroll, including supporting our public health efforts by repurposing ethanol and glycerin supplies to produce hand sanitizer.
Farming is a tough business, fraught with uncertainty. Thankfully, Congress used the 2018 Farm Bill to strengthen many of the programs farmers use to manage risk, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.
In what might be our most mouth-watering episode to date, Groundwork spoke with Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), to talk about Thanksgiving dinner. More specifically, to discuss NFU’s annual study examining the farmer’s share of the Thanksgiving food dollar.
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.
Finalizing a trade agreement with Japan could secure valuable market access for several American commodities and ignite a new momentum for the President’s trade agenda. Trade attorney John Gilliland joined Groundwork to discuss what this means for agriculture and the status of several other ongoing trade negotiations.
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.
Groundwork caught up with Ruth Gerdes, President of Auburn Agency Crop Insurance, in late June while she was on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Agriculture Committee about what she calls the “the jewel in the crown of U.S. farm policy.”
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.
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.
As the 2018 Farm Bill debate plays out in Congress, farmers across the nation are getting in front of the camera to tell their stories with the hopes that lawmakers will understand just how important a strong farm policy is to rural America.
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.
Prices and farm incomes are in the tank. Ongoing international trade talks are affecting overseas markets. Congress is debating a Farm Bill that will determine growers’ ability to mitigate risk. Mother Nature is wreaking havoc across the country – with farmers in the Great Plains facing drought and southern growers getting pounded by rain.
Farmers in West Texas and other parts of the Great Plains would love to be busier planting right now, but they’re having to reconsider because the ground is so dry it could destroy the seeds.
It’s a busy time to be a farmer. Many are in their fields planting, or preparing to do so. They are literally “covering the ground” – cultivating roughly 300 million acres and preparing crops to be harvested in the fall to feed and clothe the world.
U.S. flagged vessels headed for China made an abrupt U-turn last month and headed for new ports. It wasn’t the weather that forced the change of course, but rather the contents in the ships’ hulls. Although the cargo involved is relatively small in the overall scope of agricultural trade, it did send off alarm bells for farmers who are depending on exports to lift them out of a slumping rural economy marked by low commodity prices.
The Farm Bill debate is officially underway with the House Agricultural Committee marking up H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, this week. Members of Congress have heard from growers and business owners over the last several months in listening sessions, during personal visits and in opinion pieces published in newspapers across the nation.
Congress passed the first Farm Bill to help real Old MacDonalds who were struggling during the Great Depression. And lawmakers revisit the bill about every 5 years because, in contrast to the nursery rhyme, Old MacDonalds must constantly evolve with new tools, technologies and techniques to meet new challenges.
According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2017 was the year of the “fire rooster,” which is also associated with the elements of gold and earth. It was fitting considering all the foreign farm subsidies that were doled out.
Farmers and ranchers across America will have their voices heard in the USDA Census of Agriculture, and the data collected in the coming months will certainly help shape agricultural policy for years to come.
When you sit down at the family dinner table this Thanksgiving and count your many blessings, be sure to take a moment to acknowledge the contributions of our nation’s farmers.
As Congress considers President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan, advocates for agriculture and rural communities are making sure lawmakers understand spending is needed not only for roads and bridges but also for broadband internet and a host of other items on the nation’s maintenance backlog.
“Here in Louisiana, it’s been more than 200 years we’ve been harvesting cane…”
“Everything has gotten bigger and faster,” he says. And more expensive, which makes today’s low and stagnant sugar prices all the more challenging.
Hurricane Irma may ultimately be blamed for $100 billion in damage across Florida, making it one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.
A new analysis by Farm Policy Facts reveals that the USDA’s projected Net Farm Income (NFI) increase is not exactly what it seems.
President Ronald Reagan’s message to America’s struggling farmers in 1982 is a message worth remembering on its 35th anniversary.
October 13, 2017 Hurricane Harvey’s toll on the southeastern Texas cotton crop is still being tallied. An expert with Texas A&M says up to 400,000 bales of cotton were still on the stalk. That could force farmers to go through the time-consuming process of trying to harvest what’s salvageable, but knowing their crop’s value will be significantly…
Hurricane Harvey is a devastating reminder of the huge risks farmers take in growing the food and fiber needed to feed and clothe the world.
A new study by former USDA official Brandon Willis debunks The Heritage Foundation’s misleading narrative that there is no place for farm policy in America.
Leaders of the House Agriculture Committee want Congress to move fast on the new Farm Bill, and they will have the support of America’s largest farm groups.
Making sure America’s farmers and ranchers have the tools to compete on a global scale begins with a strong farm bill.
New Study: Heritage Foundation’s Farm Policy Proposal Would ‘Devastate’ U.S. Farmers & Prove ‘Ineffective’ in Advancing Free Trade in Agriculture
The new report entitled, “The Heritage Foundation’s Farm Policy Proposals: Harmful to U.S. Farmers and Ranchers and Ineffective in Advancing Free Trade,” addresses what the author believes are fundamental flaws in Heritage’s “blueprint” for agricultural policy, which calls for unilaterally eliminating U.S. farm policy.
It’s still unclear how things will turn out in the ongoing situation with Mexico’s subsidized sugar industry, or with China’s trade abuses against corn, rice, and wheat. But one thing is for certain: U.S. agriculture wins when it trades, and trade only works if everyone plays by the rules.
Policy experts are hopeful the momentum will continue, especially if Congress makes sound decisions regarding farm policy, which provides a foundation for the rural economy. But, there’s still a long way to go.
All told, farm exports account for $340 billion in economic activity and support more than a million jobs, according to Agexportscount.com.
Just hours after being sworn in as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue had his first assignment before him.
We wish the Heritage Foundation and all opponents of farm policy would understand: there is no free market when it comes to agriculture.
Farmers and ranchers have found a champion in Governor Sonny Perdue, the nominee for Secretary of Agriculture.
A group of 59 wildlife, environmental, agricultural and farm credit advocates sent letters to Congress this week asking officials to back crop insurance during budget debates.