Politics | 4/23/2015

House committee approves TPA

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 - The stage is now set for floor fights over whether to fast-track a pair of new trade agreements. The House Ways and Means Committee Thursday night approved, 25-13, a Trade Promotion Authority bill one day after the Senate Finance Committee advanced its version of the legislation, which guarantees that trade deals can get an up-or-down-vote in Congress without any chance of being amended.

Farm & rural policy news

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Politics | 4/24/2015 5:19:52 PM

Industry offers cautious optimism as EU approves new biotech traits

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2015 - The European Union has announced the approval of 10 new genetically modified seed traits and the renewal of seven others to be used as feed and food imports.
Politics | 4/24/2015 4:24:39 PM

Farm and bee groups send letter supporting increase in pollinator research levels

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2015- A group of more than 40 farm groups and companies sent a letter to House and Senate agricultural appropriations leaders supporting increases in the President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget for honey bee research activities. The House will begin consideration of appropriations bills next week.

Rabo AgriFinance: Growing Ambition
Politics | 4/24/2015 12:22:19 PM

NCGA announces staffing changes, new focus on market development

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2015 - The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today announced it work to boost market demand for corn through some key staffing changes within the organization.
Politics | 4/23/2015 7:45:45 PM

US disappointed by EU's new plan to allow biotech crop bans

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman and other national leaders expressed concern today regarding a proposal from the European Union that would allow its member states to opt out of imports of genetically engineered food and feed.
Politics | 4/23/2015 7:19:44 PM

New bird flu cases detected as Minnesota, Wisconsin declare states of emergency

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2105 - New cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been found in Iowa and Wisconsin, where yesterday officials declared a state of emergency. Minnesota, which has had the highest number of outbreaks in the country, declared a state of emergency today.
Politics | 4/23/2015 7:19:29 PM

USDA sets new climate change goals, asks ag producers to join in effort

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack presented the details of his agency's new plan to partner with American farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to reduce carbon emissions and bolster carbon sequestration to achieve a combined 120 million metric tons of CO2 mitigation per year by 2025.
Politics | 4/23/2015 3:05:52 PM

House committee advances Feed the Future authorization

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 - The House Foreign Affairs Committee advanced an amended bill that would provide the first congressional authorization for the Obama administration's Feed the Future initiative.
Politics | 4/23/2015 2:20:16 PM

US, Peru celebrate increase in agricultural trade

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 - U.S. and Peruvian officials held a briefing at USDA headquarters in Washington today to highlight recent agreements that will boost agricultural trade between the two countries.
Politics | 4/23/2015 11:00:48 AM

Senators call on USDA to conduct general signup for CRP acres

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2015 - A bipartisan group of senators is calling on the Department of Agriculture to increase signup efforts in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to keep enrollment near acreage caps established in the 2014 farm bill.
Politics | 4/22/2015 9:09:16 PM

Senate committee OKs fast-track trade bill

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - The Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to fast-track new trade agreements as the panel's leaders fought off bipartisan efforts to impose restrictions on negotiators, including requirements to prevent currency manipulation.
Politics | 4/22/2015 6:01:31 PM

ADM Crop Risk Services plans to use drones to improve crop insurance claims

CHICAGO, April 22, 2015 - Coming next year to a field near you: unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can scout your fields for damages and expedite potential crop insurance claims.
Politics | 4/22/2015 4:46:05 PM

Mandatory Price Reporting reauthorization begins with House Ag hearing

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - As a Sept. 30 deadline approaches, industry representatives are unanimously calling for reauthorization of the mandatory price reporting (MPR) program they say is critical to meat producers and packers.
Politics | 4/22/2015 2:49:00 PM

Grain Standards Act reauthorization will include port dispute safeguards

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015--A bill that the House Agriculture Committee is developing to reauthorize grain inspections will include a safeguard against trade disruptions during labor disputes.
Politics | 4/22/2015 2:08:57 PM

House Democrats fail to protect Clean Water rule

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - House Democratic appropriators failed to slow down a Republican effort to block the Obama administration from re-defining the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act.
Politics | 4/22/2015 1:45:40 PM

 U.S. moves toward energy independence - and crude oil exports

WASHINGTON, April 21, 2015 - Within the next 15 years, and possibly as early as 2019, the United States could become a net energy exporter for the first time since the 1950s, according to the federal Energy Information Administration Annual Energy Outlook
Politics | 4/22/2015 1:24:26 PM

Senators introduce bill to facilitate ag exports to Cuba

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and John Boozman, R-Ark., introduced a bill today that would allow banks to finance agricultural exports sent to Cuba, helping to open up Cuban markets to American farmers and ranchers.
Politics | 4/22/2015 1:05:03 PM

 Finally: Senate Finance Committee readies fast-track legislation

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - Fast-track is finally on the fast track. It's possible the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) deal needed to smooth the path through Congress for trade deals with 11 Pacific Rim nations and the European Union could be on the Senate floor as soon as next week, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be in Washington.
Politics | 4/22/2015 12:59:46 PM

 Ports, waterways set for funding boost

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - The water development bill and barge tax increase that passed Congress last year could start to pay off for the ports and waterways critical to moving agricultural exports. Harbor projects are likely to be the biggest near-term beneficiaries.
Politics | 4/22/2015 12:01:45 PM

 Administration: We've gone as far as we can go on Cuba

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2015 - Obama administration officials are telling lawmakers they've done as much as they can without action by Congress to make it easier to trade with Cuba.
opinion

Author:

Blake Hurst

Farm lessons learned from Bill Murray and a large rodent
Those of us who spend time in the fencerows between the farm and the public feel like the Bill Murray character in the classic movie, Groundhog Day.

Author:

Mark Edelman and Barry Flinchbaugh

Got change, but no change yet
ME. Every election cycle, it makes sense to review the make-up of the Congressional Ag Committees

Author:

Bruce Knight

Drones: A conservation tool of the future?
Precision agriculture is becoming more precise, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are going to play an important role in enabling farmers and ranchers to address the needs of plants and animals on an individual basis.

Author:

Lisa Moon and Andrea Durkin

Leverage Trade Policy to tap future food markets
Africa and Asia will be the world's biggest future food markets.

Author:

Marshall Matz

The Vilsapp: Secretary Vilsack's high tech solution to labeling
A recent Pew poll found that 90% of all scientists believe GMO's are safe but only 37% of the public.
the daily voice
 

John Block

4/23/2015

TPA 2015

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 event calendar
  North American Agricultural Journalists Annual Meeting
  April 26-28, 2015 Washington, D.C.

  American Dairy Products Institute and American Butter Institute’s Annual Conference
  April 26-28, 2015 Chicago, Illinois

  Pacific Northwest Regional Agvocacy Conference
  April 27-28, 2015 Spokane, Washington

  National Association of Farm Broadcasters Washington Watch
  April 27-29, 2015 Washington, D.C.

  National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Meeting
  April 27-30, 2015 La Jolla, California

  Pacific Northwest Regional Agvocacy Conference
  April 27-28, 2015 Spokane, Washington

  National Association of Nutrition Professionals Annual Conference & Expo
  April 30-May 3, 2015 St. Paul Minnesota

  American Commodity Distribution Conference
  May 3-5, 2015 Salt Lake City, Utah

  Project Bread Walk for Hunger
  May 3, 2015 Boston, Massachusetts

  Dialogue for Agricultural Policies in the Americas
  May 6, 2015 Washington, D.C.

AG BY THE NUMBERS


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 1. USDA sets new climate change goals, asks ag producers to join in effort

 2. US disappointed by EU's new plan to allow biotech crop bans

 3. ADM Crop Risk Services plans to use drones to improve crop insurance claims

 4. Farm lessons learned from Bill Murray and a large rodent

 5. House committee advances Feed the Future authorization

 6. Senate committee OKs fast-track trade bill

 7. House committee approves TPA

 8. House Democrats fail to protect Clean Water rule

 9. New bird flu cases detected as Minnesota, Wisconsin declare states of emergency

 10. Grain Standards Act reauthorization will include port dispute safeguards