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By Larry Dreiling
The Senate Agriculture Committee has approved its version of a five-year farm bill that would cut spending while also creating new subsidies for farmers.
The legislation approved 15 to 5 by the panel May 14 includes concessions to Southern rice and peanut farmers, thanks to the new top Republican on the committee, Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi.
The bill eliminates $5 billion in direct payments important to Southern farmers but makes it easier for them to receive alternate subsidies if prices dip.
The Senate bill calls for a total of roughly $2.4 billion a year in cuts. Those cuts include more than $600 million in yearly savings from across-the-board cuts that took effect this year.
Much of the savings in the bill comes from eliminating the direct payments, which aren’t tied to production or crop prices. Part of that savings would go toward deficit reduction, but the rest of the money would create new programs and raise subsidies for some crops while business is booming in the agricultural sector. [Read More]
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed three bills into law recently that are important to the state’s livestock producers. The Kansas Livestock Association supported each of these bills during the legislative session. Senate Bill 124 amends the Kansas Restraint of Trade Act. [Read More]
Congressman Tim Huelskamp, R-KS, was Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae’s guest at the residence of the ambassador of Japan. The U.S. Meat Export Federation projects this change will increase U.S. beef exports to Japan by 45 percent in 2013. I thanked Ambassador Sasae for his government’s decision to open the Japanese market to more Kansas beef. [Read More]
The virtual Food, Agriculture, and Rural data community launched on Data.gov—the U.S. government’s data sharing website—to catalogue America’s publicly available agricultural data and increase the ability of the public to find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the federal government. As part of that commitment, attendees agreed to share relevant agricultural data available from G-8 countries with African partners and convene an international conference on Open Data ... [Read More]
The official noted that 3 million to 4 million additional people could be serviced with the change in the emergency food aid and 800,000 more families with the change in how development food aid is administered. Where the turf battles heat up is over the Food for Progress program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service. “As you know, Title II of Public Law 480 provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities by the U.S. government to meet ... [Read More]
The final notice approving the assessment rate increase for the Lamb Promotion, Research and Information Order was published in the May 14 issue of the Federal Register. Funds collected under the Lamb Checkoff Program are used for promotion, information, research and advertising of American lamb. “The American Lamb Board requested that USDA amend the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order about two years ago,” said Megan Wortman, executive director of the American Lamb Board. [Read More]
USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. REAP, authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the nation’s critical energy needs. Visit the USDA Rural Development in Kansas website for additional program information and for application ... [Read More]