Policy & Politics

USDA Implements New Crop Disaster Assistance Program

Published Dec. 28, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week announced that USDA has implemented the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program (SURE) in accordance with the 2008 farm bill. Vilsack also encouraged producers to visit their USDA Farm Service Agency county office beginning...

Senate Approves Health Care Bill Along Party Lines

Published Dec. 28, 2009

The Senate on Thursday approved H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, on a 60-39 vote along party lines. Senate Democrats and Independents supported the measure; no Republicans voted for it.

AFBF President Appoints New YF&R Committee Members

Published Dec. 28, 2009

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman has appointed eight new committee members for two-year terms to the AFBF Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. The YF&R program is composed of Farm Bureau members between the ages of 18 and 35. The program’s goal is to provide leadership...

Moderate Democrats Urge White House to Drop Cap-and-trade

Published Dec. 28, 2009

Moderate Democrats in the Senate are urging the Obama administration to stop urging passage of climate change legislation with cap-and-trade provisions in 2010. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and several other Democrats are speaking to the White House and party leadership about setting aside efforts...

Weather, Economy, Animal Issues Top Farm News in 2009

Published Dec. 29, 2009

American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman says the biggest news story for agriculture in 2009 was weather extremes, from the drought in California and Texas to the wet planting in many parts of the country and the unseasonably cool and wet harvest in many areas.

Vilsack Directs USDA to Revise Climate Change Model

Published Dec. 29, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has directed the Agriculture Department to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation passed by the House would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food, according to the Washington Times.

Hong Kong Is Fastest Growing Export Market

Published Dec. 30, 2009

Hong Kong is the fourth-largest market for U.S. food and beverage exports, which have grown by 15 percent this year. This represents the fastest growth among all export markets globally, according to a report by USDA’S Foreign Agricultural Service.

Vilsack Confident Congress Will Act on Biodiesel Tax Incentive

Published Dec. 30, 2009

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he’s confident Congress will act early in the new year to extend the tax incentive for soy biodiesel, according to Brownfield. “We’re obviously encouraged by comments from congressional leaders that it’s their intention to take this matter—the tax extenders...

Producers Benefit More from ACRE than Price-Based Programs

Published Dec. 30, 2009

A report released Tuesday by USDA’s Economic Research Service on the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program suggests that for 2009-2012, producers of corn, soybeans, wheat and rice are likely to benefit more from the ACRE program than from the price-based...

Editorial Warns of Higher Food Prices due to Climate Bill

Published Dec. 31, 2009

An editorial in today’s Investor’s Business Daily rallied against climate change legislation, stressing that consumers will pay higher food prices due to increased farming costs. “If the cap-and-trade provisions of the Waxman-Markey bill become law, you can wave goodbye to those amber waves...