The Agricultural Cliff

By: Monday December 10, 2012 9:15 am

Another serious cliff resulting from the silly way Congress does business concerns the failure to pass a farm bill earlier this year. The Senate passed its own with bipartisan support, the House Agriculture Committee passed a version and then the House leadership refused to put that onto the floor for a variety of reasons. They broke in September without a plan for passage, and the lame duck session has been consumed by negotiations through the media on the fiscal slope, without addressing the farm bill.

Milk and Dairy Prices Set to Rise as Farm Bill Expires

By: Monday October 1, 2012 1:16 pm

The farm bill expired today, reverting some programs back to a 1949 level and totally eliminating others. The other day I looked at the consequences of expiration, and while many elements didn’t have much of an impact until the end of the year, in particular milk and dairy farmers were likely to feel the pinch [...]

What Does It Mean When the Farm Bill Expires?

By: Friday September 28, 2012 12:52 pm

This Sunday, the deadline will expire on the current farm bill. Many programs will revert back to the 1949 permanent legislation. However, provisions in the continuing resolution will keep food stamps, crop insurance, farmer subsidy programs and other funding streams moving through the system. That continuing resolution sets the USDA budget and will allow full [...]

Farm Bill Set to Expire as Congress Leaves for Elections

By: Friday September 21, 2012 7:08 am

Today is the last day of the legislative session before Election Day. Lawmakers will go home to campaign on September 21, which is the earliest date during an election cycle in decades. And they leave a lot of pending legislation on the table. As John Boehner announced in the above clip, the House plans to [...]

Congress to Hightail it Out of Washington With Major Priorities Unfinished

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 6:54 am

Congress is in session this week for the final time this year before the election. I sort of shrugged this off as fairly typical for an election year, but it’s not. Usually, Congress stays in session until about a month before the election. Here they’re leaving with seven weeks to go. The do-nothing Congress has [...]

Farm Bill Stalled, Programs Set to Expire September 30

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 6:11 am

While the House will pass their six-month stopgap budget bill today, pushing government spending authority out to March, one other September 30 deadline remains outstanding, and Congress looks prepared to let it expire. That would be the authorization for farm programs. If nothing is done, the farm programs would revert back to the policy of [...]

Hidden Costs: Drought Crushing Crop Insurance Industry

By: Monday August 27, 2012 11:38 am

Here’s another opportunity to lay out the real economic costs of climate change. Farmers had already prepared for extreme weather events by purchasing more and more crop insurance in recent years. So when a historic drought hit this summer, many crop producers had the ability to handle it, although livestock producers seeing a spike in [...]

EPA “Good Neighbor” Interstate Pollution Rule Overturned By DC Circuit Court

By: Wednesday August 22, 2012 6:58 am

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court, voting 2-1 on partisan lines, has struck down the EPA’s “good neighbor” air pollution rule, which attempted to protect Eastern states from upwind pollution from Midwest and Southern states via tougher pollution laws. A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a key Obama administration air pollution rule [...]

Industry Touts GMOs as Solution to Drought Conditions for Agriculture

By: Wednesday August 15, 2012 8:15 am

The Consumer Price Index remained unchanged in July, a sign that we’re heading into a disinflationary period. Year-over-year inflation is still missing the 2.0% target, topping out at 1.4%. This is another sign of central bank failure. But decreases in energy were offset by increases in food. This is a residual effect from the drought [...]

Farmers Angered By Congressional Inaction on Farm Bill, Drought

By: Monday August 13, 2012 12:15 pm

Republican lawmakers in rural farming communities were worried that they would have to go home to their districts empty-handed, without any tools to help farmers deal with this summer’s massive drought. They tried to sidestep this problem by passing, at the last possible minute, a bill to provide a year of drought relief to livestock [...]

UN Begs US to Stop Corn-Based Ethanol Production During Drought

By: Friday August 10, 2012 8:15 am

The USDA announced that this year’s corn yield will be the lowest since 1995. As a result corn prices are projected to reach a record high, between $7.50 to $8.90 a bushel. To add a contrarian anecdote, the corn at my farmer’s market remains steady at 3 ears for $2.00, but that could change as [...]

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