Unlike the Senate Agriculture Committee—which cleared its entire bill in three and a half hours—the House Agriculture Committee’s markup on Wednesday was setting up to be a much longer affair, even though the lion’s share of the legislation is the same as last year.
EWG released a report last Wednesday from Iowa State University Agricultural Economics Professor Bruce Babcock analyzing the high costs of crop insurance. The report largely focused on the farmer shift to buying Revenue Protection policies that protect against losses due to both low prices and low yields.
Kansas farmer and rancher Steve Irsik, a member of the 25x’25 adaptation committee, said he believes he began to see subtle changes in the weather about a decade ago when it began to get drier where he lives in southwest Kansas. Once-rare events are expected to become more common because of more volatile weather patterns as global temperatures rise.
“In production agriculture, a carbon tax is very simply a farmer tax,” said Ford West, president of the Fertilizer Institute. “Farmers will bear the brunt of a carbon tax through increased input costs, increased cost of fuel on the farm, increased cost of transportation and getting their product into the market in a global environment.
Members of the House Agriculture Committee highlighted their problems with the way USDA would implement budget cuts. In particular, congressmen wanted assurances from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that sequester cuts would not disrupt the safety or markets of the meatpacking industry through furloughing meat inspectors.
While the Obama administration and others see great potential in spurring more exports to Europe through a new possible freetrade agreement, U.S. agriculture will be hard-pressed to see big gains unless Europe agrees to dramatically change its regulatory mindset.
While there are guys out there sitting on a lot of land equity, Fuller isn’t necessarily one of them. He faces the possible loss of his farm because of cancellation of his crop-insurance policy on the 2012 crop. Fuller is an enthusiastic advocate for protecting the land from erosion and building organic matter back into the soil.
More than nine years after the first cow with BSE was found in the U.S., a scientific commission for the World Organization for Animal Health has recommended upgrading the U.S. risk status to “negligible risk,” meaning there is less threat of the disease spreading among the domestic cattle herd.
In an early projection of crop production and the costs of government farm programs, CBO forecast average corn prices at $4.51 per bushel next fall because farmers will plant 97 million acres with an average yield 161.5 bushels per acre and produce a 14.