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Friday, May 4,2012

Farm bill moves to Senate

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
After an overnight delay and a few more adjustments, the Senate Ag Committee did vote, 16-5, to move it forward. The 900-page bill is expected to create $26.4 billion in savings over the next decade, largely by ending the current system of direct cash payments and reinvesting in new forms of crop insurance.

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Friday, May 4,2012

Proposed child labor regulations withdrawn

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
Pressure from ag groups played a large role in preventing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from banning children under 16 from using most powerdriven farm equipment, including tractors.

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Friday, April 27,2012

Beef industry rallies together to derail BSE concerns

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
Just as the beef markets were seeing recovery from the fallout of lean finely textured beef (LFTB), a case of BSE hit the news, wreaking havoc on midweek markets. But industry groups quickly rallied together to stand behind U.S. beef products, and the markets responded with a quick turnaround.

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Friday, April 20,2012

EPA fracking regulations delayed

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
In response to a court deadline, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized standards to reduce harmful air pollution associated with oil and natural gas production, but delayed implementing some of the regulations until Jan. 1, 2015..

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Friday, April 20,2012

Senators fight to stop EPA's takeover of all water

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
The U.S. Supreme Court last month ruled that two property owners could challenge an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determination that their property contained regulated wetlands, challenge the administrative order requiring the property owners to remove fill they had placed on their property, and challenge the outrageous fines EPA had imposed.

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Friday, April 20,2012

U.S.-Colombia trade pact signed

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
Producers welcomed news that at long last, starting next month, the U.S. will obtain duty-free access to the Colombian market. Signed six years ago and passed by Congress last October, the agreement opens South America’s third-largest market to the U.S..

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Friday, April 20,2012

Export numbers on track for National Export Initiative 2014 goal

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) recently hosted a White House Business Council Agriculture Roundtable discussion at its Denver, CO, headquarters with Ambassador Isi Siddiqui (pronounced IZZY SU-DEE-KEY), the chief agriculture trade negotiator in the Office of the U.

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Friday, April 13,2012

FDA putting the brakes on antibiotic use

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
The three pieces FDA published in the Federal Register last week included: • A final guidance for industry, The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food- Producing Animals, that recommends phasing out the agricultural production use of medically.

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Friday, April 13,2012

Shrinking global crops support grain prices

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
USDA’s account of all South American crops continued to shrink leading up to last week’s Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, with news of smaller and smaller harvests in key areas. Those smaller supplies have supported U.

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Friday, April 13,2012

U.S. Forest Service targets $40.6M to purchase, restore lands in 15 states

by Traci Eatherton, WLJ Managing Editor
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced April 6 that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will dedicate $40.6 million for 27 land acquisition projects in 15 states designed to safeguard clean water, provide recreational access, preserve wildlife habitat, enhance scenic vistas, and protect historic and wilderness areas.

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