WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Fall rains and dredging will
keep barge traffic moving on the middle Mississippi River
through mid-December despite low water levels caused by a
drought covering 60 percent of the continental United States,
the government said on Friday.
More than 100 million tons of cargo, half of it corn and
soybeans, are shipped annually through the stretch of the river
south of St Louis. Shippers and farm groups fear shallow water
will cut off traffic later this month.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With a week left to act, agricultural leaders in Congress are still deadlocked on two major issues for a new U.S. farm bill, cuts in crop subsidies and reductions in food stamps, said two of the four key negotiators on Thursday.
But the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees suggested that recent talks had yielded at least some progress.
WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Montana Governor Brian
Schweitzer, a flamboyant westerner, said he has the law and
common sense on his side to prevent a draw-down of Missouri
River reservoirs to benefit barge traffic half a continent away.
Farm groups and processors in the U.S. Midwest claim the
water from the Missouri River is vital to replenish the
drought-shrunk Mississippi River, the premiere waterway of the
central states. Shippers say low water on the Mississippi will
make it nearly impossible to move crops to export markets at the
Gulf Of Mexico.
WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. government has
ordered crop insurers to charge lower premiums to soybean
growers for the second year in a row as part of rate revisions
for six major crops, even as many farmers collect on claims
following this year’s severe drought.
The changes are part of an Agriculture Department project to
improve the actuarial soundness of the crop insurance program,
which is federally subsidized but privately run.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. farm income will drop by 3 percent this year, the result of surging production costs aggravated by crop losses that stemmed from the worst drought in half a century, the government said on Tuesday.
Even so, income would be close to the record high set in 2011, the Agriculture Department said. In a quarterly forecast, it said production costs would rise by 8 percent this year, outpacing a gain in crop and livestock income.
WASHINGTON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – U.S. farm income will drop by
3 percent this year, the result of surging production costs
aggravated by crop losses that stemmed from the worst drought in
half a century, the government said on Tuesday.
Even so, income would be close to the record high set in
2011, the Agriculture Department said. In a quarterly forecast,
it said production costs would rise by 8 percent this year,
outpacing a gain in crop and livestock income.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Farm and ranch income shriveled this summer during the worst drought in half a century, according to three Federal Reserve regional banks that oversee Farm Belt lending, with livestock producers hardest hit as pastures withered and feed prices soared.
Even so, agricultural economists from the Fed banks say the farm sector could post record high income this year. High market prices and insurance indemnities will help compensate grain producers for drought-shortened crops, a buffer that livestock producers lack, they said on Friday.
WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary
Tom Vilsack on Wednesday urged Congress to break a logjam and
pass a reform-minded farm bill, but two lobbyists said the
deadlocked $500 billion bill may not be enacted for months, or
even a year.
Vilsack, who is expected to stay at USDA for at least the
start of President Barack Obama’s second term, told Reuters the
department “would do everything we can” to implement a new farm
bill in time for the 2013 harvest next fall.
WASHINGTON, Nov 7 (Reuters) – Federally subsidized crop
insurance will be a big target for lawmakers looking to cut the
budget deficit in the lame-duck session of Congress opening next
week, agricultural policy experts agreed the morning after a
status-quo general election.
But lawmakers will probably be unable to break their
deadlock over enacting a five-year, $500 billion farm bill
covering a wide range of agricultural policy from food stamps to
crop subsidies and soil conservation.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. food movement, which groups a kaleidoscope of causes from inner-city gardens to hunger prevention and no-biotech crops, plans to link the farmers market to the ballot box as it challenges large-scale agriculture this year.
It is the first attempt to turn a largely unorganized social movement into a political force.