Charles's Feed
Jan 10, 2012

USDA to close 249 offices in cost-saving move

HONOLULU (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department plans to close 249 offices this year — half of them the local “county office” that deals with farmers — in a cost-cutting program, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Monday.

USDA says the package will save $150 million a year and help reduce the yawning federal deficit. Vilsack announced the closures in a speech to the annual meeting of the 6 million-member American Farm Bureau Federation.

Dec 3, 2011

Congress subpoenas Corzine on MF Global collapse

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former MF Global chief Jon Corzine was subpoenaed to testify before Congress, setting up an awkward legal situation for the ex-senator facing multiple probes into the firm’s collapse.

A House Agriculture Committee voted unanimously on Friday to compel Corzine to testify at its December 8 hearing after he reportedly refused an earlier invitation.

Dec 2, 2011

House panel subpoenas MF Global’s Corzine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. House committee on Friday voted to subpoena former MF Global chief Jon Corzine to testify before Congress.

The move intensifies pressure on Corzine who has been largely absent from public view since he resigned as chief executive early last month.

Nov 29, 2011

US farm income to set record on skyrocketing markets

WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Record-high prices for
crops and livestock will lift U.S. farm income 19 percent this
year, which for the first time will top $100 billion, the
government estimated on Tuesday.

Another buoyant year is also in sight in 2012 for a
agricultural boom that started in 2006, according to the U.S.
Department of Agriculture.

Nov 18, 2011

House protects pizza as a vegetable

By Lisa Baertlein and Charles Abbott

(Reuters) – The House of Representatives dealt a blow to childhood obesity warriors on Thursday by passing a bill that abandons proposals that threatened to end the reign of pizza and French fries on federally funded school lunch menus.

The scuttled changes, which would have stripped pizza’s status as a vegetable and limited how often French fries could

Oct 17, 2011

EPA says will not tighten dust rule for farms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday it will not tighten controls on dust particles on farms when it sends the rule to the White House for its regular five-year review.

Some Republicans, including presidential hopeful Herman Cain, have said the EPA would expand the rule, which mainly affects heavy industry and vehicles, and regulate farms more broadly.

Oct 14, 2011

Analysis – U.S. budget turns red, ag market info fades to black

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If facts feed the commodities market, a data cutback could leave a bitter taste for traders and analysts who digest government statistics.

The federal agencies that gather data and issue reports on agriculture — from almonds to ethanol — face sizable cuts in funding as part of federal belt-tightening.

Oct 13, 2011

U.S. farm subsidy reform may be tied to budget cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. farm subsidy cuts of $23 billion would be tied to the creation of a new crop subsidy system under a plan being discussed by Agriculture Committee leaders in Congress, farm lobbyists said on Thursday.

The proposal would end the $5 billion-a-year direct payment subsidy. It would endorse a revenue-assistance program to shield growers from “shallow losses” from poor yields or low market prices as the new basis for the U.S. farm program.

Sep 19, 2011

Obama wants to end $5 billion a year US farm subsidy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday proposed to end a “direct payment” subsidy that gives $5 billion a year to farmers regardless of need, as part of his larger effort to reduce the federal budget deficit.

Direct payments, created in 1996 as a temporary measure, will be the largest farm subsidy this year and terminating them would be a dramatic re-shaping of the U.S. farm program.

Jul 18, 2011

Analysis: Ethanol to edge pigs for corn use, but not quite yet

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ethanol appears almost certain to win the food-versus-fuel contest in the United States. But not just yet.

The Agriculture Department forecast that a tad more corn will be used to make ethanol than to feed livestock this year may be a false milestone: ethanol makers say they won’t use that much corn while producing a record amount of the biofuel, hewing to a more efficient conversion rate.