Charles's Feed
Nov 20, 2013

U.S. Senate Agriculture panel won’t vote on CFTC nominees in 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wall Street’s top U.S. derivatives regulator could soon be left with a leadership vacuum after a key U.S. senator said Tuesday she does not expect her committee to vote on President Barack Obama’s nominees to replace its departing commissioners until the new year.

“We are talking about doing this after the first of the year,” Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow, Michigan Democrat, told reporters in the hallway of a Capitol Hill office building.

Nov 19, 2013

U.S. farm subsidy reforms under attack in Congress discussions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressional agreement to tighten U.S. farm subsidy rules for the benefit of small and family farmers is under attack in the final negotiations over a new, overdue farm bill, two senators said on Tuesday, with time running short.

Leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees face an informal deadline at the end of this week to strike an agreement on a $500 billion compromise, if they hope to pass a bill this year. Congress could adjourn for the year in mid-December.

Nov 13, 2013

USDA’s Vilsack warns against “hatchet” cuts in U.S. food stamps

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Lawmakers writing the final
version of the new U.S. farm bill should reject the “hatchet”
cuts that House Republicans want to make to food stamps for the
poor, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Wednesday.

Food stamps, which account for the bulk of spending in the
$500 billion bill, are the make-or-break issue for the farm
bill, which is already more than a year overdue.

Nov 8, 2013

Demand for record U.S. corn crop tops expectations -USDA

WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – The 2013 U.S. corn crop will
be a bin-busting 30 percent bigger than last year’s
drought-afflicited harvest, but U.S. corn consumption will surge
by 17 percent, the U.S. government said on Friday, forecasting
less corn at the end of the marketing year than people in the
industry had expected.

Growers are reaping the biggest-ever U.S. crop, a dramatic
about-face from three years of ever-smaller harvests. World
corn, wheat, rice and soybean crops also are records this
season, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Oct 30, 2013

U.S. meat-labeling law, a WTO issue, now farm bill target

WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – Members of a select
House-Senate panel on Wednesday targeted for potential repeal a
U.S. meat-labeling law that Mexico and Canada have challenged as
a violation of world trade rules, and that U.S. meatpackers also
oppose.

The country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law requires labels on
packages of beef, pork, poultry and lamb sold in U.S. stores to
carry specific information on the source of the meat. The U.S.
terms it a “consumer information” program.

Oct 30, 2013

Cut in food stamps to hit low-income Americans this week

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – One of every seven Americans will take a hit on Friday when a $5 billion cut in food stamps, the first across-the-board reduction in the history of the decades-old federal program, takes effect.

But if conservative Republicans in Congress get their way, this week’s pullback may be just a taste of what’s to come for some of the almost 48 million Americans who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Oct 24, 2013

Low prices mean highest U.S. sugar subsidy cost in decade

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The United States faces its
highest sugar subsidy cost since 2000, an estimated $280
million, following a new wave of defaults by processors on
government-backed loans.

Nearly 382,000 tons were forfeited in the final two months
of fiscal 2013, despite repeated Agriculture Department efforts
to whittle down a mammoth surplus and bolster futures prices.
The surplus was projected to persist for months to come.

Oct 23, 2013

U.S. lawmakers to wrestle with food stamp cuts in farm bill

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – U.S. Senate and House
negotiators, who will begin working on a compromise farm bill on
Oct. 30, face a major fight over proposed deep cuts in food
stamps for the poor.

The leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture committees
jointly announced the first meeting of a conference committee,
made up of 41 members of the House and Senate who will hammer
out differences in the Senate and House bills.

Oct 22, 2013

Report slams continued antibiotic use in U.S. livestock

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. regulators and livestock producers have failed to curb the use of antibiotics in cattle, pigs and poultry despite concerns that excessive use in meat production will reduce the drugs’ effectiveness in humans, a panel of experts said.

“Meaningful change is unlikely in the future,” concluded the 14-member panel, assembled by Johns Hopkins University, in a report released on Tuesday that quickly drew protests from livestock industry groups.

Oct 22, 2013

Panel raps lack of action to curb drug use in U.S. livestock

WASHINGTON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – U.S. regulators and livestock
producers have failed to curb the use of antibiotics in
livestock despite concerns that excessive use in meat production
will reduce the drugs’ effectiveness in humans, said a panel of
experts.

“Meaningful change is unlikely in the future,” concluded the
14-member panel, assembled by Johns Hopkins University, in a
report released on Tuesday.