WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House and Senate negotiators could meet for the first time next week to work on the new $500 billion U.S. farm bill, more than a year past due and repeatedly delayed by House Republican plans for steep cuts in food stamps for the poor.
The bill is also expected to cut funding for conservation programs but expand by $1 billion a year the federally subsidized crop insurance program, which now costs around $9 billion annually.
WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture
Department will decide by the end of this week whether to
cancel its monthly U.S. crop production report and a companion
report on crop output and usage around the world, a senior
official said on Wednesday.
The reports, scheduled for Oct. 11, were delayed by the
partial federal government shutdown, which has sidelined
thousands of USDA employees. The next edition is set for Nov. 8,
slightly more than three weeks from now.
WASHINGTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Farm subsidy reformers
praised a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to make the
wealthiest growers pay more for federally subsidized crop
insurance, the first eligibility limit on a program that costs
$9 billion a year.
The non binding House vote late on Friday will be a factor
in upcoming negotiations with the Senate on a final version of
the new farm bill, which is a year overdue. Senators put a
similar restriction on farmers with more than $750,000 adjusted
gross income (AGI) a year in their bill.
WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – The final stage of the
long-delayed U.S. farm bill is about to begin, but drafting a
legislative compromise between the Senate and House of
Representatives is still hampered by deep partisan divisions
over cuts in food stamps for the poor.
Lawmakers in the House agreed on Friday to open negotiations
with the Senate over a final version of the five-year, $500
billion bill. Its salient agricultural initiative, but one that
is mostly not controversial, is an expansion of federally
subsidized crop insurance by 10 percent.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An insurance provision in the U.S. farm bills proposed by the House and Senate could have corn, soybean, and wheat farmers making more money in a bad year, such as during a drought, than in a good year, an environmental group said on Thursday
In a 20-page report, the Environmental Working Group criticized the proposed Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), which is in both the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill, claiming it would have increased crop insurance payments during last year’s drought by $6.8 billion on top of the record $17 billion that was paid out.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A month before election day, environmentalists urged biotechnology companies and a food industry group to stop pouring money into a campaign against a proposed food-labeling law in Washington state.
Opponents have donated $17 million to defeat the referendum, which if passed would require special labels on raw and processed food made from genetically modified crops. It is the largest amount ever raised against a ballot initiative in the state.
WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. government shutdown
has thwarted the formulation of the monthly USDA crop production
report, sidelining the Department of Agriculture’s corps of
enumerators and almost certainly delaying the report due for
release on Oct. 11.
Creation of the report, which affects prices of grains and
other agricultural commodities around the world, starts at the
farm level with two full weeks devoted to surveying growers and
inspecting crops in thousands of fields.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Overshadowed by the government shutdown, the U.S. farm subsidy law expired for the second time on Tuesday with lawmakers still deadlocked over how to confront cuts in food assistance programs for low-income Americans.
Analysts say Congress is more likely to revive the farm law for another year or two, the path it took when the law expired a year ago, than agree on a new bill
WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture
Department will shut off its gusher of statistical reports in
the event of a federal government shutdown, leaving traders and
food producers in the dark about most activities in the world’s
largest farm exporter.
But inspections of meat are considered among essential
services that will continue even if most workers are idled.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The new U.S. farm bill, already a year behind schedule, is on the congressional equivalent of a slow freight train – rolling from acrimony to limbo with a layover in stalemate. And Washington’s disputes over the federal budget and national debt could mean further delays.
A stopgap extension of current law runs out on Monday. Negotiators from the House of Representatives and the Senate may take up the bill in the next week or two.