WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawmakers in the House and Senate agriculture committees are working on a short-term extension to the expired U.S. farm bill, and plan to vote on the extension by Monday, the final day of 2012, a Congressional source said on Friday.
The proposed extension to farm legislation that expired in September would be for “some months” but for less than a year, the source said.
KANSAS CITY/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A low-water crisis now plaguing part of the Mississippi River system will boost industry arguments for long-delayed government improvement projects along U.S. rivers, though looming federal budget battles remain a high hurdle.
Experts say even as billions of dollars of river-borne commerce slow along the shallow section of the Mississippi, an even larger economic catastrophe is looming as dozens of critical infrastructure improvements and repairs up and down the entire U.S. river system remain long overdue.
WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Major agricultural exporters
need to urgently upgrade their networks of road, rail and
waterways to prepare to feed a world population forecast to grow
by one-third by mid-century, the head of global agribusiness
company Bunge Ltd said on Tuesday.
Alberto Weisser, chief executive of Bunge, listed improved
infrastructure and the removal of trade barriers as two concrete
steps to assure adequate food availability.
WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The U.S. wheat stockpile for
the current season will be above market expectations due to a
slump in exports, while corn ending stocks will remain tight as
lower prices make the grain more affordable for feeders,
processors and exporters, the government said on Tuesday.
The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) pointed to “the slow
pace of sales” in raising its estimate of U.S. wheat ending
stocks by 7 percent, to 754 million bushels. Traders had
expected 712 million bushels.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress should slash at least $100 billion in costs from the U.S. farm bill – three or four times more than cuts currently proposed – and resist calls for a hurry-up vote this week, a dozen anti-deficit and environmental groups said on Monday.
At a news conference, they said the $5 billion-a-year “direct payment” subsidy to farmers should be eliminated as part of temporary legislation that would bridge the gap to a new five-year law in 2013.
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.