Charles's Feed
May 29, 2013

U.S. finds unapproved genetically modified wheat in Oregon

WASHINGTON, May 29 (Reuters) – A strain of genetically
engineered wheat never approved for sale or consumption by
authorities was found sprouting on a farm in Oregon, the U.S.
Agriculture Department said on Wednesday.

The wheat was developed years ago by biotechnology company
Monsanto Co but never put into use because of worldwide
opposition to genetically engineered wheat.

May 16, 2013

U.S. grower group asks for no limit on foreign field workers

WASHINGTON, May 16 (Reuters) – Immigration reform
legislation should allow unlimited hiring of foreigners to work
on U.S. farms to avert damaging labor shortages at harvest, a
group representing large farmers told a U.S. House of
Representatives panel on Thursday.

Growers say the current H-2A guest worker program is
cumbersome and often does not allow them to bring in enough
foreign workers when local recruiting falls short.

May 16, 2013

House farm bill moves ahead with big cut in food stamps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican-controlled panel in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved the biggest cuts in food stamps for the poor in a generation and a potentially expensive expansion of federally subsidized crop insurance.

The House Agriculture Committee approved a five-year, $500 billion farm bill on a 36-10 vote. The next step will be debate by the full House, which is likely to start in June.

May 14, 2013

U.S. Senate panel approves farm bill that expands crop insurance

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a farm bill on Tuesday, costing $500 billion over a decade, that would expand the scope of the federally subsidized crop insurance program and modestly trim spending on food stamps for the poor.

The 1,000-page bill now goes to the Senate floor, where a vote could be called as soon as this month.

May 9, 2013

Senate draft of new U.S. farm law boosts Southern crop supports

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – In a concession to Southern
lawmakers, the new U.S. farm law would set sharply higher
support prices for rice and peanut crops under a draft prepared
for a Senate Agriculture Committee vote next week and released
on Thursday.

The $500 billion farm bill is seven months overdue. Senate
Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of
Michigan, called a meeting of her panel to consider the bill on
Tuesday. The House Agriculture Committee confirmed that it will
start its markup on Wednesday.

May 9, 2013

Food stamps, not crop subsidies, highest hurdle for US farm bill

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – Lawmakers are preparing for a
second run at writing the new U.S. farm law that ended in a
stalemate in 2012, and the biggest obstacle is not likely to be
soil conservation or crop subsidies, but the billions spent
mostly in cities and towns.

Analysts say food stamps for the poor, the biggest
Agriculture Department program at an estimated $79 billion this
year, is the make-or-break issue. Republicans are demanding far
larger cuts than Democrats will entertain, and the debate is
becoming increasingly partisan.

May 8, 2013

Meat packers, union seek new visa allowing year-round workers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Foreign workers could gain visas for year-round work in U.S. meat processing plants under a proposal by the meat industry and the meatpackers union for immigration reform designed to create a steady supply of workers for slaughterhouses.

The proposal, expected to be part of the Senate immigration bill, would help assure a stable workforce, said industry and union officials on Wednesday. The Senate Judiciary Committee was to begin debate on the bill on Thursday.

May 7, 2013

Lawmakers plan to start drafting farm bill next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress will begin writing a new, $500 billion farm law next week, the head of the Senate Agriculture Committee said on Tuesday, even as calls mounted for deeper cuts in farm subsidies and food stamp spending.

The Senate panel has scheduled a bill-drafting session for May 14. Its House of Representatives counterpart, unofficially, aims to start writing its version on May 15.

May 7, 2013

U.S. lawmakers plan to start drafting farm bill next week

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Reuters) – Congress will begin writing a
new, $500 billion U.S. farm law next week, the head of the
Senate Agriculture Committee said on Tuesday, even as calls
mounted for deeper cuts in farm subsidies and food stamp
spending.

The Senate panel has scheduled a bill-drafting session for
May 14. Its House of Representatives counterpart, unofficially,
aims to start writing its version on May 15.

May 1, 2013

Fierce lobbying counters White House push for food aid reform

WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) – A White House plan to
modernize the major U.S. food aid program, by donating cash
rather than American-grown food, is in trouble after fierce
lobbying by farm groups, food processors, shippers and others
who set out to sink the idea months before it was unveiled in
President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget.

The administration, which needs congressional approval to
make the changes, is discovering that only a few lawmakers are
prepared to publicly support the effort to send cash abroad to
make the distribution of aid faster and more efficient.