On Tuesday, the House Ag Committee's Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing to explore farm policy issues in advance of the next Farm Bill. And yesterday, the full Ag Committee hosted a hearing to review the Farm Credit System. Today's update takes a closer look at some of the issues raised at these two hearings.
Recall that back in January, a FarmPolicyNews update discussed an important legal case in Iowa that challenged the general exemption for agricultural storm water discharges under the Clean Water Act, among other issues. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled on a portion of the case in January, and earlier this month, a federal judge dismissed the case. Today's update provides a brief overview of some portions of the Iowa case and notes that water related issues still lurk in the future for agricultural producers.
Last Tuesday, the House Ag Committee’s Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing to examine perspectives from the U.S. livestock sector. And on Wednesday, the full Committee took a closer look at economic and policy issues impacting the U.S. dairy sector. The meetings were part of the Committee’s ongoing series of hearings that are setting the stage for the next farm bill. Today's update provides a brief look at some of the highlights from the hearings last week.
Yesterday, the Senate Ag Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Sonny Perdue to be Secretary of Agriculture. Issues associated with the Trump Administration's proposed USDA budget cuts, trade policy, and labor were among the topics discussed at yesterday's meeting.
Wall Street Journal writer Justin Lahart reported last week that, "The first impact of President Donald Trump’s changes to U.S. immigration policy will fall on businesses that grow, process or sell food. Recent history shows that labor shortages could drive up prices and labor costs, and hurt profits."
A news release last week from the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri indicated that, "The latest analysis of national and global agricultural trends from the University of Missouri indicates continued financial pressure on United States farm sector. Good news in the report includes a modest recovery in grain prices in 2017."
Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Robert Lighthizer to be United States Trade Representative. With respect to agricultural trade issues, China, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and Japan were all topics that were touched on.
Recall that last month, at a press conference before the Senate Ag Committee's first Farm Bill hearing in Kansas, Committee Chairman Pat Roberts pointed out that, "And trade — trade is on the minds of every farmer, every rancher. And I can assure you that trade is on the minds of my Senate staff and myself."
A news release from the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday indicated that, "[T]he Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research, held a hearing to evaluate the effectiveness of the 2014 Farm Bill programs aimed at benefiting specialty crop production." The meeting was part of the Committee's ongoing series of hearings that are setting the stage for the next farm bill. Although not under the Committees's jurisdiction, immigration and labor issues were also highlighted.
As part of its ongoing preparation for the 2018 Farm Bill, the House Agriculture Committee held a Subcommittee hearing yesterday delving into rural development issues and energy programs.