January 23, 2020

Economic Research Service- 2007 Farm Income Forecast Update

Reuters news reported today that, “Rising prices for wheat, soybeans and other commodities should propel U.S. net farm income to a record $87.5 billion this year, up sharply from about $59 billion in 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast Thursday.

“‘The higher prices available to U.S. farmers are principally resulting from strong demand from the domestic biofuels industry and from foreign buyers. As a result, farmers have lots of production to sell at high prices,’ the USDA said in its farm income report.


Chairman Peterson Comments on Farm Bill

David Dodds reported earlier this week at the Grand Forks Herald (North Dakota) Online that, “Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., told a roomful of farmers and other interested people Monday that he won’t support an extension of the current farm bill if Congress can’t finalize a new one.”

The article stated that, “‘We got our bill done on time like we said we would, and the Senate is doing what it does best – milling around,’ Peterson said.


Ethanol – Energy Bill

Lauren Etter reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that, “Little over a year ago, ethanol was winning the hearts and wallets of both Main Street and Wall Street, with promises of greater U.S. energy independence, fewer greenhouse gases and help for the farm economy. Today, the corn-based biofuel is under siege.


Procedural Negotiations on Farm Bill Amendments Moving Forward

Categories: Ethanol /EU /Farm Bill

Congressional Quarterly reported yesterday that, “Senate leaders are zeroing in on a deal to limit amendments to the 2007 farm bill, meaning the measure could be back on the floor as early as next week, aides said Monday.

“Democrats would be able to offer at least five amendments to the legislation, and Republicans would be given time for 10 amendments, aides said. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., may allow consideration of a few non-germane proposals dealing with the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax, aides added.”


As Farm Bill Stalls, Some Sectors of U.S. Ag Economy Appear Sound

Anne Cook, writing in Saturday’s News-Gazette (Champaign, IL) reported that, “When Congressional leaders and the White House settle differences about farm legislation, they’re likely to end up with a bill that’s greener – but not leaner – than current farm programs.

“But Terry Barr, chief economist for the National Council of Farmers Cooperatives, said the debate over the long overdue farm bill now looks like it’s going to spill over into 2008.”


EU “Economic Partnership Agreements” Could Impact Some U.S. Ag Sectors

Categories: Doha / Trade /EU /Farm Bill

At first glance, a somewhat complicated debate over trade policy issues between the European Union and some its former colonies, might appear to be unrelated, or non-germane to American agriculture interests.

However, as details of proposed EU “Economic Partnership Agreements” are analyzed, some have noted that this debate over EU trade policy could possibly enhance the EU export market, while simultaneously stifling U.S. agricultural exports in some sectors.


Farm Bill and Energy Bill: Speculation on Passage Continues

Categories: Ethanol /Farm Bill

Farm Bill

Jane Roberts, writing earlier this week at The Commercial Appeal Online (Memphis, TN), reported that, “The mood was somber Monday in the Somerville Community Room. Two days after a Republican filibuster killed a rewrite of a $286 billion farm bill in the Senate, word had settled into the woods and valleys of Fayette County.

“Not only is there not a new farm bill, there’s no way to know when there will be one, putting farmers in the position of trying to negotiate loans with no sense of their collateral.


EU CAP “Health Check”

Categories: EU


Recall that back in 2003-04, the European Union (EU) implemented significant reforms with respect to their Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).


Lawmaker Perspectives on Farm Bill Stall

Categories: Doha / Trade /Farm Bill

As progress on the 2007 Farm Bill moves haltingly forward, some recent news articles have highlighted the perspective of lawmakers who are closely involved in the process. In some cases, the news articles have integrated how the 2007 Farm Bill could impact constituent farmers that these lawmakers represent.


2007 Farm Bill: What Direction Now?

Categories: Doha / Trade /EU /Farm Bill

DTN writer Chris Clayton reported on Friday (link requires subscription) that, “Sitting on the other side of Capitol Hill, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson was anxiously waiting to start final negotiations on the farm bill over the congressional Thanksgiving break.

“With the failure of a key vote Friday in the U.S. Senate, Peterson, D-Minn., realizes now he might be lucky to have those talks with senators and the Bush administration sometime closer to New Year’s Eve.


A Interview with U.S. Representative Adrian Smith (R-Neb.)

Categories: Farm Bill

On Friday afternoon (Nov. 16), I had the chance to speak with U.S. Representative Adrian Smith of Nebraska (R) about a variety of farm policy issues.

We discussed Farm Bill extension activity in the House, aspects of reform in the House version of the Farm Bill, WTO issues, biofuels, and the change in leadership at USDA.

Congressman Smith was one of just 13 freshman Republicans to be sworn into office in 2007. He now sits on the House Agriculture Committee, as well as the House Budget Committee.

Congressman Smith represents Nebraska’s Third Congressional District, one of the largest agricultural districts in the country. A district that spans some 65,000 square miles and two time zones, Nebraska’s third district is home to over 30,000 farmers and ranchers who oversee over 38 million acres of farmland.

In the U.S., the district ranks first in the value of sales of grains and oilseeds, second in total value of agricultural product sold, and first in cattle and calve inventory. In 2005, Nebraska’s third district was the largest recipient of federal farm subsidy payments.

To listen to our conversation, just click here (MP3- about nine minutes).

Keith Good

Cloture Motion Fails

Categories: Farm Bill

The cloture motion to limit debate on the Senate version of the 2007 Farm Bill failed yesterday on a vote of 55 to 42.


Cloture Vote Today

Categories: Doha / Trade /Farm Bill

Speaking yesterday morning on the Senate floor, Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) explained the importance of today’s Senate vote regarding cloture and the 2007 Farm Bill.

To listen to Chairman Harkin’s explanation, just click here (MP3- about four minutes).

Meanwhile, DTN Political Correspondent Jerry Hagstrom provided a background outline of events (link requires subscription) leading up to today’s cloture vote in an article from yesterday morning.

In part, Mr. Hagstrom explained that, “Saying he was frustrated by Republican unwillingness to agree to an amendment package on the farm bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., late Wednesday filed a cloture motion an aide said would require a full Senate vote Friday morning on whether to proceed on the bill.


Cloture Filed on Senate Farm Bill

Categories: Doha / Trade /Farm Bill

Yesterday afternoon I had the chance to speak with Dan Morgan about Senate progress on the 2007 Farm Bill. At the time of our conversation, Dan was monitoring Farm Bill activity from the Senate press gallery.

Dan is a special correspondent of The Washington Post and a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

To listen to Dan’s observations, just click here (MP3- about seven minutes).


Slow Progress on the Farm Bill

Categories: Farm Bill

Reuters writer Charles Abbott reported yesterday that, “The Senate must pass its $286 billion farm bill this week or wait until next year to vote on the package, which would protect farm revenue and expand food stamp benefits, Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday.

“‘I’m beginning to feel my doubts … that we can do a farm bill,’ Reid said, because of a week-old stalemate on the bill. In a possible breakthrough, senior Democrats and Republicans met to winnow amendments into a small list for debate.”


Senate Farm Bill: Budget & Procedural Issues in Focus –While WTO Concerns Loom

Dan Morgan reported in this morning’s Washington Post that, “Thanks to the application of a little last-minute budgetary magic, the farm bill before the Senate this week authorizes about $10 billion in new subsidies, price guarantees and disaster aid in the next decade, even as farmers report near-record profits.

“There is a new $5.1 billion ‘disaster trust fund,’ as well as a revenue insurance program that would increase taxpayer costs by $4.7 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Spread through the huge bill are gains for producers of wheat, milk, sugar, peanuts, barley, oats and honey, and a new $1 million-a-year subsidy earmarked for camelina, a seed used to make biofuels.”

“Few predicted that outcome a few months ago,” the article said.


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