However, Politico reported today that, “At the entrance of a coal mine in southeastern Ohio, Mitt Romney tried to stake a claim as the most energy-friendly candidate…[S]tanding next to a backhoe bucket filled with raw coal, Romney told the crowd that Obama, who is speaking today in Iowa, is running ads in the key swing state of Ohio saying he supports coal while telling other audiences that he thinks the nation needs only wind and solar power.
“‘I thought, how in the world can you go out there and tell people things that just aren’t true?’ Romney asked. ‘If you believe the whole answer for energy needs is wind and solar, then say that. I know he says that to some audiences out West. Then just say it.’”
Today’s article added that, “The White House and the Obama campaign have spent months working to counter GOP allegations that the president has ‘declared war on coal.’”
A portion of Gov. Romney’s remarks from today can be viewed in the following video clip.
The ERS report contained a detailed summary of recent USDA projections regarding feed grains and succinctly noted that, “The forecast U.S. corn yield is reduced 22.6 bushels per acre to 123.4 bushels as extreme heat and dryness continued, and in many areas worsened, during July across the Plains and Corn Belt. Sorghum production is also forecast lower this month due to drought. Total U.S. corn supplies for 2012/13 are projected down 2.0 billion bushels at a 9-year low. The large reduction in forecast corn supplies this month is expected to result in record-high prices, which will ration demand and lower use. Corn use is projected 1.5 billion bushels lower with large cuts in feed and residual use; food, seed and industrial use; and exports. Ending stocks are forecast down 533 million bushels to 650 million bushels, the lowest since 1995/96.”
The ERS report also contained several graphs, including these two below; depicting U.S.corn production and yield since 1987, as well as an illustration of U.S. feed grain ending stocks for the same period (click on the graphs for an expanded, full view).
An additional graph showing cash prices for corn in Central Illinois was also included in today’s ERS report.
Jason Clayworth reported yesterday at The Des Moines Register Online that, “Partisan cooperation and the dire need for congressional action on a federal farm bill were two of the key points U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley emphasized during his stop Monday at The Des Moines Register’s soapbox at the State Fair.”
The Register article noted that, “The [farm] bill passed the Senate in June but has stalled in the Republican-controlled House because of intraparty divisions over spending.
“Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, is seeking re-election in November and is being challenged by Republican Ben Lange of Independence. Braley promised to work with members of his own party as well as Republicans to pursue a legislative measure that would force the farm bill to the House floor for a vote.”
Rep. Braley’s complete presentation is available in the video below, and here is a clip of what he said about the Farm Bill process:
Rep. Braley indicated that, “Well, I’ve decided that I want to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to bring that [farm] bill to the floor, and if the leadership in the House isn’t willing to do it, then we’re going to try to make them do it by doing something called a discharge petition.
“And I’ve got Republican and Democratic colleagues who are working with me, as soon as that bill gets reported to the full House- so that we can start collecting signatures and get people to put pressure on the leadership to bring that bill to the floor.”
Recall that a news release from Rep. Braley’s office earlier this month stated that, “Because House rules require a waiting period between the time a bill is referred to a committee and when members can sign a discharge petition on it, Braley’s Farm Bill petition won’t be officially opened for signatures until after members depart for an August recess.”
Meanwhile, in a tweet yesterday, House Ag Committee Member Steve King (R., Iowa) (pictured at right) stated that, “Bruce Brayley has no discharge petition to move a House Ag Committee farm bill, not one single signature, including his own. Political games.”
DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton reported yesterday that, “The farm bill advanced Monday from being another skirmish in the presidential race to ground zero of the political battle.
“President Barack Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney fought over the farm bill, even though the Obama administration and the House Budget Committee largely see eye-to-eye on cutting farm payments.
“Obama landed in Iowa on Monday and immediately declared that his administration was buying up $150 million in commodity pork as another drought-relief measure. Speaking in Council Bluffs, the president jumped in talking about the drought and farm bill. The government could do more to help if Romney’s new running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, would work to help get the farm bill passed, Obama told the crowd.”