January 29, 2020

Farm Bill Cartoon Image

Categories: Farm Bill

From The Salinas Californian, Sep. 18 (Click on Image for Full View).


Budget Committee Chairman Conrad on Morning Joe (MSNBC)

Categories: Budget

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) was a guest on the MSNBC “Morning Joe” program today where he discussed budget issues.

For more background on sequestration and the budget, see this update from Monday.


AgriTalk Radio- Farm Bill Issues, Mary Kay Thatcher, Rep. Huelskamp

Categories: Audio /Farm Bill /Nutrition

Mary Kay Thatcher, the Senior Director of Congressional Relations at the American Farm Bureau Federation, was a guest on today’s AgriTalk radio program with Mike Adams, where the conversation focused on the Farm Bill.

In particular, Ms. Thatcher addressed potential legislative action in the lame-duck session of Congress.

An audio replay of a portion of that discussion is available here:

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (pictured left), a member of the Ag Committee, was also on AgriTalk today.

The Kansas Republican spoke about the Farm Bill, as well as legislation he has introduced with Rep. Steve King (R, Iowa), that according to The Hill, “would repeal a U.S. Department of Agriculture rule that puts a cap on the number of calories in school lunches served to children.”

To listen to some of Rep. Huelskamp’s remarks on the Farm Bill, including comments on potential action in a lame-duck session, Farm Bill extension, and food stamp (SNAP program) spending, just click on the listen bar below:

While some of Rep. Huelskamp’s remarks and his proposed nutrition related legislation can be heard here:


Economic Research Service: Oil Crops Outlook

On September 13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released its Oil Crops Outlook report, “Further Deterioration Seen For Midwestern Soybean Yields.”

The ERS report contained a detailed summary of recent USDA projections regarding oil seeds and noted that, “The U.S. average soybean yield for 2012 is forecast down to 35.3 bushels per acre from 36.1 bushels last month. On that basis, USDA reduced its forecast of new-crop soybean production by 58 million bushels to a 9-year low of 2.634 billion bushels. Despite strong current sales, the shortfall is expected to slash U.S. soybean exports for 2012/13 by 22 percent to 1.055 billion bushels and soybean meal exports by 28 percent to 6.8 million short tons.”

The ERS report included this graphic relating to U.S. soybean ending stocks (click on the graphs for full, expanded view):


Farm Bill; Ag Economy; Trade; and, Biofuels

Farm Bill Issues

Vicki Needham and Bernie Becker reported yesterday at The Hill’s One the Money Blog that, “So Congress is out of session on Tuesday but will come back with a bang on Wednesday — with the Senate set to clear a six-month bill to keep the government running.

“Congress is expected to send the bill to President Obama’s desk with plenty of cushion before the Oct. 1 start of the 2013 fiscal year. The legislation, essentially, holds the federal government to 2012 spending levels and doesn’t give the agencies much, if any, wiggle room on their programs.”

Yesterday’s update added that, “Lawmakers are loathe to take votes on items of much substance before the presidential election — or for that matter, any elections — for fear it will hurt their campaigns. Thusly, there is an eight-day session with the CR as the major piece of legislation zipping through the chambers.”

David Rogers reported yesterday at Politico that, “Milk and mayhem are the rule this week as the House farm bill debate spirals downward and Republicans prepare to go home Friday without acting on the bipartisan five-year plan reported in July.

“To save face, the GOP leadership is toying with a three-month extension of the current 2008 farm law due to expire Sept. 30. As now drafted, the same bill would include livestock disaster aid as well as new assistance for dairy farmers.

“House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas is going along in hopes of building momentum for action after the November elections. But the Oklahoma Republican told POLITICO Monday that he has no explicit promise yet of even getting floor time in the lame duck for his five-year bill. And the extension itself is in serious doubt given resistance from Democrats and a GOP whip count showing continued divisions among Republicans.”