January 24, 2020

Policy Issues; Ag Economy- Trade; and, Political Notes

Policy Issues

David Rogers noted yesterday at Politico that, “Congress holds the purse strings, but who holds Congress these days when it comes to farm policy: the meatpackers and Monsanto?”

Mr. Rogers explained that, “Alarmed that automatic spending cuts this month will slow plant operations, the meat lobby won a last-minute Senate amendment that cuts from a new White House-backed school breakfast program in order to ensure there will be enough money to keep food safety inspectors on the job this summer and avoid disruptions.

“At the same time the industry went in the opposite direction, denying funds in the Ag budget for implementing reforms sought in the 2008 farm bill to provide greater protection for less powerful ranchers and farmers who raise the animals for slaughter.

Money is again denied to proceed with rules favored by Western cow-calf operations in their battle with beef packers. In the case of poultry, the bill goes a big step further, literally ordering [Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack] in 60 days to rescind regulations adopted last year to protect growers under contract with the big chicken processors.”