michigan-ag-blog-profilepic Michigan Agriculture Now

  • More Upbeat Farm Bill Assessment

    Posted by Rick Shields

     Top House Ag Democrat Collin Peterson met with House Speaker John Boehner this week to jump start talks to finally get a farm bill on the House floor. Peterson earlier wrote Boehner and House GOP Leader Eric Cantor that it’s a fool’s errand to rewrite last year’s failed farm bill if the two leaders again refuse to put it on the floor. But at a Wednesday ag organizational meeting - Peterson had this

    More Upbeat Farm Bill Assessment

  • Lawmaker Takes On Critics

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Senator Chuck Grassley had some tough words for the Washington Post and other critics of crop insurance this week - as Majority Leader Harry Reid re-introduced last year’s Senate-passed farm bill.

    Reid committed to completing the farm bill this year as one of several privileged top priority bills - though the real decision may again not be up to him - but House GOP leaders who blocked a House-version last year. Whatever happens - crop insurance is again a target of critics like the Washington Post, New York Times and others who think its price tag’s too big - though a Kansas State University expert says program losses to drought last year will be much lower than estimates. Grassley says…

    Lawmaker Takes On Critics

  • Ag Action Day

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Friday's a big day on your winter meeting calendar.

    Ag Action Day

  • Crop Insurance Premiums

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Revenue Protection. It provides insurance against revenue losses and includes a price guarantee. Should the price of crops like corn and soybean be higher at harvest than when the insurance was purchased - the base price set in February - then the price goes higher. You would think the price of this insurance - most other federally backed crop insurance products too - would be higher this season than last year. That won’t be the case in Illinois - says Gary Schnitkey - despite the payouts made because of the drought of 2012

    Crop Insurance Premiums

  • Vilsack Sees Challenges Ahead

    Posted by Rick Shields

     USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says looming across the board budget cuts could interfere with his priorities in President Obama’s second-term. Vilsack says even a just announced USDA microloan program for beginning farmers could get hit when - and if - the full brunt of across the board budget cuts is felt in March. Talking about available credit…

    Vilsack Sees Challenges Ahead

  • Renewable Energy Wins Again

    Posted by Rick Shields

    The U.S. D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday denied petitions to rehear the case by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, big oil and others against the Environmental Protection Agency for permitting commercial use of E-15. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says this decision is a big win for renewable energy.

    Buis says Growth Energy intervened in the case for EPA saying the groups didn’t have standing in the case - and earlier this year - the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. Buis says the groups can continue to challenge this decision - but the climb would get steeper. Now - he says their only recourse would be to ask the Supreme Court to take up the case - but the renewable fuels industry receiving two favorable rulings with the Court of Appeals makes their challenge harder

    Renewable Energy Wins Again

  • Drought Amnesia

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Drought disaster aid is nowhere in sight as the House takes up a second traunch of disaster aid this week for Hurricane Sandy. What drought? 2012 seems like a distant memory - as the House and Senate continue to duel over Sandy spending. The latest hurricane disaster bill in the House contains no help for farmers and ranchers still suffering from one of the worst droughts in decades. American Farm Bureau Deputy Director Dale Moore…

    Drought Amnesia

  • Calculation of Farm Bill Funding

    Posted by Rick Shields

    The extension of the 2008 Farm Bill last week for the rest of this fiscal year preserves the once-threatened budget baseline for writing a new bill. But a bigger budget threat still looms. The mighty budget baseline - whose annual readjustment was once the greater fear of ag lawmakers if 2012 Farm Bill work spilled into this year - is no longer the big threat. American Farm Bureau Senior Economist Bob Young on the Congressional Budget Office calculation of available farm bill funding

    Calculation of Farm Bill Spending

  • They Just Don't Get It

    Posted by Rick Shields

    : American Farm Bureau Federation says the Washington Post and other big city newspapers just don’t get it when it comes to farm subsidies. Executive Director Mark Maslyn argues farm subsidies are not just about farmers - they’re about consumers and stable prices. Maslyn responded to a Washington Post opinion piece by Robert Samuelson - who argued for an end to subsidies…

    They Just Don't Get It

  • NCGA on Where Things Stand

    Posted by Rick Shields

     While an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill is better than nothing - the National Corn Growers Association is extremely disappointed a new five-year farm bill was not passed. NCGA President Pam Johnson says many people worked hard during the past year to get concepts and reforms for the next five years and a comprehensive bill. Johnson says with this extension - the agriculture industry will soon be back in the same place as it was September 30th of last year…

    NCGA on Where Things Stand

  • Reaching a Conservation Dialogue

    Posted by Rick Shields

    The United States is locked in partisanship and it’s very hard to reach across the aisle and find common sense solutions - especially for conservation - according to former Secretary of Interior Gale Norton. That is why she has joined the Conservation Leadership Council - an organization committed to addressing the nation’s environmental challenges through the application of conservative principles, policies and approaches. The CLC is unveiling a set of important policy papers that offer private-public partnership solutions for conservation at an event this week in Washington, D.C.

    Norton says the CLC doesn’t want big government solutions - rather ideas that can appeal across the board - based on fiscal responsibility, limited government, market entrepreneurship, community leadership and public-private partnerships.

    Unfortunately - according to Norton - the U.S. has not been applying the expertise that made America great to the challenges of environmental protection…

    Reaching a Conservation Dialogue

  • Stabenow on the Next Cliff

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says there’s no way around the budget impacts of a second fiscal cliff in late February and march - while top House Ag Democrat Collin Peterson sees no reason to even redo the farm bill without a leadership guarantee of floor time.

    A fool’s errand is how Peterson describes sitting down again to write a House Ag Committee farm bill - if - as he writes Speaker John Boehner and GOP Leader Eric Cantor - they refuse to give any assurances a five-year farm bill will be considered. Peterson threatens a similar letter from all House Ag Democrats once they’re seated - and tells Boehner and Cantor point blank if their goal is to simply extend the 2008 Farm Bill year after year without making any effort at reform - he will certainly accommodate them.

    Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says there’s no way around a second fiscal cliff in late February and March…

    Stabenow on the Next Cliff