After months of speculation that action would be delayed until 2017, food and agriculture groups are pushing for a vote this year.
The eight major crops account for the bulk of plantings, but farmers are saying they'll plant 2.5% less acres than they did in 2014.
Nearly half of the wheat planted around the world is derived from varieties developed by CIMMYT and other members of an international research consortium.
The 2018 farm bill is just over the horizon – field hearings could start next winter, maybe earlier if commodity prices are frozen at low levels – and the farm bill coalition is linking its arms in readiness. In an exercise that doubled as a warm-up for the new farm bill, the informal alliance united to protect USDA programs from budget cuts this spring, even in programs outside its usual area of interest. As a result, the American Soybean Association (ASA) defended the food stamp program against a proposed 20% cut in funding.
China’s huge corn stockpile – half the world supply – is a global headache.
Organic and GE farming systems already collide, and conflicts are sure to worsen as more GE crops are approved for cultivation, says a new USDA study.
Agricultural consolidation, under way for eight decades, is putting a seemingly ever-larger portion of U.S. farmland into the hands of large-scale operators.
The two biggest U.S. competitors for soybean sales on the world market, Brazil and Argentina, are making inroads in the corn market.
The government will write $25.6 billion in farm-support checks for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 crops, and 55% of the money will go to corn and soybean growers, says the Congressional Budget Office. The payments are far larger than expected when the 2014 farm law was written and reflect the prolonged slump in commodity prices.
The big plunge is over for farm income, which may slip by 2% or 3% this year. That is mild compared with the cumulative 56% drop in 2014 and 2015. USDA forecasts net farm income (a measure of wealth) at $54.8 billion this year. It would be the lowest income figure since 2002.