Here are a few news stories brought to our attention by the National Farmers Union:
New Farm Bill in a Matter of Months?
Dairy Herd Network
If dramatic spending cuts are made in Washington, D.C., the House Agriculture Committee could be forced to draft and pass a 2012 Farm Bill in a matter of months. That’s what House Ag Committee Chair Frank Lucas told AgriTalk radio host Mike Adams on Wednesday. Given a choice, Lucas said he would like to write the 2012 Farm Bill next summer. But he may not have a choice in the matter. If cuts are more immediate, “we’ll have to cinch up our belts, get ready to go, and do what we have to do,” he says. It depends on what emerges from the deficit-reduction negotiations now under way in the nation’s capital.
Dairy Co-ops like latest Congressional proposal; NFU says it needs work
Watertown Daily Times
The odds of passing significant changes in dairy policy before the 2012 Farm Bill appeared to take a hit when the National Farmers Union this week said it won’t support a proposal by Rep. Collin C. Peterson that resembles a plan from dairy farmer cooperatives.“The current proposal would not provide a safety net for all dairy farmers, particularly family-sized operators,” said the president of the NFU, Roger Johnson, in a statement. “A fundamental problem with this proposal is that it appears that the largest farmers will reap the greatest benefits at the expense of smaller family farms.”
Ethanol Industry Torn Over Losing Subsidy Billions
National Public Radio
The federal government pays oil companies about $6 billion a year to blend ethanol into your gasoline; it’s been subsidizing ethanol for 33 years now. But any agreement in Washington, D.C., to raise the debt ceiling will most likely include a plan to cut off that subsidy. And after all these years, many in the ethanol industry say they don’t really care.
The end of the subsidy — and the mixed reaction to that idea — reveals how the world of corn ethanol has changed dramatically.
USDA Meteorologist Warns of Heat, Crop Damage
Des Moines Register
U.S. Department of Agriculture meteorologist Brad Rippey is warning of new heat waves later this month and into August.
“As we move ahead into next week and the latter part of July it does appear that the heatwave will reload across the south central U.S. and we may see a second or even a third push of these hot, humid conditions across the Midwest in late July and early August,” Rippey said.
He added, “again, it’s very untimely for silking corn, for blooming soybeans and it’s not something we wanted to see especially after a cool, wet spring that may have limited root development in some areas of the Midwest.”
The possibility of reduced yields is a concern to grain markets because domestic stocks of corn and soybeans are at 15-year lows.