The Senate Ag Committee heard testimony last week from several economists on the challenges that currently exist in farm country. The Hagstrom Report says Republican Ag Chair Pat Roberts of Kansas and Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan both came to the same conclusion: no more cuts for farm bill programs. Roberts said between the savings from the last farm bill and the Ag Department’s crop insurance negotiation, “everyone on this committee thinks agriculture has already given at the store.”
Senate Passes Bill to Address Potential Agro-Terrorism
The U.S. Senate passed legislation designed to address the potential threat of agro-terrorism and keep the American food supply safe. Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts co-sponsored the legislation in the Senate and says an attack on the nation’s food supply would cause irreparable damage. House Republican Dan Donovan introduced similar legislation in the House.
Perdue Echoes Vilsack on Cottonseed Declaration
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue echoed his predecessor, telling House lawmakers the Department of Agriculture does not have the authority to declare cottonseed as an oilseed. Perdue carried the same message former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered to lawmakers on the issue, as advised by USDA lawyers. The National Cotton Council and Southern members of Congress have asked both Vilsack and Perdue to declare cottonseed an oilseed so that it would be eligible for oilseed subsidies.
USTR Requesting Comment on NAFTA Re-negotiation
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has published in the Federal Register a request for comments on negotiating objectives for modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.
A hearing will be held on June 27 at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington. Those who want to testify at the hearing must provide written notification and a summary of the testimony by June 12. Written comments also are due by June 12.