Farm Bill Negotiators Facing Tight Budget

Farm bill negotiators are facing the task of addressing farmers and ranchers needs with a tight budget. The Senate Agriculture Committee held a farm bill field hearing at Kansas State University Thursday. Kansas Senator committee chairman Pat Roberts said they will be dealing with a tight budget this year…

“Farmers and ranchers are boot-strap people, they know that we have a $19 trillion debt, for goodness sakes, and we can’t even figure out how long that is.  And we’re going to be under a very tight budget, I don’t know where we can expand in a certain area and then get it paid for from another area, that’s very, very difficult.  But, we’ll do our very best.”          

The policies put in place by the 2014 farm bill included $23 billion in cuts, but will save an additional $80 billion, particularly from the nutrition bill.

Some Brazil Soybeans Very Muddy

Brazil’s top soybean producing state, Mato Grosso, has soybean fields ready for harvest but are so muddy it’s difficult to walk through, let alone drive a combine through. A Bloomberg report says a week of persistent rainfall has caused some soybeans to begin fermenting. The beans are beginning to germinate in the pod. Ag forecaster AgroConsult organized a recent crop tour and found damage so bad that some farmers say they are getting paid a third of what they would have in a normal growing season. Mato Grosso is facing its wettest harvest in five years. Insect and weed problems have multiplied after the recent heavy rains, making soybeans more challenging to harvest and potentially adding transportation costs for farmers.

Dow/DuPont Deal on Track in E.U.; ChemChina/Syngenta Extended

A Dow Jones report says the Dow and DuPont merger looks good for regulatory approval from European Union regulators. People familiar with the deal say it looks to be on track because the companies offered to sell some of their businesses to ease antitrust concerns. The European Commission is the EU’s antitrust watchdog, and appears ready to approve the deal after the companies offered their remedies. However, people monitoring the deal also say the decision is not necessarily completed and some aspects of the deal could change. Another Dow Jones report says ChemChina extended its $43 billion offer for Syngenta to April 28th as it still looks for regulatory approval of the merger.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.