Judge Approves Settlement to Protect Farmers’ Privacy
The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council have closed the final chapter of their lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s release of farmer and rancher personal information. A federal judge has approved a settlement that secures the private, and oftentimes detailed information of thousands of livestock and poultry farmers in 36 states. The settlement agreement, reached with current EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, eliminates the need for a court order by spelling out exactly what information can remain in the spreadsheets released by the agency: only the city, county, zip code and permit status of an operation will be released.
Freeze Damage Reported in Southeastern States
USDA meteorologist, Brad Rippey, looks at some of the states and some of the crops impacted by a mid-March freeze event in the Southeast.
“Looking at some of the state reports that have come out, there certainly are some indications of damage to many, many crops. Looking through some of the quotes from the USDA/NASS reports, not surprisingly it looks like Georgia and South Carolina are some of the hardest hit, and also coming in from other reports in the southeast, indicating some producers just abandoning the winter wheat crop in terms of trying to harvest it for grain, and then just then moving to cutting it for forage.
Now, on the positive side, a big crop out of Georgia, onions, were largely unscathed by the cold.”
No Farm Bill Without SNAP
The Ranking member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition says there will be no farm bill without the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Democrat James McGovern of Massachusetts at the opening of a hearing titled The Next Farm Bill: The Future of SNAP, warned lawmakers, by saying “don’t even think of separating the nutrition title from the farm bill.” He said such a move would be a “huge mistake” and guaranteed there “will be no farm bill,” if the committee separates SNAP from the farm bill. Further, he wanted the House Agriculture Committee to not “screw around with the program.”