Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Latest Farm Bill News

Texas Farmers Union says there is not enough competition and proposes a 3 part fix:

The livestock Title would set standards for contracts, end use of mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts, and let the U.S. Department of Agriculture bring enforcement actions against poultry dealers. It also would require good faith bargaining between processors and farm groups and set up a special counsel to ensure better rulemaking and enforcement capabilities within USDA.

Captive supply reform would return market competition for livestock contracts by requiring contracts to have a fixed base price negotiated in an open, public market.

A packer ban would prohibit packers to own, feed, or control livestock intended for slaughter.
North Dakota says Farm bill needs sod protection:

North Dakota's most overlooked and undervalued natural resource is its remaining native prairie. Native prairie forms the backbone of the ranching industry in the state and provides significant benefits to wildlife and North Dakotans in recreational opportunities, such as hunting, hiking, bird watching and so forth.

However, this precious resource gets little press and is usually viewed as land waiting for a higher and better use. As a result of this attitude, North Dakota's prairie is disappearing. Recent USDA reports estimate that in North Dakota, 125,000 acres of native prairie were converted to cropland from 2002 to 2006. That equals 195 square miles or a one-mile-wide strip from Bismarck to Fargo. Clearly, one of this country's natural treasures is disappearing and Congress has an opportunity to protect these prairies in the 2007 farm bill.
Farm Bill Delay Likely (from Feedstuffs):

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin said today that Congress will seek a one-month extension of the 2002 farm bill, which expires on Sept. 30, and that there likely will be additional short-term extensions reaching into December. Meanwhile his plans for holding a committee "mark-up" to consider amendments appears to be slipping from next week until the week of Oct. 1. Harkin told reporters today the committee would consider the bill prior to the Senate's Columbus Day recess the week of Oct. 8. Mark-up dates "hopefully would be set very soon," he told reporters on a press call this morning. While Harkin said he plans to complete a farm bill during this session of Congress, but he didn't rule out the possibility there could be an extension of the 2002 bill or that the Senate could simply introduce the House bill and offer amendments to it during floor debate.

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