American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall praised Senate passage of the fiscal year 2020 Agriculture appropriations bill on Thursday. The bill had already been passed by the House and will be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature.
Duvall said the most important “wins” for farmers are:
-$1.5 billion in additional disaster aid will expand recovery efforts to those impacted by severe weather in 2018 and 2019.
-Full funding of the Farmer and Rancher Stress Assistance Network at $10 million will help those struggling to cope with a tough year in agriculture.
-$550 million in grant funding for the ReConnect program will help expand broadband access to historically underserved communities. This will allow people living in these underserved areas to utilize new technologies to reach customers, access precision agriculture technology and connect to communities worldwide.
-Retroactively extending the biodiesel tax credit to apply to 2018 and 2019 and extending it through 2022 will bring stability to producers after years of debate in Congress. Ten biodiesel plants have halted production since the $1-per-gallon credit expired in 2017.
-Delaying the requirement for implementation of electronic logging devices on livestock haulers through Sept. 30, 2020, will help safeguard the welfare of livestock during transportation.
Senators Mark First Anniversary of Farm Bill Signing
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., marked the first anniversary of President Donald Trump signing the 2018 farm bill today with a joint news release.
“With low prices and trade uncertainty, farmers and ranchers needed this farm bill, and I’m pleased we could provide a level of certainty and predictability,” said Roberts. “Once again, members of the Agriculture Committees put aside their differences and worked together to deliver for rural America. From protecting and strengthening crop insurance and agriculture research, to providing farmers in
distress with mental health resources and their herds with more protection from deadly disease outbreaks, this bill touches the lives of every American.”
“The historic investments we made in the 2018 bipartisan farm bill are already making a real difference in Michigan,” said Stabenow. “From expanding markets for our farmers, to investing in our small towns and rural communities, to protecting the Great Lakes – Michigan really is on every page.”
Watch Out for Romaine from Salinas
Government agencies continue to recommend that consumers eat no romaine lettuce from Salinas, Calif., as the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control continue their investigation of an outbreak of illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H
??? FDA – FDA continues to warn against eating romaine from Salinas; farm investigations continue
USDA seeks comments on EQIP, CSP changes
The Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is seeking comments on changes to the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to implement the 2018 farm bill.
-NRCS – Conservation Stewardship Program https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/…
-Federal Register – Environmental Quality Incentives Program https://www.govinfo.gov/…
-Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Interim Rule
Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at email@example.com
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