Wrap up on Senate farm bill amendment votes

The Senate pushed on Tuesday evening on amendments, including a vote to require a study on determining the feasibility of offering crop-insurance policies that provide coverage for specialty crops involving food-safety issues. An amendment primarily to restore $4.5 billion in funding for food-stamp benefits also failed. Read more…

Senate begins votes on farm bill amendments, rejects proposal to trim food stamp program

The Senate on Tuesday began plowing through 73 amendments to a $500 billion bill that will set farm policy and fund the food stamp program over the next five years. One of its first votes was to reject a proposal to trim food stamp spending. Among the amendments that will be considered are those dealing with putting caps on crop insurance subsidies, and proposals dealing with the sugar growers’ protection program, maple syrup, catfish and aerial surveillance of farmland. Read more…

U.S. pasture and range conditions withering rapidly

Today marks the first day of summer, but pasture and range conditions on many ranches resemble those usually prevalent during late summer. If the spring of 2012 came early to cattle country, so has the summer of 2012. Winter and spring precipitation eased drought conditions in many regions, but hot, dry weather throughout late spring has rapidly eroded grazing prospects and has corn growers nervous. Read more…

Texas comptroller urges amendment to the Federal Endangered Species Act

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs today urged a federal committee on Natural Resources to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and she provided recommendations to make the process more science-based, cost effective and transparent. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, June 19, 2012

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to vegetable and melon production in the Winter Garden area of Southwest Texas. Conditions varied widely in the rest of the state and parts of North and East Texas were in excellent to good shape, with rains filling stock tanks and promoting crop growth. Read more…