USDA streamlines disaster process with lower emergency loan rates and greater CRP flexibility

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced July 11 a package of program improvements that will deliver faster and more flexible assistance to farmers and ranchers devastated by natural disasters. Vilsack announced 3 significant improvements to decades-old USDA programs and processes related to secretarial disaster designations. Read more…

House tees up farm bill in committee

The House Agriculture Committee starts work Wednesday on a $900 billion farm bill that faces plenty of hurdles in the lower chamber. Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas said Tuesday afternoon that fewer amendments than expected had been filed to the bill that represents a compromise between himself and ranking member Collin Peterson. Read more…

Renewable fuel standard hits political divide at energy hearing

The renewable fuel standard (RFS) for transportation fuel is becoming another proxy battleground between Republicans and Democrats in the renewable energy debate, as the parties demonstrated Tuesday during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing. Read more…

Drought forcing ranchers to Plan B

The hottest year on record and the worst drought in a generation has ranchers across America switching to Plan B – early weaning, culling, feeding hay or shipping cattle early. Some ranchers in areas hardest hit by drought are forced to sell their entire herds. Read more…

Texas crop, weather, 7-10-12

Texas grain sorghum plantings are up by about 750,000 acres over last year due to several factors: grain sorghum prices, which are tied to corn, remain strong. Also, the drought of 2011 reminded some that corn has more risk involved than sorghum. Sorghum yields across Texas are expected to be fairly good, according to experts. Read more…