The ‘big two’ U.S. ag groups differ on House farm bill, SNAP overhaul

The National Farmers Union said it opposes the Republican-written farm bill awaiting a vote in the House. The American Farm Bureau Federation, for its part, said the partisan split over the bill was not an insurmountable barrier to passing a new farm and public nutrition law this year.

Navigating SNAP presents special challenges for the mentally ill

In the third installment of a five-part investigation into SNAP, Harvest Public Media explores how work requirements, the recertification process, and shame can prevent people with mental illness from accessing crucial nutrition services.

USDA fills two vacancies on organics board

As the National Organic Standards Board opened its semi-annual meeting this week, the USDA announced two appointments to the group’s 15-member board.

Popular U.S. produce helps hold down food inflation

Lower prices for tomatoes, potatoes, and apples — three of the four most popular fruits and vegetables sold in America — are helping to hold down food price inflation, according to a government forecast.

Today’s quick hits, April 26, 2018

Grocers yearn for higher prices (Bloomberg): Traditional grocery retailers are struggling to raise prices, facing both online competition from Amazon and Walmart and brick-and-mortar competition from lower-cost chains like Aldi and Lidl. China halts soybean imports (Reuters): Amid the ongoing …

Step by step, seeking a bipartisan farm bill in the Senate

Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee said they are working on a bipartisan farm bill, in contrast to the Republican-written bill awaiting a vote in the House, but offered no suggestion on Tuesday as to when it will be ready. A month ago, Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts warned Congress must move briskly on a bill this spring or forfeit passage this year.

Senators protest using farmers as pawns in China-U.S. trade battle

The White House ought to be expanding agriculture export markets rather than disrupting relations with leading trade partners, said farm-state senators during a hearing with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Tuesday. Sales to the three largest export markets—China, Canada and Mexico—are at …

Perdue hits one-year mark at USDA as ethanol warrior

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue celebrated his first year in office by testifying at a Senate hearing on the rural economy on Tuesday, where he said he would defend the ethanol mandate. "We are very concerned about the waivers" that EPA has granted to some refiners from having to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard," said Perdue. "We believe that is adequate compensation for the RIN prices."

Today’s quick hits, April 25, 2018

Global wine inventory falls (Reuters): The world’s wine output fell to its lowest level since 1957 last year, after harsh weather in the European Union caused production there to fall nearly 15 percent. Confusion around SNAP work requirements (Harvest Public Media): GOP policymakers want …