Lawmakers grumble about being left in the dark on USDA climate-smart projects
The Biden administration bypassed lawmakers when it tripled the size of its climate-smart commodities initiative and may face congressional investigations and stricter limits on USDA spending as a consequence, said two farm policy consultants on Wednesday. “I think there will be an attempt to interject the Congress into the CCC process because of what’s happened,” said Colin Peterson, former chair of the House Agriculture Committee.
Climate mitigation is actually agricultural market development, says Vilsack
The USDA will put a "significant" amount of money into large-scale pilot projects of climate-smart agricultural practices to create new markets for sustainably produced products, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday. In announcing the initiative, which would go into effect next year, he painted dollar signs on his picture of climate mitigation.
Fairness in cattle markets will be a top priority, says Hipp
Agricultural law expert Janie Hipp promised on Thursday to be "a big voice at the interdepartmental table" in dealing with cattle prices and biofuels if she is confirmed by the Senate to lead the USDA's legal shop. "I commit to you that I will get on this [cattle price transparency] as one of my very, very top priorities."
Vilsack says a carbon bank fits into USDA’s portfolio
The USDA has the authority to create a so-called carbon bank to encourage climate mitigation on the farm, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday, but he is waiting for farmers’ ideas on how the bank should operate. Speaking at a farm conference, Vilsack said he was open to an increase …
‘We don’t have a day to waste’ on climate mitigation, says Vilsack
U.S. agriculture faces a triple imperative — market, environment, and income — in responding to climate change, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday, his first day on the job. "We don't have a day to waste on this," he told reporters while indicating that the USDA will move at deliberate speed to identify and support successful mitigation practices.
The template for climate mitigation is soil conservation, says farm-enviro alliance
The new era of climate mitigation on the farm would look like a beefed-up version of longstanding USDA conservation programs, augmented by a carbon bank that sets a floor price for carbon sequestration and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, said leaders of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance on Wednesday.
USDA seeks ways to ‘de-risk’ climate mitigation, says Bonnie
Farmers face significant expenses in adopting climate mitigation practices, and the Biden administration is pondering how to "de-risk those investments," possibly through a so-called carbon bank, said USDA climate adviser Robert Bonnie on Thursday. "Can we look at some new authorities to create some new financing mechanisms?"
Voluntary mitigation is agriculture’s preference on climate change
The incoming chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee said she will pursue "voluntary, producer-led" solutions, such as carbon markets, for agriculture's contribution to fighting climate change, with the USDA providing expert advice to producers. Sen. Debbie Stabenow also said the USDA could need additional funding to pay for climate change programs.
Trump announces $13 billion in additional coronavirus aid to farmers
During a re-election rally in rural Wisconsin on Thursday, President Trump announced an additional $13 billion in coronavirus relief for U.S. farmers and ranchers, more than doubling assistance to the sector. The money will be available beginning next week, said the president.
Farm groups ask for billions more in coronavirus aid
Although the USDA has distributed only 9 percent of the $16 billion in coronavirus aid earmarked for agriculture, three farm and ranch groups asked lawmakers for more on Wednesday. The American Farm Bureau Federation sent a five-page wish list to Congress that included a $38 billion increase in USDA spending power and a guarantee that undocumented farmworkers will not be targeted by immigration agents during the pandemic. (No paywall)
Coronavirus relief will include cash payments to farmers, says Perdue
The Trump administration will send billions of dollars in cash to farmers and ranchers to offset low prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and it will buy goods to assure there are no gaps in the food supply, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday night. (No paywall)
Smaller pot of money for coronavirus relief, says Perdue
The USDA is working with a smaller amount of money for coronavirus relief than is commonly believed, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday. He indicated the agency has $15.5 billion at its disposal — two-thirds of the figure that has been widely cited. (No paywall)
As Congress earmarks aid for ag, farm groups say more may be needed
Farmers and ranchers would see $23.5 billion in aid under the coronavirus bill agreed on by the Senate and the Trump administration on Wednesday. The two largest U.S. farm groups welcomed the aid but said more may be needed to survive the looming economic slowdown. (No paywall)
As Senate passes USMCA, Trump tells farmers to remember the trade war money
As President Trump scored his second trade victory in two days, Senate approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, he asked farmers on Thursday to remember the billions of dollars they had received in trade war payments.
Stopgap funding bill includes money for Trump tariff payments
As expected, House Democrats included funding for trade war payments to farmers and ranchers in a stopgap funding bill, released Wednesday, to keep the government running until Nov. 21.