‘Big pile of money’ for farmers could backfire in Congress

The Trump administration enabled multimillion-dollar payments to some large operators in this year’s round of trade war payments by obliterating the usual limits on farm subsidies, said the president of the National Farmers Union on Thursday.

In Farm Belt, objections mount to ‘endless tariff war’

In a sign that their patience is waning, soybean leaders called for talks, not tariffs, in the Sino-U.S. trade war. “With depressed prices and unsold stocks expected to double by the 2019 harvest, soybean farmers are not willing to be collateral damage in an endless tariff war,” …

Stronger safety net needed, says second-largest U.S. farm group

Many farmers "are struggling to stay afloat" because of the trade war and persistently low commodity prices, said the National Farmers Union board on Tuesday, calling on Congress and the White House to strengthen the federal safety net. Separately, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) said another multibillion-dollar round of Trump tariff payments may be needed.

NFU opposes USDA plan to relocate research agencies

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue may jeopardize the objectivity of two USDA agencies by taking control of the Economic Research Service and moving it and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) out of Washington, said the National Farmers Union on Tuesday. The second-largest U.S. farm group announced its opposition to the reorganization in a letter to Perdue, saying the USDA has failed to justify the reorganization announced a month ago.

Perdue addresses farmer fly-in, talks trade and SNAP work requirements

In a 15-minute address to hundreds of members of the National Farmers Union, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue emphasized the need for a strong farm safety net and diverse trade partners for U.S. agricultural producers.

U.S. farm group would support supply management in NAFTA

Agriculture amounts to a small part of NAFTA trade volume but it is a major sticking point for U.S. and Canadian negotiators who are scheduled to resume negotiations on the new NAFTA on Wednesday. The second-largest U.S. farm group said the White House ought to adopt the dairy supply management system that it reportedly is trying to eliminate in Canada and reinstate country-of-origin labeling on beef.

In Ohio, ranchers say beef checkoff program flouts prohibition on lobbying

A new report by the Organization for Competitive Markets, an agricultural antitrust and trade policy research group, and the Ohio Farmers Union suggests that the relationship between the Ohio beef checkoff program and the state Cattlemen’s Association may be cozier than the law permits. (No paywall)

Tax cuts may come back to bite farm subsidies, says NFU

The second-largest U.S. farm group says the mammoth tax cut now pending in Congress could force cuts in farm subsidies, or possibly wipe them out, because of "pay-as-you-go" law.  "That would be a disastrous trade," said president Roger Johnson of the National Farmers Union, taking a more skeptical view than many farm leaders of the impact of the proposed $1.5 trillion in cuts and associated changes to tax brackets and deductions.

Farm groups oppose end to USDA’s rural development office

Fearing the demotion of rural economic concerns and harm to their communities, rural and farm groups urged leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to oppose the USDA’s plan to eliminate the Office of Under Secretary for Rural Development.

NFU backs land-idling payments when crop prices are low

The 2018 farm bill should guarantee payments to farmers "to reduce acreage when prices fall below the cost of production," says the second-largest U.S. farm group, the National Farmers Union. At the NFU's annual meeting in San Diego, 136 delegates from 33 states approved a special order for a farm bill to help farmers and ranchers that responds to the dramatic reduction in commodity and livestock prices since 2013.