Trade disputes could hatch a ‘Trump tariff payment’ to farmers

Farmers are worried about foreign retaliation to U.S. trade sanctions, said the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, suggesting that Congress may have to create a “special payment due to retaliation.”

Roberts: Pass a bipartisan farm bill before summer or risk extension of 2014 law

The leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee have ruled out major changes in the food stamp program, effectively rejecting big cuts to the program before House Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway can write them into his committee’s version of the farm bill. (No paywall)

Roberts aims for farm bill mark-up in April

The Senate Agriculture Committee will draft its version of the 2018 farm bill in April if chairman Pat Roberts’ plans hold up. Roberts discussed the timeline for the bill, but not its contents, at a child nutrition luncheon.

Invest in ag research, end farm subsidies and insurance, free market group says

Congress can save billions of dollars a year on the 2018 farm bill by axing crop subsidies, crop insurance and many conservation programs, says the free market American Enterprise Institute in reports issued today. Some of the money "should be re-allocated to programs that do provide U.S. households with genuine positive benefits," such as agricultural research, and the rest of the $16 billion a year "could be re-allocated to other uses, including lower tax rates," says AEI.

Roberts rips states for ‘cheating and gaming’ to win food stamp bonuses

The government cannot be sure that food stamp money is dispensed properly because states obscured their payment errors in pursuit of USDA bonuses for efficient operations, said Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts. "Simply put, no one knows the error rate of (food stamps) and that is unacceptable," said Roberts.

Child nutrition bill runs out of time, Roberts blames Democrats and House

A Congressional overhaul of child nutrition programs that cost $22 billion a year is dead, said Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts, who blamed Senate Democrats and objections from the House. House and Senate committees took sharply different directions with their bills; neither chamber voted on a bill during the congressional session that is in its final days.

Three sectors to watch in general-election results

The 2016 general election can be split into sectors of interest for food and agriculture issues: state referendums on agricultural issues; four municipal referendums on soda taxes, and three House races in which the food movement targeted Republican incumbents.

Two CFTC nominees cleared for Senate vote

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved the nominations of Christopher Brummer and Brian Quintenz as commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the regulator of the commodities markets. The Senate is to meet today before taking a break ahead of the Nov. 8 general …

Uncertain future for GMO-disclosure bill when Senate votes

After the showdown vote scheduled for Wednesday in the Senate, the outlook for a GMO-disclosure bill may darken. The Senate bill, which preempts state GMO food-labeling laws along with allowing foodmakers to use a symbol, a digital code or wording on a package to disclose GMO ingredients, has few friends in the House, which has voted against mandatory labeling.