USDA expects storm-related planting claims to top $1 billion

The USDA expects storm-ravaged farmers to file more than $1 billion in prevented-planting claims for fields they could not plant this year due to heavy rains and flooding, according to press reports.

U.S. corn crop could be smallest since 2012 drought

Based on surveys conducted ahead of USDA reports due for release today, analysts say corn plantings will total 86.7 to 87 million acres after a rainy and cold spring. That would be well below the 92.8 million acres that farmers had planned to seed.

Put USDA in charge of gene-edited livestock, says hog industry

The U.S. hog industry is going to the White House in its campaign for the USDA to supplant FDA as the federal regulator of gene-edited food animals, leaders said on Tuesday. The industry says American preeminence in science and agricultural exports will suffer if gene-edited advances such as …

House passes spending bill, including amendment to delay hog slaughter rule

The House passed a $383 billion spending package Tuesday, including an amendment that would delay a USDA proposed rule to shift more of the responsibility for hog inspections to companies. Under the amendment, which is co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. DeLauro of Connecticut and Price of …

Supreme Court rules SNAP sales data are confidential

A solid majority of the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that SNAP sales data at the store level are confidential and outside of the reach of public-records laws. The Argus Leader newspaper fought for access to the information for eight years on grounds that taxpayers deserved to know how and where the largest U.S. anti-hunger program spends more than $65 billion a year.

Trump tariff payments may prop up financially weak farms

The past five years, since the collapse of the commodity boom, “has resulted in a massive drain of farm sector liquidity” and working capital is critically low, said economist Brent Gloy on Monday. The new round of up to $14.5 billion in trade mitigation payments promised by …

USDA keeps its mouth shut about climate research

Since President Trump took office, the USDA "has refused to publicize dozens of government-funded studies that carry warnings about the effects of climate change," reports Politico on Sunday. In a lengthy piece, it said at least 45 studies produced by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) did not receive any promotion, including a groundbreaking report that rice loses its vitamins in a carbon-rich atmosphere.

After undercover investigation alleges abuse, lamb producer agrees to better oversight

Superior Farms, a unit of the country’s largest lamb producer, agreed to change its slaughter practices after an undercover investigation appeared to show inhumane animal treatment at one of its slaughterhouses.

More changes in store as USDA assesses wet planting season

The USDA took a 9 percent whack out of its projected U.S. corn harvest last week and economist David Widmar said on Monday that more adjustments will be forthcoming due to a remarkably rainy and prolonged planting season in the Farm Belt. "The implications of the slow, wet spring will take a while to be fully realized," wrote Widmar at the Agricultural Economic Insights blog.