Archive for July 2009

House Subcommittee Approves Rail Antitrust Legislation

July 31, 2009

The Courts and Competition Policies Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee approved the Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 233) by voice vote on Thursday.

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Senate Begins Debate on Ag Approps; Vote Set for Monday

July 31, 2009

The Senate began debate Thursday evening on the FY2010 agriculture appropriations bill, and votes on the bill will begin Monday.

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House Passes Food Safety Bill With Grain Farm Exemption

July 31, 2009

The House approved food safety legislation this week that will dramatically expand Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over all aspects of the food system, but largely exempts grain operations from overly broad records access and traceability standards.

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USDA Releases Preliminary Analysis of Climate Bill

July 24, 2009

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told Senators and the agriculture community this week that USDA analysis shows the economic benefits to agriculture from pending climate change legislation will likely outweigh costs in the short term and will “easily outpace” increased input costs over the long term.

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Word on Wheat: Climate Issue Shows It’s Vital to Be Involved

July 24, 2009

It is the middle of summer and, after a very wet spring, the transition to a scorcher was quick in the Pacific Northwest. For those Idaho farmers able to beat the prevented planting date, the wheat crop from our northern border with Canada to the Wyoming state line looks good.

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Bayer Announces Partnership With CSIRO on Wheat

July 24, 2009

Bayer CropScience announced this week that it is expanding its seeds and traits business to include wheat and, to that end, recently formalized a long-term partnership with CSIRO, Australia’s national research organization and a leading wheat researcher.

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Ag Hearing Looks at Food Safety in Light of Pending Bill

July 17, 2009

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said at a hearing this week that he would seek to hold up a pending food safety bill if burdensome regulations affecting on-farm production are not changed.

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Colombian Wheat Users Talk to Officials on Impact of FTA

July 17, 2009

Colombian wheat buyers and millers told the media, Obama Administration and Hill offices this week that U.S. wheat sales to their country would likely drop by more than 50 percent if a pending free trade agreement isn’t ratified soon.

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Monsanto Buys Company to Reenter Wheat Breeding

July 17, 2009

Monsanto announced this week that it has acquired WestBred, a Bozeman, Mont.-based company with extensive wheat germplasm assets, and will restart the process of eventually bringing biotech capabilities to the wheat market.

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Wheat Industry Statement Following Monsanto Wheat Research Announcement

July 14, 2009

Wheat industry statement on Monsanto’s July 14 announcement regarding wheat research: “The U.S. wheat industry welcomes the announcement today by Monsanto that it will restart its investment in research on development of biotechnology traits in wheat. “The research challenges facing wheat are well known, as is the importance of this crop to world food supplies. […]

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House Adds Food Safety Hearing to the Schedule

July 10, 2009

The House Agriculture Committee has scheduled a hearing next week to examine food safety issues in the wake of a pending bill that could have wide-ranging effects on even low-risk commodity production.

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Word on Wheat: Looks Like It Might Be a Long Five Years

July 10, 2009

This spring I was selected as NAWG’s new secretary-treasurer, meaning, barring some unforeseen circumstance, I will be a NAWG officer for the next five years. It’s a commitment I’m excited to undertake, and, as you can imagine, I’ve spent some time daydreaming about the issues that might be before us.

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Both Chambers Move on Approps, Include Cuba Change

July 10, 2009

The appropriations process made strides in both chambers this week as Members aim to have all 12 bills finalized by the end of the federal government’s fiscal year, Sept. 30 – a rarity in recent years.

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Hearings Set on Climate Change; Mark-Up Delayed

July 9, 2009

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and three other cabinet-level members of the Obama Administration testified before the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee this week on pending climate change legislation.

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Sixth Circuit Court Denies Ag Groups Request for Rehearing

July 7, 2009

The Sixth Circuit Court denied this week an agriculture coalition request for rehearing of a decision concluding pesticide discharge is a point source of pollution subject to additional regulation and permitting under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

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NASS Says 2009 Wheat Acres Down 5 Percent from 2008

July 2, 2009

A plantings report issued by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) this week showed all wheat area is estimated to be down 5 percent in 2009 from 2008.

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Op-Ed: Why NAWG Supports Climate Change Legislation

July 2, 2009

Though not an easy decision, the National Association of Wheat Growers supported passage of climate legislation approved by the House of Representatives in late June. This is a controversial position on a controversial issue, but one we feel was made with a sense of practicality and inevitability.

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White House Kicks Off Rural Tour; USDA Blogging It

July 2, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski in Erie, Penn., this week to announced funding for broadband initiatives and kick off the first stop of an Obama Administration “rural tour”.

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