Former Ag chairman Conaway, farm subsidy defender and SNAP skeptic, will retire
Staunch conservative Michael Conaway, an eight-term Republican from west Texas and the most divisive House Agriculture chairman in decades, said on Wednesday that he will retire at the end of 2020.
With Costco chicken plant set to open, Nebraskans want more oversight of poultry farms
The arrival of a Costco chicken processing plant in Fremont, Nebraska, spurred the introduction of the state’s first industrial chicken farms in 2018. With the plant set to begin operations after Labor Day, some residents are pushing for stronger — or any — oversight of large poultry farms in the state.
China says, again, that it will buy more U.S. farm goods
During the second day of trade talks in Shanghai, Chinese officials “confirmed their commitment to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural exports,” said the White House on Wednesday. “The U.S. side agreed to create favorable conditions for it,” said a Chinese editor believed to have contacts in the government.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Senators push USDA on packer rulemaking (Ag Insider): Several U.S. senators wrote a letter to the USDA offering suggestions for how the agency should write its farmer protection rules under the Packers & Stockyards Act, which is expected to be released in the coming month.
A bumper crop of solar panels? (Los Angeles Times): In California’s San Joaquin Valley, farmers could soon be planting solar panels among almond groves and saltbush scrub to help meet the state’s climate change goals and to offset laws that may restrict pumping groundwater for irrigation.
High hopes for hemp (Kansas City Star): More than 200 growers will harvest hemp in Kansas this year as part of a heavily regulated research project; most are novices looking for a new cash crop in the cutthroat world of commodities.
Ag a centerpiece for Ryan (New York Times): Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, hoping to stand out in a crowded field of candidates, “has made agriculture and food policy a centerpiece of his presidential campaign.”
To sell more, realign the dollar (NFU): An adjustment of the value of the dollar, via a market access charge on foreign investment, “would help restore prosperity to rural America” by making farm exports more competitive, said the second-largest U.S. farm group.
Pushing a lawsuit over EPA waivers (Growth Energy): A coalition of farm groups and biofuel makers asked the U.S. Court of Appeals to restart proceedings in their lawsuit to force the EPA to account for “hardship” waivers when it sets percentage targets for mixing biofuels into gasoline.