Free crop insurance of conservation requirements, farm groups say
Congress ought to sever the link between access to reduced-price crop insurance policies and the requirement to protect wetlands and highly erodible land, said the leaders of two major Minnesota farm groups on Monday. Federally subsidized crop insurance, now the largest U.S. farm support, is becoming the flash point in discussions about the 2023 farm bill.
Nut farmers expand crops as drought worsens in California
As California declared multiple drought emergencies and imposed mandatory water restrictions on its residents, the state’s almond farmers expanded their orchards by a remarkable 78 percent, according to new research by Food & Water Watch.
Antitrust settlement requires poultry processors to reform tournament system
Two large poultry processors agreed to guarantee a base payment to the farmers who raise their birds, a fundamental reform of the so-called tournament system that pits growers against each other for income, said the Justice Department on Monday. The reform was part of a proposed consent decree that would order the processors, Sanderson Farms and Wayne Farms, plus Cargill Inc., to pay $84.8 million in restitution for conspiring to hold down wages paid to processing plant workers.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Time dwindles for ag labor: Time is running short for the Senate to act on legislation to grant legal status to undocumented farmworkers and modernize the H-2A visa program with the midterm elections on the horizon. (Politico)
Reforestation on 4 million acres: The Forest Service has spent more than $100 million on reforestation of national forests this year and plans to plant more than 1 billion trees over the next decade, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. (USDA)
Feed the Future reauthorization: Leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee filed a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Feed the Future program and authorize $1.1 billion to improve food security, bolster smallholder and women farmers, and improve child nutrition. (House Foreign Affairs Republicans)
Drought scalds Italian rice: The rice paddies of northern Italy, which grow the rice used in risotto, are parched by the unrelenting hot and dry summer; the crop is forecast to be 30 percent smaller than usual. (Washington Post)