Summer is near but farm bill may be months away – June 5, 2023

Summer is near but farm bill may be months away

The Senate and House Agriculture committees are weeks or even months away from drafting the 2023 farm bill, a remarkably late start for what is always a detailed and time-consuming process. The new farm bill would be the most expensive ever and is likely to be completed after the Sept. 30 expiration of the current farm law, if recent history is a guide.

What the Supreme Court’s ruling means for the future of U.S. wetlands

Late last month, a narrow Supreme Court decision altered the way wetlands in the country are protected under federal law. In the Court’s decision, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that a wetland must have “a continuous surface connection” with a navigable waterway to earn protection under the Clean Water Act. Mark Squillace, professor of Natural Resources Law at the University of Colorado Law School, spoke with Ag Insider about the impact of the court’s decision.

U.S. ratchets up corn dispute with Mexico

The Biden administration asked for USMCA consultations with Mexico over its ban on imports of GMO corn for human consumption, the last step before filing a trade complaint in the long-running dispute.


New food-agency ambassador: President Biden tapped Jeffrey Prescott, a high-level State Department official, to serve as U.S. ambassador to the UN agencies for food and agriculture in Rome. (White House)

Food index decline: The FAO Food Price Index fell 2.6 percent in May — the 11th monthly decline in the past year — due to “significant drops” in prices for vegetable oils, cereals, and dairy. (Food and Agriculture Organization)

USDA closes research building: Following employee complaints about working conditions, the Agricultural Research Service said it would close temporarily to repair a lab at its flagship Beltsville Agricultural Research Center that was damaged by flooding. (Reuters)

Prop 12 transition period: California agriculture officials said they would allow a transition period, through the end of the year, for food distributors and retailers to clear their freezers of pork that was not produced with housing that meets Proposition 12 standards. (CDFA)


Agriculture Undersecretary Alexis Taylor leads trade mission to Japan, through Thursday. Japan, the fourth-largest market for ag exports, is forecast by USDA to purchase $12 billion of U.S. food and agriculture products this fiscal year.
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization holds its international convention, through Thursday, in Boston. FDA commissioner Robert Califf is to address the convention on Wednesday.
USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.
House Committee on Education and the Workforce votes on HR 1147, “Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act,” 10:15 a.m. ET, 2175 Rayburn. House Agriculture chairman Glenn Thompson is the sponsor of HR 1147, a one-page bill “to allow schools that participate in the school lunch program … to serve whole milk.” At present, schools must offer fat-free and/or low-fat unflavored milk and have the option to offer fat-free or low-fat flavored milk.
House Agriculture Committee hearing, “The future of digital assets: Providing clarity for digital asset spot markets,” 10 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth.
Purdue University releases the monthly Ag Economy Barometer, which provides a sense of the agricultural economy’s health.
House Agriculture Committee hearing, “Innovation, employment, integrity and health: Opportunities for modernization in Title IV,” 10 a.m. ET, 1300 Longworth. Title IV is devoted to public nutrition programs, predominantly SNAP.
Senate Budget Committee hearing, “Cultivating stewardship: Examining the changing agricultural landscape,” 10 a.m. ET, 608 Dirksen.
Senate Agriculture subcommittee hearing, “Horticulture title: How the farm bill works for specialty crop producers,” 10 a.m. ET, 328A Russell.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development releases its annual Economic Outlook, containing analysis and projections for the world economy, Paris.
The National Pork Producers Council holds World Pork Expo, through Friday, Des Moines. The NPPC says the expo is “the world’s largest pork industry-specific trade show.”
Livestock Marketing Association holds annual convention, through Saturday, Punta Gorda, Florida. The convention includes the world livestock auctioneer championship.
House Small Business subcommittee hearing, Disconnected: Rural broadband and the business case for small carriers,” 10 a.m. ET, 2360 Rayburn. For details, click here.
USDA issues U.S. and Canadian Cattle and Sheep, and U.S. and Canadian Hogs reports, 3 p.m. ET.
USDA releases monthly Crop Production and WASDE reports, noon ET.
American Seed Trade Association holds ASTA Leadership Summit 2023, through June 14, Sacramento, California.

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