Farm Bill, SNAP, and Native American Agriculture, August 14, 2018

Farm bill negotiators prodded to resolve SNAP work rules

Farm bill negotiations

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With the Senate returning early from its August recess, a panorama of farm, conservation, ag retailer, insurer, lender and anti-hunger groups said on Monday that urban and rural America needs prompt passage of the 2018 farm bill.

California avoids the SNAP snafu engulfing farmers markets

California offers an example of how to avoid the electronic equipment snarl that threatens SNAP sales at 40 percent of farmers markets across the nation, says The New Food Economy. “Their method? Creating a system partially, if not fully independent of the federal system.”

Ranchers expand lawsuit against checkoff to 13 states

A group of independent ranchers has expanded its lawsuit against the federal beef checkoff to include 13 more states, arguing that the checkoff violates the First Amendment by requiring ranchers to fund the “private speech” of state beef councils.

Final fruit of USDA suit: A fund for American Indian agriculture

A landmark discrimination suit against the USDA resulted in tens of millions of dollars in payments directly to Native American farmers and ranchers for mistreatment. Now, $266 million left over from the 2011 settlement of the case will endow the Native American Agriculture Fund.


Glyphosate assailed around the world ( Following the California jury verdict against Monsanto, a global survey finds glyphosate is under challenge in Brazil and Argentina, facing a phase-out in France and enjoying a reprieve in Sri Lanka following an import ban in 2015.

Big swathes of distress’ in western Canada (Toronto Globe and Mail): Drought covers much of Canada’s western provinces, home to 80 percent of the country’s farmable land, forcing livestock producers to cull herds as feed shortages loom and field crops are parched.

Sales of toddler formula soar (Huffington Post): Toddler formula, marketed as a suppliment for children 9 months and older, is the fastest-growing sales category for formula makers globally, although nutrition experts say young children can get all the nutrients they need from solid foods.

At restaurants, ‘reasonably’ organic is okay for USDA (New York Times): Unlike growers who have to be certified as organic producers, restaurants can call their food organic if they make a “reasonable” effort to use organic ingredients, says a USDA official. There is no precise definition of what a reasonable effort is.

Dollar General, grocer to rural America (Guardian): Opening stores at the rate of three a day, Dollar General “moves into places not even Walmart will go” to sell basic goods at low prices.

Florida orange crop rebounds from Hurricane Irma (Bloomberg): Orange growers are headed for a harvest of 70 million boxes of the citrus fruit this year, according to estimates by industry experts, a huge comeback from the hurricane-shortened crop of 44.95 million boxes last year, the smallest crop since 1945.

A farm endangered by Pepco (Washington Post): In Washington, D.C., a community farm is located on land owned by the District’s electricity utility, Pepco, which is planning to build a substation on the property. Some residents are fighting back.
An alcohol battle in New England (Press Herald): New Hampshire is offering out-of-state shoppers a discount on liquor purchases, a move that neighbor states say is unfairly targeting their customers.

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