The Farmer Fair Practice Rules consist of one interim final rule and two proposed rules. The interim final rule deals with competitive injury disputes for contract growers. Currently, contract poultry growers must prove harm for the entire $48 billion chicken industry rather than harm to themselves when seeking relief from poultry companies for abusive contract practices. This outrageous interpretation of the Packers and Stockyards Act not only places undue burden on individual growers – it also allows the meatpacking industries to continue abusive practices largely free of consequences. The interim final rule eliminates that burden, thereby taking some power from the multinational meatpackers and placing it with the individual farmers.
National Farmer’s Union president Roger Johnson on why Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement will be bad for farmers.
Large farms should be able to buy crop insurance on every acre, but there should be limits to the amount of their bill that taxpayers are responsible for. Other subsidy programs have a payment limit. Why should crop insurance be different?
New research concludes that a total ban on the practice of transshipment on the high seas is necessary to help stop illegal fishing and reduce the human trafficking and labor rights abuses that often accompany unlawful fishing activities.
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has had it’s funding cut by the state of Iowa. A big chunk of sustainable agriculture research capacity will be lost.
Manitoban dairy farmer Matt Plett explains the benefits to dairy farmers of the Canadian system of supply management.
Wisconsin farmer Chris Holman sorts out the issues in the dairy industry laid bare by Grassland Dairy Products announcement that they were dropping 75 farms as suppliers and the finger pointing by the Trump administration as it tries to deflect attention away from domestic troubles towards Canada.
With shifting political winds and poor commodity prices, farmers may now be willing to consider new ways of generating income by adopting environmentally friendly practices, such as planting cover crops, extending crop rotations or eliminating tillage. Many farmers are already using these practices on a small scale. To combat climate change and stabilize incomes, farmers should look to policy to tackle both in tandem.
Suzy Friedman, Senior Director of Agricultural Sustainability for the Environmental Defense Fund lays some basic principles for bring farmers and environmentalists into partnership.
Despite contributions made by African Americans, the most recent Census of Agriculture found that of the 2.2 million farms in the United States, 83 percent have white males as principal operators; African Americans constitute only 1.4 percent of principal farm operators
If cash transfers replace in kind contributions in development, will essential services be lost? Can the development community transition to a fee for service model?
Reagan Waskom, Director, Colorado Water Institute and David Cooper, of Colorado State University discuss the ins and outs of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule change and what it means for agriculture.
Kevin Folta explains how a report on pesticides from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food inadvertently makes the case for modernizing agriculture in the developing world.
Environmental Defense Fund’s David Festa lays out why a steady, consistent approach to environmental regulation is better for the economy and an expression of democratic values.
The dysfunction of Uganda seed markets and aid efforts gives a number of lessons on ways that markets, regulation, and aid efforts fall into familiar traps over and over. They also point the way past those traps.
A key danger of charity food aid is the de-politicisation of hunger. As the charity sector mobilises to meet this need, there is less pressure on the government to address the root causes of food poverty, which are essentially income related.
It’s been a good winter for drought-stricken California. Record-breaking precipitation in January has raised reservoir levels and added to the essential Sierra Nevada snowpack. It will take many years of consistent, above-average rainfall to fully recover from the drought, and that seems unlikely given the variable nature of the state’s climate. California’s water problems are not only the result of historically scant rainfall. Convoluted water policies, patchwork regulations and burdensome water politics perpetuate the problems, causing imbalances in the way water is managed.
On Jan. 1 the United States started enforcing a new import rule, which requires fisheries exporting seafood to the United States to protect marine mammals at standards comparable to those required for U.S. fisheries. This rule aims to leverage American market power to reduce marine mammal bycatch worldwide. It also aims to level the playing field for U.S. fishermen, who currently face monitoring costs and fishing restrictions to reduce marine mammal bycatch – unlike some of their foreign competitors.
Alison Van Eenennaam explains why the FDA’s proposed regulations on biotech breeding make no sense.