Now that Congress is focusing on next fiscal year's budget and appropriation bills, the House and Senate are getting advice from interested parties, including the U.S. Canola Association (USCA). In a letter to the Budget and Appropriation Committees, the USCA and numerous other agricultural groups urged no further cuts to the current farm bill, including the crop insurance program.
The USCA also joined several hundred organizations representing all segments of the U.S. food industry in writing a letter supporting a national, uniform solution to biotech labeling. Despite the Senate's failure to invoke cloture on the biotech labeling bill on March 16, members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are continuing to work towards a compromise on the issue. But time is running out, as the first state-mandated labeling law will go into effect on July 1 in Vermont.
Leaders from the U.S. agriculture and food sectors are expressing support for opportunities to collaborate with Cuba, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Visiting Cuba with President Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that his department will allow authorized research and information exchange activities with Cuba. U.S. beef, pork, corn, soy and other commodities will now be able to engage in cooperative research and knowledge sharing with Cuba on topics such as agricultural productivity and food security.