Representatives from national agricultural organizations met Aug. 15 in Washington, D.C. with officials of the Donald Trump presidential campaign. This follows a similar meeting with representatives of the Hillary Clinton campaign in Brooklyn, N.Y., June 24. The purpose of these meetings was to establish a dialogue on ag policy matters during the 2016 campaign and beyond. The Trump campaign recently unveiled an agricultural advisory team with over 60 members, while the Clinton campaign released a policy paper a year ago for achieving a vibrant rural America. Ag groups highlighted trade, food safety, the farm bill and crop insurance programs, ag labor, infrastructure and the importance of science-based regulations. Both campaigns agree on the need to improve infrastructure.
The Farm Service Agency released projected Price Loss Coverage (PLC) payment rates for the 2015 crop year, including a rate for canola of $0.0445 per pound, representing the difference between canola's $0.2014 reference price and its projected marketing year average price of $0.1570. Producers who enrolled their canola base acres into the PLC program will receive a payment calculated as follows: (payment rate * payment yield * 85% of canola base acres). Per this projection, a producer with a 1,500-pound payment yield will receive $56.73 per base acre after the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1. Producers enrolled 1.4 million base acres of canola — over 97 percent of the total eligible acres — in the PLC program.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued an executive order restricting use of neonicotinoid insecticides to try to reverse the decline of pollinators in the state. The order says state regulators should require verification that neonicotinoids are necessary. It also creates a new task force to study issues impacting pollinators and to recommend long-term solutions. The order is focused on foliar applications and not seed treatment as the state legislature would need to pass legislation to give the Minnesota Department of Agriculture authority to regulate treated seed.