Read the U.S. Canola Association's (USCA's) latest blog post — "Farm Bill Funding May Test Traditional Alliances" — by John Gordley, USCA executive director and owner of government relations firm Gordley Associates. He says that while farm organizations are putting pressure on the House and Senate Agriculture Committees to increase agricultural spending, most lawmakers agree it is unlikely to impossible. Opponents are becoming more outspoken against farm and food safety nets. Therefore, Gordley writes, "each segment of the community that benefits from the farm bill, from farmers to conservationists to the anti-hunger community, must join together in advocating new legislation in 2018."
The USCA has requested that the current federal crop insurance program rotational requirements for canola coverage eligibility in the Special Provisions of Insurance be revised to two from three years for the 2019 crop year in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois and Indiana. A two-year rotation is already allowed in other states, with conditions in Minnesota and North Dakota, but only a four-year rotation is allowed in southeast/mid-south states. In response to the requested change, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Risk Management Agency has begun "a preliminary review" that may be "multi-regional." To locate federal crop insurance program counties and other information, visit the agency's Actuarial Information Browser.
The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced the recipients of nearly $5 million in grants for research to increase the productivity, profitability and stewardship of canola, potato and alfalfa. Funded through three NIFA programs, the grants will "help sustain and expand the acreage and use of alfalfa, potatoes and canola for long-lasting impacts through collaborations between universities, federal agencies and industry organizations around the country," says NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. The three canola-focused programs are supported by the University of Idaho, Kansas State University and Oklahoma State University.