Agricultural producers who have not yet enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2022 crop year have until March 15, 2022, to sign a contract. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers these two safety net programs to provide vital income support to farmers experiencing substantial declines in crop prices or revenues. Read More »
Articles under Capitol Hill
Continuing Resolution & Disaster Assistance
The federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 and with the annual appropriations bills uncompleted, Congress had to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government functioning. The CR, signed by President Joe Biden at the nth hour on Sept. 30, will run through Dec. 3, which includes $10 billion for agriculture disaster assistance to cover losses in 2020 and 2021 due to drought, hurricanes, wildfires, etc. The disaster assitance is expected to be administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture using a similar structure as the WHIP+ program for losses in 2018 and 2019. Read More »
By Tom Hance
At last, it happened: The Senate passed its $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill by a vote of 69-30. The U.S. Canola Association joined 37 other agricultural groups in a letter to Congressional leadership in support of this bill, which would invest $110 billion in U.S. roads and bridges, $65 billion for broadband, and $17.3 billion for ports and inland waterways. In addition, this bipartisan agreement includes a number of provisions designed to boost the resiliency of the agricultural supply chain, including investments in cybersecurity and programs to address truck driver shortages. Read More »
By Tom Hance
On July 13, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the authorization of emergency procedures to help producers impacted by extreme drought conditions. The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is working with crop insurance companies to streamline and accelerate the adjustment of losses and issuance of indemnity payments to crop insurance policyholders in impacted areas. These new crop insurance flexibilities are part of USDA’s broader response to help producers impacted by drought in the west, northern Great Plains, Caribbean and other areas. Read More »
By Tom Hance
The 2020 U.S. presidential election was closer than many polls showed, but it appears Joe Biden will become the next president. Contrary to pre-election projections, Republicans look likely to gain a few seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats will maintain the House majority but with a smaller margin. Senate control will come down to run-off elections on Jan. 5 in Georgia. Historical trends suggest Republicans will be favored to win these run-offs and maintain majority in the Senate, but a lot of money will be spent by both parties and trends can be broken.
By Tom Hance and Dale Thorenson
The upcoming election will not only determine the next U.S. president, but also control of the Senate and agriculture committees in both chambers. The change in leadership will affect the policy agenda, including trade, anti-trust, energy and environmental issues in the near-term and how the next farm bill is developed over the longer term. The 2018 Farm Bill is effective until Sept. 30, 2023. Read More »
By Tom Hance and Angela Dansby
It continues to be a challenging time for biodiesel, both commercially and on the federal policy front. President Trump and the Administration are dealing with backlash following the decision to grant an additional 31 retroactive Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) in August under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The SREs undermine RFS volume requirements and result in reduced demand for biofuels, especially biodiesel. Read More »
On May 15, 2019, the U.S. Canola Association once again called upon U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to include canola and other crops indirectly affected by retaliatory trade tariffs in Market Facilitation Payments (MFPs). While these payments in 2018 were limited to commodities directly subjected to tariffs, it is vital for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide assistance this year to other crops whose prices and demand are tied to those of crops with tariffs.
The U.S. Canola Association (USCA), along with other biodiesel industry stakeholders, continues to lobby Congress to reinstate the biodiesel blenders tax credit. The $1 per gallon credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel expired at the end of 2017, and while a bill that would have extended it seven years was passed by the House last December, it was not acted on by the Senate before Congress adjourned for the year. Supporters are keeping up the push in 2019 with USCA Capitol Hill visits in late January, a targeted industry fly-in in early February and an industry coalition letter to House leadership urging quick action on a package of tax extenders. Read More »
The country’s longest government shutdown in history came to a sputtering close on Jan. 25, costing the U.S. economy an estimated $6 billion and a wave of anxiety among Americans from TSA agents to national park workers to, yes, canola producers. Lawmakers agreed to reopen the government for 21 days to try to reach a deal with President Trump – and they succeeded in keeping the government functioning – but the quagmire around border security remains.