AG Rural News

Senate Ag Committee leaders promised to keep rural communities at the forefront of the 2023 Farm Bill during a hearing Tuesday. Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow says the energy and rural development titles within the legislation can improve the quality of life and prosperity in rural areas. “Both titles present bipartisan opportunities to not just address challenges rural communities face, but also to enhance the strengths that make them great places to live,” she says. ...
Read more...
A member of the Senate Agriculture Committee wants to expand rural development opportunities in the next farm bill. Minnesota Democrat Tina Smith says she’ll be looking for ways USDA can improve the way it meets the needs of rural communities. “I’m talking about the deep need for reliable high-speed broadband, investing in communities and economic development. Improving access to healthcare and supporting critical access hospitals in rural areas.” She also wants the 2023 Farm Bill to support workforce housing and access to childcare. ...
Read more...
A company focused on remote crop monitoring is aiming to help farmers make decisions by providing real-time insights. Soiltech Wireless Founder Ehsan Soltan says the Soiltech Sensor measures moisture, temperature, humidity, location, and crop damage.   “We’re helping farmers make decisions when they need to be made and not just on a schedule just because we did it last year,” he says. “(We provide) real-time insights into how the soil is performing, whether or not the crops are taking up moisture and whether we need to irrigate again, or we’re looking at soil temperatures to help them to determine the optimal planting...
Read more...
The president of the Indiana Barn Foundation is encouraging people to notice the different features of barns as outdoor fall activities pick up. Kent Yeager tells Brownfield, “fall is a great time to look at barns as leaves start to fall and you can see some of these barns much better. With people often tending to drive and pay more attention to the countryside with leaves changing color, it’s a great time to look at these barns.” Yeager says barns are rural monuments that tell a story about farming. ...
Read more...

Ag News

The USDA has rolled out its final rule to stand up the Cattle Contract Library pilot program. Tanner Beymer with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the USDA updated the language to the rule following stakeholder feedback.  The original proposed rule would have allowed the USDA to obtain all active contracts from packers, which the industry thought was problematic from a privacy perspective. “This rule has announced that they are going to look for the information that is in those contracts,” he says.  ...
Read more...
A US Senator from Iowa says it may be difficult for a new bill that would allow year-round sales of E15 to pass in the lame duck session of Congress. The US Senate recently introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022, which would make permanent sales of E15 blends a reality. Republican Chuck Grassley tells Brownfield if the bill isn’t passed, it will be a priority in the new Congress. ...
Read more...
The former chief agriculture negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office says he’s closely watching what happens with Mexico’s proposed GMO corn ban. Gregg Doud says Mexico’s president has made his position clear on the proposed ban and Doud says he isn’t sure what the US government can say at this point to resolve the issue, “It’s going to have to be the Mexican industry that helps him understand, it’s not in Mexico’s best interest to do battle over this particular topic.” Last week, Ag Secretary Vilsack met with Mexico’s president discuss the ban in person and the dialogue continues with Mexico. ...
Read more...
The ranking member of the House Ag Committee says his top goal for the next farm bill is to complete it on time, but a new and divided Congress may present a challenge. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson, a Republican from Pennsylvania, tells Brownfield he would like to start auditing the 2018 Farm Bill in the first quarter of next year. “What’s working, what’s not and what needs fine-tuning. We need to get out for field hearings.” He says having bipartisan support is key to passing a bill but knows there could be disagreement on the nutrition title. ...
Read more...