AG Rural News

The Illinois General Assembly is expected to debate energy proposals in a special session Wednesday that include some red flags for rural residents. Illinois Farm Bureau’s Kevin Semlow says if passed, the legislation could shut down coal generated plants by 2035 leading to higher energy rates for rural communities and could grant eminent domain powers to private energy companies allowing them to take private farmland away from farmers. ...
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A lobbyist says farmers should approach their local governments now to get their local roads and bridges repaired.  Jordan Lamb with DeWitt Law represents several Wisconsin agriculture organizations at the state capitol, and she says President Biden’s American Rescue Plan did send some federal infrastructure dollars directly to local governments. “So if any of you or your neighbors or your family members serve on county boards or even town boards, you got, likely, an allocation of federal money specific towards infrastructure projects. ...
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Ag News

The EPA and U.S. Department of the Army have set up a series of public meetings in August to hear from farmers and other stakeholders on a definition for Waters of the U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan says the goal is to listen to all sides and craft “an enduring definition of WOTUS because uncertainty over the definition has harmed waters, stakeholders and communities that rely on them.” Ag Secretary Vilsack says it’s vital farmers and rural Americans have a seat at the table. ...
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A bipartisan group of lawmakers has sent a letter to the USDA outlining ways to better create access to newly announced meat processing grant program. The representatives led by Reps. Angie Craig, D-Minn., Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, and Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb. are asking the USDA to ensure small and regional processors can access the $500 million grant program, while creating more financing options. Earlier this month, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA would allocate $500 million into expanding the nation’s meat processing capacity. ...
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More than 160 Midwestern counties are now eligible for USDA disaster assistance following widespread and worsening drought. In the month of July, USDA made several Secretarial Natural Disaster Declarations which allow the Farm Service Agency to offer emergency loans to producers for recovery needs like replacing equipment or livestock, business reorganization and refinancing certain debts. The declarations were made based on US Drought Monitor data for counties in severe to exceptional drought for 8 or more weeks in a row. ...
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Bayer says it’s committed to ensuring access to glyphosate for its farmer customers but will replace all U.S. lawn and garden glyphosate-products with NON-glyphosate-based formulations to mitigate any future litigation risk. Bayer says it is putting aside more than $4.5 Billion dollars for future lawsuits about Roundup but stresses the product will remain available for farmers. This spring, a judge rejected Bayer’s plan to limit the cost of settlements in claims that its glyphosate product cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma. ...
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