The Environmental Working Group released a study on May 1, 2013, stating the crop insurance program proved too costly for crop year 2012, for which there have been more than $17 billion paid in indemnities.
According to the press release sent out by EWG last week,” the study, by agricultural economist Bruce Babcock of Iowa State University, has concluded that during last year’s drought, crop insurance payouts will exceed $16 billion, almost 50 percent more than 2011.”
“Crop insurance as it is currently structured and marketed is a bloated, taxpayer-funded income support program that in many cases allows growers, particularly the industrial-scale operations that have been enjoying record profits, to make more money from insurance payouts than they would from a healthy harvest,” Babcock writes.
A link to the study can be found here.
GPC, Washington DC Office
WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Randy Neugebauer discusses H.R. 1026, a bipartisan bill he recently introduced to ease fuel transport restrictions on farmers. Currently, Class A commercial drivers are restricted in the amount of fuel they can transport unless they have a hazardous materials endorsement, which is costly and time-consuming to obtain. However, Class B commercial drivers are exempt from these requirements. H.R. 1026 broadens the exemption to include Class A drivers.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute.
On February 19, the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation cosigned a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid regarding the cuts to agriculture proposed by the Senate democrats. To view a copy of the letter, click on the link below.
Letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid
GPC – Washington, DC Office
Roll Call Reports that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa, will not seek the Democratic nomination for Senator Tom Harkin’s seat in Iowa.
To read the entire story, please click here.
GPC-Washington DC Office
Today, U.S. Representatives Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA) and Martha Roby (R-AL) announced the re-formation of the Congressional Peanut Caucus for the 113th Congress.
The group of 17 lawmakers representing states with significant peanut farming and production will work together to ensure that peanut interests have a strong voice in Congress and that peanut issues are taken into account in agriculture legislation. Reps. Bishop and Roby will again co-chair the group.
“I have had the distinct honor of being known as the ‘Peanut Congressman,’ a title I wear with great pride and take very seriously,” said Rep. Bishop. “The 113th Congress will be presented with numerous new challenges for America’s agriculture. As the peanut industry is crucial to the health and well-being of the rural South’s economy, I and the rest of the Congressional Peanut Caucus are committed to ensuring its success for the future.”
Members of the Congressional Peanut Caucus are:
- Rep. Sanford D. Bishop (D-GA)
- Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL)
- Rep. John Barrow (D-GA)
- Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL)
- Rep. George K. Butterfield (D-NC)
- Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC)
- Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX)
- Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AK)
- Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
- Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
- Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA)
- Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
- Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS)
- Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA)
- Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
- Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL)
- Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)
GPC- Washington DC Office
WASHINGTON – U.S. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., today announced 19 of the 21 Democrats appointed to the Committee for the 113th Congress.
“I look forward to working with both new and returning members on the wide variety of issues overseen by the Committee,” Peterson said.
- Collin Peterson (MN-7)
- Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
- David Scott (GA-13)
- Jim Costa (CA-16)
- Tim Walz (MN-1)
- Kurt Schrader (OR-5)
- Marcia Fudge (OH-11)
- Jim McGovern (MA-2)
- Suzan DelBene (WA-1)
- Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35)
- Filemon Vela (TX-34)
- Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1)
- Ann Kuster (NH-2)
- Rick Nolan (MN-8)
- Pete Gallego (TX-23)
- William Eynart (IL-12)
- Juan Vargas (CA-51)
- Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
- Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)
There are two vacancies that will be filled in the coming weeks.
In letters to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor yesterday, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., said that absent an assurance from Leadership, he does not see any reason for the House Agriculture Committee to again go through the process of writing a new five-year farm bill in the 113th Congress.
Peterson’s letters follow repeated refusals by Republican Leadership to consider the House Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan five-year farm bill during the last Congress and a last-minute, backroom nine-month farm bill extension that ignored the will of the Agriculture Committees.
The letter sent to Speaker Boehner is available here and the letter to Majority Leader Cantor is here.
Chairman Frank Lucas announced the complete list of Republican members who will serve on the House Agriculture Committee in the 113th Congress.
Republican members are listed below:
- Rep. Frank Lucas, (OK), Chairman
- Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA)
- Rep. Steve King (IA)
- Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX)
- Rep. Mike Rogers (AL)
- Rep. K. Michael Conaway (TX)
- Rep. Glenn Thompson (PA)
- Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH)
- Rep. Austin Scott (GA)
- Rep. Scott Tipton (CO)
- Rep. Steve Southerland (FL)
- Rep. Rick Crawford (AR)
- Rep. Martha Roby (AL)
- Rep. Scott DesJarlais (TN)
- Rep. Chris Gibson (NY)
- Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO)
- Rep. Reid Ribble (WI)
- Rep. Kristi Noem (SD)
- Rep. Dan Benishek (MI)
- Rep. Jeff Denham (CA)
- Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA)
- Rep. Richard Hudson (NC)
- Rep. Rodney Davis (IL)
- Rep. Chris Collins (NY)
- Rep. Ted Yoho (FL)
Late Tuesday evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed the U.S. Senate’s American Tax Relief Legislation, H.R. 8, to avoid going over the “Fiscal Cliff”. Included in this legislation is the extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, passed earlier by the United States Senate, for the 2013 crop year. Because a new Farm Bill was not passed earlier this year, this extension of the 2008 bill was vital to farmers and consumers across the country.
The Farm Bill extension for 2013 provides for all of the 2008 Farm Bill peanut provisions including direct payments. In addition, the bill included the Market Access Program, an important export program for the peanut industry. Finally, essential agricultural research and nutrition programs are continued for 2013.
A summary of the American Tax Relief Act can be found here.
Georgia Peanut Commission, Washington D.C. Office
WASHINGTON – Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas announced the new Republican Members who are expected to serve on the Committee in the 113th Congress. The list has been recommended by the Republican Steering Committee and is expected to be officially adopted in January by the Republican Conference and the House.
“I am pleased to welcome our new Republican Members to the House Agriculture Committee. I look forward to working with all of them in the next Congress as we continue to ensure the health and vitality of production agriculture and rural economies,” said Chairman Frank Lucas.
New Members joining the Committee: (in alphabetical order)
Georgia Peanut Commisssion, Washington D.C. Office