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News stories tagged with "farm-bill"

Photo: David Sommerstein
Photo: David Sommerstein

2014 could be a good year for dairy farms

2013 was another comeback year for the dairy industry, after near-record low milk prices forced thousands of dairy farmers out of business during the recession. But the high cost of energy and feed still made it hard for farms to make money.

Two of the top industry forecasters say that could change for the better in 2014. David Sommerstein spoke with Mark Stephenson, who directs the Center for Dairy Profitability at the University of Wisconsin, and Andy Novacovic, a professor of agricultural economics at Cornell University, about what the new year might hold for dairy farmers and how the Farm Bill debate in Congress could affect life on the farm.

Stephenson says soaring corn prices are finally coming down, with a record harvest last summer and declining use of corn in producing ethanol. That means dairy farmers will pay less for feed, so they'll end up with better profit margins this year.  Go to full article
Sarah Moore, right, stands with her boss, Catherine Matthews, in the food pantry section of the Church and Community Program in Canton, NY. Photo: Zach Hirsch
Sarah Moore, right, stands with her boss, Catherine Matthews, in the food pantry section of the Church and Community Program in Canton, NY. Photo: Zach Hirsch

SNAP recipients, supporters anxious about 2014

In November, families who rely on food stamps saw their monthly food budget lowered, when a boost to SNAP from the 2009 federal stimulus expired.

It is almost certain there will be even more cutbacks when congress passes a new farm bill next year, although it's not clear how big those will be. Last week, we checked in with some people who worry that 2014 will mean much harder times.  Go to full article
SNAP benefits sign at a farmers market. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniewong/4712301777/">mswine</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
SNAP benefits sign at a farmers market. Photo: mswine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Hunger groups ask Schumer to block food stamp cuts

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Anti-hunger groups are calling on New York Sen. Charles Schumer to block cuts to food stamps.

Anti-hunger activists have launched a statewide campaign urging Schumer to vote against any farm bill that includes cuts in food stamp funding. They also want Schumer to push to restore recent cuts.  Go to full article
Cows grazing at Bob Zufall's farm in Lisbon, NY. Photo: David Pynchon
Cows grazing at Bob Zufall's farm in Lisbon, NY. Photo: David Pynchon

Small dairy farmers seek more from Farm Bill

Today federal lawmakers convene to begin seeking compromise for a new five year Farm Bill. The $500 billion package sets the nation's agricultural policy.

Its biggest ticket item, though, is food stamps, known as SNAP. The House and Senate versions of the bill remain very far apart on how much to fund the food stamp program.

The bill would replace billions of dollars in subsidies to farmers with a crop insurance program, which could also pay out billions.

Dairy farmers would be eligible for that crop insurance. The bill also would create a supply management program to control the number of cows in the country and prevent an oversupply of milk.
But a group of dairy farmers says those provisions do little to keep small farms from going out of business.  Go to full article
Congressman Bill Owens and Richard Eakins talk about corn storage. Photo: Sarah Harris.
Congressman Bill Owens and Richard Eakins talk about corn storage. Photo: Sarah Harris.

Owens: farm bill may happen in 2013

There's still no Farm Bill this year.

The Farm Bill sets policy for agriculture nationwide. But most of the bill--money-wise--goes to food stamps. And disagreement over cuts to food stamps has held the overall bill up for over a year.

This week, members of the House and Senate will start hashing out a new compromise version of the bill. At a visit to a North Country soybean farm, Congressman Bill Owens said that may mean progress.  Go to full article
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens

Owens seeks compromise on farm bill

This week the Senate passed a five-year, nearly $500 billion farm bill. About three-quarters of that pays for the food stamp program, which would be cut by $400 million a year. Direct farm subsidies are largely replaced by subsidies for crop insurance. And there are a barrelfull of other items from land conservation to support for young farmers.

This is pretty much where things stood a year ago. But House Speaker John Boehner refused to let his chamber's version of the farm bill come to the floor for a vote. Conservative Republicans believed the bill contained too much government spending.  Go to full article
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Photo: Mark Kurtz
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Photo: Mark Kurtz

Gillibrand wants food stamps, milk price reform in Farm Bill

Congress is back to work on a new five year Farm Bill. The Senate passed one last year, but the House of Representatives couldn't agree on the size of cuts to the food stamp program and other issues.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says preserving food stamps is "a moral issue." And she says there's a way to pay for them.  Go to full article
Bob Andrews feeds the heifers in his barn in Fowler. Photo by David Sommerstein.
Bob Andrews feeds the heifers in his barn in Fowler. Photo by David Sommerstein.

Gillibrand pushes ways to preserve small dairy farms

The US Senate is preparing to take up the federal Farm Bill again in the coming weeks.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wants it to include a plan to protect and encourage New York's dairy farms, especially smaller farms.  Go to full article
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. One of the bills US Rep. Owens is introducing would make it easier for producers to tape trees on some state and conservation lands in the Adirondacks. Photo: Todd Moe
A sapbucket at Newton's Sugarbush. One of the bills US Rep. Owens is introducing would make it easier for producers to tape trees on some state and conservation lands in the Adirondacks. Photo: Todd Moe

Owens gets ahead of curve on farm bill

Washington failed to pass a Farm Bill last year. Congressman Bill Owens says he's "cautiously optimistic" one will pass this year. But he's not sure exactly what will be in the massive $100 billion a year legislation that funds everything from farm programs to food stamps.

So the North Country Democrat is introducing three bills early that would help New York farmers.  Go to full article
Photo of the Day archive: Whit Haynes
Photo of the Day archive: Whit Haynes

Owens a reluctant "yes" on Farm Bill extension

Tucked into the fiscal package passed by Congress last night is a nine-month extension of the farm bill. The massive five-year farm bill expired last fall when the House wouldn't vote on a new version passed by the Senate.

This extension includes a safety net for dairy farmers. But it axes many popular programs.  Go to full article

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