In this file:


·         Farm Bill Deal Includes Key Commodity Program Changes

·         Lawmakers Reach Farm Bill Deal by Dumping GOP Food-Stamp Rules

·         USMCA gets signed; Clock ticking on farm bill



Farm Bill Deal Includes Key Commodity Program Changes


John Herath, FarmJournal's Pork

November 29, 2018


Key changes:


Adjusted loan rates

Annual choice between ARC and PLC

Opportunity to update yield data

Grassland to be removed from base acres


The four key ag committee leaders announced agreement in principle on a final farm bill Thursday. That deal includes some key changes to the Commodity Title of the bill, including adjustments sought by farm groups, according to Pro Farmer Washington Analyst Jim Wiesemeyer.


The first key change according to Wiesemeyer comes in a provision to increase loan rates while allowing for an annual election between the Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs. Under the previous farm bill, growers made a single selection between the two programs for the life of the farm bill.


Wiesemeyer told AgriTalk Radio Show host Chip Flory that growers will have the opportunity to adjust historical yield data to minimize the impact of drought years and other anomalies.


“On ARC, I think corn and soybean producers got a win here,” Wiesemeyer said. “They're going to use trend adjusted yields similar to crop insurance. There's going to be a new t-yield plug under the ARC, and then there's going to be a new, what they've told me, cascade for determining yields beginning with RMA yields, that's Risk Management Agency yields. The bottom line is I think the majority of farmers are going to like it because it's going to adjust some areas that they thought were too rigid in the 2014 farm bill.”


Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres will be increased from 24 million to 27 million under the new farm bill, according to Wiesemeyer. He said a portion of that 3-million-acre increase will be held aside for a grassland reserve program.


That grassland reserve is key because the bill will also remove continuous grassland from a farmer’s base acres, according to Wiesemeyer.


“If you haven't planted those base acres for a designated number of years, you're going to lose those base acres, but they're going to be incentivized some way,” he said. “It looks like some of that former grassland can go into a Conservation Reserve earmarked for grassland, but you will not be able to increase your base acres from what you had in the 2014 farm bill despite conjecture to the contrary.”


Wiesemeyer expects the farm bill conference report to be released early next week after the proposal is scored by the Congressional Budget Office...





Lawmakers Reach Farm Bill Deal by Dumping GOP Food-Stamp Rules


    House, Senate negotiators rejected House food stamp rules

    Bill resolves dispute over logging regulations, lawmakers say


Teaganne Finn (Bloomberg Government), Erik Wasson (Bloomberg) and Daniel Flatley (Bloomberg)

November 29, 2018


Democrats and Republicans said they reached a tentative deal on farm legislation after jettisoning controversial work requirements for food stamp recipients demanded by President Donald Trump and conservatives in the House.


Lawmakers said Thursday they expect both chambers to take up the legislation as soon as next week after House-Senate negotiators resolved differences between their versions of the agriculture measures. The bill would renew farm subsidies, federal crop insurance and food aid for low-income families for five years.


House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway of Texas and Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas, along with the top Democrats on the panels, said they reached a tentative deal without detailing all the provisions. Farm programs under current law began to expire Sept. 30.


"The certainty that the farm bill brings to the table for the next five years is the win," Conaway said.


Work Rules ...


Small Changes ...


more, including links



USMCA gets signed; Clock ticking on farm bill

Legislative Watch: USMCA now has to be ratified; farm bill takes another step forward; USDA lowers ag exports, Pelosi voted in.


P. Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer

Nov 30, 2018


During the G20 summit today in Buenos Aires, Argentina, President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement which will replace the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement. President Trump said, “This is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever.”


The agreement will now have to be ratified by the legislatures of the three countries which could take months. Mexico is expected to ratify the agreement in the near future. Congress and the Canadian parliament are expected to consider the agreement sometime next year.


The remaining question is when will there be an agreement between the U.S. and Mexico and the U.S. and Canada on ending the retaliatory tariffs on steel and aluminum. This is a major cost to U.S. agriculture.


Farm bill takes another step forward


The leadership of the House and Senate Farm Bill Conference Committee announced they have reached an agreement in principal on the 2018 farm bill.


In a joint statement Chairmen Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Members Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Collin Peterson (D-MI) said, “We’re pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement in principle on the 2018 farm bill. We are working to finalize legal and report language as well as CBO scores, but we still have more work to do. We are committed to delivering a new farm bill to America as quickly as possible.”


The next steps for the farm bill will be to finalize the legal text of the bill and for the Congressional Budget Office to score the final cost estimates of the agreement. Once those are completed, it is expected the leaders will release the text of the bill and the conference committee will approve the agreement. After the conference committee approves the bill, the farm bill will be considered by the House and the Senate. With less than 10 legislative days left time is of the essence.


USDA lowers estimates for FY ’19 ag exports ... 


House Dems nominate Pelosi as Speaker ... 


Election update ... 


USDA confirmation hearings ... 


USMEF officers announced ...