Ongoing Coverage:

2013 farm bill

Agriculture
10:15 am
Wed January 29, 2014

New farm bill may be in sight

Should the Agricultural Act of 2014 become law, direct payments would end and the crop insurance program would become the bedrock of the U.S. farm safety net.
Credit wobble-san/Flickr

House and Senate negotiators emerged Monday with a new compromise farm bill, which means the end of the two-year farm bill writing saga may finally be in sight.

The U.S. House approved what's called the Conference Report -- the farm bill negotiated by House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders -- Wednesday. If it were to pass the Senate, as is expected, the bill would head to President Obama’s desk.

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Agriculture
6:30 am
Fri January 24, 2014

More than 1 in 7 Americans receive food stamp benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program remains the most controversial issue for negotiators working on a new farm bill.
Credit USDA

Fifteen percent of Americans received federal food stamp benefits in the 2013 fiscal year, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released in early January.

In the Harvest Public Media network, that includes about 936,000 people in Missouri; 420,000 in Iowa; 2 million in Illinois; 179,000 in Nebraska, 507,000 in Colorado, 316,000 in Kansas; and 926,000 in Indiana.

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Agriculture
6:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Field Notes: Antibiotics in meat and why Congress can't pass a farm bill

Leaders of the committee working on the farm bill announced they don't expect to pass a bill before they leave Washington for the year.
Credit andrewmalone/Flickr

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.

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Agriculture
6:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Farm bill falls victim to polarization, gridlock in Washington

Reps. Colin Peterson, Frank Lucas and Steve King listen as members of the farm bill conference committee give opening statements.
Credit Courtesy House Agriculture Committee/Facebook

If it seems like Congress just can’t get the farm bill done, well… that’s because it can’t.

All year long, Washington lawmakers have been saying they want to pass a full five-year farm bill. But even though leaders of the House-Senate conference committee say they are close, they have acknowledged it just won’t get done this year. They’re pushing it off until January.

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Agriculture
5:42 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

No farm bill this year

Leaders of the committee working on the farm bill announced they don't expect to pass a bill before they leave Washington for the year.
Credit andrewmalone/Flickr

Congress won’t pass a farm bill before early next year.

That was the message from Washington Tuesday, when the principal farm bill players emerged from negotiations and announced they won’t have a full bill ready before the House adjourns for the year on Friday.

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Agriculture
6:00 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Field Notes: CAFOs and aid for veterans in the Farm Bill

Piglets in Iowa.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which we talk about important issues related to food production.

Thanks to tight competition, hog farmers all over the country are feeling a push to expand or get out of the business. That means indoor confined animal feeding operations – or CAFOs – are growing even in the most environmentally sensitive areas.

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Agriculture
12:29 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Syria latest stumbling block on farm bill path

Farmers will soon begin harvesting crops, and making decisions about next year, without a farm bill.
Credit Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Farmers may now have to wait until Congress makes its decisions about Syria before the farm bill gets any more attention.

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley said a farm bill conference committee could meet without disrupting the debate on Syria, but he doesn’t expect that to happen.

“Syria’s going to put the farm bill on the back burner,” Grassley said. “I don’t think that’s justified, but that’s what we’ve been told. And how far—on how many back burners back—I don’t know.”

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Agriculture
8:08 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Blunt, Hartzler call for new farm bill

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt spoke to an assembly of politicians and fair-goers at the annual Governor's Ham Breakfast, Missouri State Fair, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013.
Credit Marshall Griffin / St. Louis Public Radio

Two Republican members of Missouri's Congressional delegation were at the State Fair Thursday, calling on Congress to pass a new federal farm bill, instead of extending the farm bill passed in 2008 by another year.  U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and Congressmember Vicky Hartzler told Missouri Farm Bureau members and the media that the hold-up centers on how much money to spend on food stamps.  The GOP-led U.S. House voted to cut the food stamp program, now known as SNAP, by $20 billion.  The Democratic-controlled U.S.

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Agriculture
2:36 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Legislators not giving up hope for farm bill

Credit /

With Congress in its August recess, the farm bill is stalled and many are pessimistic about getting a new bill passed before the current extension expires on Sept. 30. Still, farm country legislators aren’t exactly giving up hope.

Republican Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock was asked about the farm bill at a town hall style meeting in in his district this week.
He said that he thinks the most likely outcome is that the House will pass a “food stamp bill,” to go along with a agriculture portion it passed in June. That could put the farm bill back on track.

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Agriculture
8:17 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Agriculture Secretary pushes for farm bill

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says farm and nutrition policy belong together in a food, farm and jobs bill.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is continuing to push Congress to send a farm bill to President Obama’s desk. And he says dwindling farmer numbers mean coupling agricultural policy with nutrition programs is essential.

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Politics
7:13 am
Fri July 12, 2013

House passes farm-only farm bill

Many farmers are resigned to being unable to depend on rock-solid federal farm policy.
Credit Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

The U.S. House passed its version of farm bill legislation Thursday. The revamped bill strips out funding for food aid and deals only with farm policy, exposing a hefty rift in decades-old alliances between urban and rural legislators and between food aid and farm policy interests.

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Agriculture
2:40 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

House rejects farm bill

The farm bill encompasses all manor of food and agriculture policy.
Credit (tpsdav/pixabay)

In a stunning move, the U.S. House voted against approving farm bill legislation Thursday, leaving the bill's future up in the air.

The House rejected the farm bill on a final tally of 234-195 after a day of dramatic, tight votes on amendments to the bill.

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Agriculture
8:33 am
Wed June 19, 2013

As US House prepares to vote on farm bill, Congressmembers weigh in

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 7:14 pm

Members of Missouri and Illinois' Congressional delegations are weighing in on the U.S. House version of the Farm Bill, which could be voted on before week's end.

Illinois Republican Rodney Davis told reporters today via conference call that the bill is a big improvement over the version passed by the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate.

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