How Will Election Results Impact Agriculture?

The word "agriculture" was seldom mentioned in the political campaigns that just ended, but no area of public life may be more affected by the results.

With the Republicans taking control of the House, Oklahoma Representative Frank Lucas is expected to take over as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Lucas has been a supporter to direct payments, which are expected to become a major issue as the debate intensifies over the 2012 Farm Bill. At the same time, there will likely be a lot of pressure on Lucas and other Republicans to follow through on their promises of cutting federal spending. That combination should make for some very interesting debate over farm programs in the coming months.

The farm program assures a minimum price for grains, cotton and oilseeds, with the USDA making up the difference between market prices and the support price. If returns are below targets set by law, it automatically makes additional payments.

In addition, the Republican House Committee will almost certainly take whacks at the EPA, an agency Republicans usually have at the end of their gun sights because of its restrictions on agribusiness.

The faces on the House panel will also change considerably, as several Democrat members were defeated. The losers included Jim Marshall of Georgia, Steve Kagen of Wisconsin, Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota, Travis Childers of Mississippi, Deborah Halvorson of Illinois, Kathleen Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania, Bobby Bright of Alabama, John Boccieri of Ohio, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin of South Dakota and Frank Kratovil of Maryland.

On the Senate side, Blanche Lincoln’s defeat in Arkansas means there will be a new chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Her likely Democratic successor at this point is thought to be Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Sources close to the panel says Stabenow is well-liked by her colleagues and earned their respect during the last round of farm bill negotiations by bridging the interests of states with commodity crops and those with specialty fruit and vegetables.

The five-year farm bill comes up for renewal in 2012 and the new version could look much different. As part of a compromise in the 2008 farm bill, many programs are scheduled to expire in 2012, including all research and crop production for cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels.

The battle over changes in agricultural programs may begin as early as the lame duck session, during which Congress must decide whether to extend a 45-cent-a-gallon tax credit for ethanol blenders. Cutting the subsidy would directly affect big ethanol producers such as Archer Daniels Midland.

Unless extended, the tax credit for ethanol blenders, a 54-cent a gallon tariff on imported ethanol and a 10-cent-a-gallon small-producer tax credit all expire Dec. 31.

(Sources: BrownfieldAgnews.com, Agriculture Industry Today)

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementSouth Africa Update and the New New Leader G5
February 24, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the recent visit to South Africa by sister magazine AgriBusiness Global and the Read More
Fall Creek Watershed
StewardshipUpdate: Nutrient Stewardship In Indiana Requires Cool, …
February 24, 2017
Update: The application deadline for NCRS funding has been extended to March 17, 2017. Green leaves sparkle in the sunlight. Trees Read More
Greenleaf Technologies TADF03-D Dual Fan Nozzle
NozzlesSix Greenleaf Nozzles Approved For XtendiMax With Vapor…
February 22, 2017
Greenleaf Technologies has announced that six of its TurboDrop D Series nozzles have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Hires Manitoba And Eastern Canada Account Man…
February 22, 2017
Tiger-Sul, a global leader in sulphur fertilizers and crop performance products, has announced that sales veteran Trevor Loewen has joined Read More
NFMS 17 Hagie Sprayer
Eric SfiligojThe Read From Louisville: Uncertain
February 22, 2017
By the time this column appears across the country, the annual Commodity Classic will be in full swing. This means Read More
SprayersApache 1000 Series Sprayer Earns 2017 EquipmentWatch Hi…
February 21, 2017
ET Works has been named a winner in the 2017 EquipmentWatch Highest Retained Value Awards program, the industry’s only award Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
NL5000 With G5 Technology
SpreadersNew Leader Introduces NL5000 Dry Nutrient Applicator Wi…
February 13, 2017
New Leader, a division of Highway Equipment Company (HECO), has announced the next generation of spreading technology with the NL5000 Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Agrees To Credit Agreement Amendme…
February 9, 2017
Pinnacle Operating Corp. has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to its First Lien Credit Agreement that will provide for, Read More