Need to Read article for Today’s Farmers and Ranchers

 By K. Michael Conaway, U.S. House Ag Committee Chairman February 24, 2016 Remarks as prepared for delivery:  I am pleased that Secretary Vilsack could join us for this annual hearing to assess the economic conditions in farm country. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Secretary. In assessing the situation, I think it is fair to say that America’s farmers and ranchers are falling on some very hard times right now. Worse yet, I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. To quantify what I am talking about, consider these figures: The 2-year drop in net farm income that occurred from 2013 to 2015 marks the 2nd largest drop on record, behind only the drop that occurred from 1919 to 1921. Moreover, the 3-year drop in net...
Read more

How are exports to China looking?

By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor ARLINGTON, Va. (DTN) -- China has become the object of affection for U.S. agricultural exporters over the past decade, but the affair is on shaky ground because there are cheaper dates out there right now than U.S. commodities.

Still, American agriculture wants to protect and rekindle that relationship as farmers cope with slumping prices.

Interest in China's food and feed plans is such that a breakout session on China's economy and agricultural trade at USDA's Ag Outlook Forum on Thursday was not only a standing-room only event, but there remained a line outside the session of people waiting for anyone to leave so they could get in.

China went from being a relatively small importer of U.S. products to...

Read more

Farmers Seeking Cotton Support

By Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Cotton farmers looking for further federal support are caught in a political tussle that doesn't appear to have any quick solution.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stood his ground Wednesday in a House Agriculture Committee hearing looking at the state of the rural economy. Vilsack maintained he does not have authority under the 2014 farm bill to create a commodity program for cottonseed by designating it as an "other oilseed" subject to payments under the Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs.

"I do not believe in good faith that I have that ability," he said.

Cash cotton prices now are running between 53 cents to 54 cents per pound while the March, May,...

Read more