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Stay informed on the latest news

USDA Reports Corn Plantings at 3 Percent; up Slightly Year-on-Year
Delayed by a lingering winter and soils either too cold or wet, US farmers have advanced corn plantings at a very slow pace in the key growing regions, according to Monday’s release of the Agriculture Department’s Weekly Crop progress report, which shows only 3 percent of corn planted.
AFBF Requests Extension of Comment Deadline on WPS Rule
The American Farm Bureau Federation has submitted a request to the Environmental Protection Agency for an extension of the June 17 comment deadline for a proposed rule to revise the agency’s worker protection standards promulgated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
USDA announces $19 million in grant money to help train beginning farmers
The USDA announced today it is making $19 million available for grants to “help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of” beginning farmers in an effort to counteract the increasing average age of agriculture producers in the U.S.
Diversified agriculture: New rules make it easier to sell some Indiana ag products
HEA 1039 (Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne) creates an initiative to market and promote Indiana-grown products to users such as residents, retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and farmer markets
Regulatory reform: IDEM, DNR to make changes in some permitting programs
The development of a deliberate and comprehensive water plan is a top priority of Indiana Farm Bureau. SEA 271(Sen. Ed Charbonneau, R-Valparaiso) moves that goal further down the line by authorizing a study of the water resources in the state and the impact they have on economic development and rural Indiana, in particular agriculture.
Farm protections: Ag trespass bill passes with broad support
After the issue drew considerable controversy last year, legislation dealing with ag trespass cleared the General Assembly with broad support. SEA 101 (Travis Holdman, R-Markle) adds causing property damage to an agricultural operation to the existing crime of institutional criminal mischief.
Taxes: Compromise measures on soil productivity factors, personal property taxes win approval
Passage of SEA 111 seems like déjà vu all over again. In the final days of the session, there were competing ideas about how to handle the yet-to-be justified increases in the February 2012 version of soil productivity factors proposed by the DLGF. The great news is that a one-year delay was again passed, protecting farmland owners from an unjustified tax shift of about $57.4 million.
Grassroots action, cooperation with ag partners result in legislative success for I
In spite of major legislative initiatives undertaken this session, the 2014 session of the General Assembly ended one day early with very high levels of success for farmers across the state.
New farm bill includes disaster assistance for livestock producers
Among the changes made to the federal farm program by the 2014 farm bill are two programs of particular interest to livestock and forage producers: the Livestock Forage Disaster Program and Livestock Indemnity Payments.
USDA Encourages Early Registration for FSA Programs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today recommended that farmers and ranchers who plan to participate in FSA programs register in advance. Producers are encouraged to report farm records and business structure changes to a local FSA Service Center before April 15, 2014.
New Report Shows Labor Challenges Lead to Loss in GDP
The Partnership for a New American Economy and the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform today released a new report showing how American families are eating more imported fresh produce today than ever before, in substantial part because U.S. fresh produce growers lack enough labor to expand their production and compete with foreign importers.
Water Rights Bill Prohibits Federal Takings
"The Water Rights Protection Act does not expand rights for individuals at the expense of any federal agency, nor does it in any way limit or constrain existing rights held by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management," noted Ryan Yates, American Farm Bureau Federation water rights specialist.
Employer Responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act
The IRS has issued final regulations about the responsibility of employers to provide health insurance to employees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Congress opens ‘Window of opportunity’ for immigration reform
During a retreat in January, the House GOP Conference released its “Principles for Immigration Reform.” The GOP is also currently discussing how members will move forward immigration reform this year.
Farm Bill Signed Into Law, USDA Turns to Implementation
After nearly three years of stalled discussions and debate, the U.S. Senate approved the new 5-year farm bill, known as the Agricultural Act of 2014, by a margin of 68-32 on February 4.
Dow Enlist technology advances in USDA regulatory process
Dow Enlist technology advances in USDA regulatory process, comment period now open until Feb. 24 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the completion of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Dow AgroSciences new Enlist™ corn, Enlist soybean and Enlist E3™ soybean traits and notice has been published in the Federal Register announcing the opening of a public comment period for the DEIS.
IFB pleased with Congress’ passage of a new farm bill
IFB pleased with Congress’ passage of a new farm bill It is with relief that Indiana Farm Bureau’s 70,000 farmer members salute Congress’ passage of a new farm bill, which passed the Senate today on a 68-32 vote after earlier passing the House 251-166. It will now to go President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.
House Republican Conference Releases Principles for Immigration Reform
During a retreat this week, the House GOP Conference released its Principles for Immigration Reform. You can read the principles here. The GOP is also currently discussing how they will move forward immigration reform this year.
AFBF Joins Forces with PNAE on Immigration Reform Efforts
There is a window of opportunity in the House to move immigration reform in 2014. To educate and advocate for agricultural labor reform, Farm Bureau has partnered with Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE) in the #IFarmImmigration campaign.
Congresswoman Walorski Visits with Local Farmers about Proposed Reynolds/Topeka Transmission Line
Congresswoman Walorski Visits with Local Farmers about Proposed Reynolds/Topeka Transmission Line Congresswoman Jackie Walorski recently met with a group of farmers and Farm Bureau members in Marshall and Kosciusko counties regarding the proposed Reynolds/Topeka Transmission Line being developed by the utility NIPSCO.
Donnelly Sends Letter to EPA Administrator
Senator Joe Donnelly, a member of the Senate Ag Committee, today sent a bipartisan letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy expressing his concerns regarding the EPA’s proposal for the 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Farm Bill Enters Final Push
After months of the latest negotiations, a 5-year farm bill appears to be nearing the home stretch for completion. Farm bill conferee staff worked through the weekend in an effort to allow the 41 conference committee members to approve a farm bill on Monday or Tuesday of this week, just in time for President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday.
Reynolds/Topeka Transmission Line Frequently Asked Questions
This information has been compiled by Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc. staff based upon questions received from members. Some of the information was acquired through discussions with representatives of NIPSCO. For answers to specific questions about the project, please contact a NIPSCO representative or your own counsel.
Amy Cornell, state government relations policy advisor, counsel
Hardly a novice to Indiana Farm Bureau, Amy Cornell has joined the public policy team as state government relations policy advisor and counsel.