Farm Bill

News & Analysis as of

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

USDA Announces Biobased Products Report And Changes To Biobased Programs

On June 17, 2015, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the release of a report to congress that builds on the Why Biobased? report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2014. The new report, An...more

USDA Proposed Rule Limits Payments to Non-Farmers

A newly proposed rule issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under authority of the 2014 Farm Bill limits farm payments to non-farmers. Under the current rule, individuals designated as farm managers were...more

Canada Retaliates Against U.S. Country of Origin Labelling Requirements

Since 2008, the Canadian government has challenged country of origin labelling (COOL) requirements imposed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). On May 18, 2015, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate...more

Ethanol And Agricultural Groups Send USDA A Letter In Favor Of Ethanol Funding

On March 26, 2015, a group of ethanol and agricultural groups sent a letter (the industry letter) to the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug...more


Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule amending the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to implement changes required by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to owners...more

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million In Grants To Producers And Researchers

On December 2, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $9 million in grants to support advanced biofuel production and the bioeconomy. More than $5 million in grants awarded to 220 producers nationwide are...more

USDA Proposes Amended Guidelines For Biobased Products For Federal Procurement

On October 27, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed to amend the regulations for the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products under USDA's BioPreferred Program. As explained in the Federal Register...more

USDA awards $68 million for energy projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $68 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The latest round of awards under the agency's Rural Development arm's Rural...more

Growing Michigan - Third Quarter 2014

In This Issue: - Food and Drug Administration Not Required to Ban Antibiotics Given to Food-Producing Animals - U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill -...more

U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Crop Insurance under 2014 Farm Bill

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently implemented provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill to expand insurance coverage options for farmers and ranchers. The new Supplemental Coverage Option ("SCO") is designed to help protect...more

New Conservation Mandate Will Apply to Specialty Crops: Producers Must File by June 1, 2015

An overlooked provision in the new Farm Bill will soon be getting more attention from specialty crop farmers as they begin purchasing insurance for next year’s crops. Under “conservation compliance,” all producers must now...more

USDA Invests $68 Million In 540 Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Projects

On September 18, 2014, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. This is the most recent in a series of USDA actions designed to help...more

McAfee & Taft takes the lead in protecting American farmers' right to 2014 Farm Bill's APH Adjustment Option

Farmers who insure their crops with an Actual Production History (APH) type of crop insurance policy — especially in areas affected by the recent severe droughts — received a welcome benefit in the 2014 Farm Bill known as the...more

USDA Announces Value-Added Producer Grants To Support The Bioeconomy

On August 19, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Agency is investing $25 million to support 247 businesses throughout the country under the Value-Added Producer Grant program (the program). The...more

USDA Issues BioPreferred Rule

On August 1, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule on "Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement." A copy of the rule is available online. The rule is effective on...more

Growing Michigan - Second Quarter 2014

For decades, the Environmental Protection Agency has been charged with administering the United States Clean Water Act. One question that has bedeviled farmers, business owners and individuals – as well as judges and lawyers...more

Applications Now Being Accepted for USDA Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Grant and Loan Program

On Monday, May 5, 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will begin accepting new applications for grants and loans under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for fiscal year 2014....more

House Agriculture Appropriations Bill Would Make Significant Cuts To Mandatory Funding For Farm Bill

On May 20, 2014, the House Committee on Appropriations' Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee) and the Senate...more

Tax And Business Planning For Farmers To Avoid Higher Taxes And Loss Of Subsidies

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (aka - the 2014 Farm Bill) has been controversial, to say the least. Among its many changes are an $8 billion cut to the “food stamp” program. The Farm Bill also drastically modifies or ends...more

U.S. Agricultural Export Markets Expanded Through 2014 Farm Bill Programs

Funding made available from the 2014 Farm Act has allowed the USDA to establish programs to assist in the growth of commercial export markets. The USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) recently granted funding to more...more

2014 Farm Bill Provides New and Expanded Funding for Section 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program

On February 7, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law the Agriculture Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). The 2014 Farm Bill is a $956 billion legislative package that includes $881 million in mandatory funding for energy...more

Farm Bill Passage A Boon To Homebuilders

The Farm Bill, which was approved by the Senate on Monday and the House last week, contains a provision that was supported by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) that will enable millions of Americans to maintain...more

Farm Bill Conference Report Contains Significant Funding for Rural Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

On January 27 the leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees released the long-awaited conference report of the 2014 Farm Bill. This five-year reauthorization is estimated to cost $950 billion over ten years...more

Growing Michigan - Fourth Quarter 2013

In This Issue: - Proposed EPA Water Rule Could Expand Regulatory Authority Over Streams and Wetlands - USDA Finalizes Import Regulations for "Mad Cow Disease" - Organic Farmers Effected by Farm Bill Extension...more

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