Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 4.1

Monday, April 1st, 2019


April 1, 2019

A quick look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C. that’s impacting food and agriculture. If you would like to subscribe to the receive the updates right to your inbox, please contact Marissa Dake

Big Picture Outlook

  • Lawmakers Urge Prioritization of Dairy Program– On Friday, 38 Senators signed onto a bipartisan letter urging USDA to act quickly in the implementation of the Dairy Margin Coverage program and bring relief to dairy farmers across the country. The letter requests that the USDA invest in outreach, training, coordination with partner organizations, and staffing to ensure that every eligible farmer receives personalized information about the new and improved options made available in the 2018 Farm Bill. Earlier last month, a bipartisan group of House members submitted a similar letter, touting over 70 signatories.
  • Border Shutdown Threatens Ag Trade– The President announced that he is likely to close the southern border, or large sections of it, this week if Mexican authorities do not halt illegal immigration. “It could mean all trade” with Mexico, he explained. The economic impact could be instantaneous, as Mexico is the US’ third largest trading partner. The US ships about $19 billion of agriculture products across the border each year, including large exports of corn, vegetables and dairy. The President did not include an end date to the potential border shutdown.
  • Senate Advances Disaster Relief Bill- Last Tuesday, the Senate voted 90-10 on a procedural motion to advance a multi billion dollar disaster aid package to the chamber floor for a vote. They are expected to vote on final passage soon. The bill provides financial relief to regions around the U.S. that have been damaged by hurricanes, wildfires and flooding from the past year. The House passed its own version of the bill in January and the two chambers will likely need to negotiate differences in the two pieces of legislation. Flooding continues across Missouri, Montana, the Dakotas, Wisconsin, eastern Kansas and Illinois. Nebraska and Iowa are still assessing damages from historic flooding they experienced last month.

Nominations & Confirmations

Nicole Nason was confirmed to be Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a business meeting today on the nomination of Heath Tarbert to be chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, April 2
  • The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and the FDA will hold a hearing on, “The Rural Economy”.
  • The House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship will meet to discuss, “The Small Business Trade Snapshot: Agriculture and Workers.”
Wednesday, April 3
  • The House Ag Subcommittee on Nutrition will be “Examining the Proposed ABAWD (Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents) Rule and its Impact on Hunger and Hardship.”
  • The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and the FDA will be hearing testimony from outgoing FDA Commissioner Gottleib on the FY20 budget request.
  • The House Judiciary Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Securing the Future of American Agriculture”.


A Quick Look Back

Pertinent Timing Ticker