Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 8.2

Monday, August 2nd, 2021


August 2, 2021

  • Big Picture Outlook
  • The Week Ahead
  • A Quick Look Back
  • Contact the Team

Big Picture Outlook

Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation Released – After months of negotiations, the Senate’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan’s bill text is now available in its entirety as members get one step closer to passing a top priority for Biden. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) believes the bill may pass the chamber within days. The plan includes investment in roads, bridges, safety, public transit, passenger and freight rail, electric vehicles, airports, ports, water infrastructure, high-speed internet, and environmental remediation. Even with this progress in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has publicly committed to holding the bipartisan bill until the House receives the separate $3.5 trillion Democrat plan simultaneously passed through the Senate using budget reconciliation.

House of Representatives Approves Seven-Bill Spending Package – The House of Representatives voted to pass a package of seven fiscal 2022 spending bills that would provide significant increases for climate measures, agricultural research, and agencies that enforce environmental and labor regulations. The House adopted amendments that would increase field staffing at USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and fund additional personnel for the department’s rural development programs. Another adopted amendment would expand eligibility for rural broadband assistance through USDA’s ReConnect grant and loan programs. No crop insurance amendments received a vote. A single crop insurance amendment filed by Representative David Valadao (R-CA) would delay the rule on the common crop insurance provisions for one year due to an objection over the inclusion of the one in four rule.

Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing For Two USDA Roles – The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutrition held a confirmation hearing (attach memo) on July 29 for Robert Bonnie to be the USDA Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation. If confirmed, Bonnie will be overseeing the Risk Management Service. During the hearing, he stated the importance of crop insurance while saying he was open to expanding disaster assistance and that he would like to expand opportunities and availability of crop insurance into more types of agriculture. He also hopes to improve data and take both climate and extreme weather events into account in the program. The hearing also considered Xochitl Torres Small to be Under Secretary for Rural Development.

The Week Ahead 

Monday, August 2

  • 5:45 PM EST: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies holds meeting to markup an original bill making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022.

Wednesday, August 4

  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Committee on Appropriations holds markup of the fiscal year 2022 Energy and Water, Agriculture, and Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs Appropriations Bills.

Thursday, August 5

  • 10:00 AM EST: Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry holds hearing to consider the nomination of Dr. Homer L. Wilkes to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment.

To see a full list of House and Senate Committee business, visit here.

A Quick Look Back 

“RMA Extends Deadlines for Emergency Drought Relief” USDA RMA

“Biden Administration to Invest $67 Million to Solve Land Ownership Issues” USDA

“2022 Crop Budgets Contain Higher Costs” Farmdoc Daily

“$20 Million Federal Grant Launches AI Institute” Iowa State University

“Iowa Secretary Of Ag Responds To ASF In Dominican Republic” Successful Farming

“Manchin: No Guarantee Reconciliation Package Will Pass” Politico

“Farmraise Reduces The Hassle Of Accessing EQIP Funds” Successful Farming

“Rokstone Launches US Agriculture Division” Insurance Business

“Soybeans Drop For 2nd Session On Improved U.S. Weather” Successful Farming

“Farmers Feel Impact on Forefront of Climate Change” U.S. News

Contact the Team 

Feel free to contact Michael TorreyTara Smith, Danielle Nelson, Cassandra KuballJames GlueckBarbara Patterson, Trey Forsyth, Perry Harlow, or Brandon Barnett with any questions or comments.