Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 2.14

February 14, 2022


Contents

  • Big Picture Outlook
  • Thoughts from Team Torrey
  • The Week Ahead
  • A Quick Look Back

Big Picture Outlook

House Ag Committee Hearings

On Tuesday, the House Agriculture Committee continued efforts to review policies in preparation for the next farm bill. The Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held a hearing to review farm policy with USDA Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Robert Bonnie. Several Republican members of the subcommittee raised concern with USDA’s recent announcement of $1 billion in Commodity Credit Corporation funding for the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot projects. Republican members felt the program announcement was misguided and overstepped the authority from Congress. Bipartisan unity among the committee occurred as members spoke of The New York Times opinion video titled “Meet the People Getting Paid to Kill Our Planet.” Bonnie said he was disappointed in the video, calling it “horrible.” The House Ag Committee will continue oversight efforts to prepare for the 2023 farm bill with a hearing on February 15 to examine USDA’s Office of Civil Rights and the handling of complaints.

Appropriations

Last Tuesday, the House passed a third continuing resolution for the current fiscal year that began October 1 to extend current funding levels through March 11. The previous stopgap was set to expire on February 18. The Senate is expected to pass the short-term extension this week.  On Wednesday, House and Senate Appropriations Committee leaders announced a deal on a “framework” that will allow them to start writing an omnibus spending bill for the 2022 fiscal year. The agreement is set to have increases for defense and nondefense spending and to maintain current policy riders. Leadership in the House and Senate is optimistic that an omnibus can be negotiated and passed before the March 11 deadline.

NASDA Officials Meeting This Week

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture officials are meeting this week to consider a range of policy changes. Officials from USDA, EPA, and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee are expected to speak with the group during their conference.

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, February 15

  • 11:00 AM EST: House Small Business Underserved, Agricultural, and Rural Business Development Subcommittee holds a hearing on “The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s Benefits for Small Businesses”
  •  12:00 PM EST: House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations holds a hearing for a Review of the Office of the Inspector General Report on ‘USDA Oversight of Civil Rights Complaints’

Wednesday, February 16

  • 10:00 AM EST: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing on “The Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Challenges and Opportunities.”

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

A Quick Look Back

“American Agricultural Exports Shattered Records in 2021” USDA

“In Major Step to Implement American Rescue Plan, USDA Announces Membership of Newly Formed Equity Commission” USDA

“Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Following Swearing in of Homer Wilkes, Ph.D. to Serve as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment” USDA

“Deadline Extended to Enroll in 2022 Dairy Margin Coverage and Supplemental Dairy Margin Coverage” USDA FSA

“RFA, Growth Energy Submit Comments to EPA on RVOs” The Fence Post

“U.S. December Trade Data Reveals Massive Shortfall in China’s ‘Phase 1’ Purchases” Reuters

“White House Faces Equity Challenge in EV-infrastructure Push” National Journal

“Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States”” AFBF

“Farm Prices for U.S. Major Field Crops Projected To Decline” USDA ERS

“Ethanol Production Drops Below 1M Barrels” Market Watch

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