December 4, 2013 House and Senate negotiators are meeting to reconcile their two different versions of a new farm bill. If they don't reach agreement, the nation faces going over "the dairy cliff" – a reversion to 1949 farm policy that would cause a big spike in milk prices.
September 19, 2013 When Fox News featured surfer-slacker Jason Greenslate in a piece about food stamps, Republicans found an irresistible symbol of food stamp freeloading.
June 20, 2013 In the past, the House might have let the Agriculture Committee have its way. Not this year. Democrats voted overwhelmingly against the bill, in large part because it cut an estimated $2 billion each year from nutrition programs like SNAP, or food stamps.
June 17, 2013 The Obama administration says the bill "makes unacceptable deep cuts" to federal food aid programs and extends, rather than cuts, crop insurance payments to farmers.
May 30, 2013 Farmers have been getting these government checks for years. Essentially, insurance allows farmers to lock in price guarantees — while taxpayers foot 60 percent of the premiums. Critics say such subsidies help the rich get richer and minimize risk so much, they incentivize farming on marginal lands.
May 16, 2013 As Congress gets to work on the farm bill, two common-sense, bipartisan reform measures seem to have gotten run over somewhere along the way. The first would set minimum standards for housing egg-laying chickens. The second sought to change how the U.S. provides food aid to people in foreign nations.
May 9, 2013 Farmers say they are ready to compromise with some environmental groups on the issue of conservation compliance. But critics say the price tag for the taxpayer may be too high.
September 19, 2012 The farm bill is likely to be left on the table when Congress leaves for recess, but don't panic. The nutrition and commodity programs will likely be extended after Election Day at current funding levels for a while, if the last session is any guide.
July 11, 2012 The egg industry and the Humane Society of the United States support a bill to require egg-laying hens to be raised in bigger cages, but a new organization backed by the pork industry and others is urging Congress to kill the egg bill.
June 14, 2012 While Congress debates food stamp cuts, the government should disclose where the program's costs are going and how much retailers and banks are profiting, says a new consumer watchdog report, Food Stamps: Follow The Money.
April 20, 2012 Crop insurance is a sticky issue in the debate over the shape of the farm bill this year. But what if a simplified version of the program could save taxpayers billions of dollars? One economist says it could.