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State legislation Minimum Wage, Truck Exemption Among New Laws

By Kevin Hecteman Editor’s note: An article published in an earlier edition of Cotton Farming inaccurately stated the current minimum wage in California. The following article and charts reflect the accurate numbers. Right about the time most bleary-eyed revelers were yelling “Happy New Year,” a slew of new California state laws took effect, including some with a direct affect on ... Read More »

Legislation House Vote Sets Stage For Talks On Drought Relief

Before members of Congress left Washington for the political conventions and August recess, the House of Representatives passed a 2017 appropriations bill that included California drought-relief provisions. California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger says passage of the appropriations legislation by the House represents an important step toward addressing problems that limit the flexibility of the California water system. By a vote of 231-196, the House passed the 2017 Interior appropriations bill, HR 5538, including the California-related water provisions. The inclusion of the provisions on water could help set the stage for negotiations with the U.S. Senate this fall, says Erin Huston, CFBF federal policy consultant.“This is the first time the House has passed an Interior bill since 2009, which can be seen as a milestone in itself,” Huston says. “This bill provides a potential path for desperately needed federal drought legislation. We are still working under a very limited calendar, but we will continue to urge a federal legislative solution.” Read More »

Protecting Environment

TIP, CRP Programs Still Important Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that farmers, ranchers and landowners committed to protecting and conserving environmentally sensitive land were able to sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) beginning June 9. The Secretary also announced that retiring farmers enrolled in CRP could receive incentives to transfer a portion of their land to beginning, ... Read More »

USDA Now Accepting Loan Requests

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) will begin accepting requests for marketing assistance loans (MALs) and loan deficiency payments (LDPs) for eligible 2014 commodities. Notice of the authorization was recently published in the Federal Register. MALs and LDPs for the 2014 crop year become available to eligible producers beginning with harvest/shearing season and extending through a ... Read More »

USDA Offers Assistance To Young Farmers

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the availability of more than $19 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers through initiatives such as the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). “USDA is committed to the next generation of America’s farmers and ranchers because they represent the future of ... Read More »

USDA Wants To Help Smaller Farms

In recent remarks at the National Farmers Union National Con-vention, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new and expanded efforts to connect small- and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with USDA resources that can help them build stronger businesses, ex-pand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations. “The recent Census of Agriculture shows that there is tremendous growth potential ... Read More »

NCC Conducting Farm Bill Education Meetings

The National Cotton Council has scheduled 45 informational meetings in 15 Cotton Belt states during March 17-25 to provide its members with a greater understanding of The Agricultural Act of 2014. NCC President/CEO Mark Lange said, “This new five-year comprehensive farm law includes fundamental changes in cottonʼs safety net, a greater reliance on crop insurance products, and will be implemented ... Read More »