WIUM Tristates Public Radio

farm bill

Galen Fick milks 50 Brown Swiss cows every day on his farm in Boyden, Iowa, where his family has been in the dairy business for generations. Life as a dairy farmer has gotten harder and harder, he says, especially in the past two years.

 

“Our inputs have gone up so much, not the feed part of it but everything else,” he says, pointing to veterinary care and, especially, labor. “For us to make that profit, [it] makes it very tough.”

Back from War, On to the Farm

Feb 23, 2015
John Wendle for Harvest Public Media

Sara Creech has grown dependent on farming. She started out planting an orchard of fruit trees - apples, peaches, cherries and pears. She added berry bushes and rows of vegetables.

And then she bought her first chickens.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Across the Corn Belt, farmers are signing up for Farm Bill support programs and which ones they choose will impact the overall price tag for taxpayers.

Wikipedia

2014 was the year even the lunch ladies got political.

Years in the Making, New Farm Bill Becomes Law

Feb 7, 2014
Courtesy Stephen Carmody/Michigan Radio

President Barack Obama signed the new farm bill into law Friday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, ending years of negotiations and wrangling.

US Senate Approves Farm Bill

Feb 4, 2014
andrewmalone/Flickr

The US Senate passed the farm bill Tuesday by a vote of 68-32, sending it to the president’s desk and ending years of political wrangling.

Discovery.com

It’s getting so close now… Wednesday morning the U.S. House passed the Agriculture Act of 2014, the new farm bill. The Senate is expected to take a preliminary vote Monday, February 3.

Harvest Public Media

Congress won’t pass a farm bill before early next year.

andrewmalone/Flickr

Though farm bill talks heated up this week in Washington, key legislators emerged from negotiations Thursday disappointed and predicted there would be no progress until after Congress returns in December from its recess.

Frank Morris/Harvest Public Media

The farm bill expired at midnight on Monday, leaving farmers and ranchers across the country guessing at what federal farm policy will look like when they next put their crops in the ground.

SSS

The USDA"s Natural Resources Conservation Service is encouraging Iowa farmers to sign up for conservation programs for next year but as of now those programs have no funding.

sss

Farmers in the Midwest were devastated by a crippling drought in 2012, and the federal crop insurance program paid out a record $17.3 billion.

Schock Says Congress Reflects Polarized Nation

Aug 13, 2013
SSS

With congress in recess, Illinois Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL) took a two week tour of his district conducting town hall style "listening sessions," stopping in Macomb on Tuesday.

Extending Farm Bill May Hurt IL Farmers

Aug 2, 2013
SSS

At an Illinois Farm Bureau Commodity Conference, the leader of an agricultural bank said Illinois farmers should be prepared for another two year extension of the farm bill.

IL Farm Groups Unhappy with House Farm Bill

Jul 15, 2013
SSS

The U.S. House passed its version of a farm bill by sidestepping the issue that caused its earlier attempt to fail.  Some Illinois farm groups aren't happy with that new approach. 

IL Farm Bureau Against Splitting Farm Bill

Jul 8, 2013
SSS

After a new five year farm bill failed in the US house of representatives, some lawmakers have suggested splitting the large multi hundred billion dollar piece of legislation into two separate bills.

Group Wants Farm Subsidies Linked to Environment

Jun 18, 2013
Discovery.com

The US Senate passed a new five year farm bill last week and the house may take it up as early as this week.

Crop Insurance Limits in Farm Bill

Jun 12, 2013
Discovery.com

As an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill nears its end, the US Senate passed its version of a new five year bill.

Farm Bill Passes House Committee

May 16, 2013
Marianne Morgan/InIllinoisWater.org

The house agriculture committee and the Senate have both passed versions of a new five year farm bill. Congress passed a 9 month extension to the current farm bill last year, but the he lack of long term farm bill is affecting conservation programs.

Wetland Restoration Program Funding in Question

Feb 1, 2013
http://www.cpe.rutgers.edu

The future remains uncertain for a federal conservation program that helps restore wetlands across the Midwest. The Wetlands Reserve Program provides money to farmers who take former wetlands out of production and restore them.

Schock Says Fiscal Cliff Talks May Solve Farm Bill

Dec 4, 2012
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Cal

A western Illinois Congressman thinks the President’s recent proposal to solve the fiscal cliff is not serious.

Republican Aaron Schock said negotiations are moving forward, but he believes the President needs to agree to deeper spending cuts.

In The Tri States

Oct 7, 2012

A look back at the top stories and features from the Tri States Public Radio news department from September 2012.  

Reporter Jason Parrott told us about plans to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in Lee County. He also reported on pending lay-offs at one of the county’s largest employers.

During the month, Colchester received some good news from the USDA, Lee County made plans to add beds to its jail, and a historic structure in Macomb received a national designation.

Farm Bill in Limbo

Sep 18, 2012
Rich Egger

Congress has less than two weeks  to act before the current farm bill expires.

Dozens of federal programs are included in the bill -- everything from  crop insurance to food aid for the poor.

Spending on food aid is one of the reasons that House Republican leaders have refused  to call the measure for a vote. U-S Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is among  many farm-state politicians of both parties who have been  critical of that decision.

There’s more than one drought choking the country. On Capitol Hill, there’s a drought of ideas – and compassion – about farmers, rural America and the needy.

Two of Iowa’s political heavyweights spent some time in Lee County this week.  They used separate events to tout one of the state’s growing industries.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, visits Lee County at least once a year as part of his annual 99-county tour of the state.

His counterpart, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin’s, D-Iowa, visits are much more sporadic, which made their visits occurring at the same time rather unique.

SENATOR HARKIN VISITS FARM

Steve Newberry of rural Argyle has been farming all of his life.  His farm is located down a winding, gravel road just a couple miles west of the Avenue of the Saints in Lee County.

Newberry says his farm has a little bit of everything, including about 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans, 150 head of cattle, and about 7,000 hogs split between two buildings.

He says his passion for farming starts with his love of cattle, likening it to someone who loves to go fishing.

Durbin Says New Bills Reflect Budget Realities

Feb 27, 2012

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said a new farm bill will have to cost less and return to its primary goal of helping farmers during tough times.
 
He calls the current payment system ”lopsided.”
 
Durbin said, “The direct payment system is paying many farmers a lot of federal money at a time when prices were very, very high. We're going to have to change that and farmers know it.”

He is confident the new bill will save money and still protect farmers.

The current farm bill expires at the end of this year.