While members of Congress are back in their home states running for re-election, piles of unresolved legislation wait for them back in Washington. Including the farm bill – that large piece of legislation that includes everything from food stamps to farm commodity programs. But with 13 days left in the session before the November elections, passage is looking pretty bleak. Could there really be no farm bill this year, and what would that mean for Midwestern farmers?
In the past 20 years, the human population of Kansas has remained fairly stable. Not so for the dairy cow population, which has increased by 50 percent. And the Sunshine State is making a concerted effort to keep the milk money flowing in.
The Republican River, winds through three states: Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. And that has been a problem. As farmers all along the Republican have tapped the river for irrigation, sharing the limited resource among the states has become a recurring legal contest. As a final arbitrator appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court considers the latest arguments this month, farmers along the river are concerned about keeping the water they count on.
Advocates for giving farm animals a little more breathing room have scored another victory: North America’s largest food distributor, Sysco, is the latest company to announce it will phase out pork produced with a controversial technology known as gestation crates. But as a growing number of consumers say they want more humanely produced meat on their plates, many pork producers worry they’ll be left picking up the tab for changes they don’t think are necessary.