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Policy Plate BLOG

Your daily serving of food and farm policy.

The Latest from Policy Plate

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Simple good governance and due process are reason enough to demand open deliberation on the farm bill, but there are significant budgetary reasons to insist on it as well, and lawmakers should take note of them.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Environmental Working Group joined several groups today at the National Press Club to call on lawmakers to stop a secret farm bill from being attached to any legislation designed to straighten out the nation's finances. The groups urged Congress to pass a responsible one-year extension bill that is paid for by eliminating direct payments.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Syndicated columnist Froma Harrop explains how federal crop insurance is flooding the heartland in her latest column on

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Congressional leaders in search of a compromise to avert the “fiscal cliff” are under growing pressure from advocates for subsidized agriculture to attach a $1 trillion farm bill to legislation ostensibly designed to straighten out the nation’s finances.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Environment & Energy Daily (subscription only) reports that free market groups are urging the White House and congressional leaders to avoid using the farm bill as a means to a fiscal cliff deal.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

A recent blog by DTN/The Progressive Farmer’s Marcia Zarley Taylor aptly titled Extreme Insurance should give taxpayers and policymakers pause.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Marcia Zarley Taylor recently posted a blog aptly titled Extreme Insurance. As executive editor of DTN, which publishes The Progressive Farmer magazine and website, Taylor is one of the more cogent observers of crop insurance and this year’s drought.

Friday, November 30, 2012

USA Today reports American Automobile Association (AAA) has warned today that gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) could cause car damage.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Nation's cover story (Dec.17) examines the potential for the nation's drilling and fracking operations to contaminate our food.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New York Times headline this month (Nov, 13) read: “The Problem is Clear: The Water is Filthy.” It should have read: “The Problem is Clear: Agriculture Granted the Right to Make the Water Filthy.”

Friday, November 16, 2012

The farm bill affects every single taxpayer and everyone who eats. Therefore, every member of Congress has an interest in it, and each should have his or her opportunity to improve it. There are lots of ways to improve the versions that are currently on the table, particularly the House bill, which has never been considered on the floor.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Democrats in farm country tried hard to turn Congress’ failure to pass a federal farm bill into a political liability for their Republican opponents. It didn’t work.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A new editorial from the Des Moines Register throws its support behind a farm bill proposal that would require farmers to comply with basic conservation rules in exchange for taxpayer dollars.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today’s Des Moines Register op-ed by Environmental Working Group and Taxpayers for Common Sense explains why spending what little legislative time remains on a nearly trillion-dollar, multi-year bill that would boost taxpayer subsidies for agriculture — a sector that booked record profits of $122 billion this year — would be irresponsible.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Growers plowed under more than 23 million acres of grassland, shrub land and wetlands in order to plant commodity crops between 2008 and 2011, a new report by Environmental Working Group and Defenders of Wildlife shows.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Environmental Working Group is urging members of Congress to oppose the drought package under consideration by the House because it would make deep cuts in voluntary conservation programs.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Environmental Working Group released a statement today opposing the drought disaster package proposed by House agriculture committee leaders that would be paid for with damaging and unnecessary cuts to conservation programs. Livestock and fruit and vegetable farmers who don’t have access to federal crop insurance certainly need assistance during this historic drought. But the proposal would cut the very conservation programs that help farmers mitigate severe weather conditions. This is a shortsighted and counterproductive move.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In an AgMag post today, Environmental Working Group’s Scott Faber urges the full House to reject a cynical one-year extension of the 2008 farm bill because it cuts vital conservation programs and extends wasteful direct payments.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

The Environmental Working Group has unmasked the latest scheme to cook up a “new” farm policy that has the worst faults of the old one. In a statement released today, EWG says: "Legislation that costs more than the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP, doesn’t stand a chance in the U.S. House of Representatives."

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Friday, July 27, 2012

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was right to put the fatally flawed House Agriculture Committee farm bill out to pasture, writes Environmental Working Group’s Scott Faber in EWG’s latest AgMag post.

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