The Hagstrom Report

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Jackson proposing retention of dusty roads standard

In an action that could have implications for this week’s Senate debate on the fiscal year 2012 Agriculture appropriations bill, Environmental Protection Agency Adminsitrator Lisa Jackson wrote that she plans to keep regulations on dust on country roads the same as they are now. Read More...

Vilsack thanks restaurateurs, pushes immigration reform

In what may be standard fare as he campaigns for President Barack Obama’s re-election, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today thanked the National Restaurant Association’s board of directors for making more nutritious food appealing, said Obama’s economic plan will help the country “get back to building things,” defended ethanol and, when no one in the audience asked about immigration, raised the issue himself. Read More...

Livestock, ethanol groups spar over tightening federal renewable fuel standard

Livestock, dairy and poultry groups today used a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing on the issue of feed availability to call for a tightening up of the federal renewable fuel standard that controls the amount of ethanol that must be used in the feed supply. Corn growers and pro-ethanol groups, which were not invited to testify, complained that the hearing was an attack on ethanol. Read More...

EPA regulation concerns continue to stir dust with GOP

Congressional Republicans are clearly running out of patience with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, even though Jackson, President Barack Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack have said farmers have much less to worry about at EPA than they think. Read More...

EPA releases Science Advisory analysis on reactive nitrogen

The Environmental Protection Agency today posted a report of the Science Advisory Board on reactive nitrogen in the United States. Read More...

USDA to spread word to local offices on regulations

Following up on President Barack Obama's statement to a farmer in Illinois that he should “contact USDA” if he has concerns about proposed regulations, the Agriculture Department in Washington will provide USDA offices in the states and counties information on regulatory initiatives, a spokesman for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today. Read More...

Ethanol industry set to fight over renewable fuels standard

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Republican presidential candidacy and President Barack Obama’s comments on ethanol have thrown the corn-based ethanol industry into turmoil as it struggles to convince Congress to provide assistance to build blender pumps. Read More...

Vilsack defends Obama's statements on pending regulations

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack capped President Obama’s three-day Midwestern bus tour today by announcing USDA grants and loans for community facilities in 31 states and Puerto Rico, explaining how food stamps stimulate the economy and agreeing with Obama’s statements Wednesday that farmers worried about impending regulation should check to make sure the regulations are really moving forward or are just fears being fed by lobbyists in Washington. Read More...

Peterson: Food stamps, CRP would be exempt from sequestration

STOWE, Vt. — In a videoconference discussion of the impact of the new debt ceiling and deficit reduction law today, House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn, said the supplemental nutrition assistance program or SNAP (formerly called food stamps), the Conservation Reserve Program that idles land and an Environmental Protection Agency program addressing hazardous waste in grains bins would be exempt from sequestration if an across-the-board federal budget cut would go into effect in 2012. Read More...

Vilsack announces four more BCAP contracts

One day after the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would lower the goal for cellulosic ethanol use in the nation’s energy supply because there is not enough available, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared his faith in cellulosic energy, and announced $45 million in federal contracts for four additional Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project areas in six states to expand the availability of non-food crops to be used in the manufacturing of liquid biofuels. Read More...

AFT lobbyist warns of farmer apathy on farm bill

Farmers are apathetic about the next farm bill and need to get involved if key farm programs are going to be saved, a prominent farm and conservation lobbyist told the National Association of Conservation Districts board today. Read More...

House-passed pesticide bill on hold in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will not bring up a House-passed bill to eliminate a pesticide permit requirement until senators who have placed holds on the bill and advocates for it have worked out a deal, Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said today. Read More...

Farm, wildlife groups disagree on pesticide permitting bill

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., and several farm groups are urging the Senate to pass a bill intended to reduce what they consider to be costly and duplicative pesticide permitting requirements, but the National Wildlife Federation is opposed to the bill.
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Rural fight looms over Clean Water Act guidance

Signaling a battle within rural America, a coalition of hunting and fishing groups has announced they support the Obama administration’s Clean Water Act guidance on streams and wetlands, while some farm and ranch leaders and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., criticized the proposal. Read More...

Vilsack, Jackson plan Iowa trip

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced today that they will travel to Iowa together for a series of events on Tuesday. Read More...

Jackson reaching out to fight EPA myths

After months of criticism from rural Republican House members and senators, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson has decided to reach out to rural America to explain the agency’s initiatives and respond to what she calls the “myths” about the agency. Read More...

EPA’s Jackson: Milk exempt from spill regulation

The Environmental Protection Agency will exempt milk from a regulation that requires industries that store petroleum products in large quantities to prevent supplies, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said today. Read More...

Sen. Roberts introduces pesticide permit bill

Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and a group of other Republican senators today introduced a bill to exempt farms from duplicative pesticide permit application requirements. Read More...

Senate urged to pass Reducing Regulatory Burdens bill

After the House passed a bill to make sure farmers do not have to file duplicate applications for pesticide permits, House farm leaders and farm groups are urging the Senate to take up the measure. Read More...

Peterson slams EPA for changing policy through settlements

House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., added a new twist to criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency today, telling EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson that the agency has been too quick to settle lawsuits. Read More...

Senate Ag members meet with Vilsack, Jackson on EPA regulations

Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and other senators met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to form a working group on regulations. Read More...

Lucas sets farm bill schedule, notes EPA hearing

TAMPA, Fla. — House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., laid out a schedule for the 2012 farm bill today and, assuring some of the nation’s biggest farmers that a new bill will be written, said he looks forward to an oversight hearing with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson next week. Read More...

Stabenow, House members address Cotton Council v EPA

Senate Agriculture Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., is seeking an extension of the stay the Supreme Court granted the Environmental Protection Agency in its decision in National Cotton Council v. EPA, while a bipartisan group of House members introduced a bill to resolve the issue. Read More...

Stabenow talks production agriculture, need to push principles in farm bill

CRYSTAL CITY, Va. — Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said today she wants to make farm programs established in the 2012 farm bill “work for production agriculture,” and that her committee, the Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency are putting together a joint working group on EPA’s agriculture regulation. Read More...

Aggies urge Vilsack to rein in Jackson at EPA

A series of House and Senate Agriculture committee members today told Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory zeal is the biggest problem in rural America, and urged him to try to influence EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s decision making. Read More...

EPA declares 15 percent ethanol safe for 2001 and newer vehicles

Fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol is safe for cars and light trucks made since 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency declared this morning. Read More...

Farm Bureau to sue EPA over Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan

ATLANTA — The American Farm Bureau Federation will file suit Monday to try to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from using the Clean Water Act to reduce the level of pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. In his annual address to the membership at Farm Bureau’s convention here, president Bob Stallman said the group would file suit in federal district court in Scranton, Pa. The suit addresses an EPA announcement that it would use total maximum daily load (TMDL) requirements to put the Chesapeake Bay on a “pollution diet” to restore clean water in the bay and the region’s streams, creeks and rivers. Read More...