Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. Farm Bill talks in full swing. Good news for the folks that have been patiently (or not-so-patiently) waiting for Congress to move on the Farm Bill – both the House and Senate this week passed Farm Bills out of committee and the full Senate plans to debate the bill next week. The House is looking towards debate in June. Check out a recap of Farm Bill hot topics with Jacqui Fatka, and see what Debbie Stabenow has to say about conferencing the bill.
2. Senate passes Water Bill. The Senate Wednesday voted 83-14 in support of the Water Resources Development Act, a bill that authorizes Army Corps projects on major inland waterways in the United States, and includes a provision that partially alleviates EPA fuel storage restrictions. But one group says an amendment to the bill was missed. Find out why.
3. What's in a good pie? As Beef Producer editor Alan Newport explains, it might not be cherries or other delicious fruits – in fact, it's probably a perfect mix of "gray and green," or energy and protein. Grazing a good mix of forages keeps your beef herd in top shape, he says. And you can tell by looking at the cowpies!
4. Corn groups form international agreement. Corn groups from the U.S., Argentina and Brazil signed a memorandum of understanding this week to form an international alliance of corn producers, collectively called MAIZALL. It's a move that the organizers say will facilitate global conversation and cooperation on corn biotech, market access and stewardship.
5. Organic sector to get improved crop insurance options. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack told the attendees at the Organic Trade Association's Policy Conference that his "new vision" for organic agriculture includes improved crop insurance coverage options and new premium price elections. The expanded offerings are expected in 2014.
6. Farm Progress Show planning made easy. You may still have to decide what exhibits to visit first, but before you know it, the programs will be out and the implements on the ground. We have some time yet, but Frank Holdmeyer is ready to help you plan – here's how he does it. Side note: If you're a country music fan, Chris Cagle will be the musical guest at this year's FPS in Decatur, Ill., Aug. 27-29.
7. Are the 'Dirty Dozen' really that dirty? Environmental Working Group's 'Dirty Dozen' list of the fruits and vegetables they say have the highest pesticide residue may not be as complete as consumers are led to believe, Farm Futures blogger LaVell Winsor says. Have a look at some of her resources to learn more.
And the bonus:
Water N' Poo. Here's an oldie-but-goodie. Clearly it didn't happen this week, but it's worth a mention. U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance Faces of Farming winner Will Gilmer apparently likes to sing. But not just any song – a song about the lovely "water and poo," known to many farmers more eloquently as nutrient management. Have a listen.
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