Competition & Anti-trust


And We’re Off: Farm Bill 2012

April 23, 2010

Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) described Wednesday’s House Agriculture Committee Hearing on the Farm Bill as “two-and-a-half hours to kick off two-and-a-half years.” The hearing was the first of Committee Chairman Collin Peterson’s (D-MN) meetings to get a head start on planning for the next Farm Bill, scheduled for completion in 2012. Over the past […]

Senators Chide Administration on “Actively Engaged”

April 16, 2010

A bi-partisan group of Senators sent a letter to President Obama on Tuesday criticizing the Administration’s loose interpretation of “active personal management” in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final rule on farm program payment limitations, released on January 7, 2010. Senators Tim Johnson(D-SD), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Russ Feingold (D-WI) and John Barrasso (R-WY) […]

Study Supports Crop Insurance Reform

April 9, 2010

A study by Milliman Inc., released by the USDA last Friday April 2, determined that the return on equity for crop insurers in the Federal Crop Insurance Program was 26.4 percent in 2009, well above the reasonable rate of return for 2009, 10.7 percent. National Crop Insurance Services responded to the study on Monday, criticizing […]

USDA’s Swine Contract Library to Re-Open

April 2, 2010

On April 2, USDA’s Grain Inspection and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) issued a final rule for its Swine Contract Library, which takes effect on May 3, 2010.   The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 required GIPSA to establish and maintain a library of swine marketing contracts for the purchase of hogs between large hog packing […]

Target Date Passes for Black Farmer Settlement

April 1, 2010

The settlement reached between the government and black farmers denied USDA funding and services included a target date of March 31.  That date has now passed, but the issue remains very much alive. The major remaining hurdle is for Congress to find a funding source or “offset” to allow it to provide the additional $1.15 […]

Farmers Seek Justice in the Heartland

March 17, 2010

We are thrilled to feature this blog post written by Kristina Hubbard, board member of NSAC member group, the Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO).  Kiki attended the first in a series of hearings sponsored by the USDA and Department of Justice about concentration in the agriculture industry.  Kiki is the author of a recent report, […]

USDA Adds Pork to Existing Poultry Loan Rules Aimed at Preventing Contract Abuse

March 16, 2010

On Thursday, March 11, USDA announced that Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm loan policies already in place for contract poultry production will be extended to contract pork operations as well. The aim of the guidance is to try to put an end to the practice of FSA financing new hog or poultry operations in cases […]

Grant Opportunity: Community Outreach and Assistance for Risk Management

March 1, 2010

Today’s federal register announced the availability of $2.5 million in grants for the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program and $1.1 million for Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions. The Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program targets limited resource, socially disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved producers with training, […]

Opportunity for Farmers to Speak About Justice to Power

February 25, 2010

The U.S. Department of Justice and USDA have announced the agenda for the first in a series of 5 workshops intended to give these agencies and the public in-depth information about the increasing concentration and decreasing competition in the agricultural sector.  The workshop will be held March 12 in Ankeny, Iowa.  Attendance at all the […]

Pigford: One step closer to closure?

February 19, 2010

On Thursday USDA and the Justice Department announced a $1.25 billion settlement agreement in a class action brought by African American farmers on outstanding discrimination claims, which were not covered by the 1999 consent agreement in the case Pigford v. Glickman (Pigford I). Under the Pigford I consent agreement, USDA paid 16,000 farmers about $1 […]

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