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Farm and Food File Results

Come on, let’s redo payment limits

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In a surprisingly move, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns offered three reforms in his Jan. 31 farm bill proposal to fence rich farmers from the farm program payment trough.

Farm bill is a wobbly effort at best

Thursday, February 15, 2007

When longtime Texas congressman “Cotton” Charlie Stenholm got bushwhacked for re-election by colleague Tom DeLay’s infamous Texas redistricting plan in 2004, most ag policy hands lamented that much of the House Agriculture Committee’s farm bill experience went down with him.

Millions of reasons for lobbying reform

Thursday, February 8, 2007

By Capitol Hill standards, $95.5 million is chicken feed; but even chicken feed has a purpose: fatter broilers, happier hens, more eggs.

Too many cooks in farm bill kitchen

Thursday, February 1, 2007

If urban sprawl consumes two acres of America’s finite farmland every minute, should Congress, through the 2007 farm bill, address farmland protection? If one out of three Americans is either overweight or obese, should the $57 billion the U.

The great acreage race of 2007 is on

Thursday, January 25, 2007

As the roaring combine sawed through 30 feet of soybeans at a fast-walk pace last October, a farming friend, through the convenience of his cell phone, sold 160 acres of still-standing corn for a couple or three nickels over $3 per bushel upon harvest.

The missing word rule applies here

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A college friend once noted that everyone is missing one word from their personal vocabulary. “My missing word is modesty,” he pronounced.

Jungle of food safety may consolidate

Thursday, January 11, 2007

One hundred years ago this week, the nation’s first extensive food safety laws went into effect. Inspired by Upton Sinclair’s stomach-churning novel The Jungle, President Theodore Roosevelt bullied Congress into passing the Food and Drug Act.

Ethanol’s long tail to wag 2007′s dog

Thursday, January 4, 2007

In 2006, ethanol was the strong tail wagging the farm dog. In 2007, ethanol will be the big, well-muscled dog whose price-pumping tail will stir every farm market and nearly every public policy debate.

Deleting 2006, one e-mail at a time

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The move from the big house to the smaller home a year ago brought a pint-sized office, three dozen banker boxes to replace nine, overfilled filing cabinets and a new, tiny-by-comparison work desk.

Easy as hitting a bull in the backside

Thursday, December 21, 2006

In late July, this space highlighted recent investigative stories by reporters at the Washington Post.

’07 farm bill: Seeing the light of day

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The big wins Senate and House Democrats enjoyed Nov. 7 will deliver them bigger titles, bigger offices, bigger staffs, bigger responsibilities and bigger expectations when the 110th Congress convenes in early January.

Australia’s AWB Ltd. days are over

Thursday, December 7, 2006

About the time most Americans werecarving their Thanksgiving turkey, Australia’s virtual wheat export monopoly, AWB Ltd, was being carved up like a Christmas turkey – a Christmas turkey for U.

Riding (and writing) the ethanol tiger

Thursday, November 30, 2006

For years, farmers’ hearts would leap when the word “ethanol” appeared in a newspaper headline. Now farmers almost dread it because they know the ensuing story is likely to outline the inevitable bust that awaits them if the current unplanned, willy-nilly ethanol boom continues.

Voters: less bumbling, more balance

Thursday, November 23, 2006

According to most political wags, Nov. 7′s election results were delivered more by do-nothing Republicans than by here’s-what-we-want-to-do Democrats.

Ethanol policy is not all politics

Thursday, November 16, 2006

In the run-up to the Nov. 7 election, any candidate worth a baby-kissing pucker instantly, enthusiastically and repeatedly took the ethanol pledge.

Monsanto looks to lock up cotton market

Thursday, November 9, 2006

In a move somewhere between brilliantly audacious and unbelievably outrageous, Monsanto’s Aug. 15 offer to buy Delta & Pine Land Co.

Too much silence about merger

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The weakly regulated, wild west show that has been the Chicago futures markets is poised to become a wilder, more global show now that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange announced it was purchasing archrival Chicago Board of Trade for $8 billion.

Gunning for the rural vote in November

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Show me the contents of a person’s wallet and I’ll outline their life. My skinny wallet, for example, holds just two credit cards (likes convenience, hates consumer debt), a grocery store discount card (cheapskate), a driver’s license, voter’s registration card and fishing license (name, address, age, dull life) as well as a blood donor card (O Positive).

Really, you can’t make this stuff up

Thursday, October 19, 2006

As fast as time usually passes, it seems to pick up even greater speed in the fall. Corn and soybeans, like maples’ leaves, appear to turn golden one day, brown the next and, at least so to me, are gone the next.

Congress change means policy change

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Leaving a backlog of work it clearly had no appetite for, a deeply divided, very worried Congress skedaddled out of Washington at the end of September to make its re-election case to an equally divided, equally worried electorate.

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