Illinois River at damaged lock may reopen late Tuesday

A northern stretch of the Illinois River that has been closed since Saturday for emergency lock repair work may reopen to commercial navigation as soon as Tuesday evening, the U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers said. FULL STORY »

Senate panel approves farm bill that expands crop insurance

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved a $500 billion farm bill on Tuesday that would expand spending on the federally subsidized crop insurance program by 10 percent and trim spending slightly on food stamps for the poor. FULL STORY »

Crop insurance expands, costs grow in latest farm bills

The federally subsidized crop insurance program, the costliest part of the U.S. farm safety net, would spin off at least three new types of coverage and could cost 10 percent more under draft farm bills pending in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. FULL STORY »

Hog Outlook: Pork exports dropped 18.4 percent in March

U.S. pork exports were down 18.4 percent in March. For the entire first quarter, pork exports were down 15.6 percent. FULL STORY »

D.C. Watch: Big budget battle expected this fall

For months it has appeared that Congress would need to raise the debt ceiling this summer, setting the stage for yet another big budget battle between Congress and the Obama administration. FULL STORY »

Commentary: VB6 and more anti-livestock propaganda

New York Times food writer Mark Bittman promotes his new diet book, and nationally syndicated columnist David Sirota claims livestock production helps “incinerate the planet.” They’re both wrong. FULL STORY »

New rules! Europe announces revisions to food safety laws

Responding to the horse meat fraud scandal, the European Commission has proposed revisions to its food safety laws that would cut red tape but strengthen penalties for violators. FULL STORY »

Choosing ACRE or DCP on the farm in 2013

The extension of the 2008 Farm Bill opens up the decision to participate in either of the safety net programs: the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program or the Direct and Countercyclical Program (DCP). Farmers have until June 3, 2013 to sign up for the ACRE program and Aug. 2, 2013 for the DCP program. FULL STORY »

Brumm Speaks Out: The changing face of rural communities

In the past few weeks I’ve put on quite a few miles as I’ve worked with producers and production systems across the upper Midwest. With so much road time I’ve had a chance to think about the importance of pork production as an opportunity for youth to return to the farm. FULL STORY »

Battle over U.S. immigration bill starts in Congress

The U.S. Congress this week opens its first debate in six years on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, testing whether business and labor groups can hold together on a delicately crafted deal that already is under attack. FULL STORY »

U.S. think tank says immigrant amnesty would worsen deficits

Granting legal status to 11 million undocumented foreigners living in the United States would significantly add to government budget deficits, according to a study released on Monday by the conservative Heritage Foundation. FULL STORY »

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