Sustainable Agriculture News – End of May 2015

Release: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Submits Comments on USDA Draft Rule that would continue to allow million dollar subsidy payments to mega-farms On May 27, NSAC urged the USDA to undertake a major overhaul of its “actively engaged in farming” draft rule to create fair and effective limitations on the subsidies taxpayers provide to commodity farms. The actively engaged in farming rules determine eligibility for commodity subsidies.  USDA’s draft rule would create an ineffective and unfair two-tier system of payment limit provisions... CONGRESSIONAL NEWS What’s all the Flapping About: What do HBO’s John Oliver, Chicken Farmers, and Congress Have in Common? There has been a lot of social media buzz lately about a piece on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver about the plight of chicken farmers who raise birds on behalf of large chicken companies who own and process most of the chickens in this country. It has been great to see more attention drawn to the activities of the large poultry companies and their allies, but what is the “GIPSA Rider” that created the flap in the first place... USDA NEWS New Conservation Reserve Program Sign Ups Unveiled by USDA On May 29 the USDA made three announcements regarding the Conservation Reserve Program. NSAC supports the addition of more wildlife initiative acreage in the CRP, but also wants USDA to increase enrollments of conservation buffers with big pay-offs for soil conservation and water quality in addition to fish and wildlife benefits.... FDA NEWS FDA Rule on Food Animal Antibiotic Use Data Now Open for Comment On May 19, the FDA released a proposed rule that will enable more detailed data collection on antibiotic use in livestock production in the United States. This rule would require drug companies to obtain and report estimates of sales by major food producing species – namely cattle, chickens, turkeys, and pigs. The additional information from drug companies is intended to allow the FDA to help ensure the proper use of these medically important antibiotics...

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