David Bennett

Associate Editor,
Delta Farm Press

David Bennett, associate editor for Delta Farm Press, is an Arkansan. He worked with a daily newspaper before joining Farm Press in 1994. Bennett writes about legislative and crop related issues in the Mid-South states.

2008 Farm Bill Extended

The 2008 Farm Bill has been extended for nine months. A plunge off the fiscal cliff was averted late Tuesday (Jan. 1) evening when the House passed “HR 8, the Tax Relief Extension Act” – earlier passed by the Senate, 89 to 8 – on a 257 to 167 vote. The legislation, which contains the 2008 Farm Bill extension, is expected to raise taxes by some $620 billion by increasing tax rates on incomes over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples.

Forced Barge Light-Loading on Low Mississippi River

While drought has dropped Mississippi River levels, barge traffic is still moving. That movement, however, is being done with lighter loads. “Everyone is doing the best they can in this situation,” says Steve Nail, president and chief executive officer of Farmers Grain Terminal, Inc., in Greenville, Miss. “Last year, we all had to deal with extremely high river levels. Everyone – the Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, levee boards – did the best they could to manage that.”

MF Global Revelations, Allegations, Amnesia

Following nearly three hours of not answering Senate Agriculture Committee questions on Tuesday, a trio of MF Global executives may have thought they’d slipped the noose. In the face of increasingly exasperated committee member questions, the executives – responsible for the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history and the odd, potentially criminal, loss of an estimated $1.2 billion in customer funds – exhibited amnesia symptoms, reciting a wide range of variations on “I don’t recall.”

Migrant Labor on Farms Faces Daunting Regulations

For years, producers and state agriculture officials have warned that federal laws governing farm workers – often in a three-way tug-of-war between farms’ need for migrant workers in the field, security concerns in the wake of 9/11, and U.S. communities and states claiming heavy social/financial burdens imposed on them by illegal aliens numbering over 11 million – are heavy-handed and laden with unexpected consequences. Until recently, those warnings have largely been ignored.

Trio of Pending FTAs Likely to Pass Now?

Legislators in the House approved the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which allows the import of goods from over 120 countries without tariffs. Free trade agreement (FTA) advocates hope the vote will grease the skids for passage of pending deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama.

Vilsack, Jackson Speak to EPA Regulations, Myths

On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson met with Iowa farmers and visited a biofuel facility. While continuing the Obama administration’s push for alternative energy sources, both claimed to have been enlightened and insisted the EPA is not the enemy of agriculture.

Climate bill passes House narrowly, heads to Senate
After robust debate Friday, June 26, the House of Representatives passed cap and trade legislation by a narrow margin,
Farm bill snafu requires new round of votes
Just as he’d promised for weeks, on May 21, President Bush vetoed the near $300 billion farm bill that Congress passed
No Asian Soybean Rust Found, But Researchers Find Suspicious Spores
Louisiana Extension specialists have announced that three rust spores with features resembling P. pachyrhizi, the
Asian rust and fungicides: Keeping the enemy at bay
You have to look hard, but there’s a silver lining on the rust-darkened cloud currently pouring gloom all over soybean

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