• New rules approved Tuesday would no longer allow the Idaho State Department of Agriculture to revoke a dairy facility's permit if caught illegally discharging wastewater or sewage.

    The Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee rules would instead mean that dairies could face a fine up to $10,000. Public comment on the issue was not needed since the rules already mimic the law and are in compliance with a law that Idaho Republican lawmakers passed in 2014.

    Idaho's dairy industry is worth $2.4 billion.

  • In President Obama’s new spending plan, the USDA could lose some $300 million this year.

    The administration is also proposing $61 billion for crop insurance to address what it calls climate-driven increases in extreme weather events.

    The budget does cut crop insurance and it consolidates food safety oversights but provides more money for antibiotic oversight. At the same time it also provides for more attention to rural services, access to food, nutrition programs and access to credit for farmers.

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