SNAP & Farm Bill; Ag Bankers See Stabilization
**The top Democrat on the House Ag Committee told sugar producers and processors last week that the biggest problem facing farm bill negotiators, beyond financing, will be what to do with SNAP, formerly known as food stamps.
Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson pointed out the
Heritage Foundation was once again attacking the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and not just to save money, but as a way to kill the farm bill, which it views as excessive government intervention.
**The decline in commodity prices continues to weigh on farm income and land values, but bankers see signs the ag economy is stabilizing over many Midwest and Plains states.
In some regions, land values have even been inching up even with the continued slump in farm earnings, according to quarterly reports from the Federal Reserve.
Nationwide, USDA economists have projected net farm income would decline by 8.7 percent to $62.3 billion this year, the fourth consecutive year of declines. Farm asset values were forecast to fall by 1.1 percent, while farm debt was projected to increase by 5.2 percent.
**The FDA says it will ease enforcement of restrictions on the use of ultrafiltered milk in standardized cheeses, noting recent developments in the export market have caused “an oversupply and pricing challenges” with UF.
The FDA pointed out that Canada adopted a pricing policy this year that encourages Canadian dairies to buy domestically produced UF, a milk protein concentrate used in cheese-making to increase yields.