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Top 1 percent of Texas commodity farmers get quarter of $1.6 billion in subsidies

Last year in Nueces County, sorghum farmers raked in $10.9 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies. Corn farmers in Castro County took $12.6 million. In Deaf Smith County, the kingpins of cotton were paid $32.5 million, according to new farm subsidy data released last week. But as the state’s biggest farms drew lucrative paydays, the pocketbooks of small family farmers got thinner. Now, critics of federal farm subsidy programs are calling for reform of a system they say overwhelmingly favors big agribusiness.   The U.S.

Stop pretending the estate tax has anything to do with us family farmers

As Republicans push ahead with their tax reform plan, the small farmer is again invoked. This time it’s about the estate tax. During a speech in North Dakota, President Trump declared, “We’ll also protect small businesses and family farmers here in North Dakota and across the country by ending the death tax.” He added: “Tremendous burden for the family farmer, tremendous burden. We are not going to allow the death tax or the inheritance tax or the whatever-you-want-to-call-it to crush the American Dream.” But few farmers put the elimination of this tax on the top of their wish lists.

Perdue issues sweeping reorganization memo

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is moving ahead with some reorganization moves just a few weeks after hitting the pause button so they could be discussed further.

Tax Cuts May Lead to Farm Cuts

Opponents of the House tax-reform bill pointed to the impacts of the budget deficit that could require major cuts to farm programs under current law.

More Jurisdictions To Provide Legal Defense For Immigrants At Risk Of Deportation

While the Trump administration continues the federal government's already-massive deportation program, 11 cities and counties will be joining the list of jurisdictions providing legal defense for undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation. The Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit that researches and advocates changes in the criminal justice system, launched the Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Cities Network this past week.

FDA Launches Visualization Tool for Antibiotic Resistance Genes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched an interactive research tool called Resistome Tracker. Resistome Tracker is one of the first publicly available tools to provide visually informative displays of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria. It is designed mainly for public health officials, academics and researchers who are using new genomics technologies to track and treat infectious diseases.

WTO rules against Indonesia on animal product import restrictions

The World Trade Organization has confirmed a WTO panel finding that Indonesia’s import restrictions for horticultural products and animals and animal products are against WTO rules. The WTO’s rejection of Indonesia’s appeal of the panel finding marks a “resounding victory for the United States that should result in increased export opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers as well as increased Indonesian consumer access to high-quality U.S. agricultural products,” the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

White House implements new Cuba policy restricting travel and trade

The Trump administration announced tight new restrictions Wednesday on American travel and trade with Cuba, implementing policy changes President Trump announced five months ago to reverse Obama administration normalization with the communist-ruled island. Under the new rules, most individual visits to Cuba will no longer be allowed, and U.S. citizens will again have to travel as part of groups licensed by the Treasury Department for specific purposes, accompanied by a group representative.

EPA Air Emissions Reporting Looms for Livestock Operations

Barring a delay from a federal court, between 60,000 and 100,000 livestock and poultry operations will be mandated to file a report regarding on-farm air emissions beginning Wednesday, Nov. 15. The reporting is mandatory for farms that exceed the reporting threshold of 100 pounds total of either ammonia or hydrogen sulfide in any 24-hour period at least once annually.  Last week the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn. (USPOULTRY) filed a brief in support of the U.S.

Trump bailed on a trade deal, and now a bunch of US businesses may suffer

American farmers and small business owners are among the U.S. industries that will be worst hit once a new Trans Pacific Partnership deal is implemented, said one expert. Over the weekend, TPP member countries made progress on a deal without Washington.One of the defining actions of President Donald Trump's tenure in the White House so far is his decision to withdraw the U.S. from a 12-nation trade pact that would have had wide-ranging implications for the global economy.Now that deal — the Trans-Pacific Partnership — looks like it's going to be settled without the U.S..

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