Omnibus appropriations bill and tax bill revealed
House and Senate negotiators released both the Omnibus appropriations bill and the tax extenders bill last night, with consideration expected to begin Thursday. The Omnibus, which includes all 12 annual appropriations bills, will fund the federal government through September 30, 2016.
A provision to repeal mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for meat was included in the Agriculture Appropriations along with other agricultural provisions. A provision restricting application of the Clean Water Act in certain agricultural areas was included in the Energy and Water Appropriations. Provisions regarding theDepartment of Interior and Forest Service can be found in the Interior & Environment Appropriations.
Review an overview of the tax extenders bill, including provisions related to section 179 and bonus depreciation.
USDA finalizes “actively engaged” rules
USDA finalized rules further defining “actively engaged” for purposes of farm program payment eligibility.
Crop insurance fixed
A repeal of a recently-enacted $3 billion crop insurance cut was included in the FAST Act, the highway bill that was signed into law on December 4, 2015. A hurdle was presented prior to Senate passage, with a procedural motion offered that would have stripped the crop insurance fix out of the bill. However, the procedural effort did not prevail, and crop insurance was restored. Politico examined how presidential politics played into the crop insurance vote.
Announcement on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
In a long-awaited announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized RFS volume requirements on November 30, 2015.
USDA releases long-term agriculture projections
USDA has provided early release of certain long-term agricultural projections. These projections are a representative scenario for the agricultural sector for the next decade. Assumptions and specific agricultural sector data can be accessed from the USDA Office of the Chief Economist.