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POLICY WATCH

Alliance Shares Recommendations to Guide Climate Legislation

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance, co-chaired by American Farm Bureau, has shared 40 recommendations for lawmakers to consider as they draft climate change legislation. The overarching goals of the climate recommendations are to support voluntary market and incentive-based policies that are based in science with the overarching goal being to do no harm to farmers and ranchers and do no harm to rural communities. Other recommendations include supporting the development of and overseeing private sector markets for carbon credits and increasing federal investment in agriculture, forestry, and food-related research. The policy recommendations have six areas of focus: soil health, livestock and dairy, forests and wood products, energy, food loss and waste, and research. Other alliance members include the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and more.

Mexico Proposes Ban on Glyphosate and GE Corn

Mexico’s National Commission for Regulatory Improvement is proposing a phase-out of both glyphosate and genetically modified corn. The proposal says use of the herbicide glyphosate will be phased out over the next four years. It also revokes existing and future permits for the cultivation and use of GE corn for human consumption which would be phased out no later than January 31, 2024. USDA’s Foreign Ag Service reports this is an updated version of previous drafts calling for studies to find alternatives to glyphosate under the instruction of Mexico’s President.

USFWS to Continue Monitoring Monarch Butterfly

Farm Bureau is welcoming the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement that it will leave the monarch butterfly off the endangered species list. The Service issued a “warranted but precluded” decision, which means the monarch will be considered a candidate species for now. The Service will continue to study the species and review its candidacy for listing on an annual basis. Farm Bureau is a member of “Farmers for Monarchs” a group committed to protecting the butterfly population through voluntary efforts to restore and enhance habitats.

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Change on Horizon for Crop Insurance/Conservation Programs?

According to an Agri-Pulse report, researchers at the University of Illinois are launching a landmark study that could have far-reaching implications for crop insurance and conservation programs. The researchers will be combining data from the Risk Management Agency, Farm Service Agency, and other agencies to assess the impact of conservation practices in 2019, a year that saw historic flooding across the Midwest. Future research could be used to shape crop insurance products and conservation programs. The pilot study will test the ability of USDA and researchers to protect the privacy of farmers’ records.

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