Legislative Action News, June 19, 2012

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Your Opportunity to Weigh-in on Aerial Photography
By Stephen Frerichs

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is asking the public for comments about its aerial photography program. Comments are due by August 17, 2012.  Specifically, FSA wants to:

• Determine whether the continued collection of information is still necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the FSA, including whether the information will have practical utility;
• Assess the accuracy of the FSA’s estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
• Enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected;
• Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

 To comment go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-06-18/pdf/2012-14738.pdf  Comments are due by August 17, 2012

Senate Farm Bill Agreement Reached
By Stephen Frerichs

Late last night Senate Majority Leader Reid announced a unanimous consent agreement had been reached to move forward on the farm bill. Of the nearly 300 amendments that were filed, 70 some will actually be considered by the Senate. Debate and voting will start at 2:15 pm today and is expected to take most of today and part of tomorrow to finish the list of amendments before voting on final passage. You can follow the debate and votes on C-Span2  The list includes:

- Akaka #2440 (highly fractionated tribal lands) (possible voice vote);
- Snowe #2190 (milk marketing order reform);

- Akaka #2396 (tribal relations office) (possible voice vote);
- Ayotte #2192 (value added grants);

- Baucus #2429 (Livestock);
- Collins #2444 (dairy);

- Bingaman #2364 (multi-state aquifers);
- Grassley #2167 (pay cap marketing loans);

- Brown (OH) #2445 (rural development);
- Sessions #2174 (SNAP);

- Cantwell #2370 (pulse pilot) (possible voice vote);
- Nelson(NE) #2243 (SNAP); (side by side)
- Sessions #2172 (SNAP);

- Casey #2238 (technical/study-federal milk marketing) (possible voice vote);
- Paul #2181 ($250,000 income limit);

- Coons #2426 (poultry insurance study) (possible voice vote);
- Alexander #2191 (wind loans);

- Feinstein #2422 (conservation innovation grants);
- McCain #2199 (catfish);

- Feinstein #2309 (insurance recall);
- Toomey #2217 (organic/AMA);

- Gillibrand #2156 (SNAP);
- DeMint #2263 (broadband funding);

- Hagan #2366 (crop insurance – plain language) (possible voice vote);
- DeMint #2262 (SoS Free MKT) (possible voice vote);

- Kerry #2187 (commercial fishermen);
- DeMint #2268 (Loan guarantees);

- Landrieu #2321 (rural development loans);
- DeMint #2276 (checkoffs);

- Manchin #2345 (dietary study) (possible voice vote);
- DeMint #2273 (broadband);

- Merkley #2382 (organic crop insurance);
- Coburn #2289 (MAP);

- Schumer #2427 (acer);
- Coburn #2293 (Limit Millionaires);

- Stabenow #2453 (NAP);
- Kerry #2454 (North Korea);
- Kyl #2354 (North Korea);

- Udall(CO) #2295 (bark beetle);
- Lee #2313 (Forest Legacy);

- Warner #2457 (rural broadband);
- Lee #2314 (CSP/CRP cut);

- Wyden #2442 (microloans);
- Boozman #2355 (Ag research, law info) (possible voice vote);;

- Wyden #2388 (farm to school);
- Boozman #2360 (TEFAP)

- Leahy #2204 (rural development);
- Toomey #2226 (energy title);

- Nelson(NE) #2242 (rural housing) (possible voice vote);
- Toomey #2433 (sugar);        

- Klobuchar #2299 (transportation study) (possible voice vote);
- Lee Motion to Recommit (FY 2008 levels);

- Carper #2287 (poultry feed research) (possible voice vote);
- Johnson(WI) Motion to Recommit (Nutrition/Agriculture titles);

- Sanders #2254 (biomass);
- Chambliss #2438 (conservation crop insurance);

- Thune #2437 (crop insurance);
- Durbin-Coburn #2439 (crop insurance);
- Chambliss #2340 (sugar);

- Chambliss #2432 (FMPP);
- Ayotte #2195 (GAO crop insurance fraud report) (possible voice vote);

- Blunt #2246 (veterans) (possible voice vote);
- Moran #2403 (food aid);

- Moran #2443 (beginning farmers) (possible voice vote);
- Vitter #2363 (pets) (possible voice vote);

- Toomey #2247 (paperwork) (60-vote threshold);
- Sanders #2310 (genetically engineered food) (60-vote threshold);

- Coburn #2214 (convention funding) (60-vote threshold);
- Boxer #2456 (aerial inspections) (60-vote threshold);
- Johanns #2372 (aerial inspections) (60-vote threshold);

- Murray # 2455(sequestration) (60-vote threshold);
- McCain #2162 (Sequestration report – DoD) (60-vote threshold);

- Rubio #2166 (RAISE Act) (60-vote threshold); and
- Passage of S.3240, as amended.

House Farm Bill Update
By Stephen Frerichs

House staff continues to work on a Chairman’s mark.  Chairman Lucas (R-OK) has said he plans to mark-up a bill at the full committee level in June. At this point, that may occur during the week of June 25, 2012.  The commodity title offered in the House is expected to be different from the Senate with a continuation of the current counter-cyclical program but with higher target prices. It is also widely anticipated that the House will cut nutrition programs (food stamps in particular) to a greater extent than the Senate did at $4 billion over ten years.

Why AMC’s May Be Built on a Faulty Business Model
From Appraisal Scoop.com, By Micheal W. Armentrout, VP AM Appraisals, Inc.

It’s hard to believe but it has been over three years since the appraisal profession was turned upside down by the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC).  While HVCC has been relegated to the ash heap of history, its primary intent is alive and well thanks to the adopted language within the Dodd Frank Act and subsequent regulation that it continues to produce.
Read the entire article: http://appraisalnewsonline.typepad.com/appraisal_news_for_real_e/2012/06/why-amcs-may-be-built-on-a-faulty-business-model.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+typepad%2Fbjdavis%2Fappraisal_news_for_real_e+%28Appraisal+Scoop%29  Find this and other articles on AgProLink: http://www.agprolink.org/Home/

Arizona judge fines AppraiserLoft $850,000
From Appraisal Scoop.com

The San Diego Union Tribune reports on the latest development with the now-defunct appraisal management company, AppraiserLoft.

A Phoenix judge recently concluded the AMC failed to pay appraisers in Arizona at least 171 times within the past 18 months.

In a June 6 order, administrative law judge Diane Mihalsky, recommended that the Arizona Board of Appraisal fine AppraiserLoft $5,000 for each of the 171 violations, totaling $850,000, and revoke the company’s license as an appraisal management company.

AppraiserLoft, however, shut its doors in October 2011. Owners Aman and Harpreet Makkar missed the hearing.
Read more on the San Diego Union Tribune website: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/jun/12/judge-sd-firm-failed-pay-appraisers-171-times/

Outlook for Farm Exports Mixed
From Kiplinger Agricluture Letter

Going swimmingly: High-value ag products… meat, dairy products, fresh produce, nuts… will soar this year to a record of nearly $60 billion in sales. That’s 45% of all foreign sales of farm goods.
Demand is up, spurred by the cheap dollar, which makes American foods very competitive abroad.
Despite a very limited cattle herd, slowing beef output and soaring U.S. beef prices, beef exports, for example, will zip past $5.7 billion, a record…volume, nearly so.
A different tale for other types of ag exports:
Bulk commodities…down 10% in tonnage… 20% in value…and perhaps just marginally more in ’13. And minimally processed products, too. Animal feeds, sugar, hides, etc. will be down overall. Copyright 2012 The Kiplinger Washington Editors.

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