Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain reports congress passed a short term spending bill before they left town for the holidays that will allow the US Department of Agriculture to keep running through April of next year.
That will also allow the Farm Service Agency to meet the rising demand for loans and loan guarantees.
Strain points out the weak farm income due to low commodity prices and natural disasters this past year and the rising demand for credit, have all put the FSA under abnormally higher pressure to provide credit to farmers.
Strain also says USDA expects global grade to rise almost two percent in 2017. The previous forecast was 2.8% which will mean the US must be more aggressive in global trade.
And speaking of global trade, Strain will be back at the White House later this week in his role as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture for another meeting on US global trade.
The commissioner says next year will be very busy as work starts on the new farm bill. Strain sayshe’ll be working with Congressman Ralph Abraham—the only member of the Louisiana delegation on the agriculture committee—and House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway as well as Collin Peterson the ranking member of the committee, on that new farm legislation.