Net Farm Income Down and Farm Bill Growing on Hard-Line GOP
**Net farm income will drop in 2018 for the fourth time in five years.
According to the USDA, farm income will drop to $59.5 billion, down from a record $123.8 billion in 2013 and the lowest since 2006.
Agweb.com reports, if higher debt costs force farmers to sell land or quit, that could hurt rural communities that rely on those businesses for jobs and tax revenue.
Lenders don't expect the U.S. will see a repeat of the widespread bankruptcies that led to the farm crisis in the 1980s.
**New data from the Environmental Protection Agency shows refinery waivers have effectively lowered the volumetric obligations by approximately 1.6 billion gallons.
That's according to the Renewable Fuels Association's analysis.
As reported in agweb.com, the EPA was granting renewable fuel blending waivers for what it called small refineries.
The EPA hasn't disclosed how many exemptions it granted or the volume of required renewable fuel blending that was waived.
**House Republican leaders are building support for the farm bill amid signs that hard-line conservatives are warming to the legislation ahead of possible floor action next month.
As reported in Agri-Pulse, Democrats are expected to be united in opposition to the bill because of its food stamp reforms, so Republicans can't afford to lose many votes.
Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts says he hopes to have a draft bill ready for his committee to act on soon, but no action is scheduled.