February 6, 2000 |
Richard Pidduck, a lemon grower here, knows all too well the unexpected obstacles that can arise long after the ink has supposedly dried on a deal with China, one of this country's most problematic trading partners. "That's when the rubber really meets the road . . . or doesn't meet the road," said Pidduck, a fourth-generation farmer who has 140 acres of lemons and avocados in Ventura County. Nine months after the U.S. and China signed an agreement to open up that country to U.S.
November 25, 1999 |
In the cotton industry, there's nothing like a little government intervention to turn around a business. As recently as September, "mill consumption was just the blahs," said Jarral Neeper, a vice president at Calcot Ltd., a cooperative that sells cotton for 2,200 California and Arizona farmers. "They call and ask for an offer of cotton, you offer a price, and they'd come back and say, 'Sorry, it's too expensive.' " Cotton from China and Uzbekistan was cheaper. That's what prompted the U.S.
November 15, 1999 |
Like the ghosts of a bygone epoch in U.S.-Mexican relations, wizened farm workers are stepping forward to demand that Mexican officials explain what became of millions of dollars that were set aside from their earnings as field hands in the United States half a century ago. Former farm laborers, many now in their 70s, have shown up at meetings in Mexico and Southern California and fired off angry letters. Hundreds turned out to march here in the Mexican capital last week.
October 14, 1999 |
The Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a record $8.7-billion package of emergency farm assistance, the second big bailout in as many years for producers clobbered by low commodity prices, drought and flooding. "Prices have collapsed, farmers are in desperate trouble and there must be a government response," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) said it was "a generous response to the needs in agriculture."
October 5, 1999 |
Like some mad, tie-dyed wizard conjuring life from a clunker of a Tin Man, Herb Bartels tinkers here and tinkers there, adjusts a clamp, unkinks a pipe, then fires up three huge propane burners--and stands back, grinning, to smoke a cigarette and wait. A scent seeps out. First just a whiff, sharp and woodsy. Maybe the faintest bit sweet? The Tin Man contraption lurches into action. It pumps out oil, in clear elongated drops. Down a steel tube and into a plastic jug, the oil drip, drip, drips.
October 5, 1999 |
A storm of protest against genetically engineered foods by foreign governments and consumers has reached U.S. shores, leading some experts to predict that agricultural biotechnology could go the way of nuclear energy--falling out of favor because of public fears and unfavorable economics.
August 16, 1999 |
Drought conditions along the East Coast have caused more than $800 million in crop losses so far this summer, raising fears that struggling farm families may be driven out of business, state officials say. Pennsylvania, the region's biggest farm producer, expects at least $500 million in drought damages, not including losses in dairy and related agricultural businesses.
August 11, 1999 |
The Clinton administration on Tuesday designated all of New Jersey and 34 counties in New York as farm disaster areas in response to the drought that is plaguing growers in those states. "The farm crisis continues to present a daunting challenge to America's farmers, now being hit hard by a severe drought in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast," President Clinton said in a statement. "We are responding to this drought with urgency and immediate assistance."
August 5, 1999 |
The Senate on Wednesday approved $7.4 billion in assistance for farmers hurt by depressed crop prices, setting the stage for negotiations with the House. Democrats and some farm-state Republicans wanted more money, including special assistance for Eastern growers who are suffering through one of the region's worst droughts this century. GOP leaders beat back several attempts to fatten the package, but they signaled their willingness to consider adding money later, during talks with the House.
August 4, 1999 |
The Senate on Tuesday rejected a Democrat-backed $11-billion bailout of the farm economy in favor of a smaller Republican package. But lawmakers said they hoped to work out a bipartisan compromise later this week. "There's bipartisan recognition that there's a disaster out there," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The Republican-controlled Senate defeated the Democratic plan, 54 to 44, after Democrats, in a 51-47 vote, narrowly failed to kill the $7-billion GOP emergency farm package.