• GOP leaders in the Senate announced new committee assignments for the next Congress on Monday.

    With Republicans in the majority next year, the GOP will have a 54-46 advantage in the Senate, thereby providing them with extra seats on committees. Republicans will gain two seats on the Agriculture Committee to go along with several others such as Appropriations, Budget, Environment and Public Works and Education.

  • More protection is available for crops that traditionally have been ineligible for federal crop insurance, as announced by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

    The new options under the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance program were part of the 2014 farm bill. It will provide greater coverage for losses when natural disasters affect specialty crops such as vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, and energy crops, according to USDA.

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