OMAHA (DTN) -- On Dec. 16, the Senate approved a 9-cent-per-gallon increase in the barge diesel fuel user fee, which will take effect April 1, 2015. This addition to the current barge fuel tax of 20 cents, paid by barge and tow-boat operators, is expected to generate approximately $40 million in additional revenues annually, which will be deposited into the Inland Waterways Trust Fund for the benefit of priority navigation project construction and major rehabilitation.
In this week's Crop Tech Corner, a study shows that Bt-proteins do not harm a valuable corn and cotton insect predator, a biological herbicide targeting downy brome comes to market, and two companies boast of sorghum varieties with tolerance to the sugarcane aphid.
USDA has issued its final environmental impact statement recommending full deregulation of Monsanto's dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean trait. Now the company awaits EPA registration of the trait's corresponding herbicides.
The overall Agriculture Department and related agencies bill would cost $20.5 billion for fiscal year 2015, a congressional aide said, down from $20.8 billion in 2014. One provision would prevent USDA from creating a new beef checkoff.