TODAY ON AGDAY
DECEMBER 13, 2011
DTR; MILK OUTPUT:
Good morning everyone. Clinton is off for a couple of days. Topping our news - the outlook for America’s dairy producers in the coming year. That's our top story in "Dairy Today Report." USDA released its outlook and seems to indicate a positive year both in prices and production. It shows the all-milk price is projected at a still-strong $18.10 to $18.90 per hundredweight for 2012. As far as production, the Ag Department expects U.S. milk production will rise in 2012, reflecting higher growth in milk per cow and slightly more cows. Milk output this year is projected at 196 billion pounds, while next year's production is forecast at two billion pounds higher.
Also from our partners at Dairy Today - despite the financial crisis in Europe and uncertainty over U.S. dairy policy, dairy analysts are cautiously optimistic for 2012 world dairy markets. They say China will continue to be a factor. In the first 10 months of 2011, China's dairy imports were up 10%. The report also says Russia has backed off considerably in its dairy exports in 2011. But because the country is holding a presidential election in March, Russian president Vladimir Putin won't want empty food shelves. The analysts also say with Russia entering into the World Trade Organization, there may be more confidence in trading with the country. They also said milk prices paid to European dairy farmers is too high to compete for global markets.
DAIRY SECURITY POLICY:
Turning now to dairy policy, the ranking member of the house ag committee still hopes his dairy reform proposal moves forward. This past summer Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, along with Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson, introduced the "Dairy Security Act". The bill would alter current federal dairy programs. The legislation is based on a proposal from the National Milk Producers Federation. During steep price declines, or when there are low margins, milk production would be cut. While at the Farm Journal Forum in Washington, Peterson told our Clinton Griffiths that the failure of the "super committee" to reach a deficit-cutting deal also put the brakes on the Dairy Security Act. Peterson says as congress writes the next farm bill, his dairy legislation will already be in place as a way to show how agriculture is doing its part to help cut the deficit. To keep up to date on the very latest news affecting the dairy industry, check out www.dairytoday.com.
In Agribusiness, the top-tier executives of MF Global say they have no idea what happened to more than a billion dollars in customer accounts. That's what the top three executives are expected to tell the senate Ag committee today as it conducts a hearing on the bankruptcy of commodities trader MF Global. The prepared testimony for the chief operating and chief financial officers was released on Monday in advance of the hearing. Their testimony seems to mirror that of MF Global's Chief Executive Officer, Jon Corzine. During a hearing last week in front of the House Ag Committee, Corzine said he has no idea where 1.2 billion dollars in customer funds went. That money was supposed to be segregated from the company's money as a way to protect it. Corzine and the two top executives are scheduled to testify today in front of the Senate Ag Committee.
IN THE COUNTRY; PORK AWARDS IOWA:
This week we're taking a close look at farm families across the country, who are primarily pork producers. The four families - from Iowa, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania - have been named winners of the 2011 Environmental Stewards Award. The award is presented by the National Pork Board. Each family is noted for demonstrating a firm commitment to safeguard the environment and local communities. We begin with Golden Circle Farms in Woodward, Iowa. Cindy Cunningham from the pork board has our profile.
In Food and Your Family while breakfast sales have grown steadily for restaurants and retailers, it appears there's still more room for growth. And that may provide a potential market for producers. The breakfast segments accounts for 12% of the total restaurant industry. Food-market research firm Technomic says that the market is not yet saturated and there are still plenty of opportunities. Technomic says nearly half of all consumers now "occasionally" purchase breakfast on a weekday. Just two years ago, it was only a third of all consumers. Technomic says consumers generally place greater importance on convenience and speed of service than price for breakfast occasions. That seems to indicate that consumers are willing to pay more for a morning meal that saves time and fits their daily routine. Even though they want it fast, a growing number also want it healthy. Technomic says oatmeal is booming right now.
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