TODAY ON AGDAY
JANUARY 5, 2012
Good morning. The Food and Drug Administration is setting up new antibiotic restrictions for America’s livestock producers. The announcement came down Wednesday from federal drug regulators. Starting in April certain uses of the drug class cephalosporin will be prohibited. That tops our Beef Today Report. The FDA says cephalosporins are important antimicrobial drugs for treating diseases in both humans and animals. It’s worried about bacteria developing resistance to the drug if overused. In humans, for example cephalosporins are used to treat pneumonia, skin and soft tissue infections. The FDA is prohibiting extra-label or unapproved uses of the drugs in cattle, swine, chickens and turkeys. Prohibited uses include: Using the drugs at unapproved levels, frequencies, durations or routes of administration. Using cephalosporins in those animals that are intended to be used in humans or dogs and cats. And thirdly, using the drugs for disease prevention. The order doesn't, however, limit the use an earlier form of the antibiotic. Veterinarians will still be able to prescribe the drugs for livestock as long as labels are followed. And they're also available for use in ducks and rabbits. The FDA initially proposed restrictions back in 2008 but withdrew the rule before it became effective. Late Wednesday the National Cattlemens Beef Association released a statement. Executive director of legislative affairs Kristina Butts responded saying and I quote, "Antimicrobial resistance is a complex, multi-faceted issue that affects human and animal health. That being said, there is no conclusive scientific evidence indicating the judicious use of antibiotics in cattle leads to antimicrobial resistance in humans." The NCBA says it plans to analyze the proposed order to make sure it’s based on sound science.
BTR CATTLE PRICES:
Cattle prices are holding steady this week. On Tuesday Chicago MERC live cattle were up slightly at $121.62. Fed cattle were up nearly a dollar. January contracts closed at $147.75 per hundred. Forecasters say sluggish beef demand is keeping prices tempered to start the New Year. That's expected to improve in the months ahead.
BTR EATING WEEDS:
And a new report from the prairie star says it’s possible to teach cattle to eat unwanted weeds. The research comes from the Montana Farmers Union and NRCS scientists in Colorado and Montana. Cows are put in groups and fed different mixtures, textures and types of feed over a series of days. At the end, weeds--like Russian thistle are introduced.
After being turn back out the cows continue to eat the thistles, pods and all. Experts recommend confirming target weeds aren't toxic to the cattle long term.
Thanks Mike. Rising land values and strong commodity prices helped pull more land out of the USDA's conservation reserve program. Now with budget getting tight there's worry the program could lose funding. As Bob Ellison of the USDA reports, the department's conservation programs are the backbone of its efforts to address environmental concerns.
In Agribusiness this morning we're continuing our tax tips for the pending tax season.
Today Paul Neiffer--farm CPA and tax specialist--reminds our viewers about new tax credits available in 2012.
Thanks Paul. In analysis this morning world markets are gearing up for the pending supply and demand report from the USDA. One of the questions, analysts hope to have answered is regarding carry over or grain stocks. That number will likely drive prices and planted acres in 2012. But can producers--even if they plant more corn--keep up with world demand. I recently spoke with Gary Sherrer of Informa Economics about improving productivity and yields and asked the question, are we slowing down or have we stalled out?
IN THE COUNTRY; YOUNG ENTREPRENUERS:
There are a few indicators the nation's economy is starting to turn around. But in order for growth to continue--it's going to innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. That's why kids in some of the hardest hit economic parts of Kentucky are training and incentives to be the state's next entrepreneurs. Brad Beckman with the Kentucky College of Agriculture has the story. Thanks Brad. So far, 55 teachers in fifteen rural Kentucky counties are teaching the entrepreneurial curriculum. Up next a new study says dieters shouldn't skimp on lean meat or dairy. Food and Your Family is next.
LEAN MEAT DIET:
In Food and Your Family this morning new research says dieters shouldn't cut back on protein if they want a lean muscular body. The study comes from the journal of the American Medical Association. The research used three different diets for male and female volunteers aged 18-35. Protein in the diets were adjusted to low, medium and high. The results show people lose lean body mass--muscle and organ tissue-- on a low protein diet. But those on a high protein diet-- of lean meats or dairy-- saw their lean body mass improve...in spite of eating more calories for the studies.
So when it comes to selecting lean meats, which product gets the largest portion? A new study done by the Beef Checkoff program, the National Pork Board and the sealed air's cryovac food packaging unit--found beef is still king of the case. The national meat case study--conducted every three years-- found a typical store features roughly 60 unique beef products. Researchers looked at retailers in 31 states. New trends to the meat case included more products showing up pre-wrapped and case ready, more retailers branding the product or selling it under a specific name, and a greater number of thin cut steaks...a favorite of the Hispanic market.
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