Agriculture's Big Picture
AgWeb Editor Greg Vincent takes a big-picture look at agriculture and current events.
New Animal Rights Video; China and India Droughts Worsen
May 26, 2010
Here’s soemthing different. Stocks are posting gains overnight. Bloomberg reports
it’s mostly due to prices being discounted after the pounding they’ve been taking lately.
Oil in London is up today as the euro continues its slide. The euro has fallen 0.2%.
Mercy for Animals,
an animal rights group, has released the latest volley in the Ohio fight for animal welfare. An Ohio dairy farm is the culprit and the video is shocking. I honestly believe this is an isolated incident, but in today's world of flip cameras, camera phones, etc., your actions can and will be shown to the world. The video is graphic. The violence is horrible and the language may offend some. Be warned.
though, the site features the video, some expert testimony and of course the obligatory link to donate. These groups are nothing more than houses of fundraising for the sake of fundraising, but that doesn't resonate with the public. Pictures of a days-old calf being repeatedly punched in the face or a cow being poked with a pitchfork do.
I'll post the video later when I get some more understanding on the situation. Some in Ohio believe this was a staged event and may not have even been shot at the actual farm. I don't know, but if it was, something needs to happen.
Our two biggest customers
are suffering from effects of the drought. China and India are both being affected
(Bloomberg.com). The Chinese drought is starting to get violent. Suffering from the country's most severe rain shortage in more than 100 years, people do not have enough water for drinking or cooking. India is also suffering.
Among the thing pushing stocks lower
the past few days is the situation in Korea…and it’s getting worse by the minute. South Korea has taken things as far as they can without starting an actual shooting war, and Kim Jong-il doesn’t like that. He’s cutting all ties with the South
(Washington Post) and says he’s preparing for war. For now, it’s posturing, but this is a pretty volatile part of the world and they have done this before.
China is the closest (or is it only) ally of the North and it has been quiet on the situation. There is talk of further U.N. sanctions on the North, but China has veto power on the Security Council. Prospects for any success here are not being helped by China’s silence.
The oil spill
is probably going to become an even more contentious situation in the days to come. Republican Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal is tired of waiting on the Feds,
he says (Politico.com). The Obama administration is saying they’re going to stop waiting too and they’ll take over. And BP says no way, we’ll handle it
Greenhouse gases appear to be doing something few people have been able to: bring the two parties in Congress together. A bipartisan group of 41 senators
(Politico.com) says it will try to block the EPA’s plans to regulate greenhouse gases after the Memorial Day recess.