TODAY ON AGDAY
NOVEMBER 15, 2011
Time's ticking for the so called Super Committee of twelve congressmen in Washington D.C. The group now has 9 days to work out a deficit reduction deal that includes one point 2 trillion dollars in cuts. Included in those cuts are many of USDA's ag programs. In fact, leaders are beginning to expect the Super Committee's decisions will basically write the 2012 farm bill. Ag secretary Tom Vilsack says that might not be a bad thing. Previous farm bills have been mired by hearings, votes and vetoes. He says if the super committee comes up with a plan by november 25th, it only needs 51 votes in the senate rather than the normal 60. Vilsack says the challenges lie in coming up with solutions to cover the diversity in agriculture. He believes a safety net of some sort will be a part of the final legislation.
USDA's crop progress report is starting to wind down for another growing season. Corn's at 93% harvested. Soybeans are at 96%. Both of those are ahead of the five year average. To the south...79% of cotton is picked, 15 points ahead of average. 87% of peanuts are harvested, which is right on target. Other crops of note - sorghum sits at 85% harvested. There are some delays in Colorado, Illinois and New Mexico. And the sunflower is almost wrapped at 93%. Again, some delays in Colorado. But overall, the sunflower harvest is well ahead of average. Nearly all of the winter wheat is planted. 83% has emerged, which is right on average pace. About a third of the crop is called fair. 43% is good.
From our partners at Dairy Today, a Michigan dairy has been fined nearly three million dollars for hiring illegal aliens. According to U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement, 75% of the dairy workers at Aquila Farms were in this country illegally. In some cases the workers were hired multiple times using different names and social security numbers. The farms owners were sentenced to probation for five years, ordered to pay a half million dollar fine and required to make payments totaling two million dollars in lieu of forfeiture. The owners pleaded guilty in June.
DTR; LAS VEGAS:
In other news, business relationships with popular food brands appears to be helping build domestic dairy demand. Last week our partners at Dairy Today hosted the Elite Producer Business Conference in Las Vegas. The annual meeting gathers some of the best dairymen in the business. One of the keynote speakers was the CEO of Dairy Management incorporated. DMI administers about 60% of Dairy Check-off dollars. Some of that money has been spent towards product development, such as partnering with Domino’s pizza. Dairy Today editor Jim Dickrell asked about the return on that investment. Gallagher says DMI hopes that other quick service chains replicate what McDonalds and Dominos have done, which would further improve domestic demand for cheese and other dairy products. And don't forget, for the very latest news affecting the dairy industry, including production and policy issues, check out www.dairytoday.com.
OOTF DEER HUNT:
This morning on Outdoors on the Farm, Pro Farmer editor Chip Flory takes us on an educational tour of what it takes to get the right setting for hunting deer. He talks with experts on land management, proper deer stand placement, as well as the locations you choose for successful gaming. He begins the conversation in his own back yard with wildlife biologist, Scott Rolfes. Join us tomorrow as we go outdoors on the farm to Oregon, Illinois. Chip talks to an organization designed to give kids, with special challenges, an opportunity to experience turkey hunting first hand. Food and your family is next.
What's the fastest growing source of animal protein around the globe? According to a new report from the United Nation's, it's aquaculture - fish farming. The UN's food and agriculture organization says aquaculture provides nearly half of all fish consumed globally. The report shows global fish production grew more than 60% between 2000 and 2008. The UN also expects 50% of the world's food fish consumption will come from fish farms in 2012. The Asian-Pacific region dominates the sector, accounting for 89% of production. While there's been global growth, the u-s has seen more fish farmers scale back due to overseas competition.
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