AgDay Daily Recap - December 3, 2010

December 3, 2010 09:01 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
DECEMBER 3, 2010

FOOD BILL ISSUES:
THERE'S A FOOD-FIGHT, OF SORTS, BUILDING IN WASHINGTON. IT STEMS FROM THE FOOD SAFETY BILL JUST APPROVED BY THE SENATE. THE LEGISLATION GIVES THE FDA MORE AUTHORITY TO INCREASE INSPECTIONS OF FOOD PROCESSING FACILITIES. BUT A PROCEDURAL SNAFU MAY HOLD-UP THE MEASURE. THE SENATE VERSION CONTAINS USER FEES THAT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED TAX PROVISIONS. ANY MEASURE WITH REVENUE IN IT MUST ORIGINATE IN THE HOUSE. THE 1.4 BILLION DOLLAR BILL PASSED THE SENATE 73-25. SUPPORTERS SAY PASSAGE IS CRITICAL AFTER WIDESPREAD SALMONELLA OUTBREAKS IN PEANUTS, EGGS AND PRODUCE. THE MEASURE WOULD ALSO PLACE STRICTER STANDARDS ON IMPORTED FOODS AND GIVE FDA MORE POWER TO FORCE COMPANIES TO RECALL TAINTED FOOD. PRO FARMER WASHINGTON EDITOR EXPLAINS WHY THE SENATE WILL NEED TO VOTE...AGAIN.

CHILD NUTRITION:
IN OTHER NEWS FROM CAPITOL HILL, THE HOUSE ON THURSDAY PASSED THE CHILD NUTRITION ACT. THE SENATE PASSED THE LEGISLATION IN AUGUST. THE 4.5 BILLION DOLLAR MEASURE WILL PAY FOR MORE LUNCHES AND DINNERS TO NEEDY CHILDREN AT SCHOOL. THE BILL ALSO GIVES AUTHORITY TO USDA TO SET NUTRITIONAL STANDARDS FOR ALL FOODS SOLD IN SCHOOL...AND THAT INCLUDES VENDING MACHINES. TO PAY FOR IT, CUTS WILL BE MADE IN FOOD STAMP BENEFITS STARTING IN SEVERAL YEARS.

AG EXPORTS:
MEANWHILE, THE USDA IS PRAISING THE REBOUND OF THE U.S. AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY. AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK SAYS NET FARM INCOME IS UP 32% FROM LAST YEAR. AND 2011 LOOKS TO BE EVEN STRONGER LED BY RECORD EXPORTS. THE USDA IS FORCASTING U.S. FARM EXPORTS WILL HIT 126 AND A HALF BILLION DOLLARS IN 2011. THAT'S A NEW ALL-TIME HIGH. IT BEATS THE PREVIOUS RECORD SET IN 2008 BY MORE THAN 11 BILLION DOLLARS. THE USDA SAYS CANADA AND CHINA ARE EXPECTED TO BE THE TOP EXPORT MARKETS NEXT YEAR.  THE REPORTS ALSO ESTIMATES THAT FOR EVERY ONE BILLION DOLLARS IN EXPORTS, 8,000 JOBS ARE SUPPORTED...ADDING THAT UP, AGRICULTURE IS EXPECTED TO SUPPORT MORE THAN A MILLION U.S. JOBS IN 2011.

BACON PRICES:
THAT INCREASED EXPORT DEMAND COMBINED WITH TIGHTER SUPPLIES HAS RETAIL BACON PRICES RISING. BACON HIT A RECORD FOR A FIFTH STRAIGHT MONTH AVERAGING $4.77 A POUND IN OCTOBER. THAT'S UP 33% OVER LAST YEAR. ANALYSTS DON'T PREDICT PRODUCERS WILL INCREASE THE SIZE OF THE HOG HERD IN THE FORSEEABLE FUTURE...MEANING SUPPLIES WILL REMAIN TIGHT AND CONSUMERS WILL CONTINUE PAYING HIGHER PRICES AT THE STORE.

STATE BY STATE:
FOR TODAY'S STATE BY STATE WE'RE HEADING TO THE WEST COAST. IN CALIFORNIA A NEW STRAWBERRY PESTICIDE IS STIRRING UP PASSIONATE DEBATE. STATE REGULATORS GAVE STRAWBERRY GROWERS APPROVAL TO USE METHYL IODIDE. IT’S A PESTICIDE, AND IS MEANT TO REPLACE METHYL BROMIDE WHICH IS BEING PHASED OUT DUE TO ITS HARMFUL EFFECTS ON THE OZONE LAYER. BUT SO FAR METHYLE IODIDE IS ONLY GROWING DECENSION. PROTESTORS SAY IT’S A PROVEN CARCENOGEN, FARMING ORGANIZATIONS SAY GROWERS NEED SOMETHING TO PROTECT THEIR PLANTS. IN OREGON, THE STATE'S CRAB FISHERMEN AND PROCESSORS HAVE REACHED A PRICE AGREEMENT. THIS IS FOR DUNGENESS CRAB. NEGOTIATIONS WERE THREATENING TO DELAY THE SEASON. IF THE CATCH QUALITY IS RIGHT, FISHERMEN WILL GET $1.65 A POUND. LAST YEAR THEY GOT $1.75. THAT MADE THE ENTIRE 09' CATCH WORTH UPWARDS OF 45 MILLION DOLLARS. AND WASHINGTON STATE'S SCHOOL FOR GLOBAL ANIMAL HEALTH CAN NOW LAY CLAIM TO THE UNIVERSITY'S LARGEST DONATION. MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER PAUL ALLEN IS GIVING THE SCHOOL 26 MILLION DOLLARS. THE GLOBAL ANIMAL HEALTH CENTER STUDIES DISEASES THAT MOVE FROM ANIMALS TO HUMANS.

MM CASE TIER 4:
IN MACHINERY MINUTE, CASE IH SAYS IT HAS SHIPPED THE WORLD'S FIRST TRACTOR MEETING NEW TIER 4 EMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS FOR FARM EQUIPMENT. IT WENT TO A ROW-CROP PRODUCER IN OHIO. EARLIER THIS SUMMER, AGDAY GOT A SNEAK PEAK AT THE NEW LINE OF CASE TRACTORS THAT USES THE SELECTIVE CATALYTIC REDUCTION TECHNOLOGY, OR SCR. THE ROLL-OUT INCLUDES NEW HIGH-POWER MAGNUM MODELS AND A NEW GENERATION OF STEIGER FOUR WHEEL DRIVE TRACTORS. THE COMPANY SAYS SCR REDUCES PARTICULATE MATTER AND NITROGEN OXIDES IN EMISSIONS WHILE IMPROVING POWER AND FUEL EFFICIENCY. CASE-IH SAYS SCR TECHNOLOGY NOT ONLY MEETS THE EMISSION STANDARDS FOR 2011, BUT THE EVEN-STRICTER LEVELS THAT TAKE EFFECT IN 2014. AS PART OF THE SYSTEM, OPERATORS WILL NEED TO MIX-IN AN EXTRA ADDITIVE WHEN RE-FUELING.

ANALYSIS:
GARY WILHELMI

IN THE COUNTRY; HOME BAKING:
THERE'S NOTHING MY WIFE LIKES MORE THAN EXPERIMENTING IN THE KITCHEN DURING THE HOLIDAYS. FROM PIES, TO CANDY TO FUDGE...I FIGHT TO MAINTAIN A LESS THAN PEAR PHYSIQUE. IN THIS REPORT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, CHUCK DENNEY TELLS US ABOUT A WOMAN WHO TURNED HER LOVE OF BAKING INTO A HOME-BASED BUSINESS...AND THE HOLIDAY'S ARE ICING ON THE PROVERBIAL CAKE.  THANKS CHUCK. STILL TO COME ON AGDAY...SPAIN SAYS STICKY GUM IS COSTING THE COUNTRY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS A YEAR. FIND OUT WHY NEXT ON FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY.

MEAL PLANNING:
HOW PREPARED ARE YOU WHEN YOU HEAD TO THE GROCERY STORE?  IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY A NEW SURVEY SAYS THREE QUARTERS OF US NOT ONLY SHOW UP AT THE STORE WITH A LIST BUT HAVE MEALS ALREADY PLANNED OUT. THIS FROM THE NPD GROUP...IT PROVIDES CONSUMER AND RETAIL INFORMATION. THE REPORT SAYS 3 OUT OF 4 U.S. HOUSEHOLDS TYPICALLY PLAN SOME OF THEIR DINNERS IN ADVANCE.  AND HALF OF SHOPPERS PLAN THEIR LUNCHES IN ADVANCE. THE REPORT WRITERS SAY THE HIGH NUMBER INDICATES MANY PURCHASES ARE MADE BEFORE THE SHOPPING EVER STARTS. THEY SAY THERE'S OPPORTUNITY FOR FOOD MANUFACTORS AND RETAILERS IF THEY CAN FIND A WAY TO BE PART OF THE PLANNING PROCESS.

SPANISH GUM:
AND HOW STICKY IS TOO STICKY FOR SPANISH GUM? THE COUNTRIES GOVERNMENT IS INTRODUCING NEW REGULATION TO MAKE CHEWING GUM LESS STICKY...BECAUSE CLEANING IT UP IS COSTING TOO MUCH.  THE GOVERMENT IS UPDATING THE CHEWING GUM RECIPE RULES. THEY SAY USING THE RIGHT POLYMERS MAKES THE GUM EASIER TO REMOVE FROM SURFACES. BARCELONA'S CITY HALL CLAIMS IT SCRAPES UP 1,800 PIECES OF GUM PER DAY FROM ITS STREETS...AT A COST OF 100,000 EUROS A YEAR OR $130,000 U.S. DOLLARS.

CONTACT PAGE:
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS--GIVE US RING, SEND US A NOTE AT INFO@AGDAY.COM . YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON SOME OF THAT NEW TECHNOLOGY, AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/AGDAY .
 

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