TODAY ON AGDAY
DECEMBER 9, 2011
Good morning. Former Senator and disgraced MF Global CEO Jon Corzine told the house ag committee that he never meant to break rules which should have protected clients funds. Corzine testified before the house agriculture committee Thursday. Lawmakers are trying to determine what and who caused the downfall of the company. It's one of the largest bankruptcy filings in history. MF Global collapsed after making disastrous bets on European debt. There are also questions about how 1.2 billion dollars in customer funds - which were supposed to be segregated from company funds - disappeared. Reading from prepared testimony, Corzine says he hasn't had access to some company information since leaving the firm in November. Corzine will face more scrutiny in the days ahead. The Senate Ag Committee has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday with Corzine is expected to testify.
MF Global was a hot topic earlier this week at the farm journal forum. About one hundred people were on hand for this year's event. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts and Minnesota Representative Colin Peterson spoke about MF Global during their presentations. Peterson says he's considering a bill to take regulations back to their 1968 restrictions. In addition to Corzine, the House Ag Committee also heard from the commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
FIRST CORN RESULTS:
For every farmer, half the battle of getting good yields is knowing which seed works best in that specific corner of the country. This morning, we're introducing you to a company called "First" which spends every year trying to find that exact information. Last week I traveled to Monticello, Illinois for a sneak peek of this year's corn results. That website again is first seed tests dot com if you'd like to take a look. Coming up next Friday, we'll take a closer look at the "first" data as it pertains to soybean production.
After months of debate USDA published the final rule implementing the "GIPSA" rules. According to Drovers Cattle Network, the rule lacks many of the provisions favored by some beef cattle groups. The rule focuses primarily on contract arrangements between poultry and hog growers. The rules also leave out some of the most contentious issues related to beef cattle marketing. Even though USDA is publishing its rules, congress approved the 2012 Ag Appropriations Bill which included language which prohibits USDA from implementing the provisions.
IN THE COUNTRY; ROBOT:
The high tech industry of robotic science is being transported to a remote region of the northern plains. An abandoned school in the tiny town of New Leipzig, North Dakota is getting a new life as a design and manufacturing plant for bionic machines. Our buddy Cliff Naylor from KFYR-TV takes us to class. Thanks Cliff. If you would like to learn more about the Institute of Science and Robotics, go to their website – www.mrisar.com. Food and Your Family is next.
In Food and Your Family - consumers are holding tight onto the "food-service" dollars. Marketing research firm NPD tracks consumer trends. It says continuing high unemployment and low consumer confidence kept restaurant visits flat in the first three calendar quarters of the year. NPD says quick-service restaurants account for 78% of all restaurant visits. It's holding up the industry. Casual and mid-scale dining restaurant visits are both down 2%.
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