AgDay Daily Recap - January 10, 2012

January 10, 2012 04:14 AM

JANUARY 10, 2012

Good morning, winter time means meeting time in the Ag sector. This week the American Farm Bureau Federation is holding its annual convention where the group will set its priorities for 2012. With net farm income surpassing 100-billion dollars in 2011, Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says there's much to celebrate in agriculture. He says the focus of his group this year will be the Farm Bill. In his annual address to members, Stallman says with the nation's tight budget constraints, the farm bill negotiators will face additional scrutiny. He encouraged farm bureau members to give the leadership guidance on what they'd like to see. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is also in Hawaii addressing attendees. He's planning a stop at the Pearl Harbor Memorial Center to highlight the U.S. Navy's use of renewable fuels.

Also wrapping up last week, Beltwide Cotton Conferences down in Orlando, Florida, our own Farm Director Al Pell was on site for this year's event. On top of everyone’s mind for cotton growers, tough growing conditions in 2011 and the potential for a repeat in 2012.

In news from our partners at Dairy Today...a major milk producer group says it's time for USDA to implement some form of national animal ID system. The National Milk Producers Federation sent a letter to the Ag Department regarding the yet un-finished regulations. According to our partners at Dairy Today, the letter - in essence - encourages USDA to "get on with it." The comments were sent last month. NMPF notes that USDA has spent more than 10 years trying to enact a national animal identification program. It also notes NMPF has long supported a mandatory, centralized program that can quickly identify and trace disease outbreaks to their source. NMPF says now is the time to move forward, even if that requires dairy-specific provisions that do not necessarily align with "any requirements for the beef industry." Many elements of the beef industry are opposed to any national ID program.

In other news, not only is China increasing its imports of dairy products, it's also importing more dairy cows which could offset those imports. According to a report in the economic times newspaper, china is attempting to boost its own production and quality of dairy products. China plans to double its milk production levels by 2020. Most of the cows come from New Zealand and Australia. And don't forget, for the very latest news affecting the dairy industry, including production and policy issues, check out dairy today dot com.

In a salute to its cattlemen's heritage, the city of Denver is playing host once again to the national western stock show. The annual two week-long show is now underway. To open the show, longhorn cattle, rodeo queens and plenty of horses marched through downtown. Videographer Anne Herbst from the Denver Post newspaper shares the highlights.

Mike North

The holiday season that we just wrapped-up typically means big usage of pecans. It's a popular nut for pies and other treats. In addition to the normal holiday demand, there's also growing global demand for pecans. And much of that is from China. In this report from the Arkansas Farm Bureau, Ken Moore takes us to one farm where the grower is ready to fill the hopper. Arkansas produces about 2.5 million pounds of pecans annually. In comparison, Georgia produces about 80 million pounds, New Mexico produces about 70 million pounds annually. Food and Your Family is next.

Child care or day care is a fact of life for many American families today. All told, about 3 quarters of all U.S. preschool aged kids spend most of their day outside of home. And according to a new study in pediatrics, most of that day is spent in sedentary activities.
Researchers wanted to find out why so they held focus groups with providers in and around Cincinnati, Ohio. They found three barriers to physical activities for these kids: injury concerns, financial restraints of the care center and a focus on academics. The authors of the study say in many cases, child care is the only chance the kids have for outdoor activity and suggest taking a second look at these policies.

And if you have a teen or tween you know their passion for food--especially the foods they like. Researchers with Technomic say getting this group in a restaurant may require a specific marketing plan. Researchers say those youngsters have a big influence on where their family and friends eat. Many times their input helps decide food choices for an group. Two suggestions for restaurants hoping reach this crowd---offering new and exciting foodservice concepts different from typical eating establishments and providing things like a kids menu specifically for their age.

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