AgDay Daily Recap - January 25, 2012

12:09PM Jan 25, 2012
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JANUARY 25, 2012

Good morning. Some of the major livestock trade groups are warning of consequences to the livestock industry - as a whole - if congress passes legislation that would require egg producers to use colony housing. This legislation is being pushed by Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers. On Monday four members of congress - two democrats and two republicans - agreed to sponsor legislation that would enable HSUS and the United Egg Producers to put their agreement into effect. That deal would lead to the end of conventional cage housing for egg production to "enriched housing systems" by 2029. The housing rules would double the space that hens currently have in conventional cages. In July, AgDay reported on the agreement between the two groups.
The agreement would bring to an end ballot initiatives pushed by HSUS to legislate state-by-state housing requirements.

The agreement is not sitting well with two major livestock organization as they express concern about the federal government's role in livestock production. Calling it a "farm takeover bill", the National Pork Producers council says the legislation would "open a Pandora's box for special interest groups to pursue similar federal laws on pig farmers, dairy farmers and other family farming operations." The NCBA echoes those concerns, saying "This ill-conceived legislation could set the model for a one-size-fits-all approach to cattle production."

Soybean growers from three states met in north Louisiana for a soybean forum. Market outlooks and priority issues for growers were discussion topics. Correspondent Tobie Blanchard from the LSU Agcenter was there.

It seems like only yesterday that we took you to the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin - and it's already time to nominate some of the top dairy producers in the country for the expos' biggest awards. The expo is now accepting nominees for their annual recognition awards. Those awards include dairy woman of the year, dairy man of the year, industry person of the year and international dairy person of the year. The expo is looking for people who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in the industry and their communities. The winners of each category will honored at an awards banquet at the World Dairy Expo this October. Nominations will be accepted through February 15. The official form can be found at and at

In agribusiness animal-health company, Elanco is taking a major step into the poultry industry. The Indiana-based firm says it has signed a deal to acquire Chem-Gen. Chem-Gen is a privately held bioscience company. It specializes in the development and commercialization of innovative feed enzyme products for egg and poultry meat production. The enzymes help the digestion in animals. Elanco is a division of Eli Lilly and Company.

Sue Martin

Volunteer gardeners in a Tennessee community are un-covering history, literally. Last fall they removed dead trees, weeds and trash that once covered old headstones in a historic cemetery. It's part of a project to beautify their hometown and preserve its civil war history. In this report provided by the UT Institute of Agriculture, Chuck Denney says the final resting place is getting a well-earned makeover. Thanks Chuck. Well done everyone. Making smart food choices is key to losing or managing weight. But what if you don't know what you're eating? That's next in Food and Your Family.

Do you find labeling on food to be confusing? If so, it may be one reason why you can't lose weight. Details in Food and Your Family. A new survey conducted by Nielsen Research reveals that 59% of people they surveyed have a difficult time understanding nutrition labels on food packaging. More than half of the people in that group considered themselves overweight. Nielsen used on-line responses from 25,000 people in 56 countries to come-up with their outcomes. Nielsen says "Consumers around the world have healthy eating on their minds and food marketers have an opportunity to help." Further, the research company notes consumer-friendly nutritional labeling can be a powerful marketing tool as consumers are hungry for easy-to-understand information."

If you like spinach, here's some good news. - which reports on the vegetable industry - says favorable growing conditions have resulted in large spinach crops in Texas. That large crop has resulted in lower consumer prices. One Texas grower says production volume is up 25-30% over last year. Fresh plaza says a warmer winter has led to bigger supplies from more areas of the country. While prices should be attractive, fresh plaza says demand is down right now.

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