AgDay Daily Recap - March 23, 2011

March 23, 2011 02:42 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
MARCH 23, 2011

RR ALFALFA LAWSUIT
ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS FILED A LAWSUIT IN CALIFORNIA TO CHALLENGE USDA'S RECENT DECISION TO DE-REGULATE ROUND-UP READY ALFALFA. ATTORNEYS FOR THE "CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY" AND "EARTHJUSTICE" FILED THE FEDERAL LAWSUIT IN SAN FRANCISCO. THE GROUPS ARGUE THE AG DEPARTMENT'S DECISION IN JANUARY TO GRANT NON-REGULATED STATUS FOR ROUNDUP READY ALFALFA WAS UNLAWFUL. THE G-E CROP IS ENGINEERED TO BE IMMUNE TO THE HERBICIDE GLYPHOSATE. ATTORNEYS FOR THE GROUPS SAY THE USDA FAILED TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE OVERSIGHT OF BIOTECH ALFALFA. THEY ALSO SAY G-E ALFALFA CAUSES SIGNIFICANT HARM TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND CONVENTIONAL CROPS. IN CRITICIZING THE AG DEPARTMENT, ANDREW KIMBRELL FROM THE CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY SAYS - QUOTING HERE - " "THIS RECKLESS APPROVAL FLIES IN THE FACE OF OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE THAT GE ALFALFA THREATENS THE RIGHTS OF FARMERS AND CONSUMERS." IN JANUARY, USDA SAID AFTER CONDUCTING A THOROUGH EXAMINATION, IT CONCLUDES ROUNDUP READY ALFALFA IS AS SAFE AS TRADITIONALLY BRED ALFALFA.

CROP RESEARCH
NO MATTER WHERE YOU STAND ON THE G-M-O DEBATE, THERE'S LITTLE QUESTION WHAT IMPACT AGRICULTURE RESEARCH IS HAVING ON THE INDUSTRY AND THE WORLD, AS A WHOLE. THIS WEEK, THE COUNCIL FOR AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY - OR CAST - RELEASED THE RESULTS OF A STUDY SHOWING THE IMPACT THAT RESEARCH HAS ON THE ECONOMY. CAST" SAYS THEIR RESEARCH SHOWS FOR EVERY DOLLAR SPENT ON PUBLIC AG RESEARCH AND EXTENSION, THERE'S A 32-DOLLAR RETURN TO SOCIETY. THEIR GOAL IS TO GIVE INFORMATION TO LAWMAKERS AS THEY ATTEMPT TO REIN-IN SPENDING IN THE BUDGET PROCESS. CAST SAYS THOSE DECISIONS ON CAPITOL HILL CAN HAVE A DIRECT IMPACT ON RESEARCH FUNDING WHICH CAN AFFECT FARMERS. FARMERS WITH THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WHEAT GROWERS SAY RESEARCH AND NEW VARIETIES--INCLUDING BIO-TECH WHEAT--MAY HAVE A BIG IMPACT ON THEIR ABILITY TO GROW THE GRAIN IN THE FUTURE. THE COUNCIL SAYS RESEARCH KNOWLEDGE PAYS-OFF OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, BUT IT CAN ALSO DEPRECIATE IF NOT MAINTAINED. "CAST" QUOTED A STUDY FROM TEXAS AGRI-LIFE EXTENSION THAT SHOWS WHEAT VARIETY RESEARCH IN 2009 PROVIDED A 24-DOLLAR PER ACRE INCREASE IN NET RETURNS TO FARMERS.

CROP WATCH
THE M-U METEOROLOGIST SAY LONG RANGE PREDICTIONS ALSO CALL FOR WARMER AND DRYER CONDITIONS IN THE SOUTHERN PLAINS, WHICH COULD BE A PROBLEM FOR AGRICULTURE. LET'S CHECK IN NOW WITH METEOROLOGIST MIKE HOFFMAN FOR TODAY'S CROP COMMENTS, MIKE.

ANALYSIS
IN AGRIBUSINESS THIS MORNING, A CHINESE COMPANY SAYS IT WASN'T THE ONE BUYING CORN FROM THE U.S. LAST WEEK A NEWS REPORT FUELED SPECULATION THE COUNTRY'S GRAIN RESERVE MANAGERS MADE A MAJOR PURCHASE OF U.S. CORN. THE REPORT SENT U.S CORN NEARLY 70 CENTS HIGHER LAST WEEK. NOW THE CHINESE DENIAL HAS MARKETS COOLING OFF.
GREG HUNT JOINS AGRIBUSINESS DIRECTOR AL PELL TO DISCUSS THE CONFUSION AND THE POSSIBILITY OF CHINESE CORN BUYING IN THE FUTURE.

CALIFORNIA ONIONS
ONIONS ARE ONE OF THOSE VEGETABLES THAT SEEMS TO FIND ITS WAY INTO JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. IN FACT ON AVERAGE, AMERICANS CONSUME 20 POUNDS OF ONIONS PER PERSON PER YEAR. THROW IN 142-THOUSAND PLANTED ACRES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND YOU'VE GOT BIG BUSINESS. TRACY SELLERS OF CALIFORNIA COUNTRY TV TAKES US TO ONE FARM WHERE ONIONS ARE ON THE MENU YEAR ROUND. THANKS TRACY.  I FEEL YOUR TEARY EYED PAIN. STILL TO COME BEING ABLE AFFORD ONIONS AND THOSE GROCERY'S AT THE STORE. WE'LL TELL YOU HOW MANY PEOPLE SAY THEY'RE NOT SURE THEY'LL HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR FOOD.
THAT STORY WHEN AGDAY RETURNS.

FOOD & YOUR FAMILY: FOOD COSTS
IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY THIS MORNING A NEW SURVEY SAYS 25 PERCENT OF AMERICAN'S ARE WORRIED THEY WON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY FOR FOOD THIS YEAR. THIS RESPONSE IS PART OF A NATIONAL HUNGER SURVEY.
THE ONLINE SURVEY IS PART OF TYSON FOOD'S KNOW HUNGER CAMPAIGN.
IT FOUND A QUARTER OF ALL RESPONDENTS ARE FOOD INSECURE--BEING FAIRLY OR VERY CONCERNED ABOUT BEING ABLE TO AFFORD FOOD THIS YEAR. 31 PERCENT WERE SLIGHTLY WORRIED. THE SURVEY CLAIMS TO BE THE LARGEST AND MOST COMPREHENSIVE EVER CONDUCTED ON ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS OF HUNGER. IT ALSO FOUND MANY PEOPLE UNDERESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF HUNGER IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY, AND THAT HUNGER IS SLIGHTLY HIGHER IN RURAL AREAS THAN IT IS IN URBAN AMERICA.
 

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