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AgDay Daily Recap - March 8, 2012

14:27PM Mar 08, 2012

MARCH 8, 2012


Good morning. The nation's top grower groups have issued their top policy issues for this year. And finishing a Farm Bill in 2012 is paramount. The corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum groups set their priorities during Commodity Classic. This is the annual meeting for those groups and where they set the policy that their members will take to Capitol Hill the coming year. AgDay's Michelle Rook talked to the leaders of the nation's commodity organizations about their legislative agenda for 2012. The groups all agree that it’s an election year and that is limiting the progress of many important ag legislation. However, they still believe it's important to get a Farm Bill done in 2012 and they're still optimistic that can be accomplished

Taiwan announced plans this week to lift the country's ban on some U.S. beef products that contain ractopamine. That's a feed additive used to promote leanness in livestock.
Under the plan, internal beef organs and pork products containing additive will still be banned. The Taiwanese legislature must still approve lifting the ban.

Cattle futures have been mixed this week. On Tuesday live cattle prices saw its biggest drop since early December. Feed cattle also fell. That has many wondering if prices have found a top. So far prices are up nearly 6 percent on the year. Cattle feeder margins are also looking stronger thanks to beef cutout values increasing about 3 dollars per hundred weight.

Cattle rustling continues to be a big concern across the country as prices climb. In Missouri, a sheriff in Dade County is looking for tips in a case where thieves stole 21 head, using horses and corn to lure the herd in. This is just one of dozens of rustling reports popping up as values increase.

In Agribusiness last week's Commodity Classic turnout has been counted. Organizers are ecstatic over a record turnout for the Nashville held event. Put on by farmer for farmers, Commodity Classic is presented annually by the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Sorghum Producers. At final count, more than 6,000 people attended the event.
That's 25% higher than last year's record. Next year's Commodity Classic is slated for February 28th through March 2nd in Kissimmee, Florida. While there I talked with Mark Gold about the run up in soybean prices.

Mark Gold

This year's mild winter has more people thinking spring than expecting snow. But to the north of the great 48, mushers are now running the last great race on earth...the Iditarod stretching across 1,100 miles is underway in Alaska. Running that race is a Colorado man by the name of Bill Pinkham. But as Anne Herbst with the Denver Post shows us, this long time dog sled racer is making 2012's last great race his last. Thanks Anne. Wonderful story. As of taping bill was in 44th place. The Iditarod takes between 10 and 17 days to complete. Sled teams with up to 16 dogs run from Anchorage along the western Bering Sea coast to Nome Alaska. Food and Your Family is straight ahead.

In Food and Your Family - the United States took the first step towards to challenge India’s longtime ban on U.S. poultry products before the world trade organization. U.S. raised poultry is currently banned from India. The country took that step against any country which had an incident of avian flu, even if it was a low-risk pathogen. On Tuesday the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office says it will start the process to file a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the U.S. has repeatedly asked India to justify the ban. However, he says the country has failed to use any science-based facts to justify the import restrictions.

Are you satisfied with a plain-ole cup of coffee, or do you prefer specialty coffees? Whatever the case, coffee and tea sales continue to climb higher. That's the bottom line of a new market report from "Packaged Facts", which monitors those sales trends. The market research group says sales of coffee and tea in the foodservice sector is projected to reach 18.7 billion dollars this year. That would be an 11% increase over last year's sales. The market firm says consumption of specialty coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiato, was a key reason behind the increase.

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