AgDay Daily Recap - May 6, 2011

May 6, 2011 03:52 AM
 

TODAY ON AGDAY:
MAY 6, 2011

ETHANOL REFORM BILL:
GOOD MORNING. THE ETHANOL DEBATE CONTINUES IN WASHINGTON AS ANOTHER GROUP OF LEGISLATORS INTRODUCE A BILL TO REFORM CURRENT INDUSTRY SUPPORTS. IN A SHOW OF BI-PARTISANSHIP, IOWA REPUBLICAN SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY AND DEMOCRAT KENT CONRAD OF NORTH DAKOTA INTRODUCED THE DOMESTIC ENERGY PROMOTION ACT OF 2011. THE BILL WOULD MEAN MAJOR REFORM FOR THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY, BUT MAINTAINS SOME GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT. THIS JUST DAYS AFTER ANOTHER BILL SOUGHT TO END ALL SUBSIDIES AND TARRIFFS FOR THE RENEWABLE FUEL. THE GRASSLEY-- CONRAD BILL CONTINUES VEETC OR THE BLENDERS TAX CREDIT THROUGH 2016 BUT UNDER A TIERED SYSTEM...DEPENDENT ON THE PRICE OF OIL. THE IMPORT TARIFF WOULD ALSO FALL FROM 54 CENTS A GALLON TO 20 CENTS BY 2012 AND 15 CENTS THE NEXT THREE YEARS.

WASHINGTON REACTS:
AGRIBUSINESS DIRECTOR LINDSAY HILL JOINS US NOW. LINDSAY, YOU JUST RETURNED FROM WASHINGTON, WE KNOW THIS ISSUE HAS THE AG COMMUNITY DIVIDED, BUT WHAT ARE THE FEELINGS INSIDE THE BELTWAY? CLINTON, WE SPOKE WITH A NUMBER OF KEY DECISION MAKERS IN WASHINGTON AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT IN SPITE OF THE ACTION TAKEN THIS WEEK, THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY STILL HAS SUPPORT.  AS A MATTER OF FACT, U.S. AG SECRETARY TOM VILSACK WAS QUICK TO CITE A RECENT STUDY FROM IOWA STATE THAT SAID EVEN THOUGH CONSUMERS ARE UNDERSTANDABLY NOT PLEASED ABOUT THE PRICES THEY ARE PAYING AT THE GAS PUMP, THEY COULD BE PAYING 89 CENTS MORE PER GALLON IF NOT FOR ETHANOL. AND, THE PRICE COULD POTENTIALLY DOUBLE IF THE INDUSTRY WERE SHUT DOWN ALTOGETHER. ONE OTHER THING THAT WAS MENTIONED WHILE WE WERE IN WASHINGTON CLINTON IS THAT THERE ARE PLENTY OF LAWMAKERS IN D.C. WHO REPRESENT CORN PRODUCING STATES, SO THE ODDS OF ANY DRASTIC ATTEMPT TO SHUT-DOWN OR EVEN SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY BEING SUCCESSFUL IS UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN SOON, IF EVER AT ALL.

ETHANOL INDUSTRY SUPPORT:
WHILE THE DEBATE RAGES ON CAPITOL HILL, THE GRASSLEY AND CONRAD ETHANOL REFORM BILL IS GETTING APPLAUS FROM THE ETHANOL INDUSTRY. NATIONAL CORN GROWERS ASSOCIATION, THE AMERICAN COALITION FOR ETHANOL, GROWTH ENERGY AND THE RENEWABLE FUELS ASSOCIATION ALL PRAISED THE BILL. THEY SAY IT IMPROVES TAX CREDITS FOR BLENDER PUMPS AND INFRASTRUCTURE.

LEVEE FLOODING:
ONE OF THE MAJOR HIGHWAYS IN THE COUNTRY WAS SHUT-DOWN THURSDAY DUE TO FLOODING. INTERSTATE 40 CROSSES ARKANSAS. IT WAS CLOSED BETWEEN LITTLE ROCK AND MEMPHIS DUE TO FLOODING ON THE WHITE RIVER. THE WHITE RIVER DUMPS INTO THE MISSISSIPPI, BUT WITH THAT RIVER RUNNING AT HISTORIC LEVELS, THE WHITE RIVER HAD NO PLACE TO GO. MEANWHILE, THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE NEAR CHARLESTON, MISSOURI. THE WATER LEVELS ARE SLOWLY STARTING TO RECEDE. AS THE WATER GOES DOWN HERE, THAT MEANS PROBLEMS FOR FARMERS AND RESIDENTS DOWN STREAM. ON WEDNESDAY, THE WHITE HOUSE DECLARED PARTS OF KENTUCKY, MISSISSIPPI AND TENNESSEE AS DISASTER AREAS, IN ADVANCE OF THE EXPECTED FLOODING.

FARMER LAWSUIT:
JUST THIS WEEK THE ARMY CORP OF ENGINEERS BLEW A LEVEE TO EASE FLOODING. FARMERS ARE SUING. WE'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU ABOUT THE CORPS DECISION TO BLOW THAT LEVEE...AND THE LAWSUIT.  DO THESE FARMERS HAVE A CASE, OR IS IT A RISK THEY FACE, BY OWNING LAND NEAR THE RIVER. SEND YOUR COMMENTS TO THE AGDAY INBOX. THAT ADDRESS IS INBOX@AGDAY.COM .

S. KOREA BEEF:
THANKS MIKE. BEEF EXPORTS HOPE TO GET A BUMP AFTER THE USDA PLEDGES TO HELP FUND PROMOTIONAL WORK IN SOUTH KOREA. THE USDA AWARDED ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO THE U.S. MEAT EXPORT FEDERATION. THE MONEY WILL GO TO PROMOTE U.S. BEEF IN THAT COUNTRY IN AN EFFORT TO REGAIN MARKET SHARE.  THE U.S. LOST SALES IN SOUTH KOREA AFTER A MAD COW SCARE BACK IN THE EARLY 2000'S. BEEF EXPORTS TO KOREA ARE UP 140% BUT STILL BELOW WHERE THEY WERE. THE USDA MONEY WILL HELP WITH CONSUMER AND MARKET EDUCATION ON U.S. BEEF QUALITY AND SAFETY.

GRAY WOLVES:
IN THE ON-GOING LEGAL BATTLE OVER GRAY WOLVES, FOUR ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS ARE GOING TO COURT TO PUT THE PREDATORS BACK ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST. THE GROUPS FILED TWO LAWSUITS, ASKING A FEDERAL COURT TO DECIDE WHETHER THE STATES OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD OVERSEE THE WOLF PROTECTION IN FOUR WESTERN STATES. LAST MONTH, LAWMAKERS ATTACHED AN AMEDMENT TO THE FEDERAL BUDGET BILL WHICH LIFTED THE WOLF PROTECTIONS.

MITAS TIRES:
IN AGRIBUSINESS IMPLEMENT TIRE MAKER MITAS SAYS IT'S UPPING THE PRICE OF ITS PRODUCTS BY TEN PERCENT. THE COMPANY CITES RISING RAW MATERIAL COSTS AS THE REASON FOR THE INCREASE. MITAS IS CURRENTLY BUILDING AN AGRICULTURAL TIRE PLANT IN CHARLES CITY IOWA.

AGRIUM:
GLOBAL CROP INPUT GIANT "AGRIUM" IS TOUTING ITS FIRST QUARTER NUMBERS. IT SAYS RECORD HIGH CROP PRICES ARE HELPING WITH NUTRIENT DEMAND. SALES AT AGRIUM WERE UP 60%. NET EARNINGS HIT 171 MILLION VS A ONE MILLION DOLLAR LOSS IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF LAST YEAR. AGRIUM PROFITS ARE DOUBLE WHAT THEY WERE IN 2010.

ANALYSIS:
GARY WILHELMI

IN THE COUNTRY; 4-H POTTERY:
MANKIND HAS BEEN MAKING DISHES, CUPS AND BOWLS OUT OF CLAY FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. TODAY THE POTTERY CRAFT LIVES ON CREATING BEAUTIFUL AND USEABLE WORKS OF ART. IN TENNESSEE A GROUP OF 4-HERS ARE GETTING THEIR HANDS DIRTY. IN THIS REPORT FROM UT, CHUCK DENNEY HAS MORE ON THE LESSONS LEARNED THROUGH CLAY AND CREATIVITY. THANKS CHUCK. THE 4-H POTTERY GROUP MEETS IN FOUR WEEKLY SESSIONS AFTER SCHOOL. EACH CHILD COMPLETES SEVERAL PROJECTS AS PART OF THE CLASS. UP NEXT, NEW RULES FROM THE FDA ON IMPORTED FOOD AND FEED. WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

FDA FOOD IMPORT RULES:
IN FOOD AND YOUR FAMILY, THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION HAS ISSUED THEIR FIRST SET OF RULES UNDER THE NEW AUTHORITY GRANTED TO THE AGENCY BY THE FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT.  THE FIRST RULE ALLOWS THE FDA TO DETAIN FOOD THE AGENCY BELIEVES MAY HAVE BEEN PRODUCED IN UNSANITARY OR UNSAFE CONDITIONS. THIS STRENGTHENS THE PREVIOUS RULE THAT ONLY ALLOWED FDA TO ACT WHEN THEY HAD CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT A FOOD PRODUCT WAS CONTAMINATED OR MISLABELED IN A WAY THAT PRESENTED A SERIOUS HEALTH THREAT TO HUMANS OR ANIMALS. THE SECOND RULE REQUIRES ANYONE IMPORTING FOOD INTO THE U.S. TO NOTIFY FDA IF ANY COUNTRY HAS REFUSED ENTRY TO THE SAME PRODUCT.

FOOD STAMPS:
IT SEEMS THAT MORE PEOPLE ARE TURNING TO USDA'S "SNAP" - OR SUPPLEMENTAL ASSISTANCE INSURANCE PROGRAM FOR HELP. THE LATEST USDA DATA SHOWS ONE IN SEVEN AMERICANS, OR OVER 14% OF THE POPULATION ARE NOW TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE PROGRAM, MORE COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS FOOD STAMPS. DESPITE THE FACT THAT ENROLLMENT NUMBERS HAVE DECREASED IN RECENT MONTHS, THE OVERALL FIGURES STILL INDICATE A NEARLY 12% INCREASE FROM LAST YEAR. WYOMING HAD THE LOWEST ENROLLMENT, WHILE MISSISSIPPI AND OREGON HAD THE HIGHEST.

CONTACT PAGE:
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! CONTACT US AT 800-792-4329. OR DROP AN EMAIL TO INBOX@AGDAY.COM . YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON SOME OF THAT NEW TECHNOLOGY, AT WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/AGDAY .
 

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