TODAY ON AGDAY
NOVEMBER 14, 2011
Good morning, Clinton's on assignment. Topping our news - a big year for exports of U.S. farm goods. In fact, it's a record year. The Ag department says year-end tabulations of U.S. ag exports reached more than 137 billion dollars, shattering old highs by 22-billion dollars. USDA says that puts the trade surplus of U.S. ag products at nearly 43-billion dollars, also a record.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack recently commented on how American ag continues to bolster the nation's economy.
AG EXPORTS VILSACK:
For the full fiscal year, china was the lead export market for farm products, buying almost 20 billion dollars of farm goods. This week Vilsack will be meeting with trade partners in China and Vietnam. He says his goal is to expand markets and remove barriers to trade for U.S. ag products.
Keeping with trade news, Russia is now one step closer to joining the World Trade Organization. The WTO says Russia cleared a major hurdle to meet the requirements. A recommendation will now be sent to a conference of WTO ministers for their vote. That meeting takes place in December. A spokesman for the organization says the move will bring Russia more firmly into the global economy and make it a more attractive place to do business. American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said he believes this opens the door to increased trade between U.S. and Russia. He says it would also help resolve trade disputes between the two countries.
Deere and company says it welcomes the successful conclusion of years-long negotiations to get Russia into the world trade organization. Deere CEO Samuel Allen says "Having Russia as a member of the WTO will significantly enhance the overall business climate in the country, provide a significant long-term boost to its trading posture, and facilitate its economic growth overall." Just last week, Deere and Company announced plans to invest about 32 million dollars to expand its production capacity in Orenburg, Russia. Deere says it has purchased and will renovate a factory in the city and relocate its existing operations in that city to a new, larger facility. The equipment maker produces about 15 models of seeders, tillage and application equipment. Deere says this increases its production capacity in that city by 600%.
In agribusiness, the CME group announced late Friday it will help customers of bankrupt MF Global. CME says it will provide a 300-million dollar guarantee to the SIPC Trustee. CME says this move will allow the trustee to accelerate the release of cash and other assets of MF Global customers.
In other news, tractor sales remain robust. The association of equipment manufacturers released its latest data. Sales of all U.S. tractors for October were up 7.5% from a year ago. Sales on two-wheel farm tractors were up 11%. Larger tractors were up 2%. Four wheel drive tractor sales were flat.
IN THE COUNTRY; OUTDOORS ON THE FARM:
It's that time of year when Pro Farmer editor Chip Flory likes to take us "Outdoors on the farm". For years Chip has shown us how farmers use their land for more than crop production. We've also tagged along as he went on his hunting trips. We've also watched his kids grow-up and become active sportsmen, today we're taking you to Nebraska where the next generation of hunters are learning the proper techniques to keep them safe. Our thanks to "Pheasants Forever" which conducts these safety training courses. Tomorrow, Chip will have some tips that may help you find a better spot for your deer stand. And then coming-up Friday, we'll take you on a turkey hunt with country music star - Justin Moore. Born and raised in Arkansas, Justin knows a bit about hunting. We'll tag along on the hunt. Join us for that on Friday.
In food and your family you should keep washing those tomatoes before you cut and eat them. But a new study shows that step won't guarantee the tomatoes won't contain the bacteria that cause the most food-borne illness in humans – salmonella. Experts used to worry only about salmonella contamination through cuts in the fruit's skin or near a stem. Now - for the first time - University of Florida researchers found that it's possible for salmonella bacteria to enter a tomato plant through the leaves. Results show it can then travel through the entire plant and end up inside the fruit itself. But researchers say consumers shouldn't worry that much because it's rare. Still, they encourage consumers not to store produce for too long. Van Bruggen says organic soil has more mechanisms to resist bacteria that conventional soil.
What's the fastest growing source of animal protein around the globe? According to a new report from the United Nation's, it's aquaculture - fish farming. The UN’s food and agriculture organization says aquaculture provides nearly half of all fish consumed globally. The report shows global fish production grew more than 60% between 2000 and 2008. The UN also expects 50% of the world's food fish consumption will come from fish farms in 2012. The Asian-Pacific region dominates the sector, accounting for 89% of production. While there's been global growth, the u-s has seen more fish farmers scale back due to overseas competition.
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