TODAY ON AGDAY:
OCTOBER 24, 2011
Good morning. Trucks are once-again rolling in from Mexico. And those trucks are at the hands of Mexican operators. With the 'green-light" to operate in the United States, Mexico has now lifted a host of tariffs it levied against the U.S. Mexico imposed the tariffs - many of them on farm products - in a 2009 dispute with the U.S. The fight was over the United States' refusal to allow Mexican trucks to make deliveries deep inside this country, which had been allowed as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. American authorities finally agreed to allow the Mexican trucks and operators if they comply with strict monitoring rules and follow U.S. highway regulations. The two governments signed an agreement in July resolving the trucking issue, which cut tariffs by 50%. The remaining tariffs were lifted on Friday after the U.S. department of transportation issued trucking permits.
The National Pork Producers council praised the two governments for ending the dispute. NPPC says Mexico is the second largest market for the U.S. Pork industry, which shipped nearly a billion dollars in pork to Mexico in 2010.
American agriculture is expecting a big boost in exports now that those Free-Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama have been signed into law. President Obama signed the deals on Friday. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says U.S. Ag exports are on track to reach new highs, leading to a trade surplus of 42-billion dollars. The president of the National Association of Wheat Growers was at the signing ceremony. "NAWG" says the administration must work quickly to get the trade deals implemented.
The president of the National Corn Growers Association says FTA's and exports have a direct correlation with infrastructure in the United States. Improving the nation's outdated infrastructure - especially locks and dams on the Mississippi river - is a top priority of Niemeyer. He says trade deals are important, but you need to be able to get the grain and other ag products to the port. That's what gives the u-s a competitive edge in the global marketplace.
CATTLE ON FEED:
A heavier-than-anticipated flow of calves into feedlots during September pushed the 'on feed' number to the top end of the pre-report guess range. That's according to our reporting partners at Pro Farmer Newsletter who were analyzing USDA’s cattle on feed report which came out Friday afternoon. Pro Farmer senior market analyst Brian Grete says feedlots stayed on top of markets last month, but movement of animals to slaughter failed to offset those entering feed yards. A weight breakdown of September placements shows the impacts of severe drought in the southern plains continue to influence the flow of calves into feedlots. Lightweight placements were up 34%. As the supply of lightweight calves declines, Pro Farmer believes placement pace should slow in coming months.
Nearly sixty thousand kids, teachers and parents descended on Indianapolis last week for the 84th annual National FFA convention. Kids came from across the country to compete in contests, attend meetings and participate in career development events. Many got a personal look at career options from the convention tradeshow. Vendors from ag businesses around the country come to National FFA to share information and educate kids on future career paths. For some, FFA itself wasn't the logical starting point. Later this week I'll have a story about one Wisconsin FFA Chapter that made a sacrifice to attend this year's event because they thought it might be their last chance.
IN THE COUNTRY; ELK CALLING:
Fall is in the air. The sweet smells of apple pie, pumpkin bread, fall festivals and the passionate sounds of bugling elk. The rutting calls of these horned giants are echoing off canyon walls at the rocky mountain national park. You see, September through October is mating season. My good friend Anne Herbst from the Denver Post gives us a look at love from an elk's perspective. Thanks Anne and the Denver Post for sharing that story. The elk displays usually last through October and they're most active around dusk. Up next, pharmaceutical grade lactose. Food and Your Family is next.
In Food and Your Family if you're taking a tablet to get rid of your headache, you might be getting a small dose of dairy as well. In this report provided by the Wisconsin milk marketing board, find out how one Wisconsin company is fortifying the dairy industry with refined lactose.
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