TODAY ON AGDAY:
SEPTEMBER 26, 2011
DAIRY BILL INTRODUCED:
As Washington looks at ways to cut the bloated federal deficit, two lawmakers representing dairy states say the dairy industry will feel it. Congressman Collin Peterson of Minnesota introduced legislation Friday that would re-invent the dairy safety net. It would eliminate dairy price supports and direct payments. The measure is co-sponsored by Mike Simpson of Idaho. The lawmakers say their bill would offer catastrophic and supplemental dairy margin insurance. According to our reporting partners at dairy today, this is how the policy would work. For producers who sign-up for the insurance, it would guarantee income at least four dollars per hundredweight over feed cost on 80% of the annual milk production. Those who sign-up, however, will also have to agree to cut back milk production during periods of low margins. Congressman Peterson says the dairy security act of 2011 is projected to save 131 million dollars over 10 years. Commenting about dairy groups who oppose the bill, Peterson says if they wait for the perfect solution, they are "playing with fire". Peterson hopes to get the dairy bill completed this fall and then fold it into the larger 2012 farm bill discussion. But the exact timing of passage is still unknown.
Using FSA's certified acreage data, Informa Economics has updated their 2011-crop acreage assumptions. The firm lowered its planted corn acreage estimate by 420,000 acres, but raised soybean planted acreage by 50,000. But even though it lowered acreage, the analytical firm upped the production figures. That increase is based on revised yield and abandonment assumptions. Informa is now estimating that the 2011 crop will produce 12.6 billion bushels of corn. That's 123-million bushels higher than USDA's September forecast. Soybeans are up seven million in Allendale's forecast.
INFORMA 2012 FORECAST:
As far as next year, Informa is calling for 94.3 million acres of corn. That's up 2.5 million. Soybeans and wheat will both be up next year. But Allendale thinks cotton will be down nearly three million acres.
As financial markets and world economies struggle to find a firm footing, Ag lending is holding steady. Our own Al Pell caught up with representatives from farm credit near Springfield, Illinois last week--with harvest underway, it's a good time to reflect on the financial foundation of the farm.
FARM CREDIT HEALTH:
As far as credit goes, the average credit score is as strong as they've ever seen it and harvest should provide the cash many farmers need to pay down debt.
IN THE COUNTRY; CALIFORNIA POTATO:
The average American eats about 140 pounds of potatoes every year.
It's often called America's favorite vegetable. While it's not typically thought of as a potato growing state--California grows around 40,000 acres of spuds each year. California country's Tracy Sellers takes us to the Golden State for a potato harvest that will leave you wanting more. I saw that...
Thanks Tracy. Food and your family is next.
Food prices will continue to rise next year, but not as fast at this year. Details in food and your family. USDA's economic research service says it's mixed news when it comes to next year's food prices. The bad news for consumer - store prices will go up. In 2011, the consumer price index showed grocery store prices up 3.5-4.5%. Next year, the increase won't be as steep, according to USDA economists. And Volpe says those historically normal rates-of-increase are between 3-4%. Volpe says ERS is watching the meats section, which led the charge among food categories. He also expects bread and cereal prices will rise more than had been expected.
ASIAN CARP ANTI HUNGER:
For several years now we've been talking about the invasive Asian carp--a voracious eater that can grow up to 100 pounds. Now in Illinois the fish is finding its way into hunger programs. As we've said there's concern the fish could end up in the great lakes, ruining those environments for fishing, out eating native species, and stumping recreation. Now in Illinois the Department of Natural Resources is campaigning to change the fish's image. And they're working with feeding Illinois--to get the fish donated to food pantries and soup kitchens. The DNR says Asian carp, while boney, has a similar taste to Mahi Mahi.
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