AgDay Daily Recap - September 30, 2011

02:28PM Sep 30, 2011
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SEPTEMBER 30, 2011

A variety of ideas on how to best-write the next farm bill are now rolling into Washington. On Thursday, the American Soybean Association released its proposal for the 2012 farm bill. ASA calls their proposal the "Risk Management for America’s Farmers" program, or "RMAF." ASA president Alan Kemper - who farms in Indiana - says their proposal is commodity specific with revenue and yield benchmarks for individual farmers. Those benchmarks are based on historical yields and prices and not based on yields found at county, district or state levels. Kemper says ASA will present its plan to the so-called "super committee" which is looking for ways to reduce the nation's deficit. The soybean growers group says that RMAF could cost significantly less than the existing "acre", "sure" and "direct payment" programs.

Lawmakers - of course- have their own versions. This week, senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Dick Durbin of Illinois, John Thune of South Dakota and Dick Lugar of Indiana proposed the Aggregate Risk and Revenue Management program - or "ARM". Like some other proposals, it eliminates the current counter-cyclical and direct payment programs. It also does-away with the "sure" disaster assistance program. In its place, the lawmakers-- program which would calculate payments based on planted acres rather than base acres. It would be triggered at the local level, using crop reporting districts, rather than at the state level.

The national corn growers association released a proposal for the next farm bill two weeks ago. The Agriculture Disaster Assistance Program - or ADAP - would modify and replace the existing "acre" program. NCGA believes their idea will save money, simplify commodity programs and help farmers manage risk. It would also replace the existing direct payment programs. NCGA's public policy team drew-up the plan that is a revenue-based risk management tool, providing farmers a safety net when they need it most. We talked with Garry Niemeyer on his central Illinois farm last week during harvest. Niemeyer becomes the next NCGA president effective tomorrow.

For those of you keeping score, there's "RMAF ", "ADAP" and "AARM" for farm bill consideration. We'll put a link on our homepage – - for your convenience.

Our farm journal family over at AgWeb spent yesterday celebrating a day in Ag. Farmers from 43 states submitted pictures, videos and posted updates from their farms online in hopes of spreading the story of agriculture and what it means for people everywhere.

Chip Nellinger

As urban sprawl pushes back the rural curtain of America, it's not uncommon to find agriculture and its root word--culture--mixing and blending together. In fact, for one Colorado jazz musician that mixing is providing him a new audience...or least raising questions about who he's really performing for. Anne Herbst from the Denver Post has our story.
Thanks Anne. Anne Herbst with the Denver post. Food and Your Family is next.

In food and your family the death toll from listeria laced cantaloupe continues to rise. Health officials say as many as 16 people may have died from the fruit making it the deadliest outbreak in more than a decade. The CDC says 13 of those deaths are confirmed and they're investigating 3 more.  All told, 72 illnesses in 18 states, have been traced back to the listeria infected cantaloupe grown in holly Colorado. The CDC says the median age of those sickened is 78 and about one in 8 who get listeria can die. It can take up to four weeks for a person to get ill after eating listeria contaminated food. Symptoms include fever, muscle ache, gastrointestinal problems and often victims become incapacitated or unable to speak.

It's Friday and that means Friday night football at schools big and small across the country. Unfortunately concussions are a part of that game and others. A recent study found concussions among middle and high school students are skyrocketing--more than 100,000 kids end up in the hospital every year. Clark Powell with Nationwide Children’s Hospital has the story.

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