DairyCast Industry

Will We See Increased Farm Community Spending In Coming Months?


Crop producers are experiencing record levels of revenue and increases in crop land values.

At a time when the U.S. jobless rate is 9.6 percent and home prices are weakening, this year’s farm income may top the $87.3 billion reached in 2004, while cropland values will rise as much as 10 percent.

This will mean farm communities may experience increased spending during the coming months.

"It will be a phenomenal year for farm income,” said Michael Swanson, a Minneapolis-based senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. agricultural lender. “We are not going to rebuild inventories in one year. This will take several years. Farmers are already running flat out, and it will take time for supply to catch up with rising demand."

Are US Dairy Exports To India Possible?

Before the US can export dairy products to India, US producers must show products are free of Bovine Growth Hormones (BGH)/Bovine Somatotropin Hormones (BST) and that the source animals were not subjected to estrogenic treatment within the last 90 days.

When asked about the Indian position, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar — who headed the negotiations with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — said: “We have an open mind. They say that it doesn't affect the animal's milk."

Additional evidence will be required for the dairy products to also pass India's religious sentiments on how dairy products are produced.

Under Indian norms for the import of milk and milk products, the importer/manufacturer must certify that “the source animals have neverbeen fed with feeds produced from internal organs, blood meal and tissues of ruminant origin.”

India has an “open mind,” but for now, it has held back permission to the United States for accessing Indian markets for U.S. dairy products, which may be made from the milk of cattle fed with feeds produced from internal organs, blood meal and tissues of ruminant origin or those that may contain animal rennet.

Can Milk Save South Carolina Budget Woes?


State prison farms in South Carolina are organizing under one operation to help save taxpayers and improve dairy production processes.

A state prison will soon be home to South Carolina's largest dairy under one roof, as a $7 million expansion quadruples the herd at a prison farm and allows the state to sell millions of gallons of excess milk.

"Hopefully, it will be the best run dairy in the state," said Bert Dew, the agency's agriculture chief.

Other states should take note on possible ways to generate additional revenue through agriculture.

South Carolina is among 17 states nationwide with prison farms. Besides South Carolina, eight others have dairy operations - California, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin, according to the National Correctional Industries Association's latest survey.

What Will Happen To Your Farm When You Retire?


Farm and ranch operators are in need of serious estate planning. In the last 30 years those young farm operators have gotten older and are getting into their 60's.

In 1982 there were 13,436 operators of farms under the age of 35, and 8,777 farm operators over 65 years of age. In 2007, there were 3,353 farm operators under the age of 35, and 13,062 farm operators over 65.

It is possible to connect those who have investment capital with those who want to retire. But planning is key. And this needs to be done sooner rather than later.

Today’s agriculture has a wealth of older farmers who may want to retire, but have no one to carry on their business. It also has many younger would-be farmers who want to farm, but have no financial way of climbing into a farm operation. Third party networks have been successful in matching potential operators with those who want to leave active farming. Planning is a necessary element needed to guarantee success.

Is There Enough Land For Corn Production?


With corn prices rising along with other commodities, how land will be used will create conflict in what to plant for the next season.

“Cotton, corn, wheat and other agricultural commodities are all fighting for the same land,” said Tony Sagami, editor of Asia Stock Alert. “Farmers, like any other businessmen, will always allocate their resources to the most productive (profitable) options and normally make the right decision,” he said.

Corn is heavily used within the USA but other commodities (soybean, wheat, and cotton) are exported in larger percentages. This sets up the issue of US land being used for a crop it exports in large percentages. The USDA has raised, and then lowered, estimation on the nation’s corn crops in 2010.

Since then [January 2010], those expectations have been cut down. In October, the government agency said it expects corn production of 12.7 billion bushels, down 4% from the September forecast and down 3% from last year’s record production of 13.1 billion.

What Does Ag Policy Look Like Post Election?

Ag Policy
Audio link via ThisWeekInAg.com

This Week In Ag (audio episode) offers some discussion on the recent mid-term elections and what policy and legislative actions might be taken in 2011.

Anti-Posilac Billboard Campaign Rejected

BAC Versus Lilly
Article via indystar.com

The Breast Cancer Action group wants to post its opinion about Eli Lilly and Company's Posilac on Indianapolis billboards but finds it difficult find a vendor to take on the billboard campaign.

When billboard companies in the city rejected the group's message, [Breast Cancer Action] cried foul, implying it's impossible to criticize Lilly in Indianapolis. Officials of Lamar Advertising, however, say they'd be glad to run the group's claims. If it can prove them.

The Breast Cancer Action group claims Posilac, a recombinant bovine growth hormone (aka rBGH or rVST), is passed to humans through milk and is linked to cancer. Lilly's Elanco division disputes the claim.

"There is no scientific backing for their position,'' [Joan] Todd [Lilly spokeswoman] said of the health group. "This is one of the most studied and restudied products on the market. Drinking milk does not increase the risk of breast cancer."

What Does The Growing National Debt Mean To Dairymen?


The US National debt continues to grow. Progressive Dairyman highlights the looming issues of this continued growth and how the debt will impact all citizens.

 

One of the biggest problems about the current fiscal situation is that foreign countries control a large portion of the debt, leaving the U.S. in a precarious position. Eventually the federal debt may get so high that the U.S. would be seen as a bad credit risk.

What is needed to tackle the issue? Higher taxes, cutbacks in programs, and serious leadership.

 

Tough decisions will need to be made for cutting spending but also to raise revenue – meaning taxes. Without considering taxes somewhere, it is unrealistic that the federal budget can be balanced.

Is there leadership out there to take on the issue before the ability to execute on viable options disappear?

What's That Smell? Biofilter To Reduce Odor

What is that smell?

Ted Funk, a University of Illinois Extension agricultural engineer with the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE), and Matt Robert, an ABE research engineer, constructed two biofilters on the ABE research farm to reduce odor emissions by up to 90%.

"The new design uses 30-inch concrete silo staves that fit together like puzzle pieces," said Robert.

The biofilters media is expected to last between three and five years and cost about dollar per cubic foot per minute (cfm) of air handled.

"Reducing odor and being a good neighbor sound good until it comes to the pocketbook," said Funk. "Biofiltration has been around a long time in other industries, but it's never been brought down to a cost that the livestock industry can handle."

Is This Enough? FDA Needs $5 Billion for Food Safety


Can the FDA be effective with an extra $5 Billion for food safety?

"I firmly believe that FDA probably needs about $5 billion to do its job well, not $1 [billion]," said David Acheson, former FDA Associate Commissioner of Foods

The issue will be how the funds will be spent and how will those dollars be cut back when future US budgeting gets tight.

With or without the food safety legislation, or a large increase in funding, the FDA is still improving its handle on food safety, according to Acheson.

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