September 1, 2006
Canada remains top market for U.S. farm exports
Canada retained its position as the top country for U.S. farm and food exports during the first half of 2006. From January through June 2006, U.S. farm and food exports to Canada totaled $5.8 billion. This accounted for approximately 17 percent of total U.S. global exports during that time period.
Source: AFBF; Executive Newswatch; Aug. 15, 2006
Texas leads nation in wind energy
Texas now tops California as the nation's wind energy leader.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, Texas has a cumulative 2,370 megawatts in wind power capacity, enough to power more than 600,000 average American homes. Texas surpassed California's 2,323 megawatts with an addition of 375 megawatts, nearly half of the total amount installed in the country since the beginning of the year. California ranked as the top state in wind power production for nearly 25 years. The first U.S. wind farms were established in 1981.
Texas also leads the U.S. in oil and gas production.
Source: AFBF; Executive Newswatch; Aug. 4, 2006
New program tracks
animal birth, performance
We're not talking about a symbol burned into the hide. eMerge Interactive, Inc. is working with Cattleman's Choice Loomix LLc; Pfizer Animal Health and Zinpro Corp. to create the Per4mance Verified Program, a new opportunity for cattle producers to prove an animal's birth, nutrition and health history.
All qualified animals will be eligible for participation in CattleLog Listing Service, the beef industry's only public listing of cattle that have been "100 percent on-site audited" for premium and branded programs.
Source: Doane's Agricultural Report; Aug. 11, 2006; Vol. 69, No. 32-1
Brazil considers more U.S. farm bill challenges
Brazil is asking the World Trade Organization to decide if the changes the U.S. has made to its cotton program are enough to bring the policy into compliance with WTO trade rules.
If not, Brazil will ask to impose retaliatory tariffs on up to $4 billion of U.S. imports. Further, Brazil is considering challenging other aspects of U.S farm policies, including the marketing loan program. The threat of such litigation is one reason Agriculture Secretary Johanns is pushing for significant changes in U.S. farm programs.
Source: Doane's Agricultural Report; August 11, 2006; Vol. 69, No. 32-1
New 'Combo' crop insurance proposed
USDA's Federal Crop Insurance Corp. has proposed to radically change crop insurance programs.
This newly developed Combination "Combo" Policy would provide both revenue and yield protection for those crops and replace the Crop Revenue Coverage, Income Protection, Indexed Income Protection, Actual Production History and Revenue Assurance plans of insurance.
Source: Doane's Agricultural Report; July 21, 2006: Vol. 69, No. 29-1
Utility customers pay extra for 'Cow Power'
Central Vermont Public Service has come up with a unique energy solution. Customers who enroll in the "Cow Power" program pay a four cent per kilowatt hour premium for the energy they buy. The money collected is paid to dairy farmers to help them install technology that will turn methane into energy. So far about 2 percent of the utility's customers have enrolled.
Source: AFBF; Executive Newswatch; Aug. 18, 2006
EU states must pay
back misused subsidies
Several European Union member states must return $204 million in misused farm subsidies.
The EU's executive arm ruled Friday that the governments of Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Britain used Common Agricultural Policy funds incorrectly or did not account for them properly.
France was the most egregious offender in terms of dollar amount, paying aid to farmers for land that was ineligible for subsidies and failing to check on projects under way.
Source: AFBF; Executive Newswatch; Aug. 1, 2006