North Carolina Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler is excited about the General Assembly allocating funds to help farmers upgrade water systems on farms:
“This year the legislature actually allocated $1 million to the AgWRAP cost share program to address some water needs we have here in North Carolina.”
One cost share grant is allocated for farm ponds, and according to Troxler the application deadline is coming up quick:
“Farmers have got to get out there and submit their applications to their local soil and water conservation districts, because the deadline is coming up real fast, it’s February the 10th.”
To learn more about this cost share grant go to www.ncagr.gov/sw/agwrap.htm
Cattle Numbers Lowest Since 1952
The numbers in the USDA’s January 1 cattle-inventory report, released on January 27, suggest continued short supplies and high prices for calves and feeder cattle. The report also hints, however, that the trend toward herd reduction could be starting to turn around. The report shows all cattle and calves in the United States as of January 1, 2012 totaled 90.8 million head, 2 percent below the 92.7 million on January 1, 2011. This is the lowest January 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since 1952, when USDA recorded a total of 88.1 million head.
Consumer Spending Flat Due to American’s Saving
The Commerce Department says consumer spending was flat last month as Americans put more money in the bank. CBS MoneyWatch dot Com Editor-at-Large Jill Schlesinger has more.
“Americans are boosting their savings again, their personal savings rate was 4 percent last month, compared to 3.5 percent in November. That’s great for the American balance sheets, but not so great for the economy, because we really want to see consumers spending more robustly in the economy because they account for more than two-thirds of the economy.”
USTR Reports Progress in Trade Talks
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has announced important progress with Japan on a range of trade and regulatory issues as well as on new areas of joint cooperation. Working through the U.S.-Japan Economic Harmonization Initiative, Kirk says Japan has improved the business environment and expanded access for a broad range of U.S. goods and services. These goods include agricultural products.
Feeding the World, So Far, So Good
Don Hofstrand, Iowa State University emeritus ag economist, says world agriculture has been successful in keeping up with world population growth over the last half of the 20th century. In fact -Hofstrand says agriculture's food production has increased faster than population during this time period.