Senators Want Restraint on Ag Budget Cuts
U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, a senior member of the Committee, have sent a letter to the President opposing budget cuts to farm programs in a tough economy.
Pelosi Says Congress Could Pass Legislation Without Vote
House members may pass health care reform legislation without having the opportunity to vote on it. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggests she might use a tactic known as a – self-executing rule – or – deem and pass. This procedure has been commonly used on legislation of lesser impact. Republicans quickly condemned the strategy, framing it as an effort to avoid responsibility for passing the legislation, and some suggested that Pelosi's plan would be unconstitutional.
Bill would expand recall notification; could fine processors, retailers
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has proposed the Consumer Recall Notification Act, which would require notices posted on shelves at food retailers where recalled foods are sold; require that recall notices are sent directly to grocery store members and "loyalty card" users; and ensure that Class I recall information is distributed to health workers.
Continued wet weather and some cooler temperatures are starting to take their toll across the south. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says excessive moisture is delaying field work and the cooler weather is delaying crop development...
In Georgia, where it’s been even wetter than in Texas, a very slow start on the corn planting, only 5% planted by the middle of March, the five year average is 9%. Also, in the southeast an issue has been the very cool weather. Looking at the Georgia peach bloom, only 3% of the crop blooming out by March 14th, and that compares to the five year average
of 25%, and last year which was a fairly warm year, 50% was blooming by mid March.
Wet Weather Taking a Toll on Planting, Crop Development
Rippey says excessive wetness has also been a problem for the condition of the soft red winter wheat crop - particularly in the southeast
Vilsack and Kirk Discuss Success in Russia, Ongoing Efforts to Reopen Other Markets
The United States and Russia reached an agreement earlier this month that reopened the Russian market to U.S. pork. This week - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack had some news on when U.S. pork might officially re-enter the Russian marketplace...
Vilsack said that the US will likely see a renewal of pork to Russia within the next week as a result of the actions of the USTR’s office and the USDA in reopening that market after the H1N1.
USDA and USTR are still working to reopen the Russian market to U.S. poultry - the Chinese market to U.S. pork - and other Asian markets to beef. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk...
Kirk said that the secretary and himself had both been to Russia and to China; that they have teams in Japan and continue to engage our friends in Taiwan. The USTR’s office will work collaboratively with USDA to try open those markets back up to US beef, pork and poultry products.
Darden sees opportunity to add 1,000 new restaurants
Despite the recession's wallop on the foodservice industry, Darden Restaurants Inc. is laying out a sizable growth plan that speaks to confidence in the long-term health of the business.
The Orlando, Fla.-based company's top officials say they see potential to add an additional 1,000 units, which would bring its total portfolio to some 2,800 restaurants. Darden Properties include Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Restaurant.