Next week, North Carolina Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler, along with commodity representatives from around the state will visit Beijing China on a trade mission:
"It is important that we do these trade missions and make sure that the world out there understands the quality of the products we grow in North Carolina. And this trade mission is going to focus on primarily tobacco, wheat, soybeans, peanuts and cotton..."
The commissioner’s first mission was about 18 months ago, and was labeled a great success:
"After this last trade mission that we took, China contracted to purchase more than 50 million pounds of North Carolina tobacco which was up by a huge marginn over what they had purchased before."
North Carolina Department of Agriculture is setting up an agricultural trade office in Beijing, Commissioner Troxler says having a long-term presence in China will be beneficial to the state’s economy:
"One of the things that we're going to do is open a North Carolina agriculture trade office in Beijing and this will service the existing customers that we have in China and also people from North Carolina who go over to sell our North Carolina products..."
This Chinese trade mission is being paid for with a grant from the Tobacco Trust Fund, and other commodity representatives are paying their own way to Beijing.
Secretary to Sign Biofuels Memorandum
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says he will sign a Memorandum of Understanding that will strengthen public, private and academic partnerships that are essential to bio-based industries. The memo encourages the continued development of bio-based products for energy consumption, animal feed, chemicals and other uses.
Animal Antibiotics Legislation Coming
New York Representative Louise Slaughter says she will once again introduce legislation intended to reduce the use of animal antibiotics in healthy animals. Slaughter says four out of five antibiotics sold in this country were for use on animals, many of whom were not sick. She also cited figures from the Food and Drug Administration indicating that 13.1-million kilograms of antibacterial drugs were sold for animal use in 2009. Only 3.3-million kilograms were sold that year for human use.
In a statement the National Pork Producers Council said that nearly 39 percent of the antibiotics sold for use on farm animals consisted of ionophores, compounds that aren’t used in human medicine.
Weather Played Role in January’s Economic Advance
Economist Joel Naroff says, even though consumers had more money to spend in January because of the tax cut, the weather may have been a factor in the small gain in six months...just point two per cent. Still there is a worry going forward:
"The rise in gasoline prices is going to take almost all of that extra income from the tax cut..."