On October 3rd, North Carolina Department of Agriculture will be offering a workshop in Raleigh to familiarize farmers and produce processors with what’s coming with USDA’s new Food Safety Modernization Act. NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler:
“We want businesses to have the information they need to avoid food recalls. We want to help prepare them if a recall of their product does happen. We want to help them to restore their business model should the recall take place.”
Registration deadline is Friday…to learn more visit www.ncagr.gov/markets and click on agribusiness development.
Congress Leaves Washington without 2012 Farm Bill
For the first time anyone can remember – House leaders have failed to bring up a House Committee farm bill when one’s also been passed by the Senate. After next week – there will be no farm law – not even an extension of the expiring 2008 Farm Bill – though many farm programs won’t be immediately affected. American Farm Bureau Federation Deputy Director Mark Maslyn says Congress has become more polarized through redistricting – leaving fewer in the middle to compromise…
“There are huge issues that need to be dealt with and folks are not coming together to deal with them, and elections are a major factor in that.”
Of more importance than renewing farm bill legislation, to some, is the expiring estate tax. President of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, Larry Wooten:
“A much more immediate problem that has to be fixed is the Federal Estate Inheritance Tax exemption. If its not renewed by January 1st, that exemption will go from $5 million to $1 million total and then a 55% tax rate from a 35% tax rate"
If the estate tax rate isn’t renewed, many farmers will have to sell equipment, or land, or both in order to meet the tax burden, leaving the next generation of farmers in dire straits.
Food Prices Predicted to Reach Record Highs in 2013
Global food prices will set records during 2013, according to a new report from Rabobank International, but the social impacts should be milder than in 2008 when shortages of staple foods caused riots in several developing countries. Rabobank issued the report, titled “Re-entering ag-flation: World food prices to hit record high,” last week.
According to the report, the overall FAO Food Price Index, which serves as a proxy for prices consumers around the world pay for food, will rise 12 percent from August 31 through the end of 2012, then slow to 2 percent growth for the first half of 2013. Prices will peak between the second and third quarters of next year.
Rising prices for agricultural commodities, largely due to severe drought in the United States and elsewhere are behind the expected spike in food prices.