China Importing US Peanuts
China has begun importing American peanuts, which is rare. Bob Sutter, CEO of North Carolina Peanut Growers:
“China has come in and they are buying substantially more than they have in the past. Exports may double this year to China.”
Sutter explains it won’t be enough to boost contract prices this year:
“The pile was so big from the 2012 crop that the increased exports probably will not bump the price up appreciably.”
China’s usual market for peanuts is India says Sutter:
“China had been buying peanuts from India, but India had such a terrible crop in 2012 along with quality issues, so China has seen all these peanuts we have here at a low price.”
Sutter says shellers are offering $540 a ton for peanuts, down significantly from the over $700 last year.
NC State co-Recipient of Grant for Organic Food Safety Research
North Carolina State University and The University of Tennessee will share a federal grant to improve the safety of organic produce. Researchers at N.C. State and UT hope the study leads to the effective use of naturally occurring substances such as organic essential oils that fight pathogens when added to water used to wash produce.
UT Associate Professor Qixin (shih-SHIN') Zhong says the project will seek safe, alternative, sustainable and effective treatments to reduce foodborne illnesses. Among the culprits are E. coli, listeria and salmonella contamination in produce.
Nearly $2 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding will support the four-year program.
New YouTube Series Promotes Animal Wellness on Modern Farms
Twelve veterinarians and farmers from Missouri, Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, New Mexico and Wisconsin are speaking out for responsible livestock farming by allowing a film crew to document their work. They are demonstrating modern animal wellness practices on dozens of farms and ranches across the country in a new YouTube reality series called Veterinarians On Call. This series shows the public how farmers and ranchers benefit from raising animals in comfortable, stress-free conditions and housing – and how this avoids disease, saves money on care and keeps animals growing properly until they are ready for market.
Vilsack Under Fire for Sequestration
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack came under fire from House Ag Committee Republicans at a hearing this week for his plans to furlough meat inspectors under sequestration. The hearing was supposed to review the state of the rural economy, but it quickly shifted to a GOP lead attack on Vilsack’s meat inspector furlough threat, as the White House and Hill continued to jostle over who is to blame for the sequester. Vilsack told the ag panel he will do everything he can to minimize the disruption, but there will be furloughs of 10-12 days.