Drought Not Improving

The price of oil fell after a Fed official said further action to stimulate the economy may not be necessary. The fall comes after a Fed official said new steps to stimulate the economy may not be necessary. Oil analyst Tom Kloza says while oil was down today, the trend of oil over the last few months has consistently been heading up.

“Its been rising with the stock market, though one doesn’t always necessarily follow the other. But chances are if you see a large percentage move in the other asset class equities then you will probably see higher prices for oil.”

Final Pork Reporting Rule Released and Published

The Agricultural Marketing Service released a final rule implementing mandatory pork price reporting at the wholesale level this week – which has been published in the Federal Register. The National Pork Producers Council worked to get the reporting provision included in legislation reauthorizing the Livestock Mandated Reporting Act and is grateful for USDA’s cooperation in helping develop this tool for pork producers – according to Wilson North Carolina Producer and NPPC President R.C. Hunt.

Mid-western Drought Not Improving

The latest survey of the drought shows that in some places it's getting worse. Don Keeney, senior agriculture meteorologist with MDA EarthSat Weather, takes a look at the drought map:

 “Right now across the contiguous US, 63% of the country is under drought right now.”


NFU Partners with Feeding America in Challenge to End Hunger

The National Farmers Union has partnered with Feeding America and the Howard G. Buffet Foundation to help fight hunger in the United States. Feeding America says one in six Americans struggles with hunger – including one in five children. The Foundation again is matching funds up to 50-thousand dollars – so every dollar donated by NFU members and their communities will be matched. All donations go toward providing 17-dollars of food and groceries to Americans in need – which doubles to 34-dollars with the Foundation’s match. The campaign ends on December 15th.

Americans Waste Huge Amounts of Food

America’s waste problem on and off the farm is super-sized based on a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC says Americans throw away at least 165-billion dollars-worth of meat and produce every year – up to 23-hundred dollars per family of four – or four of every 10 bags of groceries. Not good – when the country’s suffering the worst drought in over 50-years – food prices are headed up and farmers are spending a fortune to grow food. NRDC Project Scientist Dana Gunders says some losses of blemished produce occur on the farm…

“This is money being lost by the producer if the products have to be thrown out. Or even when they are going to animal feed when they could be sold at prices that would get them to market.”

Gunders says the average dinner plate has grown 30-percent in diameter since the 60’s – and waistlines with it – but also trash cans and landfills. But if food prices rise – will that mean less waste?…

“I think its certainly a possibility, with drought and rising food prices this is an opportune time for us to take a look at the food system and make sure that we are using it as best we can.”

One solution is better regulation of use by and sell by date labels that reflect loss of peak quality – not safety. Use by in the U-K means when an item goes bad. But Gunders says the key to fighting waste is for consumers to buy only what they eat – a tall order in a throw-away society that wastes 10-times as much food as consumers in Southeast Asia.

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